Real Estate FAQ

Real Estate FAQ2021-07-11T13:02:08-04:00
What is the moving out process for a residential tenant?2024-01-01T19:54:57-04:00

Tenants are legally required to provide a 60-day notice before vacating a one-year lease property, which is the time for the landlord to conduct a pre-listing or pre-move out inspection.

This stage is critical for three reasons: ensuring the property’s good condition upon return, facilitating a smooth moving-out process for the tenant, and allowing an effortless showing for prospective tenants.

The landlord should inspect for optimal property condition, addressing any damages caused by the tenant. The landlord can use this stage to remind the tenant to book elevators and return keys. Tenants are encouraged to report maintenance issues promptly, particularly before the move-out date. Landlords must outline steps for a seamless transition, including tenants’ responsibility for ordinary cleanliness. Many leases involve landlords covering the cost of professional cleaning before a tenant moves in, expecting the same courtesy during move-out. Learn more about Ensuring a Smooth Residential Tenant Moving Out Process.

As a Non Resident Can I Sell My Property in Canada?2022-11-17T23:33:34-04:00

Yes, as a Non Resident you can sell your property in Canada and Team Kalia can help you with this.

Several forms and documents must be submitted before a transaction can go through. Hence, seeking professional legal and tax advice before selling is a must. The CRA is very vigilant regarding property sales by non-residents because they want to ensure the deal is secure and the non-resident owner has fulfilled all their monetary and tax obligations.

Read more on what it takes to sell a property in Canada as a Non Resident.

Team Kalia has been serving our local and overseas clients since 2003. We can refer our clients to not only to lawyers and accountants, but also to handymen and other tradespeople, as needed to successfully sell your property in and around the GTA.

Why is there a difference in prices between similar properties within a particular City?2020-10-26T14:26:19-04:00

There can many reasons for the price difference, including:

  • Age of home
  • Square footage of homes
  • Number of rooms
  • Interior finishes
  • Property lot size
  • Age of furnace, AC, Appliances etc.
  • Upgrades/ updates done to the bathrooms, kitchen and other areas of the home
  • Exterior features: roof, windows, lawn, curb appeal etc.
  • Some neighborhood are more expensive than others
  • School ratings in the area
  • Proximity to public transit
  • Sometimes sellers strategically list at a lower price to attract more buyers and or to have more showings
  • Sellers motivation to sell quickly or wait for the best price

Realtors are trained to look at the above criteria plus many other things to arrive at an opinion of price. The same knowledge or techniques are also used when we give an opinion of price when listing seller clients’ properties.

Realtors use past and current data to come to the correct listing or purchase price. We evaluate market trends, inventory level to further refine the price. Realtors go through many months of education, licensing etc and are trained to help their clients buy to low and sell high in any given market. Buyers and Sellers should trust their Realtor team to get them the best results.
Can You Help Sell Matrimonial Home in Divorce Cases?2020-08-07T17:00:17-04:00

Dividing Real Estate in Divorce is a very critical & emotional step for spouses parting ways. We have helped clients with the sale of their matrimonial home during this stage of life with full respect, fairness and professionalism. Contact us to discuss your personal home selling situation.

What is Co Ownership or Joint Ownership2019-12-19T15:47:58-04:00

Co-ownership housing is a shared living arrangement where two or more people own and live in a home together. There are different ways to co-own a home. A groups of individuals can co-own the house outright or co-owners can use a corporation model. This allows the owners to share in the up-front and ongoing costs of owning a home. Learn how you can buy a home or a condo in Mississauga & area as a co owner or a joint owner.

First Time Home Buyer Incentives2024-03-12T21:01:46-04:00

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive has been discontinued. The deadline for new or updated submissions for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is midnight ET on March 21, 2024. Read more on the CMHC website.

There are several incentives and schemes for first time home buyers

  • RRSP Home buyers plan
  • Ontario Land transfer tax rebate of up to $4,000
  • HST rebate for new home buyers
  • First time buyer tax credit

What is RRSP Home Buyers Plan (HBP)?

Home Buyers Plan is a program that allows first time home buyer to borrow up to $35,000 from their “Self-directed Registered Retirement Savings Plan (SDRSP)”. If you’re purchasing with someone who is also a first time homebuyer, you can both access $35,000 from your RRSP for a combined total of $70,000. You must be a Canadian resident who has not used this plan before. The loan is not taxable as long as the funds are repaid into the RRSP (registered retirement savings plan) over a 15 year period. The money cannot be withdrawn until 90 days after the RRSP contribution. After 90 days one can use the Home Buyers’ plan to withdraw $35,000 without penalty. This way you will receive a tax rebate.

Is there any HST home buying rebate?

Resale homes are exempted from HST in Ontario. HST is payable on new builder homes and condos.

Do first time buyers pay land transfer tax?

If you are a first time home buyer, you qualify for rebate of up to $4,000. Certain conditions and restrictions apply for which you need to read up on the Land Transfer Tax.

What is first time buyer tax credit?

To assist first-time home buyers with the costs associated with the purchase of a home, Budget 2009 introduced a First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired after January 27, 2009. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief starting in 2009.

Are Landlords allowed to take pictures to identify how Tenant has kept the unit?2019-07-26T18:41:01-04:00

Yes, but only with permission of the tenant.

Note: taking your handyman to do a quick check-up on plumbing/ toilets / caulking etc. is not a bad idea. You must inform the tenant of the visit and provide 24-hour notice.

For more FAQs, visit the Housing Law section of Steps to Justice site.  Q&As on the site are organized in “steps” that lead people through common scenarios. Community Legal Education Ontario created the website together with justice sector partners, including the Landlord and Tenant Board.

What should the Landlords be talking about with the Tenants during visit?2019-07-26T18:35:53-04:00

As a landlord you can inquire about general items such as: How’s your stay? Anything you need? How’s everything else?

As a Landlord how often should I visit the unit?2019-07-26T18:33:14-04:00

Two or three visits in a year are good to inspect the unit. Need to provide 24-hr notice.

As a Landlord what I should be checking for in unit?2019-07-26T18:31:36-04:00
  • Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to check if all looks good inside and there is no water damage
  • Check microwave filter, replace with new one
  • Check bathroom shower and see if there is no mould
  • Check mirror closet door to see if there are no cracks
  • Check balcony glass door
  • Ask tenant if taps / showers / toilets don’t leak etc.
  • Ask if all appliances are working fine
  • Check washing machine linen filter and also linen trap on ceiling of washer / dryer closet.
Can a landlord evict a tenant for having a pet?2019-07-26T18:28:35-04:00

A tenancy agreement cannot forbid a tenant from having a pet. And once there is a tenancy agreement, a landlord cannot evict the tenant simply for having a pet. This is true even if they agreed that the tenant would not have a pet. However, there are some cases when the landlord can apply to the Landlord Tenant Board to evict a tenant who has a pet. These are some common examples:

  • the pet is making too much noise, damaging the unit or causing other tenants to have allergic reactions
  • the breed or species is inherently dangerous
  • the rules of the condominium corporation does not allow pets like the one tenant has.
Can a landlord refuse to rent to a person who has a pet?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

Yes. A landlord can refuse to rent to a person who has a pet. A service animal is not considered a pet. Visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site for more information.

What happens when a lease ends? Does it renew automatically?2019-07-26T18:22:48-04:00

A tenancy does not end when a fixed term lease expires, unless:

  • The landlord or the tenant gives proper notice to end the tenancy for a reason permitted in the RTA.
  • The landlord and tenant both agree that the tenancy will end.
  • The LTB or the court has issued an order ending the tenancy.

Otherwise the tenancy will renew automatically with the same terms and conditions. However the tenancy will become a month-to-month agreement instead of a yearly one, or a week-to-week agreement if the tenant pays rent weekly. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for further information.

Can a tenant be evicted if the landlord sells the house and the buyer wants to move in?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

Yes, but only if the person buying the building needs the rental unit for their own use, the use of an immediate family member or the use of a person who will provide care services to the landlord or a member of the landlord’s immediate family, who is living in the same building or complex. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for details.

Can a tenant be evicted if the landlord wants to use the unit themselves?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

Yes, a tenant can be evicted if a landlord requires the unit for:

  • their own use
  • the use of an immediate family member
  • the use of a person who will provide care services to the landlord or a member of the landlord’s immediate family, who is living in the same building or complex

Starting September 1, 2017, the landlord must either give the tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent or offer the tenant another unit that the tenant accepts. Only individual landlords, not corporations, can give notice of termination for this reason. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site for additional information.

What is the difference between assigning and subletting a unit?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

Assigning a unit means that the tenant moves out of the unit permanently and transfers their tenancy to another person. Subletting a unit means that the tenant moves out of the unit for a period of time but plans to move back in before the end of the tenancy. A tenant must have the landlord’s approval to assign or sublet the unit, but the landlord must have a good reason to refuse. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for detailed information.

Can a tenant break a lease?2019-07-26T18:11:49-04:00

Breaking a lease means that a tenant wants to leave their unit before their tenancy agreement is over. An example would be: a tenant who signed a one year lease might want to move out after eight months. A tenant and landlord can agree to break a lease. It is best if this agreement is in writing and signed by the landlord and the tenant. If the landlord is not willing to break the lease, the tenant can assign the unit to a new tenant with the landlord’s consent. For process and information, please refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board.

How much notice does a tenant have to give to move out?2019-07-26T18:09:18-04:00

When a tenant decides to move, they must provide a written notice to the landlord. In most cases, the notice provided to the landlord must be at least 60 days before the last day of the rental period, or their lease. For example, if it is a monthly tenancy that begins on the first day of each month and the tenant gives the landlord notice on June 15th, the termination date would be August 31st. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site for details.

Can a landlord change the locks?2019-07-26T18:07:13-04:00

A landlord can change the locks while the tenant is living in the unit as long as they give the tenant a key for the new lock. Once a tenant has been evicted from the unit, the landlord can change the locks, even if the tenant has left property in the unit. The landlord does not have to give the former tenant replacement keys in this case. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for more information.

Can a tenant change the locks?2019-07-26T18:05:12-04:00

A tenant cannot change the locks or add locks that might stop a landlord from entering the unit. If the tenant does change the lock, the tenant should give a copy of the key to the landlord immediately. Fore more information, please visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site.

Can a landlord enter a tenant’s unit?2019-07-26T18:02:50-04:00

A landlord can only enter a tenant’s unit in specific circumstances. In most cases, the landlord must first give the tenant 24 hours written notice, stating when they will enter and for what reason. There are some exceptions to this requirement, for example, in case of emergency. For more information see the brochure: A Guide to the Residential Tenancies Act or visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site.

Can tenant withhold rent because landlord isn’t properly maintaining the unit?2019-07-26T18:00:28-04:00

No. If you withhold rent, the landlord can give you a notice of termination for non-payment of rent and then file an application to evict you. For more information, please visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site.

Who is responsible for maintaining the rental unit?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

It is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the unit in a good state of repair, even if the tenant was aware of problems in the unit before they moved into it and the lease says that the tenant is responsible for maintenance. However, the tenant is responsible for keeping the unit clean, up to the standard that most people consider ordinary or normal cleanliness. The tenant is also responsible for repairing or paying for any damage to the rental property they caused or caused by their guests or another person living in the rental unit. Please visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for more information.

Can the landlord charge a damage deposit?2019-07-26T17:54:30-04:00

No. A landlord cannot collect a damage deposit from the tenant to pay for damage done to the unit. If the landlord finds that a tenant has damaged the unit, the landlord can give the tenant a notice of termination and/or ask them to pay for the damages. If the tenant doesn’t pay, the landlord can apply to the Landlord Tenant Board to determine if there are damages and what should be done.

Does a landlord pay interest on rent deposit?2019-07-26T17:51:55-04:00

The landlord must pay the tenant interest on the rent deposit every 12 months. The percent interest is the same as the rent increase guideline that is in effect when the interest payment is due. The guideline is set each year by the Ministry of Housing. Please refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for details.

How much rent can a landlord legally increase?2023-01-25T18:47:56-04:00

Rent Increase for Homes & Condos

Most Ontario tenants are protected by rent controls that limit how much rent can increase year-over-year. The rent payable by tenants may also decrease in limited situations. Normally, the landlord can increase the rent only once every 12 months. The landlord must use the Landlord and Tenant Board- N1 Form and give the tenant at least 90 days’ notice before the rent increase is to take effect. The rent can be increased by no more than the rent increase guideline unless the Landlord and Tenant Board approves a rent increase above the guideline. The guideline for each year can be found on the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website. For example, the rent increase guideline for 2023 is 2.5%.

However, there are some exceptions:

  • In some cases, landlords can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to raise your rent by more than the rent increase guideline.
  • New buildings, additions to existing buildings and most new basement apartments that are occupied for the first time for residential purposes after November 15, 2018 are exempt from rent control. Use N2 Form.

Link to N1 and N2 Forms

Rent Increases above the Guideline:

The landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to raise the rent by more than the rent increase guideline. Affected tenants can oppose this application at the Landlord and Tenant Board. This kind of rent increase is called an above-guideline rent increase. The Landlord and Tenant Board can allow this kind of rent increase if:

  • the landlord’s municipal taxes and charges have increased significantly,
  • the landlord has done major repairs or renovations, or
  • the costs of external security services (i.e. not performed by the landlord’s employees) have increased, or external security services are being provided for the first time.

The landlord and tenant can also agree to an above-guideline rent increase, if the landlord agrees to renovate or add a new service for the tenant. Certain rules apply. Rent Reductions:

The landlord must reduce the rent if:

  • the municipal property tax goes down by more than 2.49 per cent, or
  • the rent was increased above the guideline to pay for repairs or renovations and the costs have been fully paid for (this only applies to tenants who were living in the unit when the above guideline rent increase happened).

The tenant can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to