If a purchaser is interested in acquiring a property that is occupied by residential tenants, several considerations arise.
In Ontario, in addition to reviewing the terms of the lease(s), the purchaser should be aware that the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and certain other residential tenancies legislation.
Residential landlord-tenant law in Ontario is consumer legislation, written to protect tenants.
This legislation limits a landlord’s rights to evict current tenants and to increase rents beyond specified statutory limits (“rent control”).
The legislation also permits rent reductions where the premises are not properly maintained.
Landlord’s rights may also be limited by other statutes, like the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
For instance, you cannot select or refuse tenants based on race, place of origin, ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, family status (e.g. children) or disability.
The Residential Tenancies Act, which applies to most rental situations, gives certain rights and responsibilities to landlords and to tenants.
Some landlord’s rights are:
- choose a tenant (using income information, credit checks, credit references, rental history, guarantees, and similar business practices as prescribed in the Human Rights Code regulations);
- collect rent;
- collect a rent deposit (up to the amount of rent for one rental period);
- enter the rental unit (for maintenance or repairs, to show the unit to a potential tenant, or in an emergency) as long as you follow certain entry guidelines;
- increase rent (once in a 12-month period) as long as you follow rent increase guidelines;
- evict tenants in certain prescribed situations.
Some landlord’s responsibilities are:
- keep the premises in good repair;
- maintain common areas;
- provide access to vital services (i.e. hot and cold water, electricity, heat and fuel);
- provide your tenant with a copy of the lease or tenancy agreement, and written notice of your legal name and address.
Disputes are resolved by the Landlord and Tenant Board.
For instance, if you give your tenants a notice that you want them to leave in a situation where you are permitted to evict them, and they do not leave, you have the right to file an application and have a hearing with the Landlord and Tenant Board.
We at HLF can advise you of your rights and represent you before the Board.
We can help. Get in touch.