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Can tenants break their lease too easily?

Most landlords get their tenants to sign a minimum one-year lease. This is usually done to give them some peace of mind, knowing their rental properties will be occupied for at least 12 months. What most landlords don’t realize, however, is that one-year lease agreements don’t hold much weight.

Though a lease agreement is considered to be a binding contract and a tenant is obliged to stay for the term agreed to, there is very little landlords can do to stop tenants from walking out on them.

Here are only three circumstances in which breaking one's lease is condoned by the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board:

  1. The Board issues an order ending the tenancy agreement early because the landlord has not met their obligations under the Act,
  2. The landlord allows the tenant to assign the rental unit to someone else.
  3. The landlord agrees.

Despite all this legislation in place, the reality is that tenants can walk away from their obligations without much consequence to themselves. Sophisticated tenants have found loopholes that allow them to back out of their commitments easily.  

The critical part in deciding which tenant to take is  to perform due diligence on any potential tenants before making them sign your lease agreement.

Posted: Friday, December 19, 2014 10:52 PM by Oleh and Natalie Korchuk

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