Here are answers to frequently asked questions. If you have any questions that aren’t answered here do not hesitate to contact SFC Paralegal Services.

Who can represent me at the Landlord and Tenant Board?

Parties may be self-represented, represented by a person licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada or by an unlicensed person where permitted by the Law Society Act and its regulations and by-laws. However, the proper Notices and Applications must be drafted without error and filed within certain timelines. Failing to do so will result in delays and other repercussions which can be costly.

Can I increase my tenants rent?

There are maximum allowable increase per year under The Residential Tenancies Act, however under special circumstances a landlord may be permitted to increase rent above those guidelines.

When can I file an application with the Board if my tenant fails to pay rent?

A Landlord is allowed to serve a Notice for Eviction for non-payment of rent the day after the rent becomes due.

What should I do if a Tenant is not paying their rent?

The first thing to do if a tenant is not paying rent is to try and speak directly with the tenant to resolve the issue. Make sure to document these conversations. If you are unable to resolve payment issues directly with the tenant you may take the next steps and protocols outlined by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

What can I do if a tenant is always late paying their rent?

Under The Residential Tenancies Act a landlord is able to evict a tenant if they are persistently late paying their rent.

How long is the process to evict a tenant?

An eviction order can be obtained in as little as 3 weeks, however every situation is different depending on the individual circumstances and the jurisdiction of the rental unit.

Who is responsible for repairs to a rental unit, the landlord, or the tenant?

The Residential Tenancies Act states “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.” However, there are some circumstances where the tenant will be responsible for repairs.

Can I stop paying the rent if the Landlord is not maintaining my rental unit or complex?

A Tenant should never stop paying their rent. The tenant can however apply for an abatement of rent if the if the Landlord is not adequately maintaining the unit or complex. The tenant should advise the landlord immediately of any maintenance or repair issues to ensure they are taken care of as soon as possible.

Can the Landlord cut off my heat or my hydro?

No, a Landlord cannot cut off vital services such as heat and hydro. There are certain times in the year where a landlord is not required to provide heat.

Can the Landlord enter a rental unit at any time?

No a landlord is not allowed to enter a rental unit whenever they want. Under the Residential Tenancies Act there are conditions under which a Landlord can enter a rental unit.

What should I do if I have been served with an eviction notice?

There are three things you can do if you are served with an eviction notice:

  • If possible speak directly with the landlord about the notice and correct any problems.
  • Leave the rental unit as indicated on the eviction notice.
  • Stay in the rental unit and wait for the landlord to file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board. A hearing will be scheduled giving you the opportunity to explain your situation. You have the right to stay in your rental unit until an eviction order is issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Do I have to move out at the end of my lease?

It is not necessary to move out as soon as a lease expires, instead the tenancy will continue on a month-to-month basis and the terms of the original lease will continue to be in effect.

Can I break a lease agreement?

Unless there is a breach of the agreement a lease cannot be broken. If you wish to break the lease agreement you must file the appropriate application with the Landlord and Tenant Board. A hearing will be held to determine if the lease has been breached and if the agreement can be broken.

Am I allowed to sublet or assign someone else to my rental unit?

You can sublet or assign someone else to your rental unit. In most cases the landlord’s consent will be required.