Do I need to sign a lease or tenancy agreement?

No. A tenancy agreement may be written, verbal, or implied. A written tenancy agreement is recommended, but the law does not require it. Most landlords use written agreements.

Types of rental periods, which determine how long you can stay in the apartment:

  • Periodic Lease: the rental period can relate to a calendar week, month, or year
  • Fixed Term Lease: lease of predetermined period

Is a signed move in/move out condition report required?

Yes, if a security deposit is requested. Whenever a security deposit is requested, the landlord and tenant both sign an inspection report when the tenancy begins.

May the landlord request a security deposit?

Yes, but there are regulations:

  • For non-weekly rentals: the amount of the security deposit may not exceed the value of one month’s rent
  • For week-to-week rentals: the amount of the security deposit may not exceed the value of one week’s rent.
  • If the tenancy is for more than week-to-week, the tenant may pay half the security deposit when the tenant moves in and the remainder within three months.
  • Landlords of subsidized housing may use the true market value of the rent to calculate the security deposit.

The landlord shall, within 10 days after the tenant vacates the rental premises:

  • Return the security deposit to the tenant with interest
  • Interest on the security deposits is calculated at a rate equal to the chartered bank deposit rate on deposit receipts for 30 days, as determined and published by the Bank of Canada in the Bank of Canada Review, in effect on the first day of January in the year that the interest is credited.
  • The landlord must give the tenant an itemized statement of account for any part of the security deposit that is being retained by the landlord.

A landlord can retain all or part of the security deposit for repairs of damage caused by a tenant to the rental premises and for any debts of the rent

May the landlord request key money?

No, requiring key money is illegal. Requiring any deposit other than a security deposit is prohibited.

May the landlord request post-dated cheques?

Yes, but tenants are not obliged to comply.

May a landlord refuse to rent to a tenant who has pets or smokes?

This depends on the type of residential unit:

  • Public Housing units: landlords may not refuse to rent a unit to a tenant who has a pet or smokes.
  • Private rentals: a landlord may refuse to rent to a tenant who has pets or smokes. If pets and smoking are allowed in the tenancy agreement, or the agreement does not address these issues, then they are permitted in the rental unit.