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Tenancy Agreements – The New Standardised Lease Form

The new standard form of lease is now mandatory for use with most residential tenancies in Ontario. To avoid confusion right away, the new form carries the date (2020/12) and can be downloaded here. Filling it is pretty straight forward, but if you are uncertain, seek legal help. Most paralegals will be happy to assist.

The new form makes the process more streamlined for both landlord and tenant. The document tries to make all provisions easy to read and clear to both parties. Room for interpretation is generally removed so it provides for more legal clarity. For example, it is now much harder to include provisions that contradict the Residential Tenancies Act, thus reducing possible confusion and void clauses.
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One of the goals for introducing the standard lease was to make sure, landlords and renters understand their rights and responsibilities, and to reduce the need for Landlord and Tenant Board hearings to resolve disputes. We will have to see in how far that becomes a reality. The form is for use with single family homes, apartment buildings, condominiums and secondary units (e.g. basement apartments).

Topics such as rent discounts, rent deposit, key deposit, services & utilities, smoking etc are all covered in the form. This will help you to specify items that are included in the rent, e.g. parking, storage, utilities, AC etc. It also sets out the other parameters you are working within. Use the opportunity to go through every section with the new tenant, firming up the common understanding of the lease. Hopefully, this discussion will help to reduce the chance of future issues.

Use the below guide for further reference.