Thanks to a new standard lease, renters in Ontario will have increased protection which went into effect April 30. The new lease is a part of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan.

Premier Kathleen Wynne; Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing; and Han Dong, MPP for Trinity-Spadina spoke at Charles Hastings Co-Op Housing to explain how the new standard lease will help tenants and landlords avoid disputes by better understanding their rights and responsibilities.

Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan

The standard lease is part of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan, which includes 16 comprehensive measures to make housing more affordable for home buyers and renters, while bringing stability to the real estate market and protecting the investments of homeowners. The Plan also includes an expansion of rent control protections for tenants in Ontario.

RELATED: Ontario Is Making Huge Changes to Apartment Lease Agreements

Last year on April 20, 2017, expanded rent control was implemented in Ontario. This change impacts about 1.3 million residential households and protects them from sudden and unexpected rent increases. As of 2018, rent increases are capped at 1.8 per cent. In addition, future increases cannot exceed 2.5 per cent unless the landlord receives approval from the Landlord and Tenant Board.

The rent control legislation will provide peace of mind for renters in Ontario, who have seen rental rates increase by about 40 per cent over the last 20 years.

Who is impacted by the new lease

The lease applies to tenancies in single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, rented condominiums, and secondary units such as basement apartments.

It does not apply to most social and supportive housing, co-operative housing, retirement and nursing homes, mobile home parks and land lease communities, and commercial properties.

What the new standard lease says

The standard lease provides a template to gather basic information like names and addresses, the total rent and when it is due, and any rules or terms about the rental unit or building.

By reducing the use of illegal terms and potential misunderstandings caused by verbal agreements, the standard lease makes it easier for tenants to understand their rights and responsibilities. It also makes it easier for landlords to conduct their business.

In addition, the lease has simple-to-understand general information on the rights and responsibilities of renting in Ontario.

If a renter enters into a tenancy agreement on or after April 30, 2018, the new standard lease should be used. If a landlord does not use it after this date, renters have the right to ask for one. If the landlord does not provide the new lease within 21 days, the tenant has the right to withhold one month’s rent.

How to access the new standard lease

The standard lease guide is available to view online. It is also available in 23 languages: Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

The guide will ensure more people understand their rights and what they are agreeing to when they sign a new lease.

You can download the standard lease here.