Landlord and tenant relations

Whether you are looking to sign a rental agreement or to work out a problem with a landlord, it's important that you first know about the landlord and tenant regulations where you live.

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Rental agreements

A rental agreement —also called a lease— is a contract between a landlord and a tenant. This legal document lets you live in a home (e.g., apartment, condominium or house) for which you will have to pay rent. A written rental agreement is an official record of what you and the landlord agree to. If there’s a dispute later, the rental agreement may help to settle it.

For more information on what your lease should include, check out the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s (FCAC) page Renting your first apartment or house.

Landlord and tenant regulations

Landlord and tenant regulations vary across Canada. Different government departments or ministries, in each province and territory, oversee these laws.

Before you sign a lease, contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office for information on the landlord and tenant legislation where you live.

Consult the I Want to Rent page on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) website for information on landlord and tenant exchanges like signing a lease, getting a record check and making payments.

Tenant privacy rights

In order to make a decision on whether or not to rent you a property, a prospective landlord may ask for some personal information to allow them to complete a credit check. In Canada, landlords must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). It defines the ground rules for how businesses, including landlords, must handle personal information in the course of commercial activity. Under this Act, a prospective landlord must have your consent to share your personal information with any third-party, such as a credit reporting agency, for a credit check.

To learn more about your privacy rights when renting, check out the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) information on Landlords and tenants.

Tenant complaints

If you encounter issues when renting a home, you must take the proper measures to inform your landlord or the appropriate rental authorities.

Consult CMHC's advice on Complaints & evictions to learn how to deal with problems relating to repairs, tenancy and more. Additionally, you can check with your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office for more information on dispute resolution for tenant and landlord issues.

Trusted consumer information

Published by the Consumer Measures Committee, a working group of federal, provincial and territorial governments, that helps educate and inform Canadian consumers.