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Landlord & Tenant

post3Protect Your Rights –   Be Proactive vs Reactive

The main purpose of the tenancy agreement is to establish and define the relationship between the tenant and the landlord.  The tenancy agreement addresses basic elements such as: the premises being rented, the use of the premises, the amount to be paid, the starting and ending date of tenancy, who is responsible for utilities, etc. Tenancy agreements come in different forms: written, oral, implied and licenses – all of which are subject to scrutiny and some of which are less clear and therefore, ambiguous and open to contention when disputes arise.

Regardless of whether you are a landlord or tenant, the general rule of thumb is do your homework; that is, landlords protect yourselves by having your tenancy agreements reviewed for legal accuracy and coverage and have your tenants properly screened for integrity (professional reputation); and tenants, understand your rights and obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and screen your landlords for integrity.  But even with clear intent and with both eyes wide open to accept your new tenant(s) and dwelling, both landlord and tenant need to know what agreement discrepancies or missing representations exist and how best to guard against potential disputes.

Both parties have the best intentions in mind and practice but it is often too late when a dispute arises that has not been previously written in an agreement or disclosed.  In this case, without proper legal representation, your eyes are wide shut.  You simply don’t know what you don’t know.  Enter HillCowan.

The HillCowan Advantage

Advantage #1 – An additional set of expert eyes. 

post_logoHillCowan Legal Services is professionally versed in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and intimately understands the DNA of the Landlord and Tenant Board, the decision-making body created by the RTA.

Did you know…?

  • Although the Landlord and Tenant Board has exclusive jurisdiction over virtually all disputes that could arise between a residential tenant and a landlord, it is exempt or does not apply to: commercial uses, rentals to employees, rentals at institutions, “tenants” who are really owners, educational institutions, and situations of close contact. 
  • The Landlord and Tenant Board also does not have the right to handle a landlord application that was filed after the tenant vacated the premises.  A claim against the former tenant would need to be filed in Small Claims Court and, if a claim is over $25,000.00, the Landlord and Tenant Board also does not have jurisdiction.

Advantage #2 – Aggressive representation = Peace of Mind

Let HillCowan be your eyes and your ears. HillCowan has its’ thumb on the pulse of any changes or activities stemming from the RTA, its’ regulations and the Landlord and Tenant Board. HillCowan, quite simply, is your trusted advisor.  As a result, call on HillCowan to provide guidance and representation on all Landlord and tenant matters.  This includes:

(From a landlord’s perspective) Termination of tenancy (eviction):

    • For non-payment of rent;
    • For inappropriate behaviour;
    • To perform major repairs, renovations or demolition;
    • For tenant failure to leave after giving notice or agreeing to do so;
    • For tenant failure to meet the terms of a settlement or order;
    • For past-due payments (rent arrears or compensation for damage);
    • Failure to provide key(s) for a lock(s) where the tenant changed the lock without permission;
    • Remedy for authorized assignment or sublet of premise.

(From a tenant’s perspective)

    • Application for rent abatement as a result of deficiencies experienced in the rental unit or building;
    • Remedy because the landlord withheld a vital service,
    • Remedy because the landlord harassed the tenant,
    • Remedy because the landlord entered the tenant’s premise illegally,
    • Remedy because the landlord changed the locks without notice and without supplying a key;
    • Remedy because the landlord interfered with the tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the tenant’s unit
    • Remedy because the landlord provided a notice of termination in bad faith
    • Action against illegal rent increase
    • Rent reduction based on the landlord removing or reducing a service or facility
    • Rent reduction based on the decrease in municipal taxes
    • Rent reduction based on the landlord failing to comply with agreement terms for an above-guideline increase in rent.

Advantage #3 – At HillCowan, Defence Never Rests

In the event a dispute does result in legal action or proceedings, HillCowan will take immediate action, from beginning to end, to bring successful closure: work with opposing legal counsel to have the matter negotiated and efficiently implement the negotiated settlement or mediation.  Negotiation can also be arranged with a third party mediator.  If negotiations fail to produce a settlement, counsels for both parties will exchange information about the evidence that will be called at a hearing. Witnesses will be called to attend the hearing via summons (i.e., a document that requires a person to attend the hearing to give evidence).

(The following is excerpted from the Residential Tenancies Act Offences supplement)

Did you know…?

  • It is an offence to fail to give a new tenant the required notice that sets out the lawful rent to be charged, or give false information in the notice where the Landlord and Tenant Board has issued an Order prohibiting rent increases
  • It is an offence to charge more rent than is allowed under the RTA.
  • It is an offence to refuse to give a tenant a rent receipt when requested or refuse to give a rent receipt to a former tenant who asks for a receipt within 12 months after the tenancy terminated.
  • It is an offence to fail to return a rent deposit to a prospective tenant if the landlord cannot give the tenant full possession of the rental unit.
  • Penalties: if convicted of an offence committed under the RTA, the penalty is a fine of up to $25,000.00 for an individual and up to $100,000.00 for a corporation.

See “The HillCowan Approach” for more information on how we push the envelope and represent you (advocacy) for improved positive results.

Have your tenancy agreement reviewed by the experts

Request a free initial half-hour consultation.

To better assist you, bring us all your relevant documentation.

By Appointment Only.

Call: 289-201-1724


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in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada. The Law Society of Upper Canada logo is a trademark owned by The Law Society of Upper Canada.