urge you, as a resident, or prospective resident, to
read this lease guide. It is always better to be an
informed resident than to make a mistake and learn afterward
about the law. These guidelines may vary from povince
to province and depend on the exact wording of your
ADVICE ON DOCUMENTATION
You should keep a file of all papers, notes, and
receipts relating toy our tenancy, including your lease,
canceled checks, and letters from or to your landlord.
You should also document any steps or actions you take
when you are involved in some kind of dispute or when
you are seeking some kind of agreement.
AND UNDERSTAND YOUR LEASE
A lease is a legally binding contract between a landlord
and a tenant that grants one party possession and use
of another party's property for a given period of time.
The lease is the basis of the landlord-tenant relationship
and sets forth the terms of possession, such as rent,
length of time of possession, and rules governing the
Before entering into a rental agreement (whether oral
or written), make sure you understand everything you
are promising. As soon as the lease is signed, it is
enforceable, even if the tenant never moves in.
The Lease And Understand It -- If you do not understand
a clause, ask management to explain it to you.
The Lease Term -- Leases usually have a one-year
term. If you plan on moving sooner, contact management
as soon as possible. Unless the landlord releases you
from your lease, you are obligated for the entire lease
period. You MAY NOT sublet your house, or allow anyone
else to live in your house other than you and the family/household
members listed in your lease.
Who Is Responsible For Repairs -- The landlord has
to make repairs BUT the landlord may make you pay for
repairs which you caused by your own (or your visitor's)
You will be given a copy of your written and fully
executed lease when you sign your lease.
Remember, the lease is an agreement that legally
binds both parties to the terms of the lease. Before
signing a lease, read it and make sure you understand
everything. Leases are often written in confusing language,
so make sure management explains everything you do not
to Check in Your Lease
Dates of Tenancy -- The beginning and ending
dates of your tenancy show the lease period during which
you've the right to possess the premises and the obligation
to fulfill all the conditions of your lease.
Rental Payments -- The amount of rent and its
due date is clearly specified. Rent is due on or before
its due date each month. There is a grace period. After
that you may have to pay late fees. If you do not pay
your rent (without making arrangements with management)
you can be evicted.
Rent Increase -- A tenant is protected from rent
increases only if a your lease provides for a fixed
rent or a specific rental period.
Security Deposit -- The specific amount required
for the security deposit (also termed damage deposit,
cleaning deposit, and pet deposit) should be clearly
stated, as well as any conditions for its return.
The landlord must return the deposit after the end of
the lease term. If you have a pet, you may pay an additional
"pet" security deposit.
Repairs -- Perhaps the most important point to
examine in a lease and discuss with the landlord is
the responsibility for repairs. The landlord is responsible
for repairs -- large or small, unless caused by the
negligence of the tenant (or his/her guests).
Move-In Condition -- When you sign your lease,
you accept the premises "AS IS," meaning in
their present condition. Your house should be clean
and in good order and repair at the time you sign.
and management may inspect your new house before you
sign your lease, and complete a move-in check list,
which you both sign.
you move out, you and management will use this checklist
to inspect the house before you move out.
for Cleaning -- Your house should be clean when
you move in. You will be required to keep the house
in clean condition while you live in the premises.
Areas and Yard Work -- Management is responsible
for the maintenance of common areas and yard work and
for trash and snow removal. You are responsible for
removing trash and garbage from your house and disposing
of it in the appropriate trash area.
-- Will you be paying for the utilities for the lights
and cooking gas in your house?
must arrange with the utility company for service before
you movein. The utility company can give you an estimate
of the cost of utilities.
Notice -- Your lease may state that you must give
30 days written notice of your intent to vacate. If
you fail to give notice, and move out, your lease contains
a clause which stipulates that you are responsible for
an additional month. Make sure you understand and follow
the amount of written notice you will be required to
give before ending your tenancy.
Access -- Your lease allows management to enter
your house at any time, in the event of emergency, and
with your prior consent, for repairs and maintenance
and other specified reasons. Your right to privacy is
protected under your lease.
you must cooperate with management to allow management
to enter to make repairs or inspections, or to show
the premises to prospective renters or buyers. Management
must give you reasonable notice and obtain your consent
prior to entry, except in cases of emergency.
-- Most state's law allows the landlord to withhold
from the security deposit actual costs for cleaning
or deterioration over and above normal wear and tear
and for "cleaning contracted for by the tenant.
You are responsible for leaving your house as clean
as when you moved in when you move out.
or Assignment Clause -- If your lease states that
subletting or assignment ARE NOT allowed, only you and
the members or your family/household who are certified
and listed on your lease may live in your house.
Rules -- Your lease may include rules of behavior
such as pet rules and quiet after 10:00 p.m. You may
also be provided the House Rules, Police and / or Procedures.
If the rules change management should provide the changes
sure you read and understand the House Rules, especially
those dealing with guests, security and time restrictions,
so that you will be aware in advance.
Management must give proper written notification
in order to raise the rent for the next lease period.
You will be expected to pay the increase beginning with
your new lease period.
Change or Renew Your Lease
If you need to change your lease during the one-year
term, you must meet with management, and rewrite or
delete certain clauses in your lease. Any changes are
invalid unless agreed to by both parties.Both you and
your landlord may initial and date the change. Keep
a copy of the revised lease for your records.
Be sure you read and understand your lease amendment,
and keep a copy for your records.
from Your Lease
If you have to move before the end of your lease
term, you and your landlord must agree to release you
from your lease. If you end your lease properly, in
accordance with the provisions of your lease, the landlord
will remove your name from the lease or will void your
lease and would enter into a new lease agreement with
the new tenant. This will end your liability for future
rent or damages.
The landlord will return your security deposit to you,
and will collect a new security deposit from the new
tenant. This is the safest and clearest arrangement
The landlord may deduct from the deposit for the
unpaid rent or utility bills owed by the tenant.
for damages to the premises beyond "normal wear
and tear" ("Normal wear and tear" is
that deterioration which occurs based upon the use
for which the rental unit is intended, without negligence,
carelessness, accident, or abuse of the premises or
equipment or chattels by the tenant or members of
his household or their invitees or guests).
other breach of the lease causing financial damage
to the landlord.
of Your Security Deposit
If you have fulfilled all the terms of the lease
(including giving the landlord proper notice, if required),
have paid the rent in full and on time, and have left
no financial obligation to the landlord, and have left
your apartment in the same condition as when you moved
in, minus "normal wear and tear," you are
entitled to a full return of the security deposit. The
tenant should either collect the security deposit in
person or leave a forwarding address with the landlord
so that the landlord can return the deposit.
A landlord may not discriminate against you on the
basis of "race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation,
age, marital status, religion, national origin, ancestry,
pregnancy, parenthood, custody of a minor child, or
mental or physical disability of the individual or such
individual's friends or associates. . . .". In
buildings development especially for certain populations-
such as elderly and handicapped, and/or low income families/households,
the law allows landlords to restrict residency within
the government specified guidelines for those homes.
law prohibits denial of housing to an (eligible) individual,
charging different (than certified) rents or deposits,
requiring different lengths of lease, or establishing
different lease conditions, on the basis of the above
listed categories in.
also includes racial, ethnic, religious or sexual harassment,
and evicting under standards not applied to tenants
of another race, national origin, etc. "Steering"
is likewise illegal, i.e., showing minorities, foreigners,
the handicapped or families with children some homes
but not others, or putting them in another home.
federal laws, there are special requirements for the
handicapped. A tenant may not be refused or treated
differently because he/she uses a wheelchair or a walker,
and landlords may not refuse or charge any deposit for
a guide or service dog.
must also make reasonable accommodations in rules, practices,
policies and procedures to accommodate the handicapped,
(such as reserved parking near the entrance). In houses
designed for the mobility impaired, structural changes
are made to enable the handicapped tenant full enjoyment
of the premises.
addition, the law requires that landlords must also
allow handicapped tenants, at the tenant's own expense,
to make reasonable structural changes to thehouse, (such
as widening a door or installing grab bars), if the
change is necessary to give the handicapped tenant full
enjoyment of the premises.