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What should be in my rental agreement?
Many of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant are set by Ontario law and not by what your rental agreement says.
The law makes certain things part of every rental agreement, even if you and your landlord don't include them. For example, your landlord is responsible for repairs and maintenance even if your rental agreement doesn't say that.
The law also says certain things cannot be part of a rental agreement. Even if they are written in the agreement, you do not have to follow them. One example is a no-pets rule.
But there are some things the law leaves up to you and your landlord to decide on when you make a rental agreement. This can include things like:
- how much rent you will pay
- what services and facilities are included in your rent
- the date you can move in
- the date your lease expires, if you have a fixed-term tenancy
Most tenancy agreements made on or after April 30, 2018 must be on the government’s standard lease form. The form includes what the law says must be in an agreement, and leaves space for you and your landlord to agree on other things.
If you are moving into a care home, the landlord must provide a written agreement. It doesn’t have to be on the standard lease form, but there are other rules about what must be in it.
Step 2 has more information about standard leases and care home agreements.
Even when the law doesn't require it, it is a good idea to have the agreement in writing. Putting it in writing can help you and your landlord think of all the points that should be included.
Having a written agreement can be helpful if you and your landlord have a disagreement later. And if you need to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board because your landlord is not doing what they said they would, a written agreement can make it easier to prove your case.