Do I need to sign a lease or tenancy agreement?

No. However, if the tenancy agreement is not in writing, the tenant must be provided with written notice of the legal name and address of the landlord for the purpose of giving notice or delivering other documents. The landlord must provide the tenant with this information within 21 days after the tenancy begins. If the landlord fails to provide the required information, the tenant’s obligation to pay rent is suspended until the landlord complies.

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

All types of rental periods are allowed; however, the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) takes precedence over leases. In other words, when terms in the lease do not comply with RTA, the RTA takes precedence over the lease.

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

No. A checklist is recommended but not required.

May the landlord request a security deposit?

No, but landlords can collect a rent deposit up to one month’s rent (not a “security deposit”). The deposit can never be used to apply to damages.

How a deposit in Ontario works:

  • Landlords collect the last month’s rent, or if rent is paid weekly the last week’s rent, at the beginning of the tenancy
  • Landlords pay the tenant interest based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (the rate of inflation for the year running from June to May). Under the Residential Tenancies Act, the rate of interest to be paid annually to a tenant is equivalent to the rent increase guideline of the same year.
  • This deposit may only be applied to the last month’s rent. It is not considered a damage or security deposit.

May the landlord request key money?

No, it is illegal for a landlord to require key money.

May the landlord request post-dated cheques?

Yes, but a tenant cannot be refused a rental unit for refusing to give them. Landlords must provide tenants with a rent receipt.

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