This guide contains a list of ways for you to take the upper hand over your landlord. These are little-known, legal secrets that can help you when you fell like you are being pushed around by your landlord.
Interest on Last Month’s Rent Deposit
Remember that deposit cheque you made out for your last month’s rent? Do you think it’s a little strange that the landlord just gets to use that money for 11 months? As it turns out, the landlord must pay you interest on the last month’s rent deposit. The interest rate changes annually, but currently (2010) it’s at around 1.7%. So if you pay $400 a month, your landlord is legally obligated to give you $6.23 at the beginning of that last month. If you like math… that’s $400 x 0.017 / (11/12).
The concept of paying the last month’s rent upfront seems at first like it might be a scam in favor of the landlord. As it turns out, this deposit provides protection to the tenant – the fact that you have paid this deposit makes it much harder for a landlord to kick you out prematurely.
24 Hours Notice Before Showing
In most states and provinces (Ontario for sure) your landlord is required by law to give you 24 hours notice before showing the residence that you are renting. This is especially prevalent in student housing where landlords frequently take advantage of students by giving them only a few hours notice (or none at all) before showing the residence to groups of students looking to rent the house/apartment the next year. If your landlord tries to swindle you into having your home shown without 24 hours notice, you have every right to deny him/her entry to the residence.
Eviction due to Smoking / Pets
In Ontario, renting a house always brings to mind. “Are we allowed to have pets?” The answer is YES! Unless there is a clause in your lease agreement clearly not permitting pets within the residence (which technically isn’t even enough to keep you from doing it), pets are okay to have. The only real issue that can be justified is that if the pet is causing damages or disturbing tenants, which is the only justifiable reason for eviction in this case. Same of which goes for smoking within your residence, as long as it’s not disturbing other tenants, burning the carpets, or illegal substances!