Renting a Condominium
The following information is from the Condominium Authority of Ontario. For complete and updated information please visit the CAO website.
Renting out a condo vs. an apartment
Condominiums and apartments may look the same, and to landlords and tenants, there are similarities, but also important differences too.
With an apartment, the landlord is the owner of the building. With a condo, the landlord is the unit owner. Tenants are people who, through a lease agreement, pay rent to a landlord and have the right to occupy a rental unit.
What legislation applies?
The relationship between all landlords and tenants is governed by the Residential Tenancy Act, 2006 (RTA). That's true for condo and apartment landlords. The legislation covers the leasing agreement.
In a condo building (but not an apartment) the Condominium Act, 1998 applies too. Landlords must ensure that their tenants have a copy of and adhere to condo rules.
Condo unit owners are responsible for following rules too. The condominium corporation may have its own rules on rentals, which could include lease terms (e.g. minimum number of months) and other landlord obligations.
Do tenants have access to all amenities
Just as tenants must follow the same rules as owners, they also have the same rights as owners when using building amenities.
As for parking spaces and/or lockers, condo owners can decide whether to include them in the lease agreement. Owners can choose to retain those or rent them to another tenant.
How much can landlords charge?
When you rent a unit for the first time, the rent is based on current market prices. There is no maximum. The market price for a unit may be higher than that paid by a previous tenant.
How much and how often can landlords increase rent?
The RAT covers most types of rental units, whether an apartment, a condo, a house or a room in a rooming or boarding house. Generally, landlords can increase rent:
- only once every 12 months;
- with 90 days written notice; and
- based on the guidelines set for that year by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Residential Tenancy Act, 2006 (RTA) and the Condominium Act, 1998
About the RTA
In Ontario, the Residential Tenancy Act, 2006 (RTA) outlines the rights and responsibilities of landlords and of tenants who rent residential properties. It applies to most rental arrangements, such as apartments, houses, condos, basement suites and public housing.
The legislation covers issues. such as maintenance and repairs, tenancy agreements, rent, entering a rental unit and ending a tenancy. In 2017, Ontario passed the Rental Fairness Act, 2017, which modifies the Residential Tenancies Act. Rent control now applies to all private rental units, including those first occupied on or after November 1, 1991.
About the Condominium Act
A condominium isn't a specific type of building or structure but a type of property ownership. The property includes individual units and common elements. Condominium owners own their unit and also share the ownership and costs of the common elements of the property.
A condominium corporation is an entity that manages the affairs of the property. The creation, ownership, and governance of condominiums are regulated by the Condominium Act, 1998. Every condo document in Ontario is based on this Act.
Subletting and short-term rentals
When renting out a condo unit, owners are responsible for following the rules of the corporation. Always check the rules to make sure you're not in violation.
Some rules could include lease terms that avoid short-term rentals, such as a minimum number of months on a lease. This prevents owners from converting their units into a vacation rental or homestay operation. Condo declarations can also spell out requirements, such as each unit shall be occupied and used only as a private single-family residence.
If you're renting out a unit for a longer term, any tenants have to abide by the terms too. Therefore, a tenant cannot, in turn, lease the unit out for short-term stays. Make this clear in the rental agreement.
If you decide to sublet your unit, notify your insurance company to see if and how your policy covers and damage caused by tenants.