What is the BLR?
The BLR is the City of Barrie’s Boarding, Lodging and Rooming House bylaw. This bylaw requires landlords of certain types of dwellings to apply for a license and have their premises inspected to make sure they meet building and fire code standards.
Does it matter if I rent an apartment that isn’t licensed by the City?
We strongly advise against renting an apartment that isn’t licensed by the City. The BLR was put in place for a number of reasons, one of which is to make sure rental units meet certain building and fire code standards.
There are 5 of us sharing a house, but there isn’t enough room in the driveway for all of our cars. Can we park on the front lawn?
No, the city has bylaws that in place that prohibit where cars can be parked. When you are looking for accommodations, make sure there is enough legal parking for all of your vehicles. During the winter months (Nov 1 – April 15), the city has a ban on overnight parking to facilitate snow removal throughout the city.
Our garbage was picked up today, but they only took one bag of garbage.
The City of Barrie has a 1 garbage bag limit. If you have more than 1 bag of garbage per week you must purchase and affix a garbage bag tag to the extra garbage bag(s). The cost per tag is $2.00. For further information on garbage and recycling in the City of Barrie please check the city’s website at http://www.barrie.ca
My roommate and I are on the same lease. If he leaves, do I have to cover his rent?
YES. When you are on the same lease with your roommate, you are liable for his/her debts to the landlord. Your options are to seek restitution either through mediation or legal options.
My roommate has visitors over all the time and I can’t get any studying done.
Like you, your roommate is entitled to have visitors, and as long as they are not causing a major disturbance, your best option is to negotiate an agreement on when visitors can be on the premises. A good starting point is to use the Roommate Agreement form that is available for download in the Links/Resources section of this website.
What do I do if my roommate won’t pay his/her portion of the bills?
If your roommate refuses to pay for his/her portion, your only recourse is to seek legal action through small claims court. We strongly recommend that before you ever get into this situation that you and your roommate(s) negotiate an agreement on how you are going to deal with bills, rent, etc. A good starting point is to use the Roommate Agreement form that is available for download in the Links/Resources section of this website.
My roommate never cleans the dishes or the bathroom.
You may have noticed a theme by now. Issues with roommates can be dealt with most effectively by communicating and setting up guidelines in advance so the issue never arises. If you haven’t done so already, download a copy of the Roommate Agreement form or simply create a list of issues/potential issues, discuss them with your roommate(s) and come to an agreement on how to handle these potential issues. Once you have all come to an agreement make sure everyone signs the document.
My landlord just told me he is going to increase my rent, can he do this?
Your landlord can increase your rent only after you have been in the unit for at least 12 months, and then only once every 12 months. The amount that your landlord can increase your rent is determined by the Residential Tenancies Act. For 2010, the maximum rent increase is 2.1% For 2011, the maximum rent increase is 0.7% which is the lowest rent increase in the 35 year history of rent control in Ontario. Your landlord can apply to the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal to increase your rent above the maximum rent increase guideline, but they have to show they have done major capital work on the building/unit or have extremely high utility costs, etc. If you landlord wants to increase your rent, s/he must provide you with 90 days written notice.
My landlord promised to repair something in my apartment several weeks ago and it still isn’t fixed.
The first step you should take is to talk to your landlord. It could be something as simple as s/he forgot. If this doesn’t resolve the issue then you should send your landlord a letter outlining the history of the issue and your concern. In the letter include the date when you expect the repair to be done or at least to have the landlord respond to your letter by. If the issue is still not resolved by taking these steps and it is not something that is simply “cosmetic” then you can contact the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal.
My landlord enters my apartment without notice.
It is a violation of the Residential Tenancies Act for the landlord to enter without notice except under certain circumstances. It is advised that you ask the landlord for notice and if the problem continues to inform the landlord of the Residential Tenancies Act.
My landlord has asked me to renew my lease for next year. Do I have to do this?
No, once your original lease expires you are under no obligation to sign a new lease. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, once your lease expires it automatically converts to a month-to-month lease unless you terminate the lease or sign a new one. Once you are in a month-to-month lease you can continue to leave in the apartment as a continuing tenant and simply need to provide 60 days written notice to terminate your lease.
When I got my apartment I signed a one year lease. I just moved out at the end of the year and my landlord says that I now owe him 2 months rent.
Your landlord is correct. Once your lease expires, it automatically converts into a month-to-month lease and you are required to give 60 days written notice. Your best option is to speak to the landlord and try and negotiate a smaller amount. You can also try to sublet your apartment. The only way to avoid this type of situation is to make sure that you give your landlord 60 days written notice before your original lease would expire
Can I change the locks in my apartment so the landlord can’t enter?
No. The Residential Tenancies Act states that you can not change the lock without the landlord’s permission.