It isn’t easy to avoid problems in a new tenancy but please keep these things in mind when drawing up an agreement.
In an ideal world, landlords would screen prospective tenants thoroughly, communicate well and operate their businesses professionally. The end result would be solid landlord-tenant relationships founded on mutual respect.
London Ontario lawyer Joe Hoffer says it’s important for landlords to keep the relationship on a professional, formal level and not try to become the tenant’s friend. Many landlords fail to screen applicants properly and will often rent to someone because they feel sorry for them. To help the tenant financially sometimes landlord’s will try to create private lease agreements that add various items in exchange for lower rent. But lease agreements that are drafted by the landlord can create substantial problems for both the tenant and the landlord. Because the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) can provide direction for resolving disputes only when proper documentation is used and there is consistency in the interpretation of the rules. Disputes and debate often arises when landlords and tenants add clauses to their leases making them hard to interpret. One of the worst alterations to leases are when landlords try to help the tenant by lower the rent in exchange for the tenants agreeing to perform maintenance duties. The RTA is unable to support the language of such a document and if the tenant fails to do the work there will be no recourse for the landlord.