Recent Update to Ontario’s Standard Form Lease for Residential Tenancies
Since April 30, 2018, landlords and tenants entering into residential tenancies must use Ontario’s standard Residential Tenancy Agreement (“Standard Form Lease”). Where the Standard Form Lease is not used, the tenant may request in writing that it be provided by the landlord. The landlord then has 21 days upon receiving such request to provide the tenant with a Standard Form Lease agreement.
The Ontario government recently amended the Standard Form Lease to reflect changes to residential tenancy legislation. Use of the updated Standard Form Lease is mandatory for tenancy agreements signed on or after March 1, 2021. The new form can be found online: Ontario Standard Form Lease.
Similar to the standard form released in April 2018, the updated Standard Form Lease must be used for residential tenancies in single and semi-detaches houses, apartment buildings, and condominiums. However, it does not apply to care homes, sites in mobile home parks and land-lease communities, most social housing, or co-operative housing.
Changes made to the Standard Form Lease are summarized as follows:
- The form now expressly states that landlords and tenants may sign the agreement electronically if both parties agree to do so.
- The landlord is no longer required to provide a prospective tenant available information about the electricity usage in the rental unit over the last twelve months as this requirement is removed from section 6 of the form.
- Additional information is provided in Appendix A: General Information, primarily with respect to:
- terminating a tenancy for the landlord’s or purchaser’s own use and for extensive renovations and repairs (Part D);
- note: under a new section 49.1 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, a landlord who gives a notice of termination of the tenancy to a tenant on behalf of a purchaser is now required to compensate the tenant in an amount equal to one month’s rent or to offer another rental unit acceptable to the tenant.
- newly-built units that are not subject to the rent increase guideline (Part I); and
- requirements to obtain the landlord’s permission when the tenant rents their whole unit to someone else (e.g. short-term rentals) (Part Q).
It is vital for landlords to use the mandatory Standard Form Lease and refrain from relying on other forms, such as their own or realtor’s forms. Although landlords and tenants can agree to additional terms, landlords must ensure these terms comply with the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, and any other term set out in the Standard Form Lease. As explained in section 15 of the Standard Form Lease, where there is a conflict, the additional term is void and cannot be enforced.
The foregoing information provides only an overview of Ontario’s Residential Tenancy Agreement. If you have questions in the above regard, please contact Selena Saikaley, Articling Student at [email protected].