What can my landlord do if I owe rent?Updated August 31

Get help paying the rent

If you can usually pay your rent but you're having a problem right now, you might be able to get help from organizations in your community.

Some communities have rent banks that lend people money to help pay their rent. Rent banks don't charge any fees or interest for these loans. For more information about rent banks, contact your local housing help centre.

Rent banks might also have other rules. For example, some rent banks aren't available to people who have rent. And you can't use the rent bank program if more than half your household income is from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW). Ask your ODSP or OW worker what other help is available.

If you owe a small amount of rent, you might be able to get help from other programs that try to help people keep their homes. These are sometimes called homelessness prevention programs. Call 211 or check the 211 website to find programs in your area.

Getting a roommate

If you have an ongoing problem paying your rent and you can't afford your place, you could think about getting a roommate to share the rent. In most cases, your landlord can't stop you from doing this, as long as it won't break any local overcrowding by-laws.

Having roommates can create confusion about your rights and responsibilities. CLEO's online tool Sharing rental housing? can help you find out which laws apply to your situation.

If you live in subsidized or rent-geared-to-income (RGI) housing, you probably have to report the income of everyone in your household, including roommates. This could affect your rent or your . It could even affect whether you still qualify to live there. Find out what the rules are before you decide to get a roommate. Check your rental agreement or ask at the office that makes decisions about rent subsidies.

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