Ontario's new standard rental lease will be easier for landlords and tenants

As of April 30, rental agreements will be easier for landlords and tenants to use as the province created a standard rental lease form and a guide book on how to use it in 21 different languages.

The province also plans to release a guide book in 21 different languages

Rental agreements will be easier for landlords and tenants to use as the province created a standard rental lease form and a guide book on how to use it in 21 different languages that will roll out April 30. (CBC)

Ontario leases will soon be easier to read and use as a new standard lease form and guide book will roll out at the end of April.

The provincial government said it will better protect tenants from illegal terms on their leases by making the language simple and easy to understand.

"[The] standard lease is essentially a plain English or French document that would be common to all tenants and landlords across the province, making it very clear and easy for a tenant to understand what it is they are agreeing to," Minister of Housing Peter Milczyn told CBC's The Morning Edition.

As of April 30, landlords renting residential units across Ontario will have to use the new standard lease form for all new leases. It applies to both individual landlords and property management companies.

The province will also release a guidebook in 21 different languages to accompany the lease. 

The new standard lease will outline information about rent, contact information, deposits and utilities, said Milczyn. 

He adds landlords will also benefit from having a standard form.

"I suspect that for many small landlords [the standard lease] will make it easier for them as well by providing them with a document that they know complies with the law and spells out clearly obligations and responsibilities for both parties," he said.

Additional terms

Section 15 of the standard lease form allows for tenants and landlords to make additional terms to the lease such as making changes to the unit before the tenant moves in or rules around common spaces.

However, Milczyn said that the guide book will alert tenants on what additional terms are legal and illegal.

"It will provide examples of what is permissible and what is not legal," he said. For example, a landlord cannot prohibit dogs or require tenants to look after snow removal in Section 15; both are protected by law in Ontario.

 "A tenant or landlord can always contact the Ministry to get clarification or the Landlord Tenant Tribunal," said Milczyn.