What are the liabilities when housing a boarder instead of a tenant?
Join Lawrence Mak and Dheeraj Bhatia as we discuss the differences between boarders and tenants. We discuss issues such as liabilities and the extent that the RTA (Residential Tenancies Act) applies to boarders.
Lawrence Mak, Real Estate Broker RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc.
Dheeraj Bhatia, Barrister & Solicitor Madamser Law
0:33 What is a “boarder”?
0:50 Definition of a boarder vs a tenant?
0:58 A person is a boarder if they live in a property with the owner
1:07 and the person shares a kitchen and/or a bathroom with the owner
1:17 The RTA (Residential Tenancies Act) does NOT apply – at all!
1:31 According to the RTA, they do not apply at all with the shared facilities
1:40 What about a basement rental with a separate entrance and facilities?
1:46 Correct, that would be a separate unit and the RTA would apply to the tenant
1:52 And of course make sure the unit is approved by the local bylaws
1:57 We see a lot of units being rented in Toronto to reduce the costs for the owner
2:10 If everything goes fine – great!
2:15 Many tenants may give an anonymous complaint to the city
2:25 That the basement (or unit) is illegal
2:36 Even a neighbour who is mad, may give an anonymous tip
2:50 They just need to say “it’s not retrofit” and the city would investigate
3:00 What about the insurance and/or owner liability?
3:09 (Tenant) insurance is always required
3:23 Even if your condo has insurance, you should still get Tenant’s insurance
3:30 This is because the condo insurance would not cover the inside of the unit
3:44 The tenant must provide a valid insurance
3:55 Let’s pretend you are renting one room out to a student
4:09 There is no liability unless the tenant causes harm to the property
4:20 If they burned down the house – insurance would not cover it
4:25 A boarder per se is not illegal
4:32 For example, with AirBNB
4:43 The city allows you to rent out a short-term lease only if the owner lives in the property
4:53 But if something happens to the house, it would not be covered
5:03 Unless you first disclosed the use of the house with the insurance company
5:10 What kind of notice do you have to give a boarder in the basement?
5:25 If there is a written agreement you have to put a term in there
5:39 When the term ends, RTA does NOT apply
5:44 Nor does it automatically revert to a month-to-month lease
5:50 At that point, you can evict
5:54 If it can be proved there was a verbal agreement
6:10 Then the landlord would be in trouble
6:13 But NOT by the LTB (Landlord and Tenant Board)
6:15 It would be a Small Claims Court case
6:34 Just be cautious with boarders and consult a professional
6:43 So consult with a realtor or a lawyer
6:48 If you have any questions about boarders, tenants or evictions
6:54 Contact Dheeraj Bhatia at Madamser Law