This information is not legal advice. Talk to a lawyer if you need legal advice on the lease or the act.

About the standard lease

The standard lease is required for most residential tenancy agreements signed on or after April 30, 2018.

Update: The standard lease has changed and an updated version is now available. Until February 28, 2021, a landlord and tenant may use the old or updated version of the standard lease. For most new residential tenancy agreements signed on or after March 1, 2021, you must use the updated standard lease.

When complete, the standard lease creates a contract between the landlord and tenant. It is also called a residential tenancy agreement.

The standard lease does not apply to care homes, sites in mobile home parks and land lease communities, most social and supportive housing, certain other special tenancies and co-operative housing.

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, everyone has the right to equal treatment in housing without discrimination or harassment.

A lease cannot take away a right or responsibility under the Residential Tenancies Act (the act)

If you have questions

The Landlord and Tenant Board provides information about landlords and tenants rights and responsibilities under the act (available in English or French). You can contact them Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by calling:

What is in the standard lease

1. Parties to the agreement

This section has the names of the landlord(s) and tenant(s) who are agreeing to the tenancy.

2. Rental unit

This section describes the rental unit that is being rented and address.

The number of parking spaces if any and their location is also described in this section.

If the rental unit is in a condominium:

  • it should be indicated in this section
  • the tenant is also agreeing to follow the condominium declaration, bylaws, and rules that are provided by the landlord

3. Contact information

This section has the landlord’s address where notices must be sent. If a tenant needs to give a formal notice to the landlord, it should be delivered to this address.

This section also allows the landlord and tenant to agree to receive formal notices by e-mail, and includes a space for both the landlord and the tenant e-mail addresses. Formal notices can only be given by e-mail where allowed by the Landlord and Tenant Board’s rules. You can contact the Landlord and Tenant Board to find out which notices can be sent electronically.

This section also includes a place for the landlord to provide additional contact information for emergencies or day-to-day communication.

4. Term of tenancy agreement

This section has the date that the tenant will have the right to move into the rental unit and the length of time (term) of the tenancy.

The end of an agreement does not mean the tenant has to move out or sign a renewal or new agreement in order to stay. The rules of the agreement will still apply and the tenant still has the right to stay:

  • as a monthly tenant, if the agreement was for a fixed term or monthly tenancy,
  • as a weekly tenant, if the agreement was for a weekly tenancy, or
  • as a daily tenant, if the agreement was for daily tenancy.

5. Rent

This section sets out the total rent (also called the lawful rent).

The total rent is the total of the amounts listed in sub-section 5(b) which includes:

  • the base rent for the rental unit
  • any separate charges for parking or other services, such as a storage locker or air conditioning, that the landlord provides to the tenant

Any future rent increase will be based on the total rent in sub-section 5(b).

This section also includes when rent must be paid, to whom it must be paid, what methods will be used for payment, and any administrative charges for cheques returned by a financial institution.

6. Services and utilities

This section sets out what services are included or not included in the total rent (lawful rent). This includes both services that are included in the base rent in sub-section 5(a), and services for which the landlord has set out a separate charge in sub-section 5(b) of the standard lease.

In some cases, a landlord and tenant can later agree to add other services in exchange for a rent increase. For example, a landlord and tenant may agree to a seasonal rent increase for additional services of air conditioning or a block heater plug-in, so the tenant can heat up their car engine on cold winter days.

In this section, the landlord and tenant also agree on who is responsible for utilities (electricity, heat, water) at the rental unit.

7. Rent discounts

This section allows a landlord to offer a rent discount.

After the rent discount ends, the tenant must pay the total rent (lawful rent) agreed to in section 5, plus any lawful increases.

8. Rent deposit

In this section, the landlord and tenant agree whether a rent deposit is required, and the amount. The law limits the amount and how it is to be treated. A rent deposit cannot be used as a damage deposit.

9. Key deposit

In this section, the landlord and tenant agree whether a key deposit is required, and the amount. The law limits the amount and how it is to be treated.

10. Smoking

Under provincial law, smoking is not allowed in any indoor common areas of the building outside of the rental unit. In this section, a landlord and tenant can agree to rules about smoking in the rental unit.

11. Tenants insurance

In this section, a landlord and tenant can agree whether the tenant must have liability insurance. If the landlord asks for proof of coverage, the tenant must provide it.

It is up to the tenant to get contents insurance if they want it.

12. Changes to the rental unit

This section explains that the tenant can install decorative items, such as pictures or window coverings, but that they must have the landlord’s permission to make other changes to the rental unit.

This section cannot be changed. If the landlord and tenant wish to agree to additional details, these can be written out as additional terms in section 15.

13. Maintenance and repairs

This section explains that the landlord must maintain the rental unit and property, but the tenant must repair or pay for any undue damage caused by the tenant or their guests.

The tenant is responsible for keeping the unit clean, unless the landlord agreed to do so.

This section cannot be changed. If the landlord and tenant wish to agree to additional details, these can be written out as additional terms in section 15.

14. Assignment and subletting

This section explains that the tenant needs the landlord’s permission to assign or sublet the unit to someone else, and that the landlord cannot arbitrarily or unreasonably withhold consent.

This section cannot be changed. If the landlord and tenant wish to agree to additional details, these can be written out as additional terms in section 15.

15. Additional terms

The landlord and tenant can agree to additional terms that are specific to the tenancy. If agreed to, these additional rules or terms must be attached to the lease agreement.

These additional terms should be written in plain language and clearly set out what the landlord or tenant must or must not do to comply with the term. If typed, the additional terms should be in a font size that is at least 10 points.

Additional terms may set out rules that are very specific to the rental unit or property, such as rules about the use of common spaces or amenities.

Any extra term which attempts to take away a right or responsibility under the act is void (not valid or legally binding) and cannot be enforced. Some examples of void and unenforceable terms include those that:

  • do not allow pets (however, the landlord can require the tenant to comply with condominium rules, which may prohibit certain pets)
  • do not allow guests, roommates, any additional occupants
  • require the tenant to pay deposits, fees or penalties that are not permitted under the act (e.g., damage or pet deposits, interest on rent arrears)
  • require the tenant to pay for all or part of the repairs that are the responsibility of the landlord

The landlord and tenant may want to get legal advice before agreeing to any additional terms.

16. Changes to this agreement

This section explains that any changes to the agreement must be agreed to in writing.

17. Signatures

In this section, the landlord and the tenant indicate that they agree to follow the terms of the agreement. If there is more than one tenant, each tenant is responsible for all tenant obligations, including the full amount of rent.

All landlords and tenants listed in section one (parties to the agreement) must sign this section. The landlord(s) or tenant(s) can sign the lease electronically if they both agree. The landlord must give a copy of the agreement to the tenant within 21 days after the tenant signs it.

Landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities

Some additional information about your rights and responsibilities (such as maintenance and repairs are included in the multilingual guides and in the appendix of the standard lease.

Guide to the standard lease in other languages

Updated: November 26, 2021
Published: April 30, 2018