Rent is perhaps the most important concept to understand when signing onto a tenancy agreement. Once you’ve signed a lease you are legally obligated to pay rent according to the terms of the contract. That may seem simple, but there are a few aspects of rent payments that must be understood.
Rent only covers that which is agreed to
Your landlord is only obligated to provide you with services that are agreed to in the contract. Make sure that if you have been told that utilities are included, that it is stated on the contract prior to signing. Other services to keep in mind of what rent does or does not cover may include: parking, cable, heat, electricity, hydro, air conditioning units, or central air. It is not necessarily a loss if any of these aspects are not included in your rent; it simply means that for access to them you will be charged an extra fee. If utilities are not included in your rent, it also gives you the opportunity to control the amount of utilities you use, potentially saving you money if you conserve.
Rent price is set in the contract
Agreement on price between the landlord and tenant is set in the contract. Ensure that the price you’ve agreed to verbally is the same price written in the rental contract.
Rent Deposits are common
Most, if not all, landlords or rental companies will ask for a rent deposit. This deposit can be no more than the cost of one month’s rent (or one week’s rent if rent is paid weekly.) This deposit may only be used as last months (or week’s) payment. If rent is raised at any point, the landlord may ask you to supplement the deposit to that amount. The landlord is also obligated to pay tenants interested on their deposit every year.
Payment method is also subject to agreement between tenant and landlord
This payment method must be agreed upon by the landlord and tenant, and cannot be changed unless both parties approve the change. Though a landlord can offer to accept payment via post-dated cheques or automatic payments, they cannot require tenants to pay via those methods.
Rent receipts only upon request
Landlords are only obligated to a provide rent receipt if the tenant requests one, these receipts cannot be charged for.
These aspects of rent are all in agreement with the Landlord and Tenant Board‘s guidelines and rules.