According to the definitions contained in the Residential Tenancies Act, a tenancy agreement means a written, oral or implied agreement between a tenant and a landlord for the occupancy of a rental unit.
We rented to a couple on a verbal agreement with no LMR deposit. They haven’t lived up to the agreement and regularly pay late. Can I formalize the agreement in writing now?
Whatever agreement was in place when the tenancy commenced must continue as is. So unless they are willing to sign a lease, you cannot insist that they do so.
We purchased a triplex and all the leases have expired. Can I write up a new one and have the tenants sign it?
When you purchase a property with existing tenants you have to assume whatever agreement the tenants had in place with the previous owner. When the initial tenancy agreement expires, the tenancy continues on a month to month basis and you cannot require the tenants to sign a new lease.
The tenants moved in 5 months ago and signed a one year lease. Now my tenants have asked that I add one more person to the agreement. Is there a specific form to amend the lease?
There is no specific form for this purpose, you can usually just draft up an Addendum to the lease which is just a page you attach to the lease entitled Addendum stating the changes or additions and have all parties sign it.
The tenant began renting a year ago and didn’t have a car so was never given a parking spot. She was only entitled to a parking spot when she first moved in if it was going to be used for the “Lessee’s private passenger vehicle.” Any thoughts?
It would seem that the lease allows one outdoor parking space—actual space location or number not defined—to be included in the rental of the unit. Whether or not the tenant has a car, she gets a space, as you mentioned, for her own “Lessee’s private passenger vehicle.” Therefore, according to the lease, she is entitled to a spot. The problem with enforcing this kind of wording in a lease is that you would have to prove that parking another vehicle in that space, her boyfriend’s or someone else’s car, impacts on your right or enjoyment as a landlord. Or that it impacts the rights or enjoyment of another tenant in the building. This may prove to be very difficult to do and would not likely result in a positive outcome at the Landlord and Tenant Board. You would need a paralegal or lawyer to represent you if you are taking the matter any further. I do not suggest you try to rent out “her spot” to other tenants without first offering her some permanent reduction in her rent. Even though she pays $0.00 for parking, her rental of the unit includes access to one space, so taking it away is a reduction of services according to the Residential Tenancies Act.
The tenancy continues as a statutory tenancy under the same terms and conditions of the original lease. The landlord is not obliged to sign another fixed term agreement after the initial agreement expires nor is the tenant.
The responsibility for maintaining the property ultimately falls upon the owner and this includes clearing snow and mowing the lawn if the tenant fails to live up to the terms of the agreement.
The agreement requires the tenant to buy insurance to cover third party liability. They now refuse!
If the tenant does not comply with this provision of the agreement the landlord doesn’t have much recourse, the Residential Tenancies Act does not set out any remedy for the landlord in this case. The purpose of including this clause in the rental agreement is basically to protect yourself against certain claims the tenant might have in the event of a problem.
Tenants must provide samples of paint colors, light/neutral shades only. What if they don’t comply?
If the tenants do not comply with the agreement, as specified in your written tenancy agreement, and paint in dark colors this may be considered damages. In this situation you could serve them with a notice of early termination based on damages (Form N5) in which they have 7 days to correct the problem. If they have already moved out then your recourse would be to sue them in Small Claims Court.
If your tenancy agreement prohibits pets, that provision is void and not enforceable. Tenants are allowed to have pets. If problems occur as a result of the pet the legislation provides a variety of remedies.
My tenancy agreement for my boarding/lodging house stipulates that guests are permitted in the common areas only. Does this contravene the Residential Tenancies Act?
Under the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants are allowed to have visitors/guests as long as they do not disturb or cause a problem for anyone else in the house. Therefore it may be difficult to enforce this rule even if it is stated in the rental agreement.
It is fairly common for a tenant to split the costs of renting by bringing in a permanent guest, or “undertenant”. The Residential Tenancies Act includes no remedy for a landlord in such cases, because it does not consider it to be unlawful. A landlord can neither raise the rent to reflect the additional utility use, and wear and tear on the rental unit, nor prevent the tenant from having the roommate, as long as local municipal bylaws on occupancy standards are respected. The existence of a roommate in a tenant’s unit is not something the landlord can do anything about unless the “tenant” is required to share a kitchen or bathroom with the owner or the owner’s immediate family members as defined in the Act.
The faxed copy of the lease is valid and legal if it is legible.
The tenant is not required to move at the end of the lease. Landlords often expect that a tenant will vacate at the end of the lease, however, there is not requirement under the Residential Tenancies Act to do so. If you have a fixed term tenancy agreement with the tenant and it expires, the tenancy continues on a month to month basis as a statutory tenancy under the same terms and conditions of the original lease.
Is there a standardized form that a potential renter fills out to provide information about previous address, previous landlord, employment history etc.. If so, where do I get them?
Standard forms such as rental application can be purchased at Grand & Toy or Staples stores. LSHC offers a rental application form that can be purchased at our office for $1.00 or available online in the members’ area under ‘rental tools’.
The landlord is required to provide the tenant with a copy of the tenancy agreement within 21 days of the tenant signing the agreement.
I’m interested in renting out my property, can I simply obtain a blank copy of a lease agreement on the internet or do I need to contact a specific organization to obtain this?
You can obtain a standard lease agreement from Staples stores or purchase them on-line at www.self-counsel.com. We also have our own rental agreement forms which are available at our office at a cost of $3.00 each. They are also available on our website but can only be accessed by members of our organization.
I sent a new lease to my tenants, the current one is expiring. They circled an article in the lease that states after the original lease is satisfied a tenant does not have to sign a new lease.
Under the Residential Tenancies Act a tenant has the right to stay after the end of the lease term and they are not obligated to renew for another term, they can just remain on a month to month basis and under the same terms and conditions of the expired lease.
When you purchase a property with existing tenants, you assume whatever agreement they have in place with the previous owner even if it was a verbal agreement. They are not obligated to sign a new agreement with you, they can just carry on under the same terms, if they give you cheques for the rent you can cash it.
I have a tenant that signed a lease with her husband and they split up. The husband moved out and wants to be taken off the lease, and I don’t feel the wife can afford it alone. Do I have to continue the lease with the wife when the lease is up?
The simplest way to understand your situation is to say that as long as either one of the co-tenants occupy the rental unit that you rented to both of them originally, the original tenancy obligations might continue indefinitely. All three of you will have to agree to either end the tenancy completely, or to let one of the co-tenants out of the lease. They each have a joint a several responsibility to pay the rent, even if the other moves out or dies. If the wife agrees to let the husband be removed from his responsibility to the lease, it will not happen unless you also agree to the change. If you do agree (in writing), then the wife will have to pay the full rent herself, and will probably be forced to find a roommate to help her do so. If the wife fails to pay the full rent in the current scenario (and the husband fails to bail her out by paying), you would serve an N4 Notice to Terminate for Non-payment of Rent in both names, and file an L1 eviction application if needed. If a roommate does move in, however, the wife does not need your permission for this if the roommate is going to only pay rent to the wife. If the wife wants the roommate to be added to the lease as a co-tenant, you would screen that person the same way you would for any new applicant.
You can obtain a residential tenancy agreement form at any Grand & Toy or Staples stores, they can also be obtained at some real estate agencies. You can also order these forms online from www.self-counsel.com. LSHC members can access the members’ area of the web site to obtain tenancy agreement, rental application and inspection report forms.
At what point does the tenant have the right to rent a unit or do I have the right to cancel a potential rental agreement?
Under the Residential Tenancies Act, the definition of a “tenancy agreement” is a written, oral or implied agreement between a tenant and a landlord for occupancy of a rental unit. The law does not state for certain when a tenancy agreement has been established and each situation would differ based on the circumstances.
Under the Residential Tenancies Act when a lease expires the tenants are allowed to remain on a month to month basis, they are not obligated to renew the lease for another 12 month term.
According to their lease, their occupancy starts April 1 but they want to drop off some boxes prior to that date. Would that be considered legal occupancy if they have their belongings in the unit before April 1?
If you allow the tenant to drop off “a few boxes” you are allowing them to live there as of that moment, because putting their belongings in is the same as moving themselves in. This just moves the occupancy date forward, so perhaps if you ask them to pay the additional rent up front they will be less inclined to move in early.