Glossary - Housing Law


In Housing Law

A subsidy is a part of a tenant’s rent that is paid by a government agency or a non-profit organization. To get a subsidy, the tenant usually must have a household income below a certain level. Subsidized housing is sometimes called rent-geared-to-income, or RGI, housing because the amount of rent the tenant has to pay depends on their income.


In Abuse and Family Violence, Family Law, Housing Law, Tribunals and Courts

A summons is a legal document that requires a witness to come to a trial or a hearing on a specific date to tell their part of the story.


In Housing Law

A tenant’s legal right to live in their place. Usually this right comes from an agreement between the tenant and the landlord. This agreement might be called a tenancy agreement, a lease, or a rental agreement. It does not have to be in writing to be legal. It can be a spoken agreement or even an unspoken understanding.

tenant duty counsel

In Housing Law

Tenant duty counsel are lawyers and community legal workers who can help tenants at most Board locations across the province. They are also usually available by telephone if there is a telephone hearing scheduled. Tenant duty counsel can give free advice about legal rights, obligations and the Board process, help work out settlements with your landlord, or help you talk to Board mediators. There is no charge for tenant duty counsel services.


In Housing Law

The length of time that an agreement, such as a tenancy agreement, is meant to last. For example, a lease that goes from April 1 to the following March 31 has a term of one year. This is also called a fixed term tenancy. During this time, neither the landlord nor the tenant can end the tenancy unless the other one does something that seriously breaks the agreement.

When the term is over, it does not mean the tenancy ends. The tenancy automatically turns into a periodic tenancy unless the landlord or tenant does something to end it.

Term can also mean a detail or part of the agreement, for example, that the tenant will not hang things from their balcony railing, or that the landlord will provide parking for visitors.


In Housing Law

A Notice of Termination is a form that a landlord or tenant uses when either wants to end their tenancy agreement. Termination date is the last day of a tenancy, according to a notice that a tenant or landlord gives to the other, or according to an agreement between them.

termination date

In Housing Law

A termination date is the last day of a tenancy, according to a notice that a tenant or landlord gives to the other, or according to an agreement between them.


In Housing Law, Human Rights

An agency that makes decisions about applying a set of laws to disputes between people. It is like a court but less formal. The Landlord and Tenant Board is an example of a tribunal. Another example is the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

undue hardship

In Employment and Work, Housing Law, Human Rights, Tribunals and Courts

Ontario’s Human Rights Code says that employers and landlords must do what they can to remove barriers that cause people to be treated differently because of personal differences that are listed in the Human Rights Code. The legal word for this is accommodation. Examples of personal differences include a person’s ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability. 

But an employer or landlord might not have to do something if they can prove that doing it will cause them undue hardship. For example, it would be undue hardship:

  • if the only solution available would cost the employer or landlord too much
  • if the only solution would cause a serious risk to the health or safety to other workers or tenants 

In Housing Law

A weekly tenancy is a rental agreement that does not have a fixed term and where the tenant pays rent each week. It automatically renews every week unless the landlord or the tenant takes legal steps to end it.

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