Monday, November 24, 2008

Rules you must know when tenants currently occupy the unit we are selling

Landlord and Tenant Issues in Ontario

You will note that there are many important aspects and considerations when it comes to renting out properties. Other real estate agents often inquire regarding any important rules agents must know on listing or presenting a condo when tenants currently occupy the unit?

The short answer is yes. If a single tenant has lived in the condo since June 17, 1998, the condo owner can't evict the tenant and transfer ownership to a new owner. This is called Security of Tenure. Therefore, if you are interested in buying a condo and before you take a listing for a condo, or before showing a client a condo, it's crucial that you know whether the unit currently has tenants and when those tenants moved in.

Of course, a in all instances a landlord may informally request the tenant to leave, and the tenant may agree to do so or they may not leave. However, a landlord cannot require a tenant to agree to end a tenancy, or to sign, at the start of the tenancy, an agreement to end the tenancy at a later date, this is not legal. As well, in Ontario it is an offense for a landlord to illegally lock a tenant out of their rental unit or the building.

If a landlord is convicted in Provincial Court under the Provincial Offenses Act, they could be fined up to $25,000 if the landlord is an individual and 4 times that fine if the landlord is a corporation.

As well in Ontario, if the tenant finds out about Security of Tenure after they move out, they have up to a year to re-claim their tenancy in the condo. If the tenant won't leave or the landlord has to pay the tenant a settlement to leave, the agent is liable to be sued.

In all instances of the situations above, an agent can be held liable by the tenant and the Ontario government for not informing or misinforming the landlord client of the pertinent landlord/tenant laws.

You can learn more about Ontario landlord and tenant law and your responsibilities at my site at:

All the best,


  1. Good post Mark, interesting to see the differences between Alberta and Ontario landlord-tenant rules (I'm in Alberta).


  2. Yes, I've heard that there are many differences in the law from province to provice. Just another good reason that we can only trade in real estate in our province where we obtained our license.
    Thanks for your comments, Mark

  3. Couldn't agree with Mark more, such major differences throughout the country.