Coming April 30, 2018, we’re going to have a standard lease agreement across Ontario. But, is a standard lease really going to alleviate the issues that plague our rental industry? With severe rent control regulations in place, which were predicted and are pushing rental rates up in the city… tenants feel like they are at the landlord’s mercy when negotiating lease agreements.
What Does Ontario’s New Lease Agreement Mean For Me?
Starting April 30, 2018, all new rental agreements must be completed on the standard lease agreement. However, all previous lease agreements are still valid, and landlords and tenants can continue their tenancy without signing the new lease agreement. Even once those old leases expire, they become month-to-month and do not need to be renegotiated or signed. But, any illegal stipulations in old contracts are invalid. (They were always invalid, even at the signing of the offer.)
Which brings us to the question, what is this going to change?
Sadly, not too much. It is going to alleviate the patchwork of different leases and clauses floating around our industry, but we don’t think it’s going to stop landlords from adding their own illegal clauses to the contract once again.
It’s common knowledge among realtors, and most savvy renters, that landlords cannot ask for:
- A rental deposit or security deposit, besides the first and last month’s rent
- A key deposit above the value of a replacement key
- Post-Dated Cheques
- Or, that the tenants do not have pets, unless stipulated by the condo board
But, we find at least one or two of these in every lease we review.
When you’re in an economy where rental vacancy is at an all-time low, can you really fight the landlord on their request for post-dated cheques, or that they want a $100 key deposit for a key that costs $20? Not really, most tenants feel obligated to just cave and take it as an expense of getting a rental.
What will the new standard lease do?
The standard lease is going to guide tenants and landlords in the right direction in terms of a legal lease agreement, but it’s not going to stop them from amending/changing the agreement, or adding onto it. We think this is a good step towards educating tenants and landlords of what is and isn’t legal, but it’s not going to revolutionize our industry.
If you have any questions, or comments, leave them below!