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Housing Problems – More legal information

General information on tenant rights

Read our tip sheet on Tenant Rights When Applying to Rent for information on what landlords can and cannot ask perspective tenants, for information on pets, rent deposits, and more.

Is your landlord allowed to enter your unit without notice?  Can the landlord take pictures of your unit? Read our tip sheet on Tenant Privacy Rights to learn about your rights.

Read our tip sheet, What To Know About Being a Tenant for information about tenancy agreements, deposits, rent increases, moving out, evictions, and more.

A tenancy is considered terminated 30 days after the death of a tenant. Read our tip sheet, What To Do if a Tenant Dies if you lived with a tenant who has recently died to see what your rights are about staying in the unit or what to do about property in the unit if you are a family member of a tenant who has died.

What happens if your landlord passes away? Read our tip sheet on Death of a Landlord.

Getting repairs to your rental unit

If your rental housing needs repairs and your landlord isn’t helping, call your local Property Standards Office. They will inspect your home and may issue a work order to your landlord.

If the landlord is still not doing the repairs you can file a T6 form (Tenant Application about Maintenance) at the Landlord and Tenant Board.  You can call us for help with this.  Steps to Justice also offers a “Guided Pathway” for tenants with maintenance or repair problems, which guides you through and fills out the T6 form, which you can save and print to submit to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing also has information about getting a landlord to do maintenance and repairs.

For public health complaints, including unsafe water, contact your local Health Unit (Hastings Prince Edward Public Health or Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health).

For fire safety information or complaints, contact your local fire department.

The Rental Housing Enforcement Unit has information on how to report offences by the landlord. They also have information on how to file a maintenance complaint if there is no municipal property standards by-law in your area.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation also has information for tenants about how to get emergency repairs and regular repairs.

Have bed bugs? The Canadian Environmental Law Association has a fact sheet for tenants about bed bugs and pesticides.  CALC also has a Bed Bugs Tip Sheet.

Moving back in after repairs or renovations

Tenants have the right to return to their unit when their landlord evicts them for repairs or renovations using a Form N13. Steps to Justice has a tool that can help you prepare a letter to your landlord, telling them that you want to move back when the renovations are done. This must be done BEFORE you move out. The tool also includes a checklist of steps that tenants must take before and after moving out.

Rent arrears or eviction for arrears

If you owe rent to your landlord and have been served with an eviction notice for arrears (N4 notice), please call us right away! Don’t wait for a hearing notice.  You should also check our Financial Resources for Tenants tip sheet to see how you can get help paying off your arrears.  The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario also has a tip sheet, “What to do if you get an N4 notice.”

Steps to Justice has an “eviction solution explorer,” part of their Guided Pathway series, that gives you information on fighting an eviction, and helps you create documents such as letters to send your landlord and a form to make a payment plan.

Problems with other tenants

If another tenant is harassing you or causing other problems that make it difficult for you to enjoy living in your home, see our Guide to Problems with Another Tenant to learn what you can do.

Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)

Their website has information and the forms you need to file an application.  There is a fee to file an application, but you can apply for a waiver of the fee if you are a low-income tenant or landlord.

You can file LTB applications at some ServiceOntario Centres.  Find a local office accepting applications or call the LTB to find out where you can file applications.  In our service area, only the ServiceOntario centres in Belleville and Bancroft accept LTB applications. See our Tip Sheet on Filing Landlord & Tenant Board Forms for more information.

Navigate Tribunals Ontario (LTB) – provides simple, accurate, and plain language information about your legal rights and responsibilities at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Use this online tool to find out what steps you can take to manage your dispute.

Learn more about what happens at the LTB from our tip sheets:

Other websites

Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)

Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) has pamphlets on housing law issuesCLEO Legal Rights on Vimeo also has ASL interpreted videos, like this one from Feb 2021 on Housing and Tenants’ Rights during COVID-19:

Housing and tenants’ rights during COVID-19 – ASL or Gallery View from CLEO Legal Rights on Vimeo.

Steps to Justice

Steps to Justice (from CLEO) has a housing law section and housing law tools and resources, as well as these Guided Pathways for help with common tenant problems:

Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)

The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario is a legal clinic working to protect the interests of low-income tenants in Ontario. They have lots of information including:

Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)

The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation is an organization providing information about human rights in housing.  They have many resources including: