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RentSmart Ontario is currently looking for a Translation Partner in Ontario!

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Please review the link below for more project details of the translation services required.  Any questions please contact Sherry Madden 289-362-4784 ext. 26 or email

Request for Quote details here


Ontario Introduces New Easy-to-Use Standard Lease

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Ontario Introduces New Easy-to-Understand Standard Lease

New Mandatory Form Protects Tenants and Landlords

February 7, 2018 9:00 A.M.

Ontario is introducing a new, simple standard lease that will be mandatory for private residential leases signed on or after April 30, 2018, including tenancies in single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, rented condominiums and secondary units (such as basement apartments).

Currently there is no standardized form for rental agreements between landlords and tenants in Ontario. The new lease form is written in easy-to-understand language and is templated to capture basic information such as names and addresses, the total rent and when it’s due, and any rules or terms about the rental unit or building. It also outlines the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords, and explains what can (and cannot) be included in a lease. For example, landlords cannot ban guests or pets.

Strengthening tenant protections is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.


” Renters told us that their leases were often confusing and contained illegal terms. Landlords, especially smaller ones, say a standard template makes it easier for them to do business. The new form we developed helps balance the interests and responsibilities of both parties.”
– Peter Milczyn
Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

” We appreciate the Ontario government’s work to develop a standard lease. The standard lease will help protect tenants by providing clarity around their rights. It is easy to understand and will eliminate much of the confusion we have seen in the past around residential tenancies.”
– Geordie Dent
Executive Director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations


  • The form is required for most new private market residential tenancies entered into on or after April 30, 2018, including tenancies in single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, rented condominiums and secondary units (such as basement apartments).
  • It does not apply to most social and supportive housing, retirement and nursing homes, mobile home parks and land lease communities, or commercial properties. The government is planning to develop separate standard leases to address the unique needs of other types of residential tenancies.
  • A standard lease guide will be available in 23 languages by April 30, 2018.
  • There are approximately 1.25 million private rental tenancies in Ontario with an estimated monthly turnover of 19,000 units per month.
  • Strengthening protection for tenants and ensuring predictability for landlords is part of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan, announced in April 2017, which included 16 comprehensive measures to make housing more affordable for homebuyers and renters, while bringing stability to the real estate market and protecting the investment of homeowners.


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In a competitive rental market, standing out in a pool of applicants might be the key to securing your ideal tenancy. Here are 5 tips to help make sure your rental application gets noticed by potential landlords.

  1. Online First Impressions Count

When you are inquiring about rental properties over email, be conscious of the first impression you are making. Keep your email brief and professional (no spelling mistakes or slang). Is your email address potentially juvenile or offensive?  In your introductory email, you will want to tell the landlord a bit about yourself and whether you are planning on renting alone, with a partner, or with a friend. Politely ask to see the property for an in-person showing. It is always good to show a bit of enthusiasm about the rental unit, location or other aspects of the rental.  Also, take a quick look at your Facebook profile, what would a potential landlord see if they searched for you? Now might be a good time to clean up your profile (or lock down your privacy settings)

  1. Make a Personal Connection

Once you have scheduled a viewing, show up on time (better yet, get there early). Take your time checking out the unit and try to make conversation and get to know the landlord. Tell the landlord what you like about the rental and the location. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take note of the details of the property. Be friendly and outgoing, which will help make a positive impression and demonstrate that you are a serious renter. Some landlords hold a few showings, accept several applications and then make a decision. Others are open to renting the unit on the spot (if they feel it is a good fit and you are prepared with your documentation).

  1. Be Prepared

When you are looking for rental housing, it pays to be prepared. Having all of your personal information and documentation in order is key to securing a rental in a timely fashion. Ideally, you will have all of your paperwork gathered and ready to submit immediately after the in-person showing. Complete the application (if there is one) and make copies of your last few pay stubs or bank statements. Have the contact information for your current employer and your current landlord. It is also a smart idea to have a check or cash handy for the full amount of the damage deposit plus first month’s rent in case you want to secure the tenancy on the spot. Anything you can do to speed up the rental process and set you apart from other applicants.

  1. Be Open and Honest

Do you have a pet? A spotty credit history? Be honest with the landlord or property manager. Communicate clearly and help them understand your situation – being trustworthy and upfront may be a plus.

  1. Get a Recommendation

If you have rented previously with a good result, you can ask your current (or former) landlord to write a letter of recommendation. The letter should include key details such as the length of your tenancy, and that you paid your rent in full and on time. If your landlord could speak to your character or other attributes, that is a bonus! Make copies of this letter to share with prospective landlords and property managers.

Tips to Help Detect a Rental Scam.

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Tips to Help Detect a Rental Scam.

Apartment hunting can be really tough. High prices and low inventory mean that the process is even more difficult and unpleasant. On top of that, most people are looking for units on sites like Craigslist or Kijiji where internet anonymity has become a problem. Beware of rental scams which are popping up all over the internet.

Rental scams have been around for a long time. Usually, they involve an email exchange in which the would-be landlord requests a security deposit to hold the rental before a face-to-face meeting has occurred. High competition creates a sense of urgency and sometimes causes people to act against their better judgment. Before you give a potential landlord any cash, ask yourself: Am I being scammed?

Unsure? Let’s break it down:

If the landlord lives in another country and wants you to wire them money sight-unseen, it’s a scam.

This is a big one. Anonymous rent scammers tend to want to stay that way. The majority of scams occur when a security deposit is made (either via eTransfer or wired directly) before the unit has been viewed. Be suspicious of any landlord that claims to be ‘out of town’ or shares an elaborate backstory about his/her absence. Any excuse given by a landlord to avoid viewing the unit is suspicious. It is always best to meet the landlord in person and view the suite before renting.

If the apartment you are looking at is beautifully furnished, centrally located and significantly cheaper than comparable units, it’s probably a scam.

Do your own research and get a sense for the general market price for accommodations in your area. Many rental scams are ‘too good to be true’.

For example, if you are looking for a 2-bedroom apartment in Yaletown and find a modern suite that looks like it was ripped out of a West Elm catalog going for $1000/month, be skeptical. When similar units are renting for more than double, you might have found a scam.

If the landlord seems overly eager to rent to you or is pressuring you to make a deposit, it’s probably a scam.

Be wary of any landlord that seems overly eager to rent to you or to secure the rental quickly. Never wire money sight-unseen to secure a rental.

If the landlord wants your SIN, bank account information and/or your credit card number it’s probably a scam.

Your SIN, bank numbers, and credit card numbers are not required to secure a rental. Be suspicious of anyone online who asks you for your personal information.

A healthy amount of skepticism is necessary when making deals online. If you are providing a security deposit in cash, be sure to get a receipt. A proper tenancy agreement signed by both parties is a good way to ensure that the rental is legitimate.




The Landlord Engagement ToolKit. Authors: Dr. Jennifer Rae & Dr. Tim Aubry

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The Landlord Engagement Toolkit

A Guide to working with landlords in Housing First Programs

Published by: Dr. Jennifer Rae & Dr. Tim Aubry

Landlord Engagement Toolkit – English

RentSmart is recommended in this toolkit, on page 38, to offer tenant and landlord education.

Contact us for more information and how our program can help.

For Immediate Release. RentSmart is here, Ontario.

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MEDIA R E L E A S E                         September 19, 2017


St. Catharines, ON – A consortium of five agencies providing housing services in Niagara is launching RentSmart Ontario, an interactive education and support program designed to increase housing stability through successful tenancies for both tenant and landlord across the province.   RentSmart Ontario is part of a national initiative led by Ready to Rent BC and includes similar programs in BC, Alberta and Manitoba.  Thanks to a two-year, $325,400 Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, awarded earlier this year, RentSmart Ontario will be providing education and support to tenants and landlords with the goal of successful tenancies.

“The introduction of the RentSmart Ontario program will assist those who are economically vulnerable to have better access to housing education and support. By improving the accessibility of these important community services to citizens across Niagara and all of Ontario, we will be helping to ensure that citizens facing barriers to housing have greater financial stability for years to come.” – Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines

“Access to affordable housing is a barrier that is faced by too many Canadians. Through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, the Government of Canada is partnering with community organizations to reduce homelessness. Supporting programs like RentSmart Ontario, provides organizations with the tools to support those at risk of becoming homeless in the Niagara region and all of Ontario. Providing community members who are vulnerable with the education and knowledge to make the right housing choices will help prevent the cycle of homeless.” – The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

About RentSmart Ontario

RentSmart curriculum is interactive education focused on developing reliable tenants, preventing eviction and damages and ending the homelessness cycle.  RentSmart is for anyone who wants to understand their role as tenants, may face barriers to housing, and want to reduce those barriers.   RentSmart builds knowledge, confidence and life skills. Upon completion of the RentSmart course, participants earn the RentSmart Certificate of Completion. The certificate can be a verifiable 3rd party reference and lets landlords know that graduates have taken the time to learn how to be a good tenant.

“Renting is not an innate skill.  RentSmart is a proven educational approach that builds successful tenancies for both tenant and landlord.  This is key to housing stability, prevention of homelessness and strong communities.”  Kristi Rivait, Co-Executive Director, Ready to Rent BC

For landlords wanting to be part of solving housing issues in their community, RentSmart Landlord delivers professional development courses to tenant management, support workers, property managers, and landlords.. This course builds knowledge, skills, and capacity in housing tenants who may be experiencing life transitions, best practices in being a landlord, systems for successful tenancies, and how to access the network of community supports to address issues if they arise.

RentSmart Ontario will build support networks in all regions of the province with community housing and homeless service organizations by training frontline housing workers as Community Educators. RentSmart prepares Community Educators with a certification course including best practices in housing stability and homelessness prevention, adult education and transformative training principles.  RentSmart offers a four-day training ‘RentSmart Educator’ that prepares Community Educators to deliver the RentSmart curriculum to the clients they serve.

An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities.

To learn more about RentSmart or become a Community Educator and ensure all Ontarians have the skills and knowledge to secure housing stability contact:

Sherry Madden, Provincial Community Engagement Coordinator, RentSmart Ontario

Office:  289-362-4784 ext. 26 Email:

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada Homelessness Partnering Strategy


Registration is open for RentSmart Educator (Train the Trainer) – Hamilton, ON

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Registration Here:

RentSmart Educator (Train the Trainer)
February 6, 2018 – February 9, 2018
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Location: Good Sheppard Family Centre, 143 Wentworth St. S., Hamilton, Ontario, L2N2Z1

RentSmart Educator (Train the Trainer) is a four-day professional development course that covers:

  • Best practices in housing stability and homelessness prevention
  • Adult education and facilitation best practices
  • Prevention of homelessness and increasing housing stability
  • Curriculum for RentSmart and RentReady
  • Engaging landlords
  • Measuring impact
  • Conditions for successful delivery of RentSmart model

The training is highly interactive and quickly gets participants teaching the RentSmart model courses. By the end of the workshop, trainees will be ready to organize and deliver the RentSmart model as a Community Educator.

Community Partners and Educators receive the following benefits:

  • License to deliver a program proven to help youth, individuals and families achieve housing stability
  • Regularly updated curriculum focused on building the knowledge, skills and confidence to help people find and keep their housing
  • Connection to a growing network of community partners
  • Bi-monthly Community Educator newsletters and webinars
  • Staff support to organize and host your first Ready to Rent course
  • Regularly updated data that can be shared with funders and community
  • Part of a growing movement for the prevention of homelessness
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