The Province of Ontario has updated its standard lease form to take into account RTA changes that were introduced last July by Bill 184. Beginning March 1, 2021, landlords must use the new form for all new lease agreements entered on or after that date.
According to Joe Hoffer of Cohen Highley Lawyers, this means that lease agreements made prior to March 1 can remain on the current form even if the lease begins on or after March 1, 2021. There are no penalties or fines in the RTA for landlords who do not use the proper form of the standard lease; however, the failure to use the proper form can allow tenants to break their fixed term lease early, so landlords should be ready to use the new version prior to March 1.
“The industry lease that we have drafted and which is licensed to major landlord associations across the province will also be updated for use with the new standard lease and will be ready for implementation as “Additional Terms” to the standard lease well before March 2021,” Hoffer said.
In terms of what’s changed, here is a summary of what he calls the most significant updates:
- The requirement to serve new tenants with the “electricity consumption” form for sub-metered units is gone (Bill 184 repealed that requirement)
- In the preamble to the “General Information” section following the signature page, the web address for the LTB/RTA has been changed
- In Part D, the narrative has added additional grounds for ending the tenancy (landlord’s own use, etc.)
- The fines payable by landlords who evict tenants unlawfully or give notices of termination in bad faith have been increased per Bill 184 and are shown in Part D of the narrative
- In Part I, the narrative has been changed to reflect the “Post November 15, 2018” (“new construction”) rent control exemptions from the Guideline
- In Part Q, there is clarification in the narrative, making it clear that if the tenant rents the entire unit to a third party, the person is not a “guest” and the landlord’s permission may be required. (This is to address Airbnb type situations)
- At the end of the narrative there is a section called “Guide to the Standard Lease” which provides a web address in multiple languages
- And finally, the document is now 14 pages instead of 13
A link to the new Standard Lease Form can be found here: Ontario Central Forms Repository – Form Identification (gov.on.ca)