Residential Tenancy Agreement in Ontario

How to fill out a residential tenancy agreement in Ontario?

OREA Form 400 is used by a rental agent and it will be mirrored in the standard form after the landlord agrees to accept the rental offer. This rental contract of Form 400 addresses most of the areas that need to be filled out in the residential tenancy agreement.

To Tenants

Types of houses to rent

Freehold Houses: Freehold houses include detached houses, bungalows, semi detached houses. By paying the similar rent, tenants would get a larger space and privacy compared to Condo, but your rental location would be less premium than that of a Condo. You also need to pay all the utilities.

Basement Apartment: To relieve the housing cost burden, many homeowners in Ontario would convert their basement into apartments to rent. The cost of a basement apartment is fairly cheaper but you may suffer from the noise above grade. The lack of sunlight and humidity may also be a problem.  

Condo: The location, amenities, and lifestyle of the condo attract some type of tenant. But you have to pay for the convenience. Some of the unities are covered by the condo building.

Multi Units Building and  Apartment (owned by a company instead of the individual owner of a condo) are the alternative options for you to choose.

How to find a rental property

You can search online classified advertisements like Kijiji, some specific websites focused on, and from MLS listing. You can do it on your own or get assistance from rental realtors. 

How much do real estate agents charge to find a rental in Ontario?

The commission to a rental agent is paid by the landlord. Commonly, the realtor fees are equivalent to one month’s rent. Both the agent working with the landlord or the tenants share it evenly.

How to rent a condo or a house?

The landlords are heavily regulated by the residential tenant act, and thus very cautious on selecting tenants. You would need to prepare the following in advance

  • Have your deposit immediately ready, a certified check with the amount that equals the first and last month’s rent.
  • The landlord may conduct a rental reference check.
  • Financial proof: Employment letter preferably, and any other documentation showing your financial affordability. 
  • Credit Check:  You would order a credit report through Equifax, or get a free credit score summary from your bank. But some landlords prefer the detailed report.


  • The rental cost in Toronto and its neighboring cities is high, you can use the rented out price as a comparable to determine whether you want to proceed.
  • You may need to be flexible and make a quick decision once you find a good place to rent, the market is moving fast.

Tenant Service Plan

  • Refund the full commission from the landlord, commonly at 1/2 month's rent
  • $150 per viewing, $50 every half an hour for additional viewing on the same trip. 
  • $150 for preparing lease agreement per property. Negotiation and agreement change are included 
  • $ 600 if the offer is accepted, deductible from the commission rebate

If you want to buy a house instead, please review our valued cashback plan.

To Landlord

How to find tenants

You can advertise your rental property on websites like Kijiji, specific-purpose websites, and social media. You can also hire a rental realtor to post your house in MLS listing and let the renting agent handle the viewing, negotiation, etc. The realtor charge is one month’s rent including both the agent working for you and the agent bringing a tenant.

How to choose the right tenant

From the tenant application, you certainly would scrutinize all the forms and supporting documents. You then make a necessary check to screen out the suspicious tenants and clear off your concerns. Any overlook may cause you a lot of future troubles since the tenant act in practice puts you in a more vulnerable position.

Before the key delivery

Before you hand out your key to the tenant, you would ensure that the tenant has applied for the utility account and has a home rental insurance slip with the effective day as the rental starting date. 

If you want to sell a house instead, please review our valued realtor charge plan.

Common knowledge to both tenants and landlord

When is the time to rent or rent out

In the current rental market in Toronto, the rental property comes to the market commonly 2 months before it is available.  It may be a timeline for both landlord and tenant to adjust their schedule accordingly.

Cost of rent in Toronto

The average one-bedroom condominium apartment rent was $2,060 in Q3 2021. 

The average two-bedroom condominium apartment rent was $2,773 in Q3 2021

This is for reference only, the actual rent is variable on the area, location, house type, feature, home condition, the market demand, the landlord motivation, etc. 

Can a landlord sell a rental property?

A landlord can certainly sell their property, but there are a few rules that the landlord has to comply with. In general, the landlord needs to ensure the new buyer takes on the remaining lease. There is more description of the different situations in the tenant act.

Ontario rental increase

Rental increase is regulated by the Government of Ontario, which is roughly close to the inflation rate. For example, there is no rental increase in 2021 for most properties due to the Covid 19. 

Regulations on tenants and landlord

You can refer to Appendix: General Information on this Residential Tenancy Agreement in Ontario for all the relevant topics on the Rental increase, deposit, ending the tenancy, pets, smoking, etc.