As a landlord in Ontario, ensuring that your lease agreement is tenant-friendly and compliant with the law is crucial. The Ontario government provides valuable resources to help landlords understand and complete the Standard Form of Lease, also known as the Ontario standard lease. 

In this guide, we will walk you through the key aspects of the Ontario standard lease agreement in accordance with Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act.

1. What Is The Ontario Standard Lease?

The Ontario standard lease is a legally mandated document for most residential tenancy agreements signed on or after April 30, 2018. It is a vital tool for establishing a clear and fair contract between landlords and tenants. Please note that an updated version of the Ontario standard lease is now available, and it must be used for most new residential tenancy agreements signed on or after March 1, 2021.

The Ontario standard lease covers various aspects of the tenancy, including the parties involved, the rental unit, contact information, the term of the tenancy, rent details, services and utilities, and much more. However, it’s essential to remember that a lease cannot take away any rights or responsibilities granted to either party under the Residential Tenancies Act.


2. What’s Included in the Ontario Standard Lease?


Parties to the Agreement

The lease begins by listing the names of both the landlord(s) and tenant(s) involved in the tenancy.

Rental Unit

This section provides a detailed description of the rental unit, including its address and any parking spaces, if applicable. If the rental unit is in a condominium, it specifies the need to follow the condominium’s rules and bylaws.

Contact Information

The landlord’s address for formal notices is included here. Both parties can agree to receive formal notices by email, but this is subject to the Landlord and Tenant Board’s rules.

Term of Tenancy Agreement

This section specifies the move-in date and the duration of the tenancy, whether it’s a fixed term, monthly, weekly, or daily tenancy.


Details about the total rent, including base rent and any additional charges for services like parking, are outlined here. Information about when rent is due, payment methods, and administrative charges for returned cheques is also included.

Services and Utilities

This section clarifies which services are included in the rent and who is responsible for utilities like electricity, heat, and water.

Rent Discounts

Landlords can offer rent discounts, but tenants must return to paying the total agreed-upon rent once the discount period ends.

Rent Deposit

This section addresses whether a rent deposit is required, its amount, and how it should be handled. Note that a rent deposit cannot be used as a damage deposit.

Key Deposit

This section covers the need for a key deposit, its amount, and proper treatment in accordance with the law.


Landlords and tenants can agree on rules related to smoking within the rental unit. Provincial law prohibits smoking in indoor common areas outside of the rental unit.

Tenants Insurance

Landlords and tenants can agree on whether the tenant must have liability insurance. The tenant is responsible for obtaining contents insurance if desired.

Changes to the Rental Unit

This section explains that tenants need the landlord’s permission for significant changes to the rental unit.

Maintenance and Repairs

The responsibilities of the landlord and tenant concerning maintenance and repairs are detailed here, along with the tenant’s obligation to keep the unit clean.

Assignment and Subletting

Tenants need the landlord’s consent to assign or sublet the unit to another person. Landlords cannot unreasonably withhold their consent.

Additional Terms

Landlords and tenants can add specific terms to the lease agreement, but these must be in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act. Any terms that attempt to take away rights or responsibilities under the act are void.

Changes to This Agreement

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


Both the landlord and tenant(s) involved must sign the lease agreement, and each tenant is responsible for all tenant obligations. Electronic signatures are permissible if both parties agree.


3. Additional Tips


  • Review The Lease Agreement Together

Taking the time to review the lease agreement together with the tenant, whether that be in person or virtually, can eliminate any miscommunications later on. Allowing the tenant to ask any questions before they put pen to paper will minimize any uncomfortable conversations later on down the line.


  • Keep Up To Date With The Latest Local And State Rental Laws

While will always be a trusted resource for both our landlords and renters alike, it is an important responsibility to stay up to date with the official government releases and latest news. You can always research any information related to Ontario laws on the official website.


4. Where Can I Find Additional Information On The Ontario Standard Lease?


Additional information about rights and responsibilities can be found in the multilingual guides provided by the Ontario government and in the appendix of the Ontario standard lease. It’s essential for both landlords and tenants to understand these rights and responsibilities to maintain a harmonious tenancy.

Remember that this information is not legal advice. If you require legal advice regarding your lease agreement or the Residential Tenancies Act, consult with a lawyer.

Creating a tenant-friendly lease agreement is not only a legal requirement but also a way to ensure a positive and transparent landlord-tenant relationship. By following the guidelines set in the Ontario standard lease and being aware of your rights and responsibilities, you can foster a respectful and cooperative living environment for both parties involved.

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