NATIONAL HOUSING DAY: TENANT RIGHTS

High-rise appartment buildings at Kipling & Panorama, Rexdale.

This article is adapted from Rexdale Community Legal Clinic’s Tenant Rights presentation prepared by Alrica Gordon. It is intended for informational purposes only and does NOT constitute legal advice. If you have an issue with housing, tenant rights, are facing eviction, or for all other legal matter please call the clinic directly at (416)741-5201. We do NOT give legal advice online.

TENANCY AGREEMENTS

  • A contract between a landlord and tenant in which the tenant agrees to pay rent for the right to live in a rental unit provided by the landlord.
  • The Residential Tenancies Act does not require all landlords and tenants to have a written tenancy agreement or lease.   A tenancy agreement can be an oral or written arrangement.  However, it is generally better to have a written agreement

WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD BE CONTAINED IN THE AGREEMENT

  • The date the tenant will move into the rental unit
  • The rent amount
  • The date rent is to be paid
  • What services are included in the rent (such as electricity or parking) and any separate charges
  • The rules that the landlord requires all tenants to follow

SETTING THE RENT

  • No limit on how much rent landlords can charge new tenants when they first move in.
  • Starting rent will be whatever you and the landlord agree on.
  • There ARE limits on how much and how often your rent can go up

A pen lying on the Signature line for an agreement

RENT INCREASES

There are 3 main rules your landlord must follow to raise your rent:

  • 12 MONTHS APART

After you move in, your landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising your rent

  • 90 DAYS WRITTEN NOTICE

You must receive 90 days written notice  before your rent goes up.

  • GUIDELINE AMOUNT

The provincial government sets the guideline for rent increases for each calendar year.  The landlord has the right to raise your rent by that amount.

2013                2.5%

2014                0.8%

RENT DEPOSITS

  • A landlord can collect a rent deposit if it is requested on or before the day that the landlord and tenant enter into the tenancy agreement
  • The rent deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent or the rent for one rental period, whichever is less
  • The rent deposit must be used for the rent for the last month before the tenancy ends.  It cannot be used for anything else, such as to pay for damages

'Appartment for rent' sign

WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU HAVE TO PROVIDE?

A landlord can ask the person applying for the rental unit to provide information such as:

  • Current residence,
  • Rental history,
  • Employment history,
  • Personal references,
  • Income information (if credit references and rental history information are also requested).

However, the Ontario Human Rights Code has special rules about asking for information about the income of a prospective tenant.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING THE UNIT?

It is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the unit and ensure that it is in a good state of repair, even if:

  • The tenant was aware of problems in the unit before they moved into it, or,
  • The landlord puts into the lease that the tenant is responsible for maintenance
  • However, the tenant is responsible for keeping the unit clean, up to the standard that most people consider ordinary or normal cleanliness
  • The tenant is also responsible for repairing or paying for any damage to the rental property caused by the tenant, their guests or another person living in the rental unit

WHAT SHOULD A TENANT DO IF REPAIRS ARE NEEDED TO THEIR BUILDING OR UNIT?

  • First talk to the landlord and let the landlord know what the problems are
  • Put all the problems in writing and give this to the landlord or the person who takes care of these problems (e.g. the superintendent or property manager)
  • If the landlord refuses to do the repairs or the tenant thinks that the landlord is taking too long to deal with them, the tenant has several options

CAN A LANDLORD ENTER A TENANT’S UNIT?

  • Only under specific circumstances.
  • In most cases, the landlord must first give the tenant 24 hours written notice, stating when they will enter and for what reason.
  • There are some exceptions, however, such as in the case of an emergency or if the tenant agrees to allow the landlord to enter the unit

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF A LANDLORD ENTERS A UNIT ILLEGALLY?

The tenant may file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board. If the Board finds that the landlord has entered the unit illegally, there are a number of things that the Board may order:

  • the tenant could receive an abatement of rent
  • the landlord could be ordered to pay a fine

A kitchen water tap drips.

UTILITIES AND VITAL SERVICES

Your landlord CANNOT cut off or interfere with any vital services, e.g. supply of water, electricity or heat. If this happens, call the legal clinic or the province’s Investigation & Enforcement Unit:
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Investigation & Enforcement Unit
1-888-772-9277
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/ieu

MOVING OUT

You must give written notice that includes the date you want to move out, and you must give the notice a certain number of days before you want to move out.

Personal belongings packed into a box

EVICTION

  • It is against the law for your landlord to evict you without first getting an order from the Landlord and Tenant Board
  • The Landlord must follow the steps set out in the Residential Tenancies Act

REASONS TO EVICT

  • You owe rent
  • You often pay your rent late
  • You or your guests did something illegal on the property
  • You or your guests caused damage or serious problems for your landlord or other tenants
  • Your landlord wants to tear down the building or use it for something else
  • Your landlord, your landlord’s family, someone buying your place, or the buyer’s family wants to move in.

If you do not want to leave or if you do not agree with the reasons in the Notice, you do not have to move out.  Get legal advice right away!

WHAT IF YOU DON’T MOVE OUT?

If you decide not to move out when the landlord gives you a Notice, the landlord must give you:

  • A Notice of Hearing from the Landlord and Tenant Board
  • An Application explaining what your landlord is asking the Board to do

LANDLORD & TENANT BOARD

  • The tribunal settles disputes between landlord and tenants
  • The tribunal enforces the right of the landlord or tenant
  • It is like a court, but less formal

LANDLORD & TENANT BOARD HEARINGS

 It is important that you go to the hearing. If you do not go, the Board can hold the hearing without you.  If that happens, the Board member will probably decide to evict you because they will not hear your side of the story.

 Bring evidence to your hearing:

  • Witnesses
  • Photos
  • Inspector’s reports
  • Work Orders
  • Audio or Video recordings

WHERE TO GET HELP

  • Your Community Legal Clinic
  • Legal Aid Ontario Tenant Duty Counsel
  • M.A.H. Investigation and Enforcement Unit
  • Landlord and Tenant Board
  • Tenants’ organizations
  • Your neighbours

If you are having issues with housing, tenant rights, or are facing eviction, please call us at (416) 741-5201.

Rexdale Community Legal Clinic
416-741-5201
www.rexdalecommunitylegalclinic.ca

CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY LEGAL CLINIC

Legal Aid Ontario
1-800-668-8258
TTY: 1-866-641-8867
http://www.legalaid.on.ca

Landlord and Tenant Board
416-645-8080
http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca/

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Investigation & Enforcement Unit
1-888-772-9277
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/ieu

Federation of Metro Tenants Association
416-413-9442
http://www.torontotenants.org/

Community Legal Education Ontario
http://www.cleo.on.ca/

Your Legal Rights
http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/

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Your Legal Rights: Legal Bulletin on Human Rights

Brought to you by Your Legal Rights, a website of legal information for people in Ontario
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

Human Rights

The following email bulletin provides you with the latest news, legal information resources, common questions and training webinars from Your Legal Rights on the topic: Human Rights.

Latest News and Events

October 17 Public forum: What’s racism got to do with it?
Toronto is a city divided. 25% of its neighbourhoods are dramatically increasing in socio-­economic status. In the 40% of neighbourhoods with a population of one million that that are dramatically decreasing, members of racialized communities are overrepresented. The labour market and government policies play a major role.

Article Source:

Neighbourhood Change Research Project

read more

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Solidarity: Canadian civil society unites on Russian LGBT rights

Commentary from the Toronto Star: Cognizant of the hate and discrimination that so often smothers the basic rights of marginalized groups, a small group of HIV and LGBT activists have mobilized more than 100 Canadian civil society organizations to join the mounting global movement in response to the tyranny of Russian President Vla

Article Source:

Toronto Star

read more

Send Your Legal Rights Legal Information Bulletin on Human Rights for 10/10/2013 to friends on Facebook share on Twitter

View all news on this topic

Latest Resources

Working Together: The Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
This e-learning video is for public, private, and not-for-profit sectors and completes the training requirements for section 7 of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). It has five parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Code
  3. Understanding the duty to accommodate
  4. Applying human rights principles
  5. Compliance and enforcement
Produced by:
Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)

Send Your Legal Rights Legal Information Bulletin on Human Rights for 10/10/2013 to friends on Facebook share on Twitter

Administrative Justice Support Network
A project of Community Living Ontario, the Administrative Justice Support Network supports people who are making an appeal before an administrative board or tribunal whether or not they have legal representation. Their website has information on selected board and tribunals, links to additional information, and information on where to find more specific legal advice or legal representation.

Produced by:
Community Living Ontario

read more

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View all resources on this topic

Latest Training

Discrimination is Against the Law! A Primer on Human Rights Law in Ontario
Recorded on December 19, 2012 – This webinar, presented in partnership by the Human Rights Legal Support Centre and Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, provides an overview of the Human Rights Code, highlighting the grounds and social areas which the Code applies to, exceptions to the Code, and remedies available under the Code.

Presenting Organization:
Human Rights Legal Support Centre

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Send Your Legal Rights Legal Information Bulletin on Human Rights for 10/10/2013 to friends on Facebook share on TwitterView all training on this topic

Latest Common Question

My landlord wants me to get a co-signor or guarantor before I can sign my lease. What should I do? View all questions on this topic

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About Your Legal Rights

Your Legal Rights is a project of CLEO and is funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.

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Copyright © 2013 CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario), All rights reserved.

TORONTO STAR: #KnownToPolice

Carding on the Rise Again
The Toronto Star questions Toronto Police Services’ tactics on TCHC property as well as the controversial and racially disproportionate practice of ‘Carding’ in a 3 part feature: #KnownToPolice

PT.1 As criticism poles up so do the police cards

PT.2 One officer, five years: 6600 contact cards

PT.3 Tense times in policing on TCHC property

http://www.thestar.com

 

HALCO Annual General Meeting – Monday September 23, 2013

HALCO Annual General Meeting – Monday September 23, 2013

halco

Everyone is welcome to attend HALCO’s 2013 Annual General Meeting:

Monday September 23, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. (light refreshments at 6:30 p.m.), First Floor Meeting Room at 490 Sherbourne Street, Toronto, Ontario.

Our guest speaker Paul Lewin will talk about Reforming Canada’s Marijuana Laws. Paul Lewin is the Ontario Regional Director for NORML Canada and a criminal lawyer with a focus on cannabis offences.  The Meeting Agenda will include the presentation of our Kreppner Awards.

In addition, the Agenda will include: Minutes of our 2012 Annual General Meeting, Election of Board of Directors, Annual Report, Treasurer/Auditor’s Report, and Appointment of Auditors.

For more information, or if you require disability accommodation, please contact us. Please avoid wearing chemical-based scented products.

You can find all of the information in the HALCO Annual General Meeting 2013 invitation (pdf).

We hope to see you at the meeting!

 

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REXDALE REFUGEE LAW SERVICES

Refugeee Law Services

GTA LEGAL CLINIC TRANSFORMATION PROJECT

GTA Legal Clinics

Transformation Project

PUBLIC

INFORMATION MEETING

June 10, 2013 at 6:00pm
Council Chamber: North York Civic Centre

Everyone in the community legal clinic community (Board
members, staff members and interested community members are
invited to attend this public meeting to discuss the Transformation
Project.

If you are:
• interested in knowing how this Project got started
• wanting to know what are the objectives of the Project
• curious about who is doing it and why
• concerned about how this will affect access to justice
• wondering: isn’t this just another government cutback

Please come to the meeting!

GTA LEGAL CLINIC

TRANSFORMATION PROJECT

What is this?

The GTA Clinic Transformation Project is about planning to replace the existing GTA community legal clinics with fewer, larger, clinics. The reason for this is to deliver
more and better services to our clients. If clinics are to develop new programs for service, if clinics want to enlist more pro bono, volunteer or student help, if clinics want
to use technology more effectively, if clinic staff members want to work in teams, all for the purpose of improving our services then clinics need to be larger organizations.

These observations were put forward in the report of Public Interest called “Refining the delivery of client-centred poverty law”. The consultants were retained by the 6
East Toronto clinics to assist them in improving collaboration amongst the clinics. The principles in this report were thought to have application beyond the context of East
Toronto and those clinics proposed to the Toronto Legal Clinics Management Group that this should be a GTA-wide project. The Managers Group agreed and the GTA
Transformation Project began.

The first step taken was the establishment of the “Working Group”, eight clinic EDs who volunteered to head up the Project, essentially acting as an executive for a Steering Committee to be comprised of representatives of all participating clinics. The Working Group applied to the LAO Innovations Fund and has been given funding for this project. We expect to retain consultants to assist with the process, including analysis of demographic data and doing some community needs assessment.

This is an opportunity for a completely fresh approach. If there were no existing community legal clinics, what would be the best way to deliver clinic law services in the
GTA? What is the optimum size for a community legal clinic? Based on where clients are located, where should catchment area boundaries be? Together we will build a
new and better system for delivering a full range of poverty law services in the GTA, one which meets client and community needs and which seeks the best (the most
effective and efficient) means of delivering clinic law services. All clinics will be taking an equal risk of change. The more clinics participating the better will be our final report.

Meeting Agenda

1. Introductions and Welcome

2. The broader context of clinic transformation, Legal Aid and the clinic system
Lenny Abramowitz – Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario

3. Brief history of the GTA Clinic Transformation Project

4. The changing demographic of the GTA

5. The Public Interest Report – “Refining the delivery of client-centred poverty law”

6. The GTA wide Project

7. next steps and beyond

8. adjournment

Ontario Court of Justice

Social Justice Tribunals Ontario

Providing fair and accessible dispute resolution

From Yodit Edemariam, Staff Lawyer, Rexdale Community Legal Clinic…

Social Justice Tribunals Ontario have drafted a set of Common Rules which will govern the work of the SJTO. The Common Rules are intended to provide a consistent framework of procedures that will continue to evolve.

SJTO has now released draft versions of the Common Rules, the consequential amendments to the specific individual tribunal rules, and related new and revised practice directions for review and comment by members of the community; consultation from the public.

The deadline for feedback is June 15, 2013.

http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/english/Resources/consultation/index.htm
http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/