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To make sure that you're well protected under the law, make sure that the landlord uses a standard lease agreement for the province you live in, and negotiate any other items you feel should be included. If, for example, the landlord agreed during your visit of the apartment that the windows needed to be changed, this should be reflected in the lease, with a mention of when the repairs will be made.


The lease is mutually beneficial. A tenant can't stop paying rent or vacate the property during the lease term — this is a violation of the agreement. Likewise, the landlord can't arbitrarily force the tenant to move. If my sister moves to town, for instance, I can't evict one of my tenants for the sake of giving that space to a family member. The tenant has secured it with a lease. My hands are tied.
The Standard Lease applies to most residential tenancies in Ontario, including leases of condominiums, single-family homes and units in apartment buildings. The Standard Lease does not apply to commercial properties, residential sub-tenancies, as well as tenancies involving student residences, retirement homes, land lease communities and other property types that are exempt from the RTA. However, the Ontario government announced that it is also working on standard form leases for some of the foregoing exempt classes of residential tenancies. There is no estimated publication date for these additional standard lease forms.

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Once the rental agreement is signed by both parties, a copy should be provided to the tenant at the time of signing or within 21 days after the tenant has signed. If the rental agreement is signed prior to the date it begins, a copy should be provided to the tenant within 21 days after the date it begins. The tenant is not bound by any additional terms and conditions in the rental agreement unless a copy has been served within 21 days.
A rental agreement can be written, verbal or implied. Since the rental agreement is the most important part of a landlord and tenant relationship, it should be in writing. The advantage of a written agreement is that it outlines the terms and conditions agreed to by both parties. Once the landlord and tenant agree to the terms and conditions of their contract, it cannot be changed unless both parties agree.
Assignments and subleases both occur when the tenant gives his/her rights under the lease to a third party. A sublease or an assignment typically requires the consent of the landlord. An assignment occurs when the tenant gives to a third party all of his or her remaining rights under a lease for the entire term of the lease. If a tenant assigns property and the landlord consents to the assignment, that tenant no longer has any rights to the property nor any obligations to the landlord. In a sublease the tenant can transfer a portion of the leased space (e.g. a room in a house) or a portion of the tenancy (e.g. for 5 of the remaining 6 months of the lease) to a third party. The original tenant retains whatever rights under the lease he or she has that were not transferred to the third party, and also retains most of his or her obligations under the lease. Typically, the original tenant can still sue and be sued by the landlord for lease violations.

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When the tenant has broken the lease conditions and vacated prior to the expiry of the lease term, the landlord may charge a "rerent levy" to recover their lost rental income and costs associated with finding a new tenant. It is usually only charged when the term of the lease is six months or more, and some jurisdictions do not permit the landlord to charge a rerent levy. The amount charged must be reasonable given the circumstances, and must not exceed the damages that the landlord suffers from the tenant leaving early.
If the Tenant tenders a cheque, which is dishonored by a banking institution, then the Tenant shall only tender cash or cashier's cheque for all future payments. This shall continue until such time as written consent is obtained from the Landlord. In addition, the Tenant shall be liable in the sum of $50 for each cheque that is returned to the Landlord because the cheque has been dishonored.
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The sample residential lease agreement below describes a contract between “Landlord” Keith Richards and “Tenant” Clara Trueba. She agrees to rent a two bed room, two bathroom apartment in Los Angeles for $2,000 per month for a fixed length of 12 months. The tenant agrees to pay for electricity, gas, water, cable television, and telephone, and the landlord agrees to pay for trash and sewage. This is a good example of what provisions a simple lease agreement might contain, and how one should look in its final form.


A: The pet policy should clearly outline the type of pets that are allowed (if any), how many of each type, and the expected care and cleanliness to be maintained if a tenant will keep a pet on the premises. You can also specify any rules regarding the pet and whether you have the right to change the pet agreement as long as you give proper notice (at least 30 days).
Under "terms", there should also be mention of the length of the agreement, and the date that the lease starts and ends. The lease renewal information should also be there somewhere, along with mention of rent increases: when, how much to expect, and how much notice must be given. If you think you may want to sublet your apartment, it should be stated in the lease that you are allowed to do so.
The New Form is part of the Ontario government's effort to reduce inconsistency among residential leases and the number of misunderstandings caused by verbal tenancy agreements. It uses easy-to-read language to help the parties understand not only what the lease agreement covers, but also what it does not, and cannot, cover. By April 30, 2018, a guide to the New Form will be available in 23 languages.
An option to purchase refers to a lease which allows the tenant to buy the property at an agreed price during the lease term. Usually the tenant pays the landlord a non-refundable option deposit and in exchange the tenant has the exclusive right to buy the property from the landlord. The tenant is given only a certain amount of time to exercise the option. If the Tenant takes advantage of the option, the Tenant's option deposit will go towards the purchase price of the property. If the Tenant does not take advantage of the option, the Landlord will get to keep the deposit and neither party will have any rights or claims against each other concerning the option.
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