Ontario Residential Tenancies Act (2006)

The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) is the provincial law that regulates the relationship between tenants and their landlords in the province of Ontario. The law covers things such as tenancy agreements (a lease), rent increases, termination of tenancies, and the responsibilities of landlords and tenants for things such as maintanence and rent payments.

Knowing your rights is the first step in making sure that they are not being violated!

Below are some key provisions of the RTA that tenants may find useful. Clicking the aticle number beside each point will take you to that specific section of the RTA. The entire RTA is available on the internet through a Government website called E-Laws provided by ServiceOntario.
Click here to view a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act .

Important Articles From The Residential Tenancies Act

  Information to be provided by landlord
11. (1)     If a tenancy agreement is entered into, the landlord shall provide to the tenant information relating to the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, the role of the Board and how to contact the Board. 2006, c. 17, s. 11 (1).
  (2)     The information shall be provided to the tenant on or before the date the tenancy begins in a form approved by the Board. 2006, c. 17, s. 11 (2).
 
  Copy of tenancy agreement
12. (2)     If a tenancy agreement entered into on or after June 17, 1998 is in writing, the landlord shall give a copy of the agreement, signed by the landlord and the tenant, to the tenant within 21 days after the tenant signs it and gives it to the landlord. 2006, c. 17, s. 12 (2).
  Failure to comply
  (4)     Until a landlord has complied with subsections (1) and (2), or with subsection (3), as the case may be,
    (a)   the tenantís obligation to pay rent is suspended; and
    (b)   the landlord shall not require the tenant to pay rent. 2006, c. 17, s. 12 (4).
  After compliance
  (5)     After the landlord has complied with subsections (1) and (2), or with subsection (3), as the case may be, the landlord may require the tenant to pay any rent withheld by the tenant under subsection (4). 2006, c. 17, s. 12 (5).
 
  Minimize losses
16.       When a landlord or a tenant becomes liable to pay any amount as a result of a breach of a tenancy agreement, the person entitled to claim the amount has a duty to take reasonable steps to minimize the personís losses. 2006, c. 17, s. 16.
 
  Landlordís responsibility to repair
20. (1)     A landlord is responsible for providing and maintaining a residential complex, including the rental units in it, in a good state of repair and fit for habitation and for complying with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards. 2006, c. 17, s. 20 (1).
  (2)     Subsection (1) applies even if the tenant was aware of a state of non-repair or a contravention of a standard before entering into the tenancy agreement. 2006, c. 17, s. 20 (2).
 
  Landlord not to interfere with reasonable enjoyment
22.       A landlord shall not at any time during a tenantís occupancy of a rental unit and before the day on which an order evicting the tenant is executed substantially interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of the rental unit or the residential complex in which it is located for all usual purposes by a tenant or members of his or her household. 2006, c. 17, s. 22.
 
  Landlord not to harass, etc.
23.       A landlord shall not harass, obstruct, coerce, threaten or interfere with a tenant. 2006, c. 17, s. 23.
 
  Changing locks
24.       A landlord shall not alter the locking system on a door giving entry to a rental unit or residential complex or cause the locking system to be altered during the tenantís occupancy of the rental unit without giving the tenant replacement keys. 2006, c. 17, s. 24.
 
  Entry without notice, emergency, consent
26. (1)     A landlord may enter a rental unit at any time without written notice,
    (a)   in cases of emergency; or
    (b)   if the tenant consents to the entry at the time of entry. 2006, c. 17, s. 26 (1).
 
  Entry with notice
27. (1)     A landlord may enter a rental unit in accordance with written notice given to the tenant at least 24 hours before the time of entry under the following circumstances:
    1.   To carry out a repair or replacement or do work in the rental unit.
    2.   To allow a potential mortgagee or insurer of the residential complex to view the rental unit.
    3.   To allow a person who holds a certificate of authorization within the meaning of the Professional Engineers Act or a certificate of practice within the meaning of the Architects Act or another qualified person to make a physical inspection of the rental unit to satisfy a requirement imposed under subsection 9 (4) of the Condominium Act, 1998.
    4.   To carry out an inspection of the rental unit, if,
      i. the inspection is for the purpose of determining whether or not the rental unit is in a good state of repair and fit for habitation and complies with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards, consistent with the landlordís obligations under subsection 20 (1) or section 161, and
      ii. it is reasonable to carry out the inspection.
    5.   For any other reasonable reason for entry specified in the tenancy agreement. 2006, c. 17, s. 27 (1).
 
  Tenant applications
29. (1)     A tenant or former tenant of a rental unit may apply to the Board for any of the following orders:
    1.   An order determining that the landlord has breached an obligation under subsection 20 (1) or section 161.
    2.   An order determining that the landlord, superintendent or agent of the landlord has withheld the reasonable supply of any vital service, care service or food that it is the landlordís obligation to supply under the tenancy agreement or deliberately interfered with the reasonable supply of any vital service, care service or food.
    3.   An order determining that the landlord, superintendent or agent of the landlord has substantially interfered with the reasonable enjoyment of the rental unit or residential complex for all usual purposes by the tenant or a member of his or her household.
    4.   An order determining that the landlord, superintendent or agent of the landlord has harassed, obstructed, coerced, threatened or interfered with the tenant during the tenantís occupancy of the rental unit.
    5.   An order determining that the landlord, superintendent or agent of the landlord has altered the locking system on a door giving entry to the rental unit or the residential complex or caused the locking system to be altered during the tenantís occupancy of the rental unit without giving the tenant replacement keys.
    6.   An order determining that the landlord, superintendent or agent of the landlord has illegally entered the rental unit. 2006, c. 17, s. 29 (1).
 
  Order, repair, comply with standards
30. (1)     If the Board determines in an application under paragraph 1 of subsection 29 (1) that a landlord has breached an obligation under subsection 20 (1) or section 161, the Board may do one or more of the following:
    1.   Terminate the tenancy.
    2.   Order an abatement of rent.
    3.   Authorize a repair or replacement that has been or is to be made, or work that has been or is to be done, and order its cost to be paid by the landlord to the tenant.
    4.   Order the landlord to do specified repairs or replacements or other work within a specified time.
    5.   Order the landlord to pay a specified sum to the tenant for,
      i. the reasonable costs that the tenant has incurred or will incur in repairing or, where repairing is not reasonable, replacing property of the tenant that was damaged, destroyed or disposed of as a result of the landlordís breach, and
      ii. other reasonable out-of-pocket expenses that the tenant has incurred or will incur as a result of the landlordís breach.
    6.   Prohibit the landlord from charging a new tenant under a new tenancy agreement an amount of rent in excess of the last lawful rent charged to the former tenant of the rental unit, until the landlord has,
      i. completed the items in work orders for which the compliance period has expired and which were found by the Board to be related to a serious breach of a health, safety, housing or maintenance standard, and
      ii. completed the specified repairs or replacements or other work ordered under paragraph 4 found by the Board to be related to a serious breach of the landlordís obligations under subsection 20 (1) or section 161.
    7.   Prohibit the landlord from giving a notice of a rent increase for the rental unit until the landlord has,
      i. completed the items in work orders for which the compliance period has expired and which were found by the Board to be related to a serious breach of a health, safety, housing or maintenance standard, and
      ii. completed the specified repairs or replacements or other work ordered under paragraph 4 found by the Board to be related to a serious breach of the landlordís obligations under subsection 20 (1) or section 161.
    8.   Prohibit the landlord from taking any rent increase for which notice has been given if the increase has not been taken before the date an order under this section is issued until the landlord has,
      i. completed the items in work orders for which the compliance period has expired and which were found by the Board to be related to a serious breach of a health, safety, housing or maintenance standard, and
      ii. completed the specified repairs or replacements or other work ordered under paragraph 4 found by the Board to be related to a serious breach of the landlordís obligations under subsection 20 (1) or section 161.
    9.   Make any other order that it considers appropriate. 2006, c. 17, s. 30 (1).
  Advance notice of breaches
  (2)     In determining the remedy under this section, the Board shall consider whether the tenant or former tenant advised the landlord of the alleged breaches before applying to the Board. 2006, c. 17, s. 30 (2).
 
  Tenantís responsibility for cleanliness
33.       The tenant is responsible for ordinary cleanliness of the rental unit, except to the extent that the tenancy agreement requires the landlord to clean it. 2006, c. 17, s. 33.
 
  Tenantís responsibility for repair of damage
34.       The tenant is responsible for the repair of undue damage to the rental unit or residential complex caused by the wilful or negligent conduct of the tenant, another occupant of the rental unit or a person permitted in the residential complex by the tenant. 2006, c. 17, s. 34.
 
  Changing locks
35. (1)     A tenant shall not alter the locking system on a door giving entry to a rental unit or residential complex or cause the locking system to be altered during the tenantís occupancy of the rental unit without the consent of the landlord. 2006, c. 17, s. 35 (1).
 
  Tenant not to harass, etc.
36.       A tenant shall not harass, obstruct, coerce, threaten or interfere with a landlord. 2006, c. 17, s. 36.
 
  Termination only in accordance with Act
37. (1)     A tenancy may be terminated only in accordance with this Act. 2006, c. 17, s. 37 (1).
 
  Deemed renewal where no notice
38. (1)     If a tenancy agreement for a fixed term ends and has not been renewed or terminated, the landlord and tenant shall be deemed to have renewed it as a monthly tenancy agreement containing the same terms and conditions that are in the expired tenancy agreement and subject to any increases in rent charged in accordance with this Act. 2006, c. 17, s. 38 (1).
 
  Restriction on recovery of possession
39.       A landlord shall not recover possession of a rental unit subject to a tenancy unless,
  (a)     the tenant has vacated or abandoned the unit; or
  (b)     an order of the Board evicting the tenant has authorized the possession. 2006, c. 17, s. 39.
 
  Distress abolished
40.       No landlord shall, without legal process, seize a tenantís property for default in the payment of rent or for the breach of any other obligation of the tenant. 2006, c. 17, s. 40.
 
  Non-payment of rent
59. (1)     If a tenant fails to pay rent lawfully owing under a tenancy agreement, the landlord may give the tenant notice of termination of the tenancy effective not earlier than,
    (a)   the 7th day after the notice is given, in the case of a daily or weekly tenancy; and
    (b)   the 14th day after the notice is given, in all other cases. 2006, c. 17, s. 59 (1).
 
  Notice void if rent paid
  (3)     The notice of termination is void if, before the day the landlord applies to the Board for an order terminating the tenancy and evicting the tenant based on the notice, the tenant pays,
    (a)   the rent that is in arrears under the tenancy agreement; and
    (b)   the additional rent that would have been due under the tenancy agreement as at the date of payment by the tenant had notice of termination not been given. 2006, c. 17, s. 59 (3).
 
  Termination for cause, illegal act
61. (1)     A landlord may give a tenant notice of termination of the tenancy if the tenant or another occupant of the rental unit commits an illegal act or carries on an illegal trade, business or occupation or permits a person to do so in the rental unit or the residential complex. 2006, c. 17, s. 61 (1).
 
  Termination for cause, reasonable enjoyment
64. (1)     A landlord may give a tenant notice of termination of the tenancy if the conduct of the tenant, another occupant of the rental unit or a person permitted in the residential complex by the tenant is such that it substantially interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of the residential complex for all usual purposes by the landlord or another tenant or substantially interferes with another lawful right, privilege or interest of the landlord or another tenant. 2006, c. 17, s. 64 (1).
  Notice void if tenant complies
  (3)     The notice of termination under subsection (1) is void if the tenant, within seven days after receiving the notice, stops the conduct or activity or corrects the omission. 2006, c. 17, s. 64 (3).
 
  Power of Board, eviction
83. (1)     Upon an application for an order evicting a tenant, the Board may, despite any other provision of this Act or the tenancy agreement,
    (a)   refuse to grant the application unless satisfied, having regard to all the circumstances, that it would be unfair to refuse; or
    (b)   order that the enforcement of the eviction order be postponed for a period of time. 2006, c. 17, s. 83 (1).
  Mandatory review
  (2)     If a hearing is held, the Board shall not grant the application unless it has reviewed the circumstances and considered whether or not it should exercise its powers under subsection (1). 2006, c. 17, s. 83 (2).
  Circumstances where refusal required
  (3)     Without restricting the generality of subsection (1), the Board shall refuse to grant the application where satisfied that,
    (a)   the landlord is in serious breach of the landlordís responsibilities under this Act or of any material covenant in the tenancy agreement;
    (b)   the reason for the application being brought is that the tenant has complained to a governmental authority of the landlordís violation of a law dealing with health, safety, housing or maintenance standards;
    (c)   the reason for the application being brought is that the tenant has attempted to secure or enforce his or her legal rights;
    (d)   the reason for the application being brought is that the tenant is a member of a tenantsí association or is attempting to organize such an association; or
    (e)   the reason for the application being brought is that the rental unit is occupied by children and the occupation by the children does not constitute overcrowding. 2006, c. 17, s. 83 (3).
 
  Rent deposit may be required
106. (1)     A landlord may require a tenant to pay a rent deposit with respect to a tenancy if the landlord does so on or before entering into the tenancy agreement. 2006, c. 17, s. 106 (1).
  Amount of rent deposit
  (2)     The amount of a rent deposit shall not be more than the lesser of the amount of rent for one rent period and the amount of rent for one month. 2006, c. 17, s. 106 (2).
 
  Post-dated cheques, etc.
108.       Neither a landlord nor a tenancy agreement shall require a tenant or prospective tenant to,
  (a)     provide post-dated cheques or other negotiable instruments for payment of rent; or
  (b)     permit automatic debiting of the tenantís or prospective tenantís account at a financial institution, automatic charging of a credit card or any other form of automatic payment for the payment of rent. 2006, c. 17, s. 108; 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 11 (3, 4).
 
  Receipt for payment
109. (1)     A landlord shall provide free of charge to a tenant or former tenant, on request, a receipt for the payment of any rent, rent deposit, arrears of rent or any other amount paid to the landlord. 2006, c. 17, s. 109 (1).
 
  Landlord not to charge more than lawful rent
111. (1)     No landlord shall charge rent for a rental unit in an amount that is greater than the lawful rent permitted under this Part. 2006, c. 17, s. 111 (1).
 
  Notice of rent increase required
116. (1)     A landlord shall not increase the rent charged to a tenant for a rental unit without first giving the tenant at least 90 days written notice of the landlordís intention to do so. 2006, c. 17, s. 116 (1).
 
  Deemed acceptance where no notice of termination
118.       A tenant who does not give a landlord notice of termination of a tenancy under section 47 after receiving notice of an intended rent increase under section 116 shall be deemed to have accepted whatever rent increase would be allowed under this Act after the landlord and the tenant have exercised their rights under this Act. 2006, c. 17, s. 118.
 
  Offences requiring knowledge
233.       A person is guilty of an offence if the person knowingly,
  (a)     withholds the reasonable supply of a vital service, care service or food or interferes with the supply in contravention of section 21;
  (b)     alters or causes to be altered the locking system on any door giving entry to a rental unit or the residential complex in a manner that contravenes section 24 or 35;
  (c)     restricts reasonable access to the residential complex by political candidates or their authorized representatives in contravention of section 28;
  (d)     seizes any property of the tenant in contravention of section 40;
  (e)     fails to afford a tenant a right of first refusal in contravention of section 51 or 53;
  (f)     recovers possession of a rental unit without complying with the requirements of sections 52, 54 and 55;
  (g)     coerces a tenant to sign an agreement referred to in section 121;
  (h)     harasses, hinders, obstructs or interferes with a tenant in the exercise of,
    (i)   securing a right or seeking relief under this Act or in a court,
    (ii)   participating in a proceeding under this Act, or
    (iii)   participating in a tenantsí association or attempting to organize a tenantsí association;
  (i)     harasses, coerces, threatens or interferes with a tenant in such a manner that the tenant is induced to vacate the rental unit;
  (j)     harasses, hinders, obstructs or interferes with a landlord in the exercise of,
    (i)   securing a right or seeking relief under this Act or in a court, or
    (ii)   participating in a proceeding under this Act;
  (k)     obtains possession of a rental unit improperly by giving a notice to terminate in bad faith;
    (l)   coerces a tenant of a mobile home park or land lease community to enter into an agency agreement for the sale or lease of their mobile home or land lease home or requires an agency agreement as a condition of entering into a tenancy agreement. 2006, c. 17, s. 233.
 
  Other offences
234.       A person is guilty of an offence if the person,
  (a)     enters a rental unit where such entry is not permitted by section 26, 27 or 142 or enters without first complying with the requirements of section 26, 27 or 142;
  (b)     fails to make an evicted tenantís property available for retrieval in accordance with subsection 41 (3);
  (c)     gives a notice to terminate a tenancy under section 48 or 49 in contravention of section 51;
  (d)     requires or receives a security deposit from a tenant contrary to section 105;
  (e)     fails to pay to the tenant annually interest on the rent deposit held in respect of their tenancy in accordance with section 106;
  (f)     fails to apply the rent deposit held in respect of a tenancy to the rent for the last month of the tenancy in contravention of subsection 106 (10);
  (g)     fails to repay an amount received as a rent deposit as required by subsection 107 (1) or (2);
  (h)     fails to provide a tenant or former tenant with a receipt in accordance with section 109;
  (i)     fails to provide the notice in the form required under section 114 or gives false information in the notice;
  (j)     requires a tenant to pay rent proposed in an application in contravention of subsection 126 (5);
  (k)     fails to provide information on the total cost of utilities in accordance with subsection 128 (2);
  (l)     charges or collects amounts from a tenant, a prospective tenant, a subtenant, a potential subtenant, an assignee or a potential assignee in contravention of section 134;
 
Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, section 234 is amended by adding the following clauses:
  (l.1)     terminates the obligation to supply electricity without the tenantís consent in contravention of subsection 137 (3);
  (l.2)     charges a tenant a portion of the cost of the utility without the consent of the tenant in contravention of subsection 138 (1);
  See: 2010, c. 8, ss. 39 (2), 40.
  (m)     gives a notice of rent increase or a notice of increase of a charge in a care home without first giving an information package contrary to section 140;
  (n)     does anything to prevent a tenant of a care home from obtaining care services from a person of the tenantís choice contrary to clause 147 (a);
  (o)     interferes with the provision of care services to a tenant of a care home contrary to clause 147 (b);
  (p)     increases a charge for providing a care service or meals to a tenant in a care home in contravention of section 150;
  (q)     interferes with a tenantís right under section 156 to sell or lease his or her mobile home;
  (r)     restricts the right of a tenant of a mobile home park or land lease community to purchase goods or services from the person of his or her choice in contravention of section 160;
  (s)     charges an illegal contingency fee in contravention of subsection 214 (1);
  (t)     fails to comply with any or all of the items contained in a work order issued under section 225;
  (u)     obstructs or interferes with an inspector exercising a power of entry under section 230 or 231 or with an investigator exercising a power of entry under section 231;
  (v)     furnishes false or misleading information in any material filed in any proceeding under this Act or provided to the Board, an employee or official of the Board, an inspector, an investigator, the Minister or a designate of the Minister;
  (w)     unlawfully recovers possession of a rental unit;
  (x)     charges rent in an amount greater than permitted under this Act; or
  (y)     contravenes an order of the Board that,
    (i)   orders a landlord to do specified repairs or replacements or other work within a specified time,
    (ii)   orders that a landlord, a superintendent or an agent of a landlord may not engage in any further activities listed in paragraphs 2 to 6 of subsection 29 (1) against any of the tenants in a residential complex, or
    (iii)   orders a landlord not to breach an obligation under subsection 41 (2) or (3) again. 2006, c. 17, s. 234; 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 11 (9).
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