Most “rental housing” in Ontario is covered by a law called the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). However, some rental housing is not covered by the RTA. For example, if you share the kitchen or bathroom with your landlord, your unit is not covered by the RTA. If your rental unit is not covered by the RTA or you are not sure if it is covered, you should get legal advice (see Getting legal help below).
The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) sets out the rights and responsibilities of “tenants” and “landlords”. The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) makes decisions about disputes between landlords and tenants who are covered by the RTA. These disputes may be about things like rent payments, repairs and eviction. If you have a problem with your landlord, you should get legal advice right away (see below).
The RTA distinguishes between people who are “tenants” and other people who occupy rental units. If you are unsure whether you are a tenant or not, you should get legal advice from us or your local legal clinic (see below).
If you receive any legal notices from your landlord, you should get legal advice right away (see Getting legal help below). If you are going to be away, hospitalized or have to live somewhere else, you should either forward your mail or have someone you trust check your mail in case you receive any important notices.
- Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) has pamphlets about residential tenancy in Ontario that are available on the CLEO website or in print: www.cleo.on.ca/english/pub/onpub/subject/landlord.htm.
- Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) website has general information for tenants: www.acto.ca/.
- Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board: telephone 416-645-8080 or toll-free 1-888-332-3234, www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/.
Getting legal help
The law can be very complicated, so if you have a question or problem, we recommend that you get legal advice about your situation:
- People living with HIV in Ontario can contact us for free legal advice.
- You can contact your local community legal clinic to find out about services in your community. You can find your local community legal clinic as well as specialty legal clinics using the Legal Aid Ontario website: https://www.legalaid.on.ca/services/legal-clinics/.
Help to find housing
Housing help services may help you to find a place to live. You can find out if there is a housing help service in your area on the Housing Help Association of Ontario website: https://findhousinghelp.ca/.