Tenants association calls for 'standardized' lease to protect renters
Ah, one more reason not to be a small landlord.
In an effort to ensure that both landlords and tenants are up to date with Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act, the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA) has come up with a new wrinkle.
It wants Ontario landlords to adopt a standardized lease agreement, one that would outline the rights and responsibilities of each party as stipulated by the tenancies act, as well as clarifying clauses that are often misused since they are, in fact, void in Ontario.
Like the "no pets allowed" clause, for instance.
That clause is void. Even if the landlord and tenant agree in the lease not to have pets, it makes no difference. You're simply not allowed to contract outside of the provisions of the act. This applies whether you're in a high-rise building or a basement apartment in a triplex.
The only exception would be if you're renting in a condominium building where the existing regulations prohibit pets. Those rules are enforcable.
The most commonly reported clauses in leases that shouldn't actually be there to begin with, according to the Toronto Star, include the following:
• No pets allowed
• Requiring a tenant to pay a damage deposit
• No overnight guests
• Requiring a tenant to get contents insurance
• No subletting
Have you signed a lease containing any of the above? As a landlord, do you try to implement them anyway?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money