Ben  Sage

Ben Sage



(519) 536-7535 ext. 487
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Landlord's Legal Corner - Choosing a Tenant

Choosing a Tenant

One of the most important tasks that a Landlord is faced with is choosing the right tenant.  Choosing the right tenant can make a significant difference with respect to the profitability of a unit and the amount of work a Landlord has to commit.  A Landlord must complete its due diligence and inquiries into a potential tenant at the outset, prior to signing a lease agreement or allowing the tenant to move in.  The reason for this is that once a tenant signs a lease/moves in, they are then afforded the rights and protections under the Residential Tenancies Act and in some cases eviction can be difficult and/or drawn out if the wrong tenant is chosen.

When choosing a tenant you are permitted to make appropriate inquiries and request information and documentation from the prospective tenant.   You have the right tochoose a tenant using income information, credit checks, credit references, rental history, guarantees, and similar business practices.  

A Landlord cannot select or refuse a potential tenant based on race, place of origin, ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, family status (e.g. children) or disability as this would contravene the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Subject to the foregoing, ultimately, the Landlord has a great deal of discretion of who they choose to rent to.  Spending the time and energy to inquire into prospective tenants to choose the ‘right’ tenant is time well spent and will likely result in better results and yields and less stress in the future.


Information provided by: 

Derek Truelove

Lawyer, Nesbitt Coulter

35 Perry Street                                                  183 Thames Street South

Woodstock Ontario                                            Ingersoll Ontario

N4S 3C4                                                           N5C 2T6

Tel 519-539-1234 ext 243                                    519-485-5651

Fax 519-539-6832                                              519-485-6582

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