Your rights as a tenant

As a tenant, you are protected by law when you rent a property. Tenant rights make it clear what is expected of you and your landlord. Make sure you know and understand your rights in the province where you live. Here’s a quick summary of the main tenant rights in Ontario.

Before you rent

A landlord cannot discriminate against you because of your:

  • race, place of origin or ethnic origin
  • religion
  • sex, age, sexual orientation or marital status
  • family status
  • disability

After you move in

Make sure you get copies of all written documents like the tenancy agreement, notice of your landlord’s legal name and address, and rent receipts. You have a right to get them from your landlord. You also have the right to:

  1. A safe home in good repair – Your landlord is responsible for maintenance and repair. Even if you knew about the problems before moving in, your landlord must fix them.
  2. Access to vital utilities – Your landlord must provide access to hot and cold water, electricity, fuel and heat. Either you or your landlord will pay for these services. Your landlord must heat your home from September 1 to June 15, at a minimum temperature of at least 20°C. Services like water, heat or electricity can’t be shut off — even if you haven’t paid your rent. Check with your municipal government about minimum heat standards in your area.
  3. Privacy – Your landlord can enter your home only for certain reasons. Examples: make repairs, in an emergency, show the home if you are not renewing your lease.
  4. Rent increases within legal limits – Your landlord can only raise your rent, within legal limits, once in a 12-month period.
  5. Protection from unlawful eviction – You can only be evicted for certain reasons. If your landlord tries to evict you, you have the right to a hearing with the Landlord and Tenant Board.

If you need legal help

Tenant rights are protected by law. If you need legal help, contact your lawyer or legal aid. Other provinces have similar organizations.

Key point

A landlord can’t discriminate against you because you’re a newcomer to Canada or have children.

Take action

Learn more about your rights as a tenant.

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