Shared living with a homeowner or leaseholder can be a very satisfying experience. Once you are certain about your compatibility, the relationship can often become a source of joy for both of you.
However, the option of renting space with a homeowner or leaseholder does come with some risks you should know about. To explain, first let’s look at the Residential Tenancies Act and how it governs landlords and tenants.
The importance of the the Residential Tenancies Act…..
In Ontario, the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) provides rules that landlords and tenants must comply with. And the specific rights that tenants have are enforced by the Landlord Tenant Board. The Board makes binding decisions on the issues brought forward, and both landlords and tenants are required to comply.
Consider this example. The Residential Tenancies Act requires that landlords give 60 days notice of eviction in writing to tenants. If a tenant believes the eviction notice from her landlord does not meet the legal requirements, the tenant can request a Board hearing. Ultimately, only the Board can evict a tenant.
But the RTA doesn’t cover homeowner rentals!!
However, if you live with a homeowner and share a bathroom and/or kitchen with this individual, you are not considered a tenant and the homeowner is not considered a landlord, so the Residential Tenancies Act does not apply. You are essentially considered a guest in this situation.
Neither the homeowner nor the homemate have any legal requirements to meet, and the homemate has no protection or recourse if something goes wrong.
Making an informed decision…..
We believe in full disclosure about all aspects of shared living. So, we provide information on this issue to enable you to make an informed decision if you choose to live with a homeowner.
We are in no way suggesting that homeowners can’t be trusted or that living with a homeowner is too risky to even consider. In fact, we welcome homeowners in SWLT as a good shared living option for some senior women.
In order to provide some protection for homemates, we developed a separate process for homeowners. They enter into a social contract with us and agree to provide specific clauses in their homemate agreements that protect their homemates.
If you own your home and are looking for homemates
to live with you, go HERE to learn all about
our homeowner process.
What about leaseholders?
A leaseholder is a person who has signed a lease with a landlord. The Residential Tenancies Act definitely governs this rental relationship. However, when a another person is living with the leaseholder, they are only covered if they also sign the lease.
Unfortunately adding another person to a lease can get tricky. Some condo corporations will simply not allow it. Some landlords may refuse to allow it.
Our requirement regarding leaseholders….
In order to ensure protection for our members, we require that leaseholders agree to add their homemates to the lease. And they sign a declaration indicating their landlord has agreed.
We highly recommend that homemates sign the lease prior to moving in.
If you are a leaseholder and looking for homemates to live with you,
go HERE to learn all about our leaseholder process.
Join the adventure.
Go HERE to learn about our membership options.
5 replies on “What is different about living with a homeowner or a leaseholder?”
This is excellent information. So I am renting a room and we share the kitchen. It’s basically month to month with one month notification , (nothing signed ) however after reading this , the one month notification is the kind thing to do but not legally binding. Right? Best to give a long notice if possible
I’m not sure I understand what you are asking but I will say that there is nothing legally binding when you are living with a homeowner and share the kitchen or a bathroom. That doesn’t mean it will not be a good option for you; it will depend on the homeowner.
Thank you, this is sweetly succinct.
Very helpful,informative article. A real eye opener. Thank you.
I found myself caught up in a situation. I wanted to move but could not because my roommate wanted to stay. We signed a lease. I missed what I thought was a good opportunity because of it. My roommate eventually couldn’t afford to carry on and so moved. It cost me an extra months rent.