Landlord and Tenant Law for Post Secondary Students

The Landlord and Tenant Board (the “Board”) is the name for the tribunal, which settles disputes between landlords and tenants. Our area postsecondary students should know that as tenants, they have considerable rights under the law (Residential Tenancies Act) and the Board has the power to enforce the rights of both landlords and tenants.

We will use two fictional postsecondary students, Ana and Vince in this article to discuss rules about rent and moving in and out of an apartment.

Ana is going into first year studies at the University of Waterloo and she has found an apartment in a building to rent. As a new tenant, there is no limit on how much rent the landlord can charge her when she first moves in. Therefore, the starting monthly rent is whatever amount Anna and the landlord agree upon.

For students who are renting, there are two rules that your landlord must follow in order to raise your rent:

  • After you move in, your landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising your rent. And any increases after that also must be at least 12 months apart. If Anna moved into an apartment on September 1, 2012 then her landlord generally must wait until at least September 1, 2013 before raising her rent.
  • Ana’s landlord would also have to notify her at least 90 days before increasing her rent. To do this, Anna’s landlord should use one of the notice forms from the Board. If Ana’s landlord uses their own form, the notice must contain all the information that is on the Board form.

Ana’s friend Vince is going into his second year at Mohawk College in September (2013) and he is renting an apartment from a landlord in Hamilton. The written lease (agreement) between Vince and his landlord will end on June 30, 2013.

Vince recently received a form from his landlord stating that Vince must choose between renewing his lease or moving out. However, Vince does not have to choose either of these options. If Vince only needs the apartment for the fall term, Vince can continue to rent on a month-to-month basis. If Vince wants to move out of the apartment, he should give his landlord at least 60 days written notice.

I cover this topic at least once a year for the following reason – A landlord and tenant relationship is for many of our Norfolk postsecondary students, one of their first long-term contracts involving the exchange of thousands of dollars. Norfolk students (and their parents) preparing for postsecondary studies can complete a crash course in landlord and tenant law by checking out the considerable information provided by the Board including detailed brochures and forms on their website.

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