Producers who rent out farmhouses may have to use a new lease template
By Kaitlynn Anderson
Ontario producers who rent out farm dwellings may be unaware of a new provincial requirement.
The government implemented a new residential lease structure earlier this year.
The document contains language to ensure “landlords and renters understand their rights and responsibilities,” the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website states. The new structure could also prevent misunderstandings between the two parties.
Whether farmers are renting out secondary units, like basement apartments, or entire houses, they may need to adopt this new template, which applies to leases beginning on or after April 30 this year.
If renters have signed non-standard agreements since that date, they can submit a written request to their landlord for new leases, the website states. Landlords must meet this requirement within 21 days or their tenants could temporarily withhold rent for one month.
Parties who signed agreements before April 30 can only switch to the new standard template if they “negotiate a new lease agreement with new terms on or after this date,” the website states.
Some individuals may be exempt from this new standard lease. The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) may not apply to parties in situations where, for example:
- The tenant’s accommodation “is conditional upon … continuing to be employed on a farm,” section 5 (b) of the RTA states. This exemption applies whether the individual lives on that farm or on another property.
- The renter lives with the owners or the owners’ immediate family members, and must share bathroom or kitchen facilities with them, section 5 (i) states.
- A tenant occupies a building for both living accommodation and business or agricultural purposes, section 5 (j) states. The lease must include both uses.
Farmers can benefit from the new lease structure, as they can work from a template rather than writing the entire document.
The new form “is very comprehensive and intuitive,” Nathan Kolomaya, a lawyer with Brimage Law Group in Simcoe, Ont., told Farms.com today. “The step-by-step (process) is well laid out.”
You can download the standard lease template on the Ontario government website.
To learn more about these agreements, parties can contact their lawyers or the Landlord and Tenant Board at 1-888-332-3234.
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