top of page
  • Writer's pictureAngela Desjardins

A tenant's guide to reasonable enjoyment and privacy

The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) is the law that governs landlords and tenants in Ontario. It's a complex piece of legislation, but one thing is clear: tenants have rights under the RTA, including the right to peaceful enjoyment of their rental units and protection from illegal evictions. This guide will explain key areas where these rights apply, including how landlords can legally enter units without permission and what protections exist if your landlord cuts off vital services like heat or water.

Ontario's Residential Tenancies Act governs the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.

Ontario's Residential Tenancies Act governs the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. However, it is essential to note that the Residential Tenancies Act applies only to buildings that are used as a residence, such as apartments, condos, houses and retirement homes. Therefore, you may be covered by different laws if you're renting a commercial space or a room in your home (for example).

The government's role in this law is to provide information on what it means for landlords and tenants to enjoy their tenancy reasonably.

There are four main areas where reasonable enjoyment comes into effect:

  • The right of quiet enjoyment (section 21) – This clause states that landlords must maintain their property so that tenants can live peacefully in their rental unit without unreasonable disturbance from other people living on the property. For example: if an apartment building has loud parties every night or there's constant construction noise coming from outside your window all day long, this would be an unreasonable disturbance under section 21 of Ontario's Residential Tenancies Act because it prevents you from enjoying your apartment peacefully at home during those times when you want some peace and quiet after work or school hours!

The Residential Tenancies Act is a complex piece of legislation.

The Residential Tenancies Act is a complex piece of legislation. It governs the rights and responsibilities of landlords, tenants, and condo corporations (the latter in Ontario only) who enter into residential leases for private residential properties. For example, the RTA regulates what landlords can do with their property. Including how they can evict tenants for non-payment or other breaches of their lease agreement; how much notice a landlord must give to end a tenancy; whether a tenant can sublet without consent from the landlord; how much notice must be given before eviction proceedings begin; and many more aspects of renting residential property in Ontario.

A landlord must enter into a written tenancy agreement with a tenant.

When you sign your tenancy agreement, your landlord must give you a copy of the lease. The lease is a document that details the terms of your tenancy. For example, it will likely include information about how much rent is, when it's due, how long your lease is for, and what happens if either party chooses to end it early. Your landlord must also provide any other documents agreed upon as part of your tenancy agreement within 21 days after signing it.

You have a right to see these documents before signing anything—if they're in another language (for example, if they're written in Spanish), they should be translated into English or French for you by someone who knows both languages well enough to understand them properly. Suppose this isn't possible because there aren't any translators available nearby. In that case, all parties involved may agree on a mutually agreed-upon language other than English or French so long as one person present at signing understands both languages well enough not only to read aloud but also translate them back into their original form afterwards using commonly known words with obvious meanings such as "yes"/"no".

A landlord can enter a rental unit without the tenant's consent in certain situations.

If a tenant has a problem with the landlord entering their rental unit, they should first talk to the landlord. If that doesn't work, they can file a complaint with the provincial tenancy board in their area. The tenant can also apply for an order from the board if they think their landlord violates their rights under "The Residential Tenancies Act."

In most cases, however, tenants should be able to speak directly with their landlords about issues like unreasonable entry into the rental unit. Sometimes landlords make mistakes about when it's okay for them to enter or restrict access unnecessarily. Tenants need to understand what situations would legally require them to give notice and which ones would not require information by law (such as repairs). They should also know what steps must be taken before entering another person's space without permission—even if there isn't any legal requirement for asking permission!

A landlord can substantially interfere with a tenant's reasonable enjoyment of the premises by cutting off or reducing the supply or quality of any vital services, such as heat, electricity or water.

A landlord cannot cut off or reduce the supply or quality of any vital service such as heat, electricity, water and garbage collection without giving notice to the tenant. If the landlord chooses to do so for any reason, they must have a reasonable excuse. The most common reason is that the tenant has not fully paid their rent by the due date.

Eviction orders are not self-enforcing; a sheriff must go to the rental unit and enforce the order.

If you are served with an eviction order, it is your responsibility to leave the rental unit. If you do not leave within the time specified in the order, a sheriff will be sent to enforce the order. The sheriff can only remove you from your home if they have been instructed to do so by a judge or court official.

If you have been served with an eviction notice and have not left voluntarily within the time specified on that notice, then a sheriff may come by at any time (day or night) and physically remove you from your home. If this happens, ensure that all your personal belongings are packed up before they arrive; leave nothing behind! You should also expect that one or two weeks after being removed from your home, you will receive another document stating that all of your belongings were sold at auction (this document will contain information about where these auctions took place). Do not try to interfere with these proceedings - interfering can result in criminal charges against YOU!

All leases in Ontario contain implied terms as set out in s. 20 of the RTA.

Every lease in Ontario contains implied terms as set out in s. 20 of the RTA. This section states that every lease is presumed to contain the following implied terms:

  • The tenant will pay rent and meet all financial obligations on time.

  • The landlord can enter the unit only at reasonable times (i.e., not at 2 a.m.) unless they have an emergency or you give them permission to enter during off-hours. If a landlord enters your unit without permission and it's not an emergency, then they must give you notice of their reasons for entry within two days after entering.*

If you want to make sure your landlord is following the rules, get in touch with the Residential Tenancies Branch at 1-800-665-8779 or visit their website for more information about how to enforce your rights.

If you are wondering whether your landlord has breached something in the Residential Tenancies Act, speak to an experienced lawyer in British Columbia who will be able to help assess whether or not there was any wrongdoing on behalf of your landlord or property manager. Tenants must know their rights and understand what they can do if they feel their landlord has wronged them.

Ontario tenants deserve safe, healthy housing without harassment and worrying about landlords illegally entering their homes.

The Residential Tenancies Act governs the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. It is a complex piece of legislation, and tenants need to be aware that some rights can only be exercised if they are specifically stated in their tenancy agreement.

As a tenant, you have a right to live in your home without harassment from your landlord or other building occupants. You also have a right not to be disturbed by your landlord entering your home without giving notice first. The Residential Tenancies Act states that landlords may enter rented premises only:

  • At reasonable times;

  • With proper notice given to the tenant(s);

  • If there is an emergency such as fire or flood damage;

  • To carry out repairs or maintenance (provided they give written 24 hours notice).

Tenants and landlords should know their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act.

12 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page