This toolkit is designed to help renters in Ontario assert their rights when facing discrimination and harassment in their housing, and provides information and guidance for self-advocacy. Learn about the Ontario Human Rights Code, forms of discrimination and Code-protected grounds, how to navigate the Ontario human rights system, and the steps renters can take to advocate for their rights.

Although this toolkit focuses on information about Ontario housing law, the guidance for self-advocacy is applicable to renters across Canada.



This guide is designed to provide housing providers in Ontario with information about their obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

Housing providers are faced with the complex challenge of adhering to municipal and provincial laws and responding to the diverse needs of their renters. The purpose of this guide is to help clarify their requirements under the AODA. It also covers how the AODA works with other legislation and offers useful tips to housing providers on how to ensure that their business practices promote accessibility.


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On this page, find key information about the rent regulation laws in place in your province or territory, including about:

  • Rent control policies that are in place
  • Rules around rent increases
  • Limits on rent increases, and when those limits can be lifted
  • Rent increases and limits when renters change

* The information on this page was last updated in May 2024.

  • Alberta

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my province have a rent control policy?

    No, Alberta does not have a rent control policy, and there are no limits to how much a landlord may increase the rent. But there are some rules in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) on how and when rent can be increased.

    What are the rules around rent increases?

    • After a renter moves in, a landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising the rent. After that, any rent increases must also be 12 months apart.
    • A landlord must give at least 3 months’ notice before the rent goes up for a month-to-month lease, and 12 weeks’ notice for a week-to-week lease. No written notice is required for a fixed term lease. A fixed term lease starts and ends on specified dates.
    • A landlord cannot increase the rent midway through a fixed term lease agreement and must wait until the fixed-term agreement has ended.
  • British Columbia

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my province have a rent control policy?

    Yes, British Columbia has a rent control policy in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) which sets the maximum limits by which landlords can increase the rent every year.

    What are the rules around rent increases?

    • After a renter moves in, a landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising the rent. After that, any rent increases must also be 12 months apart.
    • Each year a landlord can only increase the rent according to the limits set in the RTA.
    • Sometimes a landlord can raise the rent if the Residential Tenancies Branch, the body that resolves disputes between landlords and tenants, decides that they can or if the renters agree to an increase in writing.
    • If a landlord does not raise the rent, they cannot apply a rent increase retroactively the following year.
    • A landlord must give at least 3 months’ notice before the rent goes up.

    Can my landlord increase my rent by more than what limit allows?

    If a landlord wants to raise the rent beyond the limits allowed in the RTA, they can apply to the Residential Tenancies Branch. The RTA lists specific reasons why a landlord can apply for an above limit which include:

    • A landlord has completed repairs or renovations that could not have been foreseen under reasonable circumstances and will not happen again within a reasonable time frame.
    • Where an extraordinary increase in operating expenses has caused the landlord to incur a financial loss.
    • Where the landlord incurs a financial loss from financing costs related to a purchase which could not have been foreseen under reasonable circumstances.

    Do rent control limits apply when renters change?

    When a renter leaves a unit, there are no legal limits for how much a landlord can increase the rent for a new renter.

  • Manitoba

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my province have a rent control policy?

    Yes. Manitoba has a rent control policy in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)which sets the maximum limits by which landlords can increase the rent every year. There is currently a rent freeze in place which means that for 2022 and 2023 the rent increase limit is 0%.

    What are the rules around rent increases?

    • After a renter moves in, a landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising the rent. After that, any rent increases must also be 12 months apart.
    • A landlord must give at least 3 months’ written notice before they raise the rent.
    • Some units are exempt from rent control limits in the RTA.
    • When a property owner decides to rent their home or other type of unit as a residential unit for the first time, they can set the rent without following the rent control limits in the RTA. But they cannot increase the rent for 12 months after the renter moves in. After the first year, the annual rent increase limit will apply.

    Can my landlord increase my rent by more than what limit allows?

    A landlord may apply to the Director of Residential Tenancies to be allowed to raise the rent above the annual limit. If a renter objects to the increase, they may file an objection with the Director.

    Do rent control limits apply when renters change?

    If a renter moves out of a unit in a building that has four or more units, the rent charged for the new renter may be increased to the average rent being charged for similar units in the same building if notice is given to the new renters. But if a renter moves out of a rental unit in a building that has three units or less, the landlord can increase the rent by any amount that they decide, if they provide notice to the new renters.

  • New Brunswick

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my province have a rent control policy?

    Yes. New Brunswick has a rent control policy in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) which says that landlords cannot increase the rent to more than what is reasonable in relation to the rent charged for comparable units in the same geographical area.  However, the policy only applies if a tenant takes steps to enforce it.

    What are the rules around rent increases?

    • After a renter moves in, a landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising the rent. After that, any rent increases must also be 12 months apart unless the landlord and renter have agreed otherwise in writing.
    • Landlords must give at least 3 months’ written notice before they raise the rent for a fixed term lease (a lease that starts and ends on specified dates), and at least 6 months’ notice for a lease that is week-to-week, month-to-month, or year-to-year.
    • If a rent increase amount is for more than what is reasonable in relation to the rent charged for comparable units in the same geographical area, the tenant can apply to a residential tenancies officer to cancel the increase. However, if the tenant does not file that application, then the increase is allowed. 
    • If a rent increase amount is for more than the consumer price index (inflation rate), the tenant can apply to a residential tenancies officer to delay part of the increase by one to two years. However, if the tenant does not file that application, then the whole increase can take place in the first year. 
  • Newfoundland and Labradaor

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to some rules.

    Does my province have a rent control policy?

    No. Newfoundland and Labrador does not have a rent control policy, and there are no limits to how much a landlord may increase the rent. But there are some rules in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) on how and when rent can be increased.

    What are the rules around rent increases?

    • After a renter moves in, a landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising the rent. After that, any rent increases must also be 12 months apart.
    • A landlord has to give a renter 6 months’ written notice before they raise the rent for a month-to-month or fixed term lease, and 8 weeks’ notice for a week-to-week lease.
    • If a landlord wants to raise the rent because they are providing a new or additional service, the landlord and renter can agree to the increase in writing and there is no need for written notice from the landlord in this case.
  • Northwest Territories

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my territory have a rent control policy?

    No. Northwest Territories does not have a rent control policy, and there are no limits to how much a landlord may increase the rent. But there are some rules in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) on how and when rent can be increased.

    What are the rules around rent increases?

    • After a renter moves in, a landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising the rent. After that, any rent increases must also be 12 months apart.
    • Landlords must give renters 3 months’ written notice before raising the rent.
    • If a renter wants to end their lease because of a rent increase, the landlord must give the new renter a copy of the last notice of rent increase and rent the unit at the same price. This does not apply to subsidized housing.
  • Nova Scotia

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my province have a rent control policy?

    No. Nova Scotia does not have a permanent rent control policy, and there are no limits to how much a landlord may increase the rent. But there are some rules in the Residential Tenancies Act on how and when rent can be increased. The province implemented a temporary rent control policy in November 2020 in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, which is set to expire on December 31, 2023.

    What are the general rules around rent increases?

    • After a renter moves in, a landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising the rent. After that, any rent increases must also be 12 months apart.
    • A landlord must provide 4 months’ written notice before raising the rent for year-to-year and month-to-month leases, and 8 weeks’ written notice for week-to-week leases.
    • For fixed term leases, which start and end on specified dates, the lease must state the amount of any rent increases and the dates of when they will start, which cannot be more than once in one year.
    • These rules do not apply to subsidized housing.

    What is the temporary rent control policy?

    • As of 2024, landlords cannot raise the rent by more than 5% annually. Since this is a temporary policy, it might change in future years.
    • This does not apply to renters signing a new lease, except renters who have a fixed-term lease and are signing a lease for an additional fixed-term in the same rental unit. It also does not apply to renters living in subsidized housing.
  • Nunavut

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my territory have a rent control policy?

    No. Nunavut does not have a rent control policy, and there are no limits to how much a landlord may increase the rent. But there are some rules in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) on how and when rent can be increased.

    What are the rules around rent increases?

    • Landlords cannot increase the rent more than once in a 12-month period.
    • Landlords must provide renters with 3 months’ written notice before they raise the rent.
    • If a renter wants to end their lease because of a rent increase, the landlord must give the new renter a copy of the last notice of rent increase and rent the unit at the same price. This does not apply to subsidized housing.
  • Ontario

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my province have a rent control policy?

    Yes, Ontario has a rent control policy in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) which sets the maximum limits by which landlords can increase the rent every year. In Ontario these are referred to as guidelines.

    What are the rules of rent increases?

    After a renter moves in, a landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising the rent. After that, any rent increases must also be 12 months apart.

    Landlords must give renters a written notice of at least 90 days before the rent goes up. The notice should be on one of the forms from the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).  Even if the landlord does not use the LTB form, a notice might still be valid if it includes all the information that can be found on the LTB form.

    Can my landlord increase my rent by more than what limit allows?

    Landlords can apply to the LTB for permission to raise the rent by more than what is allowed in the guideline. This is referred to as an above guideline increase or AGI. The RTA lists specific reasons why a landlord can apply for an AGI which include:

    • An increase in the cost of municipal taxes and charges.
    • Extra costs incurred from repairing the building or one or more of the units in it.
    • Operational costs related to security services provided for the building by someone other than the landlord. Renters can challenge a landlord’s application for an AGI at the LTB.

    If the landlord gets approval for an AGI, they must still wait 12 months between rent increases and give 90 days’ written notice to the renter before the rent goes up.

    Do rent control limits apply when renters change?

    When a renter leaves a unit, there are no legal limits for how much a landlord can increase the rent for a new renter.

  • Prince Edward Island

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my province have a rent control policy?

    Yes, Prince Edward Island has a rent control policy in the Rental of Residential Property Act. Each year the amount of rent increase that is allowed is decided by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC). IRAC considers several factors to calculate the rent increase limit including vacancy rates, the economic outlook for the province, and changes to the Consumer Price Index.

    What are the rules around rent increases?

    • After a renter moves in, a landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising the rent. After that, any rent increases must also be 12 months apart, even if a new renter moves into the unit.
    • For a weekly lease, landlords must provide at least 3 weeks’ written notice before raising the rent and 3 months’ written notice for a monthly lease.

    Can my landlord increase my rent by more than what limit allows?

    If a landlord wants to raise the rent above the limit that is allowed, they must apply to the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property, and the Director will decide on the increase. A hearing must take place which may be attended by the renter. The Director will consider different factors when making their decision including:

    • Whether the increase is necessary to prevent the landlord from sustaining a financial loss in the operation of the rental units;
    • Increased operating costs or capital expenditures provided by the landlord;
    • The expectation of the landlord to have a reasonable return on their capital investment; and
    • The date and amount of the last rent increase.
    • Other factors that were added in 2023. More time will be needed to find out how the new factors will affect the Director’s decisions.

    Do rent control limits apply when renters change?

    Rent increases are attached to the unit and not the renter. Rent cannot be automatically increased between different renters. If a new renter moves in, the landlord can only increase the rent according to the rules around rent increases mentioned above. If a landlord wants to increase the rent beyond the limit, they must apply to the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property.

  • Quebec

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my province have a rent control policy?

    Yes, but it only applies if a tenant refuses a proposed increase within one month of receiving notice of it.  If a tenant doesn’t refuse, then a landlord can increase the rent by any amount.

    What are the rules around rent increases?

    • A landlord must give proper notice of any rent increase.
    • Both the landlord and renter must agree that a rent increase is reasonable before the rent is raised. The renter has the right to accept or refuse the proposed increase within 1 month of receiving notice of it.
    • If a renter rejects a proposed rent increase, the landlord may apply to the Quebec Rental Board so that it can determine what the rent should be or make a decision on the rent increase.
    • The Quebec Rental Board publishes guidelines every year on suggested rent increases, but landlords are not required to follow them.
    • If a lease provides for a change in rent, the landlord or renter may apply to the Quebec Rental Board to contest the change if it is too little or too much and ask the Board to decide on the rent amount.
    • A renter or someone who is subletting a unit may apply to the Quebec Rental Board to have their rent determined by the Board, if their rent is higher than the lowest rent paid during the 12-month period preceding the beginning of the lease or sublease, unless that rent has already been determined by the Board.
    • In all instances where rent is determined by the Board, it will remain in force for the term of the lease.
  • Saskatchewan

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my province have a rent control policy?

    No. Saskatchewan does not have a rent control policy, and there are no limits to how much a landlord may increase the rent. But there are some rules in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) on how and when rent can be increased.

    What are the rules around rent increases?

    • In a fixed term lease, which has a specific end date, landlords are not allowed to raise rent during the duration of the lease unless at the beginning of the lease the landlord and renter agree on how much the increase will be and when the rent will be raised.
    • For a periodic lease, which is a lease that continues until it is ended by the tenant or landlord according to the rules of the RTA, landlords must give the renter written notice at least 12 months before raising the rent and cannot raise the rent more than once a year.
    • If a landlord is a member of the Saskatchewan Landlord Association or the Network of Non-Profit Housing Providers of Saskatchewan, they may give a renter 6 months’ advance written notice before raising the rent and shall not increase rent more than twice each year.
    • These rules do not apply to subsidized housing in which a tenant’s rent is based on their household income.
  • Yukon

    Can my landlord increase my rent?

    Yes, subject to certain rules.

    Does my territory have a rent control policy?

    No. Yukon does not have a permanent rent control policy and there are no limits to how much a landlord may increase the rent. But there are some rules in the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act on how and when rent can be increased. A temporary rent control policy was introduced in May 2021 that will be in place until January 31, 2023.

    What are the general rules around rent increases?

    • After a renter moves in, a landlord must wait at least 12 months before raising the rent. After that, any rent increases must also be 12 months apart.
    • A landlord must give a renter 3 months’ written notice before raising the rent.

    What is the temporary rent control policy?

    • Landlords cannot raise the rent by more than the annual rent limit that is set by the territory. For 2022 the limit is 3.3%.
    • The annual rent limit is tied to a renter not the rental unit. When a landlord begins a lease with a new renter, they may agree to a new rent which could be below, at, or above Yukon’s annual rent limit. Once the new lease begins, it is then subject to the annual rent limit.
    • Annual rent limits do not apply to housing where the rent is tied to the renter’s household income.

Tell your government: It’s time for strong rent regulation

The information on this page outlines rules, renters’ rights and landlords’ responsibilities as laid out in Ontario housing laws such as the Residential Tenancies Act, the Human Rights Code and the Housing Services Act.


Guests

  • Can a landlord stop me from hosting guests?

    Usually, a landlord cannot stop a tenant from hosting guests in their rental unit. In regular tenancies, a tenant has the right to welcome any guest that the tenant wants to visit them in their unit, and for any period of time. If a landlord tries to control which guests a tenant can invite into their home, this may be considered harassment or discrimination 

    However, there are some limits to hosting guests. For example, a tenant is responsible for damage that their guests cause to the rental property or if their guests interfere with the landlord’s or other tenants’ interests in or enjoyment of the rental property. A tenant may also be responsible if they allow anyone to commit any illegal acts at the rental building. In these cases, a landlord will sometimes give a tenant’s guest a trespass notice. Although the tenant is still allowed to have that guest visit them in their own unit (if they want to), that guest is not allowed to go anywhere else in the rental property. 

    In subsidized or Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing, the guest policies vary but tenants are normally not allowed to have long-term guests and there is normally a limit on the number of days that a tenant can host a guest. For more information on guest policies in subsidized housing, a tenant should consult the policies set out by their landlord. 

  • Can a landlord charge a rent increase or extra fees when I host guests?

    Typically, a landlord cannot raise rent or charge extra fees when a tenant hosts a guest. Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) prohibits landlords from collecting any refundable or non-refundable fees, except for a previously agreed upon key deposit and/or last month’s rental deposit. However, if a guest damages property, the tenant who invited that guest may be responsible to pay for the damage.  

    The rules for tenants in Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing are different. Each RGI housing provider must have a guest policy which allows guests, but the policy will have limitations on how long a guest may visit. Violating a guest policy in RGI housing could result in a rent increase. For more information on guest policies in RGI housing, a tenant should consult their housing provider’s policies.  


Roommates, occupants, and shared facilities 

  • Can a landlord evict me or charge a rent increase or extra fees when I add a roommate or occupant?

    A roommate or occupant is a person who has not signed a lease, but who lives in the rental unit with the permission of the tenant. Typically, a landlord cannot raise rent or charge extra fees when a tenant adds a roommate or occupant. Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) prohibits landlords from collecting any refundable or non-refundable fees, except for a previously agreed upon deposit for keys and/or one month’s rent. However, if a guest damages the rental property, the tenant who invited the guest may be responsible for the damage.  

    The rules for tenants in Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing are different. A tenant must inform their RGI housing provider if they would like to have a person staying with them for longer than the housing provider’s policies allow. If the RGI housing provider agrees to allow the tenant to add a roommate, the tenant will likely be required to provide information about the roommate to the RGI housing provider, and their rent will likely increase. Violating these policies in RGI housing could result in a rent increase. Tenants should consult their RGI housing provider’s policies for more information about guest policies.  

    Some municipalities set by-laws for the minimum amount of floor area required for each person living in one room. A landlord can apply to evict a tenant for overcrowding a unit if a rental unit has so many occupants that the unit is overcrowded. A tenant should consult their municipal by-laws for more information on what constitutes overcrowding. 

  • What are my rights if I rent a bedroom and share all the other facilities of a unit?

    The protections for tenants under Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act only apply to certain types of situations when the facilities of a unit are shared by multiple people.  

    Generally, RTA protections apply to a tenant who rents a bedroom and shares all other facilities of a unit with other tenants who all have their own leases.  

    RTA protections do not apply to a tenant who shares a kitchen or a bathroom with the person they rent from – which could include their landlord or another tenant who is the lease holder – or with an immediate family member of the landlord. 

    In any situation where a tenant shares facilities with other people, they should seek legal advice to confirm whether the protections of the RTA apply to them. Tenants can also consult Community Legal Education Ontario’s (CLEO) resource for more information about their rights in specific housing situations. 

    Tenants who rent a bedroom and share facilities – and who are protected by the RTA – should be aware that: 

    • Shared amenities like kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms are considered common areas. If a landlord would like to access these areas, they do not need to provide the tenants with a written notice at least 24 hours before would like to enter the unit. However, the landlord would have to provide 24 hours written notice to enter the tenant’s bedroom.  
    • If a landlord rents bedrooms within a unit to different tenants under separate leases, it is unlikely that the tenants will have input on who the landlord permits to live in the other bedrooms.  
    • These living arrangements are often called rooming houses. Rooming houses are not permitted in many municipalities. If the municipality learns about a rooming house, for example because someone makes a maintenance complaint to the municipality’s by-law enforcement office, the municipality may order the property owner to stop operating the property as a rooming house. This can put the tenants at risk of eviction. The LTB does not consider whether a unit is permitted, and maintenance complaints can be made to the LTB even when a unit is not permitted in a municipality. 

Subletting 

  • What is a sublet? 

    In Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), subletting happens when a tenant transfers their entire rental unit to another person or group known as a subtenant for a specific period of time, and then the tenant later returns to resume living in their unit, and the subtenant moves out. The original lease agreement between the tenant and the landlord remains in effect. This means that the tenant remains responsible to the landlord for paying rent. Typically, a subtenant pays rent to the original tenant during the subtenancy. However, even if the subtenant pays the landlord directly, the tenant is still ultimately responsible for ensuring that the rent is paid to the landlord. The tenant is also responsible for any damage that the subtenant causes to the unit. 

    There are some restrictions on subletting a unit. For example, a sublet agreement must specify the time period for the subtenancy. This means that a subtenancy cannot go month-to-month like a tenancy can. Furthermore, a tenant must leave the rental unit while allowing a subtenant to live in the unit. There is no sublet relationship if a tenant does not leave the rental unit while allowing another person to live in the unit. If the tenant lives in the unit at the same time as another person, then that other person is an occupant or a roommate. Read more about the differences between a sublet, an occupant, and a roommate. 

  • Can a landlord stop me from subletting my unit to someone else?

    The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) requires a tenant to get their landlord’s permission to sublet their unit. However, a landlord is not allowed to “arbitrarily” or “unreasonably” stop a tenant from subletting the unit. If a landlord refuses to allow their tenant to sublet their unit, the tenant can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to determine whether the landlord arbitrarily or unreasonably refused to allow them to sublet. 

    If a tenant gives possession of the rental unit to another person without the landlord’s consent, the sublet agreement is not valid at the LTB and the person who has taken possession could be evicted by the landlord.  

    Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing policies normally prevent a tenant from subletting their unit. If an RGI housing provider prohibits subletting, and a tenant sublets their unit anyway, the tenant could be evicted. Tenants who live in RGI housing should consult their housing provider’s policies for more information on subletting. 

  • If I sublet my unit, what are my rights?

    A tenant who sublets their unit is still entitled to all the benefits of their tenancy agreement, and they also still hold all the responsibilities of that agreement with their landlord. The tenant is also responsible to ensure that their subtenant upholds all the responsibilities of the tenancy agreement with the landlord. For example, this means that the tenant is responsible to ensure that the rent is paid to the landlord, and the tenant can apply to evict their subtenant if the subtenant fails to pay the rent.  

  • If I am a subtenant, what are my rights?

    During the subtenancy, the subtenant is entitled to the benefits outlined in the sublet agreement as well as in the RTA. The subtenant is also accountable for any responsibilities described in their sublet agreement that do not conflict with the RTA. Typically, landlords do not have any responsibilities towards the subtenant. However, the landlord continues to have responsibilities towards the tenant when that tenant sublets the rental unit. For example, a landlord should continue to maintain the unit and make repairs during a subtenancy. A subtenant can inform the tenant or the landlord of repairs that are needed. 


Lease assignments

  • What is an assignment of a tenancy?

    A tenant can “assign” their lease to another person. When a lease is assigned to another person, the original lease agreement ends and a new lease agreement begins. The new lease agreement is between the new tenant (or “assignee”) and the landlord. 

    As a result, the original tenant (or “assignor”) will no longer have a right to occupy the unit. The original tenant will not owe any rent that is due after the date that the assignment begins. All of the rights to the unit and the obligations to the landlord become the responsibility of the new tenant. The details of the lease remain the same, including the type of lease (yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, or fixed-term), any included amenities or services, and the amount of rent owed. 

  • How does assigning my lease differ from subletting my unit?

    As noted above, if a tenant chooses to sublet their unit, the lease agreement between the original tenant and the landlord continues. The sublet agreement creates a relationship between the tenant and the subtenant. The tenant becomes the subtenant’s landlord. Often, the subtenant pays rent to the tenant and the tenant pays rent to the landlord. If the subtenant is late paying their rent, the tenant will still owe the landlord that rent. 

    If a tenant chooses to assign their lease, the new tenant’s lease agreement replaces the original tenant’s lease agreement. The original tenant will owe the landlord rent up until the day before the start date of the assigned lease. At the start date of the assigned lease, the new tenant will owe the landlord rent, and the original tenant will not owe any more. Once the new tenant’s lease begins, the original tenant has no remaining rights to the unit. For example, the original tenant cannot move back into the unit at the end of the new tenant’s assigned lease. 

  • How do I assign my lease?

    Section 95 of the RTA describes the rules about lease assignments. 

    A tenant must ask for their landlord’s approval to assign their lease. Usually, the tenant is also responsible for finding a new tenant (the assignee) to take over the lease. However, there are some circumstances where the landlord may want to choose the assignee, for example from their building’s waiting list. 

    It is up to the tenant to decide whether to ask for their landlord’s approval first and then try to find an assignee, or whether to find an assignee first and then ask for the landlord to approve the assignment and the potential assignee at the same time. Keep in mind that a landlord may refuse to allow the lease assignment and/or refuse to approve a particular assignee suggested by the tenant. 

  • What are my options if my landlord refuses to consent to an assignment or does not reply to my request?

    If a landlord refuses to allow a tenant to assign their lease, the tenant may choose to continue living in the unit and keep their original lease agreement. However, if the tenant would still like to move out, they may end their tenancy by giving the landlord an N9 form called “Tenant’s Notice to End the Tenancy”. The tenant must provide this notice within 30 days of the landlord’s refusal, and they must provide the landlord with at least 30 days’ notice before they intend to move out.  

    A landlord has seven days to respond to a tenant’s request to assign their lease. If the landlord has not replied within seven days, the tenant then has 30 days to give the landlord an N9 form to end their tenancy. The tenant must provide the landlord with at least 30 days’ notice before they intend to move out. 

    If a landlord consents to a tenant’s request to assign their lease but does not approve the specific assignee chosen by the tenant, the tenant can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). The landlord is not allowed to “unreasonably” or “arbitrarily” refuse an assignee chosen by the tenant. However, if the landlord has a good reason to refuse the request, the tenant will have to find a different assignee.  

    If the LTB agrees that the landlord “unreasonably” or “arbitrarily” refused to consent to a particular assignee, the LTB may order that the landlord agree to the assignee, that the landlord agree to a different assignment suggested by the tenant, or that the lease agreement between the tenant and landlord be terminated. If a tenant finds themselves in this situation, they should get legal advice about their options. 

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Learn more about Ontario renters’ rights and landlord responsibilities.





While financially supported by The Law Foundation of Ontario, the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights is solely responsible for all content on this page.

Please note: In June 2023, the Government of Ontario passed changes to the laws affecting air conditioners; however, those laws are not yet in force. The information on this page details the current rules related to air conditioning set out in Ontario’s existing laws. This page will be updated once changes to the laws affecting air conditioning are in force. To receive updates, please subscribe to our newsletter.

  • Can I have an air conditioner in my unit?

    Whether or not you can have an air conditioner depends on your lease. Some leases specify the types of air conditioners you can have, extra fees you may be charged, and other requirements, like asking your landlord for permission. Other leases do not specify anything about air conditioners.

    If your lease says something about air conditioners, you are required to follow what your lease says.

    If your lease does not say anything about air conditioners, you are allowed to have one, but you should talk to your landlord about how best to proceed.

    If you are unsure how to approach your landlord, may not have a written lease, or you have any other questions that are not covered in the questions below, contact CCHR for support:

  • My landlord has provided air conditioning but now it isn’t working. Does the law say that they are required to fix it?

    If you rent a place with air conditioning already provided, your landlord is required to maintain or repair that air conditioning at their own cost. An example of this would be if you have central air conditioning or a window unit that was already installed before you moved in.

    Your landlord cannot introduce an additional fee or charge you to fix air conditioning that they provided to you.

    To learn more about your landlord’s duty to make repairs see our FAQ on maintenance in rental housing.

  • I want to buy my own air conditioner for my unit. Can I do that?

    Take a look at your lease. If your lease does not say anything about air conditioners, then your landlord cannot prevent you from using one as long as it can be safely installed and operated, and does not cause any damage or disturb any other tenants.

    Some leases require that the tenant must ask the landlord for permission to install a window air conditioner. Your landlord may be hesitant to allow you to use a window unit as they may want to ensure that it is installed properly and safely. If this is their concern, you could offer to hire a professional to install it or you could offer to use a portable air conditioner, which sits on the floor and does not need to be installed in a window.

    Either way, you should try to get permission to use an air conditioner from your landlord in writing.

  • Can my landlord charge me for air conditioning?

    First, you should review your lease. If you agreed in your lease to pay a fee for air conditioning, then you will have to pay for air conditioning.

    If your lease does not say anything about air conditioning, then your landlord cannot charge you extra for having an air conditioner. You should make sure that your air conditioner is installed safely and does not cause damage or disturb your neighbours.

    If your lease says that you need permission to have an air conditioner, you should talk to your landlord. If electricity (hydro) is included in your rent, your landlord may be able to ask you to pay an extra fee for air conditioning for the months that you would use it. The amount charged to you cannot be more than the actual cost to your landlord and it must be “reasonable.” You and your landlord could agree that the extra charge should only be applied during the months that you use air conditioning, or that it should be spread out over the year.

    Steps to Justice provides this scenario as an example:

    “If you and your landlord agree that an air conditioner will add $30 a month to the landlord’s electric bill, and you will use it for 4 months each year, you could spread the total cost of $120 over the full year by increasing the rent by $10 a month.”

    Either way, make sure you get the agreement with your landlord in writing.

    If you have any additional questions about air conditioning charges, contact CCHR:

  • I live with a disability and need an air conditioner because of my disability. What can I do?

    Under the Ontario Human Rights Code your landlord is obligated to accommodate your disability, which could include permitting you to have an air conditioner. Your landlord is only discharged of their obligation to accommodate your needs if they can demonstrate that making the accommodations you asked for would result in “undue hardship.”

    To do that, your landlord would need to prove that:

    • the costs for making an accommodation would be so high that it would affect the very survival or change the essential nature of their business; and
    • no outside sources of funding are available to assist with the accommodation process; or
    • health and safety risks of making the accommodation would outweigh any benefit of the accommodation itself.

    If you need to request an accommodation, you should give your landlord a written request explaining your need for the accommodation, along with a letter from your doctor explaining why you need air conditioning.

    CCHR has a self-advocacy toolkit that walks tenants through the process of requesting accommodation from their landlord. CCHR also provides assistance to tenants throughout this process, including advocating directly with landlords.

    If you have made a request and you don’t think it has been properly accommodated by your landlord, you can file an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

    For more information about how to pursue an application at the Tribunal, reach out to the Human Rights Legal Support Centre:

If you need help in your housing, we may be able to assist you.

The Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR) provides free, individualized services to renters in Ontario who are facing challenges in their housing.

Learn more about Ontario renters’ rights and landlord responsibilities.





Our collection of printable resources provide basic information about Ontario housing law, human rights in rental housing, and renters’ rights when facing eviction.

Download & print:

We recommend printing a copy of each to keep on hand for quick reference, or to easily share this information with other renters or people in your community.

Printing tip: Each of these resources are 2-page PDFs. If you would like to use only one sheet of paper, follow these instructions to set up your printing preferences.


This printable resource provides information on how Ontario Laws like the Residential Tenancies Act and the Human Rights Code establish certain rights for most renters. This resource is available in several languages.


This printable resource provides information on Human rights in housing based on the Ontario Human Rights Code.


This printable resource provides information on what renters rights are when faced with an eviction and the steps that landlords must follow.


This printable resource provides tips on how tenants can keep a record of interactions they have had with their landlord, in case they need to provide the Landlord and Tenant Board with evidence of their version of events.

Learn the basics of Ontario housing law, tenants’ rights and landlord responsibilities.





As a tenant leader, advocating for tenant communities on the ground will require a fair knowledge of the policies and legal frameworks through which the right to housing is implemented in Canada. This toolbox provides a range of practical resources to support your leadership and advocacy work, with tools to increase your understanding of the right to housing in Canada.  


Knowing your rights and informing your community

Tenant leaders will usually be the first point of contact for impacted communities – with tenants themselves but also politicians, developers, lawyers and housing service providers. A key aspect of your advocacy work will be information: knowing which laws and policies regulate housing and how to best navigate the housing system will go a long way in preparing your claims and providing support to fellow tenants.  


Explore the Toolbox

Inside the toolbox you’ll find:

  • A toolkit on implementing the right to housing in Canada.
  • Resources on a human rights-based approach to housing, empowering communities to claim this right, and how to target your advocacy.
  • Guides on engaging with local, provincial and territorial governments, and how to make a submission to the Federal Housing Advocate

Toolkit:

Resources:

Guides:


Additional resources

The Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR) has an online repository of resources on the right to housing in Canada. Below are some key resources on the right to housing, rental housing and the rights of tenants. 

Housing Laws

Implementing the Right to Housing in Canada: A Responsibility of all Governments

Right to Housing

Implementing the Right to Housing in Canada: Planning and Development Tools

Financialization of Housing

Implementing the Right to Housing in Canada: Renovations and Upgrading

Right to Housing

The National Housing Strategy Act – a Primer

Affordability

Rent control policies across Canada

Evictions

Resources for renters facing eviction


See also: city-specific resources for Calgary, Halifax and Winnipeg


This toolkit offers tenant leaders with a range of practical information to support their advocacy work to claim the right to housing in their communities. It provides an overview of the main principles of the right to housing, Canada’s obligations to implement the right to housing, and policies at different levels of government that can help advance the right to housing. It also outlines what a human rights-based approach to housing can look like, examples of systemic housing issues experienced in Canada, and practical tools that can help tenants mobilize their communities and effectively participate in decision-making processes.  


Highlights include:

  • The right to adequate housing in international and domestic law.
  • A human rights-based approach to housing.
  • Systemic housing issues.
  • Towards rights-based housing policy.
  • Tools for community participation and advocacy.
  • Right to housing leadership in the community.


This toolkit is part of our Tenant Leaders’ Toolbox

Inside the toolbox you’ll find:

  • A toolkit on implementing the right to housing in Canada.
  • Resources on a human rights-based approach to housing, empowering communities to claim this right, and how to target your advocacy.
  • Guides on engaging with local, provincial and territorial governments, and how to make a submission to the Federal Housing Advocate

This resource is designed to help tenant leaders develop inclusive and participatory strategies to engage their community to claim their right to housing. It outlines the key principles for increased participation within tenant communities, building effective leadership, and mobilizing and organizing tenants. It also offers a guide on how to create strategic planning tools such as community action plans, communication plans and advocacy plans. 


Highlights include:

  • Sharing information and knowledge.
  • Increasing meaningful engagement.
  • Developing effective leadership.
  • Mobilizing and organizing tenant communities.
  • Building a community action plan.
  • Supporting policy advocacy through a communication plan.
  • A housing advocacy plan worksheet (download the printable version).

This resource is part of our Tenant Leaders’ Toolbox

Inside the toolbox you’ll find:

  • A toolkit on implementing the right to housing in Canada.
  • Resources on a human rights-based approach to housing, empowering communities to claim this right, and how to target your advocacy.
  • Guides on engaging with local, provincial and territorial governments, and how to make a submission to the Federal Housing Advocate

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Get the latest updates about the right to housing in Canada