By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Ontario is introducing a standard lease form this spring with the aim of simplifying the language between private parties who enter into rental agreements.
The Liberal government announced the standard document will be mandatory for private residential leases signed on or after April 30, including tenancies in single and semi-detached homes, apartment buildings, rented condominiums and secondary units such as basement apartments.
According to a provincial media release, the new form is “templated to capture basic information such as names and addresses, the total rent and when it’s due, and any rules or terms about the rental unit or building.”
The form also aims to outline the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords, and dispel misconceptions such as a landlord’s right to ban guests or pets.
Oshawa MPP Jennifer French says this step will serve to better protect the rights of both tenants and landlords.
“I will be glad to see it,” French says. “Our office definitely supports people dealing with landlord issues on a regular basis.”
French believes “clear language is best for all parties involved.” and renters may often be wary of speaking up about issues with their units, and she hopes this will address that issue.
“Because they are so desperate to keep a roof over their head, they have fear of reprisal if they were to advocate on behalf of themselves in terms of safety and more appropriate living conditions,” she states.
Whitby-Oshawa MPP Lorne Coe told The Oshawa Express via email, “giving people more information to avoid misunderstandings between landlords and tenants is a positive change.”
However, both French and Coe believe there are more significant issues at hand.
“The lack of provincial investment, we see it here. If we are going to look at housing, we need to look at affordable and safe housing,” French states.
Coe says the Liberals have failed to solve the province’s affordable housing struggles.
“Since the government’s housing plan was put in place, we have seen a number of purpose-built rental projects cancelled and the shortage of supply continues to drive up the average cost of rent in Ontario.”