Renting – A Guide to Hassle-free Tenancy

23 May 2013
REMAX Realtron Realty Inc

Curious about Renting?

Here are some answers to the most common questions we are asked.

Ontario tenancies are usually for a year, so if yours started on August 1, 2012, then it will end at 11:59 pm on July 31, 2013. However, if the tenant doesn’t give notice, the tenancy will automatically renew as a month-to-month basis.

If you have a month-to-month arrangement you must give 60 days’ notice before the end of your term. In the above example, it would be the end of any month. For example, if today is April 8, 2013 and you pay rent on the first of every month, the earliest you can end your tenancy is June 30, 2013.

You must leave before midnight on the last day, in this example, on the last day of the month. (If you pay your rent on the 15th of the month, then the end of your term would have been June 14th.)

If you’ve bought a home or found another apartment, but can’t get in until July 1st, you may have no choice but to stay in a hotel or with friends overnight on June 30. You’d also have to store your belongings for a night.

You have no right to stay until July 1 unless you have prior agreement with your landlord.

It gets even more complicated if you are buying a property with a tenant and you want to move in. If you schedule closing on the same day the tenant is supposed to leave, you may not get possession until late at night. Buyers and sellers should try to schedule the closing date so that it takes into account when the tenant will be leaving, unless separate arrangements can be made with the tenant to leave the unit earlier.

In Ontario, apartments are not like hotels and tenants cannot be forcibly evicted. Landlords may run into a situation where an existing tenant does not leave on time, or even on the day that they are supposed to. If vacant possession is not given as agreed to in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, then the buyer who has been inconvenienced can sue for any costs incurred in storing their personal effects and for hotel bills. Landlords must be careful to insure that the tenant  vacates the premises on time.

Tenants should make sure to check whether special arrangements need to be made to reserve any elevators for moving purposes, which typically only permits moves to take place during specific times and only after timely notice has been given to the management company.

With proper communication and respect, both landlords and tenants can make sure the Landlord Tenant relationship is a positive experience for all parties.

 Mark Weisleder is a Toronto real estate lawyer.

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