What is the law that governs the relationship between tenants and landlords?
A: The provincial Residential Tenancies Act (2007). This legislation also governs the provincial Landlord and Tenant Board located right around the corner at Yonge and St. Clair.
Why can my landlord raise my rent every year? Who decides what the amount is?
A: The provincial government has permitted landlords to raise rents on an annual basis by a “Guideline” amount that is tied to the Consumer Price Index. In 2011 that amount was .7% so many tenants didn’t notice if landlords even bothered to raise it. Unfortunately, for 2012 the amount was 3.1%. The provincial government realized this amount was too hard of a burden on tenants and is moving forward with new legislation that would cap the Guideline increase at 2.5%.
What is an Above the Guideline Rent Increase (AGI)? Can I appeal it?
A: An AGI is a rent increase above the “Guideline” that a landlord can apply for through the Landlord and Tenant Board to cover the cost of capital repairs such as replacing elevators or balconies. As a tenant, you have the ability to appeal this amount at a hearing before the Landlord and Tenant board. The City has a tenants’ Defence fund that is setup to help tenants with legal costs associated with AGI hearings.
Is my landlord responsible for providing a certain amount of heat in my apartment?
A: A landlord shall provide heat to a dwelling unit that is rented or leased and that is normally heated at the landlord’s expense so that a minimum air temperature of 21 degrees Celsius is maintained in all areas of the dwelling unit from the 15th day of September in each year to the 1st day of June in the following year. Please phone 311 if the minimum heat standard is not being met. MLS will come to your place and take readings and enforce the by-law if warranted.
Is my landlord responsible for keeping my apartment in a state of good repair?
A: A landlord is responsible for providing tenants with a clean, pest-free living environment with working appliances. Common areas must be well-lit and provide functioning elevators, hand rails, etc. Please phone 311 to have MLS investigate any of these issues in your building.
My landlord has put a lot of stipulations in my lease that prevent me from having children, a pet or guests over. Is that legitimate?
A: No. The Residential Tenancies Act super cedes anything written in a lease. If you think you have been discriminated against, you can call the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) at 416-944-0087. CERA also has a website at www.equalityrights.org/cera.
Can my landlord or Superintendent enter my unit at any time?
A: No. A property owner is also allowed to enter your apartment to:
- do a maintenance inspection;
- to allow a potential purchaser to view the unit;
- or if you have indicated a reason for entry (like cleaning services) in your
The property owner must give you 24 hours written notice before entering and they may only enter between 8 am and 8 pm.
My apartment building does not have green bins? Is it possible for our building to get one?
A: The City of Toronto is in the process of phasing in the Green Bin Program for multi-unit dwellings. If your building is not using the Green Bin program, you could contact your building manager regarding the matter.