As a tenant, you are entitled to certain rights both before you sign the lease, and while you are renting from the landlord. What should you expect during the rental process?
If you are a renter, you may wonder what a tenant’s rights in Ontario actually are, what you can expect before you rent and after you move in, and what resources are available to you. Here’s a quick summary.
In Ontario, it is illegal for a landlord to discriminate against you because of the following factors:
The landlord does have the right to request rental history, credit references and/or credit checks. The landlord may also request information about your current income; however, that information should be limited to a confirmation that you have a sufficient regular income to pay rent.
As a tenant, you have certain rights while you are renting from your landlord, including:
A landlord can only enter a tenant’s unit in specific circumstances. In most cases, the landlord must:
There are some exceptions to this requirement, for example, in case of emergency. If the landlord has a valid reason for entering the unit, a tenant cannot refuse to let the landlord in.
If any issues arise between you and your landlord, it is important to document everything carefully. Also, there are many resources available to you that can assist you in securing your rights as a tenant, such as your City Councillor, or community legal clinics.
It is illegal for a landlord to change the locks to a rental unit or the building, without giving the tenant a key for the new locks. If you are a tenant and a landlord has locked you out, or is threatening to lock you out, contact the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit: