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Law 2101 - Feb. 27.docx

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Law 2101

Law 2101 Thursday February 27 Landlord & Tenant Law Note: Anything marked with ** is something that the professor has said will likely be on the exam. Don’t worry about anything that hasn’t been starred for the exam. Who To Contact? • Landlord and Tenant Board o Provides information on the Residential Tenancies Act o Resolves disputes between landlords and tenants • Neighborhood Legal Services o Community legal clinic o Provides free legal services to low income individuals • Community Legal Services o Provides free legal services to low income individuals and students of UWO and Fanshawe • Lawyer Referral Service o Gives referrals to a lawyer practicing in the relevant area (through a phone number) o You get a 30 minute free consultation Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) • Enacted in 2006 • Applies to rental units in Ontario (provincial legislation – each province has its own legislation) • Governs the relationship between landlords and tenants (not tenant and tenant) • Sets out rights and responsibilities of each party • If a landlord has a problem with a tenant, they will give the tenant a notice (eg. that they haven’t paid their rent) with a time for the tenant to correct the problem. If they correct the problem, the notice becomes void. If the tenant doesn’t comply with the notice, the landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an order. • If a tenant has a problem with the landlord, they apply to the Board for an order right away (they do not have to give a notice). • What’s Covered: o Only RESIDENTIAL units (NOT commercial) o Exceptions (s. 5) where the RTA does not apply:  Non-profit co-op housing  Penal or correctional facilities  **Units that require occupant to share a bathroom or kitchen facility with the owner or certain members of the owner’s family • *Likely on the exam  Residence in a university • Application of the RTA: o Landlord and Tenant Board hears disputes and makes orders o The dollar amount must be under $25,000 (s. 207 RTA)  Most landlord/tenant disputes are under $25,000 o You would go to court if the dispute is over $25,000 rather than to the Board o If the RTA does not apply, there are still protections under the common law (judge-made law) and/or other statutes Starting a Tenancy a) The Application Process • Tenancy agreements/leases can be written or oral (it doesn’t have to be in writing, although it is always best to have a written agreement so the terms are clear) o There is no proof with oral agreements beyond the parties that entered into it (eg. how do you prove that you and your landlord agreed on $600/month vs. $700/month?) • Terms (length of tenancy) o **The tenancy begins when the tenant is entitled to occupy the unit o The agreement takes effect even if the unit is NOT occupied  eg. if you sign the lease to begin in May but you don’t move in until September, your tenancy begins in May  Even though you’re not living in the unit, you are still a tenant there • Guarantors and co-signors o Landlords may ask tenants to provide a guarantor or co-signor under the lease so that if you don’t live up to your responsibilities, they can look to your guarantor for those responsibilities (usually rent) • Practices in Selecting Tenants: o Landlords can ask for credit references, credit checks, and rental history o The landlord can NOT refuse a tenant based on enumerated grounds (race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation…) b) The Acceptance Process • The method of acceptance of agreement can be oral or written but there must be a “consensus ad idem” (meeting of the minds), an agreement of parties to the same thing. • In written tenancy agreements, the landlord must set out its legal name and address (so that if the tenant has a dispute, they know where to serve the application) • If the agreement is in writing: o The landlord must give a copy of the signed agreement to the tenant within 21 days of signing o If they don’t give you a copy of that agreement, you don’t have to pay rent until they provide you with that agreement • If the agreement is not in writing: o The landlord must give the tenant written notice of their legal name and address within 21 days after the tenancy begins • If the landlord fails to comply: o The tenant’s obligation to pay rent is suspended o The landlord cannot require the tenant to pay rent until they give that information • After the landlord complies: o They can require the tenant to pay any rent that was withheld • “Void”: Something is viewed as if it does not exist and never existed (even if you have signed the agreement) o Any acceleration clause is void  Any provision in the agreement that makes the tenant pay extra (often the full amount of rent owing under the remainder of the lease) for: • Defaulting on paying rent • Not carrying out some obligation  This type of clause is void o **No pet provisions are void  Even if a lease h
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