Once you have rented a place to live, you become a tenant. You have rights and responsibilities and so does your landlord.
Discrimination can be difficult to prove. If you feel your declined application was for a discriminatory reason, call a local community legal clinic or the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA). CERA is an organization dedicated to ending discrimination and promoting human rights in housing.
The law says that a landlord may only ask for up to one month’s rent in advance before you move in. Once you move in, any money you have paid the landlord in advance is usually applied to your last month’s rent.
When you rent a place to live, you make a legal agreement with the landlord. The agreement is often a written contract, called a lease, which you and the landlord sign.
- Before you sign a lease make sure you understand everything it says
- Bring someone to help you read it, or call a community legal clinic (external link)
- Request a copy of the lease
- The landlord must give you his/her address and full name. Ask the landlord for his/her contact information
Deposits are money given to a landlord to hold a rental unit.
- Do not give the landlord money unless you are sure you want to take the unit
- Make sure you get a receipt from the landlord for the deposit
Getting a deposit back can be very difficult and you should seek legal advice if this becomes a problem.
Repairs and Safety
Landlords are responsible for keeping units in good repair and for meeting all Halton and local municipal health, safety and property standards (as applicable). You should make sure the landlord has installed a fully operational smoke detector in your rental unit. This is a requirement of provincial law.
As a tenant, you are responsible for keeping the unit clean. Any damage done to the unit by either yourself or someone you allow into the building, is also your responsibility.
The Residential Tenancies Act (external link) allows a landlord to evict you for a number of reasons. With that said, there are certain steps the landlord must follow to issue an eviction notice.
If you receive an eviction notice, you do not have to move out. Contact a community legal clinic (external link) immediately for help with the matter.
Halton Community Legal Services is a community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario to provide legal services to low income residents in Halton. The clinic provides free legal information and advice regarding the following:
- Ontario Works
- Human Rights
- Tenants' Rights
- Disability Benefits
- Government Pensions
- Employment Insurance and Employment Standards.
Housing Stability Fund
If you are struggling to pay housing costs and are at risk of being evicted, the Housing Stability Fund may be able to provide one-time assistance with last month’s rent, energy bills, or moving costs. Call 311 to discuss your situation and apply for this program.