What should be included in a tenancy agreement/ lease?
When drafting a tenancy agreement/ lease there are some important factors to be kept in mind. This piece will highlight some of the key components and information that could be included in such an agreement.
First of all, it is in your best interest to have a written tenancy agreement rather than an oral agreement as written agreements allow the tribunal to objectively assess the terms of the agreement in case of a conflict. The Landlord and Tenant Board does not provide the tenancy agreement or lease form. Landlords may seek legal assistance prior to drafting a lease. A written tenancy agreement usually includes:
1. Legal name of the landlord
2. Address of the landlord
3. Date tenant can move into rental unit
4. Rent amount
5. The date the rent is to be paid (ie. Specific date of the month/year)
6. Services included in the rent (ie. electricity/parking)
7. Any services that will result in separate charges
8. Rules that the landlord requires the tenant to follow
** The bolded terms must be included in the agreement to ensure that the tenant can contact the landlord regarding any issues or documents that are to be sent by the tenant to the landlord in accordance to the Residential Tenancies Act. Non-bolded terms are optional and do not have to be included in the agreement however can be useful to include.
What information may a landlord ask an applicant/ potential tenant for?
- Credit references
- Rental history
- Current residence
- Employment history
- Personal references
Please keep in mind that the Ontario Human Rights Code has special rules about asking for information about the income of a prospective tenant(s). Landlords must abide by these rules.
The Code is enforced by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. For answers to any questions regarding the rules for requesting income information, contact the Commission by phone at 416-326-9511 or toll-free 1-800-387-9080.
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Points of Discussion:
1. Does your lease incorporate these points?
2. What factors would you add into your lease?