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Residential Lease Agreements (Ontario) | Tenancy Agreements (Part 4)

Please note that the information provided herein is not legal advice and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. If you need legal advice with respect to a residential lease or a tenancy agreement, you should seek professional assistance (e.g. make a post on Dynamic Legal Forms). We have Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Brampton, Mississauga and other Ontario lawyers registered to help you.

This is the fourth of a series of blogs about residential lease | tenancy agreements in Ontario. In the first blog, I talked about what residential lease agreements are, the impact of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the “Act”), and some of the Landlord’s obligations. In the second blog, I discussed the Tenant’s statutory obligations. In the third blog, I discussed various terms in a residential lease | tenancy agreement such as void terms, term, termination, rent, security deposit, and general terms. In this blog, I’m going to be discussing the landlord’s obligations concerning rental applications: what type of information can be collected, etc.

Types of Information Landlord Can Obtain in Rental Applications
Ontario landlords are not allowed to ask for anything under the sun when it comes to a rental application. The type of information they are allowed to ask for is governed by Business Practices Permissible to Landlords in Selecting Prospective Tenants for Residential Accommodation, O. Reg. 290/98. This is an Ontario Regulation made under the Ontario Human Rights Code. That regulation allows Ontario landlords to obtain the following information about a prospective tenant:

  • Income information
  • Credit checks
  • Credit references
  • Rental history
  • Guarantees for the rent

Worth mentioning is that nothing in the Human Rights Code or the Business Practices Permissible to Landlords… regulation allows a landlord to refuse accommodation of a person based on their race, ancestry, place of original, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, handicap or the receipt of public assistance. Landlords are specifically prohibited from discriminating in this manner under the Code: section 2(2). That said, landlords are entitled to refuse a prospective tenant based on their credit reference, rental history information and credit checks (alone or in any combination): section 1(2) of the Regulations. Landlords can also refuse a prospective tenant based on their income information BUT ONLY IF the landlord has considered that information with ALL THE OTHER information that was obtained by the landlord pursuant to a request for that plus other information: section 1(4). That said, if the landlord requested income and other information but only received income information, then the landlord can consider the income information ALONE to determine whether to accept or refuse a prospective tenant: section 1(5).

Failure to abide by the Regulations or the Code can result in significant sanction. Specifically, a prosecution under the Code carries a fine of up to $25,000 upon conviction: section 46.2 of the Code. Furthermore, if a court in civil proceedings finds that the tenant’s right shave been infringed, then the court may order the landlord to pay compensation and /or provide non-monetary restitution for the tenant’s loss arising from the infringement (e.g. compensation for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect): section 46.1 of the Code.

Collecting, Using, and Disseminating Tenant | Prospective Tenant Information
In Ontario, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA for short) imposes obligations and liabilities with respect to the collection, use, and dissemination of third party personal information without those parties’ knowledge or consent. If you are concerned about complying with PIPEDA, you should contact a lawyer.

By the way, if you are a Landlord and you are looking for an Ontario Residential Lease Agreement, you’ve come to the right place:

Residential Lease Agreement (Ontario)

A Landlord can use this Agreement to rent out a residential unit. This Agreement comes with a Rental Application. All of Dynamic Legal Forms‘ legal forms are lawyer-prepared, simple to read, easy to customize, and only a fraction of the price a lawyer would charge. Also, each legal form comes with a FREE VIDEO GUIDE (watch a useful example of how this legal form can be customized), a FREE DL GUIDE (read helpful information about this legal form), and another FREE DL GUIDE that sheds valuable insight into how legal forms can be challenged. What are you waiting for?

This information and this sample video guide is NOT legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only. If you need an Ontario lawyer, go to Dynamic Legal Forms and make a post.

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