Our Team works not just with Residential Resale Homes, we also work with clients on Investment Properties and Leasing as our services. There has always been a lot of confusion with leases, many questions that Landlords and Tenants leave to chance. A lease is a binding, legal agreement in writing. That said, anything that contravenes the Landlord Tenant Act, even if you have written it into a lease agreement, will be null and void. Our Landlord Tenant Act, in Ontario, and their laws, supersede anything we write into a lease agreement that is not per the Act.
For example, the Act states that a Landlord is responsible to keep a property in a state of good repair, this includes, but is not limited to, lawn maintenance and snow removal. One of the more common changes and clauses we see inserted into an Offer to Lease, is that the Tenant will be responsible for snow removal and lawn cutting. This creates a double edged sword as the Act clearly says it is the Landlord's responsibility, and that would be enforced should you go to the Tribunal to resolve a dispute. Canadian Real Estate law, however, is that a promise made in writing must be kept. So, who is right? The Tribunal will favour the tenant and the Landlord would have to take the tenant to small claims court to resolve the promise that has been broken. Technically, there is no right answer, therefore the need for Ontario to devise a clear, simple lease agreement, that is a requirement on all privately owned rental properties.
Once we hit April 30, this is mandatory, even if you hire a Realtor to take care of your leasing and all required paperwork. If you are used to using your "Offer to Lease", with a detailed schedule A, as your acting lease agreement or you have been using your own written lease after we have signed an offer, you will now have to do this Ontario Lease Agreement in addition to the other paperwork you are accustomed to use.
If you need more details, or have questions about the new Ontario lease, give us a call. We are always here to help and keeping you legal! Have a look at the new form and reach out with anything you need!