In Ontario, the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) is the main law that sets the rules for rent increases, evictions, repairs, and many other issues that affect tenants.
The RTA applies to most rental housing. For example, you are probably covered if you:
- rent an apartment or a house,
- rent the site that your mobile home or land lease home sits on,
- are a roomer or a boarder and do not share a kitchen or bathroom with the owner or a close family member of the owner,
- live in a "care home", which is where you get care services and a place to live, for example, a retirement home or rest home, or
- live in public housing, or if your rent is subsidized or based on your income.
Some rental housing is not covered by the RTA. For example, you might not be covered if you:
- live in a place that is used for business,
- share a kitchen or bathroom with the owner or a close family member of the owner,
- stay temporarily in a hotel, motel, or seasonal housing,
- live in certain kinds of student housing,
- stay somewhere temporarily for rehabilitation,
- or are a member of a housing co-operative.
Also, the Act does not cover some kinds of shared living arrangements. If you share space with or rent from another tenant, CLEO has a web tool for renters with roommates that you can use to find out if you are covered.
If you are not covered by the RTA, most of the information in this guide does not apply to you.
Ontario's Human Rights Code is another important law that affects tenants. It protects people from discrimination in a number of areas, including when they are looking for an apartment and when they are dealing with their landlord. Sometimes the Human Rights Code applies to rental housing even when the RTA does not.