1. Learn about rental agreements

Before you sign a rental agreement, make sure you understand what they can and cannot include.

Terms that cannot be included

The following terms should not be included in your rental agreement:

  • no-pets clauses, except for rules set out in condominium bylaws
  • penalties for paying your rent late or for breaking the landlord’s rules
  • extra fees if you have children, pets, or visitors
  • requirement for post-dated cheques or a damage
  • making you responsible for repairs or maintenance

If any of these terms are in your rental agreement, the landlord cannot make you follow them even if you sign it.

Terms that are always included

The following terms are part of every rental agreement even if the agreement doesn’t say them:

  • You have the right to live in your place as long as you want, unless your landlord has a legal reason to you.
  • You have the right to treat your place as your home, which includes the right to privacy.
  • If your building or complex has more than one rental unit, you also have the right to use the common areas. Common areas include things like hallways, elevators, driveways, lobbies, and grounds.
  • Your landlord is responsible for maintenance and repairs, and must follow all the laws about housing standards.
  • Your landlord must follow the legal rules about raising your rent.
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