Are you a tenant?
Sometimes, simply by signing a tenancy agreement does not mean you are a tenant. Pursuant to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (Act), “a tenant is a person who pays rent in return for the right to occupy a rental unit and includes the tenant’s heirs, assigns and personal representatives”
Furthermore, a rental unit is defined by the Act that “any living accommodation used or intended for use as rented residential premises.”
However, there are exceptions. The following individuals are not considered tenants:
- If the tenant has guests including family members stay in the same unit for a temporary period of time, the guests are not considered a tenant.
- If the tenant rents out a spare room to a third person, this third person is a roommate and is not considered a tenant.
- If the owner of the unit rents out a spare room to a person and they share the common areas such as the kitchen and washroom, this person is not considered a tenant.
It is important to identify if you are a tenant. If you are not a tenant, you will either not be protected by the Act, or have no legal rights to seek protection through Landlord and Tenant Board.
What are the tenant’s right?
As a tenant, you have the right to:
- Reasonably enjoyment of the rental unit.
- Privacy. Your landlord is not allowed to enter your rental unit arbitrarily without giving you proper notice in advance. Certain exceptions may apply, for example, when there is an emergency.
- Security of tenancy. Your landlord may terminate the tenancy agreement only when there is a justified reason. Furthermore, you are not subject to eviction unless your landlord has obtained such an order from the Landlord and Tenant Board.
What are the tenant’s responsibilities?
Sections 33 to 36 of the Act outline your responsibilities as a tenant. You are responsible for
- Paying your rent fully and on time. Non-payment of rent or consistent lateness in payment of your rent will justify a termination of your tenancy agreement from your landlord.
- Cleaning the rental unit.
- Repairing any damage to the rental unit. The damage shall be caused by you or your guests. If the damage is caused by any third person than you or your guests, you may not be responsible for repairing the damage.
- You are not allowed to change the lock system of the rental unit without the consent of your landlord.
- You shall not commit any illegal activities or conduct any behaviour that may interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of your landlord or your neighbours.