| New Tenants - Information
Congratulations, you've finalized a deal with a new tenant.
Here are the steps to take to protect your investment:
Review the Provincial and Territorial Fact sheet for the province/territory
that applies to you. Take time to familiarize yourself with
the basic guidelines for your province, including deposits
that are allowed, notice periods and renewal timeframes.
Have the tenant sign a written lease that clearly stipulates
the terms of your agreement. A written lease is required by
law in some provinces and even when not required it is advisable
to have a written agreement in place. Standardized lease forms
may be available from your local rental authority and they
are often sold at local business supply stores as well.
Collect the appropriate deposit, if applicable, from the
Conduct a move-in inspection with the tenant, documenting
the condition of the rental unit. Consider taking photographs
or even videotaping the inspection. When the inspection is
complete, ensure that both you and the new tenant(s) sign
the Inspection Worksheet. Some provinces have a worksheet
that you are required by law to use.
Collecting a Deposit
Rules governing deposits vary from province to province.
In Quebec, landlords cannot collect a deposit. In Ontario,
landlords may collect a rent deposit, but this is not a "security
deposit", so, the landlord cannot use the rent deposit
to cover the cost of damages. In some provinces, the Rentalsman
office, not the landlord, holds the deposit for the landlord
When a tenancy ends, the initially collected deposit is returned
to the tenant, often by way of covering the cost of the last
month's rent. There is often a difference between the amount
of the initial rent deposit and the rent as a tenant departs.
If the tenant has not given you additional money during the
tenancy to increase the amount of the deposit, part of the
interest owed, if applicable, is often used to cover the difference
between the initial deposit amount and the amount of the last
Landlords Canada-wide cannot simply keep a departing tenant's
deposit or charge for additional repairs to the rental premises.
They must negotiate payment with the tenant and if the tenant
disagrees, the landlord must formally apply to the local rental
authority to keep a deposit, or to charge the tenant for damages
costing more than the deposit and interest.
Increasing rent: it's a fact of life especially in the competitive
Ottawa rental market. But just how often and by how much are
you allowed to increase rent? Each province/territory handles
rent increases differently.
Notice of a Rent Increase
In many jurisdictions, you are obliged to give 90 days notice
of a rent increase. The amount of advance notice can vary
depending on the type of tenancy - weekly, month-to-month
or yearly. In some parts of Canada, an increase may occur
only on the anniversary of the tenancy and the landlord must
give four months notice.
A rent increase is void without proper notice stating when
the increase comes into effect. If you do not give enough
notice, the tenant can refuse to pay the rent increase until
you give proper notice.
Tenants often face a rent increase when it's time to renew
a lease and only one increase per year is typically permitted.
Some provinces set rent increase guidelines based on cost
estimates for heat, electricity, taxes and property improvements.
In Ontario, rent control is in place for existing tenancies.
When one tenant moves out, however, the rent control is no
longer in effect for that unit, enabling landlords to raise
the rent to the rate of their choice. For existing tenancies,
a landlord in Ontario can propose a rent increase above the
"rent increase guidelines" set for the province.
Landlords doing so have to apply to that province's rent authority
for acceptance, and they must have their request approved
before the increase can take effect.
Ending the Rental Agreement
It's time to move on and move out. Landlords, ensure your
departing tenant leaves on good terms and protect your rental
investment. Here are some tips that will help you end the
rental agreement on good terms.
Check with tenants whose lease is coming due to find out
if they wish to continue renting from you. Negotiate mutually
acceptable terms with departing tenants who may need to assign,
sublet or break your rental agreement. When you need to enter
a unit to show it to new rental applicants, give the current
tenant proper notice.
Inspect property for damage. If departing tenant's rental
is: Satisfactory: return deposit with interest. Damaged or
dirty: ensure repairs and cleaning are completed. Pursue payment
or withhold damage deposit, if necessary and, if permitted
by legislation in your province or territory.
Ottawa Apartment Rental Guide
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