Rent is perhaps the most important concept to understand when signing onto a tenancy agreement. Once you’ve signed a lease you are legally obligated to pay rent according to the terms of the contract. That may seem simple, but there are a few aspects of rent payments that must be understood.
Rent only covers that which is agreed to: your landlord is only obligated to provide you with services that are agreed to in the contract. Make sure that if you have been told that utilities are included, that it is stated on the contract prior to signing. Other services to keep in mind of what rent does or does not cover may include: parking, cable, heat, electricity, hydro, air conditioning units, or central air. It is not necessarily a loss if any of these aspects are not included in your rent; it simply means that for access to them you will be charged an extra fee. If utilities are not included in your rent, it also gives you the opportunity to control the amount of utilities you use, potentially saving you money if you conserve.
Rent price is set in the contract: agreement on price between the landlord and tenant is set in the contract. Ensure that the price you’ve agreed to verbally is the same price written in the rental contract.
Rent Deposits are common: most, if not all, landlords or rental companies will ask for a rent deposit. This deposit can be no more than the cost of one month’s rent (or one week’s rent if rent is paid weekly.) This deposit may only be used as last months (or week’s) payment. If rent is raised at any point, the landlord may ask you to supplement the deposit to that amount. The landlord is also obligated to pay tenants interested on their deposit every year.
Payment method is also subject to agreement between tenant and landlord. This payment method must be agreed upon by the landlord and tenant, and cannot be changed unless both parties approve the change. Though a landlord can offer to accept payment via post-dated cheques or automatic payments, they cannot require tenants to pay via those methods.
Rent receipts only upon request. Landlords are only obligated to a provide rent receipt if the tenant requests one, these receipts cannot be charged for.
We previously went over certain aspects of rent that tenants should be aware of including: how rent price is set, what services it covers, payment methods, rent deposits, and rent receipts. Another aspect of renting that tenants should be aware of is the fact that a rent can change if circumstances permit.
Tenants should be aware of the following:
Rent can increase. A landlord can increase rent, but usually only after a tenant has been living in the residence for a period of 12 months. The landlord must first give written 90-day notice to the tenant. Rent increases can occur in the following situations:
– Yearly increase set by the Ontario Government. The Landlord and Tenant act must approve any increase beyond that unless agreed upon between the landlord and tenant.
– Significant increase in municipal taxes, charges, or utilities has occurred.
– Major repairs or renovations have been done.
Rent can be reduced. There are certain situations where the landlord is required to decrease rent. This includes situations where utility costs have gone down significantly or municipal property tax is reduced by more than the prescribed percentage.
After finding some low income apartments for rent that you like, you should check out each one of them. Weigh the pros and cons of each one. This will be a chance for you to gather information about the low income apartments for rent, such as the services that they offer.
When going through and looking at the inside of the low income apartments for rent for rent, point out all the problems and have it recorded. Tell the staff to get it fixed before you rent the place.
You may have to wait on the wait list for a low income apartment. This is because some places have a lot of people that want low income apartments for rent but there are not enough. In this situation, be prepared to wait up to a year before you move into your low income apartment.
Tenants can apply for rent reductions: this usually occurs if municipal taxes or charges on the property decrease, when a landlord removes a service that was previously provided, or the conditions upon which a landlord increased rent above the guideline are not met.