Ontario rental agreements: What you need to know
Moving to a new apartment in Ontario usually involves signing a lease. These contracts generally include the same things: fine print, terms and conditions, payment information, etc. Here is what you need to know before signing that rental agreement:
Every landlord is unique; some depend on verbal agreements, while many others – including Williams and McDaniel – have a standard lease. Ask your potential landlord what they require from you when you’re applying for an apartment. Typically, you can expect to provide credit references, a statement with your credit score, rental and employment history and proof of income. Additionally, applicants usually need to provide a certified cheque or money order for the first and last month’s rent as a security deposit.
Read the fine print
When it comes to signing a lease, you have to know what you’re getting into. It’s important to take the time to carefully read every little word on the page. Make sure to review the contract and negotiate any amendments beforehand; don’t be afraid to ask for clarification about anything that you don’t understand, our rental consultant would be more than happy to answer your questions. Once you put your John Hancock on that paper, you become legally bound.
Terms and conditions
A rental contract should clearly outline the terms of your agreement, such as the duration of the lease. One-year terms are standard, but be sure to review the options for renewal at the end of tenancy. Residency may become month-to-month upon expiry of the lease in accordance with RTA Regulations. Other terms applied could be the number of persons allowed to live in your unit or smoking and pet policies.
Every lease will also state when rent is due and how it should be paid. This varies among landlords; for example, Williams & McDaniel require payment to be made cashable for the 1st day of every month.
Often, you will find that a landlord is not legally responsible for the security or safety of your personal belongings. At Williams & McDaniel, we require you to obtain renter’s insurance for at least $1,000,000 for the duration of your lease. This covers you in cases of personal liability in addition to covering the contents of your apartment against theft, fire and water damage risk.
After all lease negotiations take place, both the tenant and landlord should have a signed copy of the agreement. Be sure to keep your copy stored away safely as it may come in handy should there be any future disputes.
Although it may seem like a lot to consider, knowing your way around a rental agreement is the first step towards comfortable apartment living in southwest and central Ontario. If you’re looking for the perfect apartment for your needs, let Williams & McDaniels’ rental consultant, Chrystal Whetham