Updated: Aug 4
Are you considering renting a condo in Ontario? Living in a condo has many advantages, including access to great amenities and a sense of community. As a tenant, there are some important things you need to know that may be unique to renting in a condo. For your convenience, our team has put together a quick guide to living in a condo as a tenant, including your top 10 rights and responsibilities!
However, before we jump to the rights and responsibilities that a tenant has in a condo, it's important to understand the relationship that a tenant has with the corporation's leadership (property management and the board of directors).
As rental rates in condominiums continue to grow due to housing affordability and lifestyle considerations, it's incredibly important to understand that the nature of renting in a condo is very different than that of rental buildings or private free-hold homes. This is because condominiums deal with space ownership differently, in addition to having governing documents that all residents - including renters - must abide by.
So, what are these governing documents that all condominium residents must abide by? Good question! First and foremost, the Condominium Act (1998) (also known as "The Act") specifies that owners are responsible to ensure that their tenants comply with the corporation's governing documents (and must provide them with copies of the documents, too). Governing documents include the Declaration, By-Laws, and Rules. Furthermore, when an owner rents their unit, they must notify property management of the rental agreement as well as the renter's contact information within 10 days of signing the agreement with their tenant (S. 83 (1) of the Condo Act).
What's the owner-tenant relationship like in a condo setting? Because renters have a contractual relationship with their landlords (the unit owner), they should treat their landlords as the point-person by going to them first for any concerns they may have about their unit and/or the corporation's common elements. There's a common misconception that tenants can rely on condominium legislation, but, in fact, the relationship between a tenant and landlord is actually governed separately by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.
How does property management's role relate to tenants? A lack of legislation doesn't necessarily mean that a property manager cannot interact with tenants, after all, they're residents, too! Tenants should feel welcome to communicate about some general corporation concerns and issues, or to bring information about emergency matters to the manager's attention (or to other relevant staff and/or board members). It is reasonable for tenants to expect to be treated professionally by property management, so managers must prioritize providing courteous services even if tenants are not technically their "clients". On the flip side, renters must understand the nature of the tenant-management relationship in that property managers service the condominium corporation directly and under the direction of the board of directors, as well as that the corporation and the owner have exclusive obligations towards one another.
Therefore, it's important for tenants to understand that property management under the direction of the board to manage the condominium and has obligations towards the unit owners - but the tenants are governed by separate legislation that limits their contractual relationship to their landlord (the unit owner). Furthermore, while the increase in condo rental demonstrates that living in a condo can be a great experience, legislation clearly shows that it's important to understand the rules and regulations that come with it. Read on for our quick guide to A Tenants Top 10 Rights + Responsibilities When Renting a Condo in Ontario.
By following the below tips, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable living experience in your Ontario condo.
P.S. Want to be the best tenant ever? Go beyond the ins and outs of renting a condo and dive deeper! Stratastic's Resource Library has over 7,500 resources that can help you understand everything there is to know about Condoland.
A Tenant's Top 10 Rights + Responsibilities
When Renting a Condo in Ontario
#1: Know your rights as a tenant: In Ontario, tenants have certain rights under the Residential Tenancies Act. While this is by no means exclusive to condos, it is paramount to understand and be aware of these rights so that you can advocate for yourself if necessary. Familiarize yourself with your rights as a tenant so that you can protect yourself and ensure a positive rental experience.
#2: Understand the additional responsibilities you have as a condo tenant: If a tenant causes disruption to the condo or violates its regulations, they may face problems with the condo, including financial and legal repercussions. Similarly, if a tenant damages the common areas, they may be ultimately responsible for the cost of repairs or replacements (should the landlord attempt to recover the costs charged by the condo).
It is vital to understand that a tenants negative actions can also have a negative impact on the landlord: if a tenant’s actions result in complaints or violations, it consequently also reflects poorly on the landlord and can lead to strained relationships between them and the condo corporation… which may ultimately impact the tenant’s ability to renew their lease (or even lead to an eviction!).
Understanding and following the tips below can help tenants prevent problems with their landlord and the condo, so keep reading for more rights and responsibilities that tenants have in Ontario’s condos!
#3: Understand the Condo Corporation's Rules and Regulations: As a tenant, you will be subject to the condo corporation's rules and regulations. Make sure you read and understand them before signing a lease. Some common rules include restrictions on noise levels, use of common areas, and the number of guests you can have.
#4: Get to Know Your Neighbours: Living in a condo means sharing common spaces with your neighbours. Take the time to introduce yourself and get to know your neighbours. Building a good relationship with them can make living in a condo much more enjoyable.
#5: Report Maintenance Issues Promptly: If you notice any maintenance issues in your unit or the common areas, report them to the property manager or landlord promptly. Waiting too long to report issues can lead to bigger problems down the road.
#6: Follow Proper Waste Disposal Procedures: Condos often have specific waste disposal procedures in place, such as designated areas for recycling and garbage. Make sure you follow these procedures to keep the building clean and safe for everyone.
#7: Be Mindful of Noise Levels: Living in close proximity to other people means you need to be mindful of noise levels. Avoid playing loud music or making excessive noise, especially late at night or early in the morning.
#8: Understand Insurance Coverage: As a tenant, you should consider getting tenant insurance to protect your personal belongings. However, it's important to understand what insurance coverage is provided by the condo corporation and what you are responsible for.
#9: Take Advantage of Amenities: One of the great benefits of living in a condo is access to amenities such as a gym, pool, or party room. Make sure you know what amenities are available to you as a tenant and take advantage of them.
#10: The Responsibility to Register with Stratastic: Stratastic is a platform designed to help condo owners and boards manage their condo communities. By registering with Stratastic, you can stay up-to-date on important condo news, access tons of convenient and exclusive features, and become part of our collective condo community! Join us now!
Tags: Condo living, condo rentals, Ontario Condos, tenant rights, tenant responsibilities, residential tenancies act, condo corporation, amenities, maintenance, waste disposal, noise levels, insurance, Stratastic, community living, building relationships, property management, rental experience, landlord-tenant relations, legal responsibilities, financial responsibilities.