Your first stop for self-help is a review of our FAQs. Take a look at the ever increasing collection of questions asked by Ontario’s small-scale landlords as well as the actual answers provided by Landlord’s Self-Help Centre.
I rent out rooms in my home and I share the kitchen and bathroom with the occupants. I understand that this type of accommodation is not under the landlord and tenant law. Does that mean that I can increase the rent by any amount?
Based on the fact that you are living in the same house and sharing the kitchen and bathroom with the occupants, the Residential Tenancies Act does not apply to this type of accommodation. Therefore you can increase the rent by any amount.
My rental unit is exempt under the Residential Tenancies Act, how do I give my tenant notice to leave?
It is recommended for the landlord to give 30 days’ notice to vacate, so the tenant has a reasonable amount of time to find something else. This is best done in the form of a letter (written notice) so the landlord has a copy as well. For more information on how to deal with your tenant, please have a look at our Sharing Kitchen and/or Bathroom RTA Fact Sheet which can be found at: https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/RTA-Sharing-bathroom-kitchen-REV2021.pdf.
I moved into my rental property and now I share bathroom and kitchen with my tenant. Does the Residential Tenancies Act apply to me?
If the landlord lives in the rental property PRIOR to the tenant moving in, then you are exempt under section 5(i) of the Residential Tenancies Act. However if the tenant lives in the unit and the landlord decides to move in after, then the Act does apply to you, despite sharing a bathroom and kitchen with the tenant.
I am part of a not-for-profit association. It is a private club with paid members. Our property is in the country, and part of our income is from 10 apartments rented by members of the club. Are we covered by the Residential Tenancies Act?
The only sure way to determine whether or not the Residential Tenancies Act applies, in whole or in part, is to file an application under Section 9 of the Act. To do this, landlords can file an A1 application with the Landlord and Tenant Board, the forms and instructions are available here –https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/
Situations that are completely exempt from the Act are listed in Section 5 of the Act. Partial Exemptions are listed under Sections 6, 7 and 8 of the Act, which you can read at the following link: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/06r17#BK5
What are my tenant’s rights if I share a kitchen with them? I currently feel threatened by their presence and would like to know what I can do about the claims that they want to make against me.
If your living arrangements require the tenant to share a kitchen with you as a condition of living in your home, then likely your situation would not be covered as a regular tenancy under the Residential Tenancies Act. This usually means that the renter is not a tenant and has very few rights in such situations.
If you feel you are being threatened by this person, then you may have to speak to your local police department about getting a peace bond (which acts like a restraining order) against him or her.
In the meantime, to protect yourself against any potential claims, you can write out a simple timeline of events showing when and what was paid to you, when the tenant moved in, the fact that he or she shares a kitchen with you, the problems the tenant has caused you, and any other details that are relevant to the tenancy. You may need this to show to the police or for any possible court hearing.
I am the owner of a residential unit. My tenants currently share the kitchen and bathroom with one of my children. Does the Act apply to our situation?
The Residential Tenancies Act does not apply to a residential rental agreement that requires (from the beginning of the tenancy) the owner of the property or the owner’s immediate family, which includes spouse, parent, or child/children, to share a kitchen or a bathroom with the renter.
If the renter in your home has to regularly share kitchen or bathroom with the owner in this way, then the normal rules about giving notice do not apply. The rules are instead set by the terms of the tenancy agreement or lease. It is not exactly true that the renter can just walk away from their lease obligations because of a shared living arrangement. They may for example still be taken to Small Claims Court for breach of contract for not paying rent or leaving abruptly and where the landlord experiences a delay in finding a new renter.
In your case you should look at the lease to see if there are any options given for you there. If the lease you are using does not reflect the shared living arrangement, and refers to the Residential Tenancies Act, then this is probably causing part of the confusion, since that law only applies where the renter has their own kitchen and bathroom, or only has to share with other renters.
You may have to look at serving notice to end the agreement because of non-payment by the renter/tenant based on either the lease terms if they share kitchen or bathroom with you, or based on the rules of the Residential Tenancies Act if they do not share.
I currently have two tenants living in my home with me. We share the kitchen, living room, dining area, bathroom, laundry, and parking in the driveway. What type of notice do I need to give the current tenants if I want them to leave while I do renovations?
If your agreement states that that the renters are required to share a kitchen and/or bathroom with you, and you are the owner, then the tenancies you have with them would seem to be exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act under Section 5 (i). As such, you do not have to give a reason to terminate a tenancy.
Unless you have a written contract with the renter that specifies the amount of notice that should be given if either party wants to end the tenancy, you should give an amount of time that matches the frequency for rental payments. If the renters pay by the month, you can give 30 days’ notice to end the tenancy.
Here is our fact sheet on shared accommodation for further information: https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/RTA-Sharing-bathroom-kitchen-REV2021.pdf
Please remember that once you move out and if you choose to rent to tenants who are not required to share kitchen or bathroom with you, the protection of the Residential Tenancies Act becomes immediately effective for those new tenancies.
We purchased a property for my daughter to live in while she attends university, will this qualify for the exemption under the RTA?
If your daughter will be living in the property and sharing the kitchen and/or bathroom facilities with the tenants then the tenancies would be exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act even if your daughter is also paying rent.
My tenancy arrangement is exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act, but if my tenant doesn’t move out by the end of July, in order to involve the Police, I need Section 5(i) from the Act which I am having difficulty locating. Where can I find it?
The following is from Section 5 of the Residential Tenancies Act, listing your exempt situation. Subsection (i) is the section relevant to your situation: 5. This Act does not apply with respect to, (i) living accommodation whose occupant or occupants are required to share a bathroom or kitchen facility with the owner, the owner’s spouse, child or parent or the spouse’s child or parent, and where the owner, spouse, child or parent lives in the building in which the living accommodation is located.
My rental agreements are exempt in that the roomers share kitchen and bath with my daughter. Can I require the renters to pay extra charges for utilities if their use is excessive?
The tenancies are exempt from regulation by the Residential Tenancies Act because your daughter shares kitchen and bathroom with them. You therefore can include any provision in your rental agreement as long as the renters agree to the terms and conditions.
My brother owns a house and has two lodgers renting rooms. He’s asked them to leave and they refuse.
If the renters have to share the kitchen or bathroom with the owner, their child, spouse or parent and if the room that they are now occupying is locate at your brother’s principle residence and he lived there before the lodgers moved in, then they likely are not TENANTS covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. Rather they are licensees and your brother has much more leeway in terminating them. Please see our fact sheet on such matters – https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/Sharing-bathroom-kitchen.pdf. Otherwise, the termination options are more complicated and the forms must be done correctly.
I’ve rented part of my unit to a roommate and must ask him to leave due to nonpayment. It seems that I’m not covered by the RTA but a licensee/licensor relationship, help!
Our clinic’s policy permits us to provide advice and information to small landlords only, it is a conflict for us to advise tenants as well. The only suggestion we have for you in trying to convince the police that you are not covered under the RTA and to show them the section of the Act that provides the definition of landlord. Here is a link to one of our Fact Sheets which provides information on the two main types of exemptions; owner sharing facilities with a tenant and a tenant and roommate situation https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/Sharing-bathroom-kitchen.pdf.
I would like to rent a furnished basement apartment for a short-term (3 month) lease. Would the Residential Tenancies Act apply?
The Residential Tenancies Act will still apply in this type of rental agreement. The unit would only be excluded from the Act if the tenant would be required to share the kitchen and/or bathroom facilities with the owner of the property.
I understand my house is exempt from the RTA, but I am wondering if there are specific rules/laws for entering the rented rooms, or allowing tenants to use anything in the house (bathroom/kitchen/laundry room)?
When a tenancy is exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act it is usually common law that applies, and it is at the discretion of the landlord to deal with certain issues as long as the landlord acts reasonably. In this type of rental accommodation it is beneficial to have a detailed written rental agreement including all the conditions of the rental. This will facilitate the enforcement of any of the provisions, since no other law would apply and you can only go based on what is stated in your agreement.
I rented a room in my home where I share the bathroom with my tenant. The tenant gave notice to terminate her lease, and requested permission to sublet, but I refused. Was I within my rights to deny because my unit is exempt from the Act?
You are correct. If the tenant is required to share the kitchen and/or bathroom facilities with the owner then the tenancy is exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act. It means that there isn’t really a law that would apply to the tenancy, and it was at your discretion whether to allow the sublet or not.
If the rental accommodation you describe is seasonal accommodation it may be exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act and LSHC is unable assist you with this matter.
I rent some rooms of my house to University students, but we share the kitchen. A tenant notified me by text that he wanted to break the lease. I required 60 days’ notice, but he says he’s not required to give that much notice. What do I do?
Since you are sharing the kitchen facilities with the tenants, the tenancies are not covered under the Residential Tenancies Act. The only law that may apply in this case is contract law. Since you did have a written contract and it specified that the tenant would have to provide a 60 days’ written notice to end the tenancy, you may be able to pursue him in Small Claims Court if you incur a loss of rent. However, you should try to re-rent the unit as soon as possible. If you need more advice on this matter you may have to consult with a lawyer or a paralegal.
A residential unit within a commercial building is subject to the rules and regulations of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.
The owner lives in the basement, and the kitchen is shared by everyone living in the house. One of the tenants is disturbing the owner and other tenants. I would like to ask him to leave, but want to comply with the Act.
Since the owner of the property is sharing kitchen facilities with the renter, the rental agreement is exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act. For more information on how to deal with your tenant, please have a look at our Sharing Kitchen and/or Bathroom RTA Fact Sheet which can be found at: https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/Sharing-bathroom-kitchen.pdf.
I live with my tenant and we share the same kitchen, what are the rules applying to rent increases, interest on deposits and notice of termination?
Since you share the kitchen facilities with the tenant, you are not governed by the Residential Tenancies Act provisions on these issues. Common law would apply or usually you would follow whatever has been stated in the rental agreement. Landlords can incorporate their own rules in their agreements. If there is no rental agreement, then you would simply use your own discretion. Typically, owners in this situation can give 30 days’ notice to end the tenancy if the agreement is monthly or one week notice if the agreement is weekly. You can also refer to our Fact Sheet on Sharing kitchen and/or Bathroom for further information, here is the link https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/Sharing-bathroom-kitchen.pdf.
How much notice is needed to terminate a tenancy that is exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act?
If the owner is sharing the kitchen and/or bathroom facilities with the boarder the tenancy is not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. Please refer to the Fact Sheet “Sharing Kitchen and/or Bathroom” at https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/Sharing-bathroom-kitchen.pdf.
A room rental still falls under the Residential Tenancies Act unless the roomer is required to share the kitchen and/or bathroom facilities with the owner, the owner’s spouse, child or parent or the spouse’s child or parent. If that is the case then this type of rental would be exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act. If you are in this category you will find a Fact Sheet on our website specifically addressing this issue, here is the link, https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/Sharing-bathroom-kitchen.pdf.