Renting an apartment or house is a large responsibility; a lease is a legal document.
It is important to ask a lot of questions of a landlord/property manager and about the property itself before you sign a lease.
Prepare a list of questions before you tour a rental and sign a lease.
Is the property licensed with the City of Peterborough?
- The City of Peterborough, under By-Law 17-067, requires rental units of four bedrooms or more to obtain a business license. Properties that are licensed are inspected by a By-law Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector and a Fire Prevention Officer. More information about By-Law 17-067 can be found at http://www.peterborough.ca/Assets/City+Assets/Forms/Licensed+Rental+Premises/Licences+Rental+Premises+By-law+17-067.pdf
Who is responsible if something in the apartment breaks?
Who shovels the driveway/walkway and who cuts the lawn?
Who is responsible for curtains and/or blinds?
Can I paint the walls? Can I hang pictures?
How many smoke/CO detectors are in the unit? How often are the batteries changed?
Tips when you are touring a property
Take a good look around the unit. It is okay to open cupboards, look in the basement.
Run the water to check the water pressure – run the water at the sink and flush the toilet at the same time – this is to make sure the water pressure doesn't drop dramatically if someone starts a load of laundry or flushes a toilet while someone is in the shower.
If the current tenants are home during the showing, ask them questions, such as;
- How long have they lived at the property.
- How quickly does the landlord respond to questions?
- If something breaks how quickly does it get repaired?
Try and look past a messy house/apartment. A landlord is not in control of how neat or clean a tenant is. The unit should be cleaned by the landlord or a company at their expense before you start your tenancy.
Don’t feel pressure to sign a lease on the spot. If you’re not sure about the rental, take a day to think about it. You can always ask to see the property again.
In accordance with the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario (http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/faqs/#faq3) “A landlord can collect a rent deposit if it is requested on or before the day that the landlord and tenant enter into the tenancy agreement. The rent deposit cannot be more than one month's rent or the rent for one rental period, whichever is less. The rent deposit must be used for the rent for the last month before the tenancy ends. It cannot be used for anything else, such as to pay for damages. ”
In accordance with the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario “A landlord cannot collect a damage deposit that they would use if there is damage done to the unit. Also, a landlord cannot use the last month’s rent deposit to cover damages in the unit. “ This means that you are not required to pay a Damage or Security deposit of any kind.
As of April 30, 2018 landlords must use the Ontario Standard Lease. Information on the Ontario Standard Lease can be found at http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page18704.aspx