Landlords have many things to be concerned about, including possible legal challenges with their tenants. Ontario landlords can take certain precautions to put themselves in a better position should landlord and tenant issues end up in court.
While there are endless reasons these two parties could face a legal battle, both should be aware of the most common reasons tenants sue landlords.
There are many laws in Ontario that prevent certain clauses from being placed on a lease. One of the most common landlord and tenant issues occurs when illegal clauses are in the lease, so it is a good idea to have a paralegal or lawyer review a rental agreement before presenting it to a tenant. Municipal laws may also govern certain aspects of the lease, so reviewing local and provincial laws is critical.
Another common issue that results in tenant lawsuits is illegally entering a unit. Landlords should give proper notice to enter a unit unless there is an emergency. Issues can also result from placing tenants in units that are uninhabitable, such as those with mold, lead paint or no running water. Landlords should conduct a pre-move-in inspection and keep records of any complaints made by tenants as well as resolution of these issues.
Landlords should take steps early on to avoid lawsuits and comply with local and provincial laws. They should also protect themselves from landlord and tenant issues by taking photos, saving emails and having a paralegal or lawyer review contracts. Landlords and tenants who are involved in a lawsuit should contact an experienced paralegal.
Source: landlordology.com, "Avoid a lawsuit: top 4 reasons tenants sue their landlords", Sarah Block, Dec. 27, 2017