Renting a housing unit comes with certain legal protections, as well as certain responsibilities. This page explains the legislation that protects tenants, the legal process for evictions and the resources that are available.

On this page:

  1. What renters need to know
  2. Evictions
  3. Property standards
  4. Fire inspections
  5. Community supports

What renters need to know

When you rent a housing unit, you are considered a tenant. As a tenant, you have legal rights that provide you with basic levels of protection.  On this page, you will find information to help you understand your rights and resources to help you navigate any issues that may arise during your tenancy.

This webpage is not intended to be a complete list of resources but will be updated with additional information and resources as they become available.

The information on this page is not legal advice. If you require more detailed information about the law, contact the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) or one of the legal resources listed below.

Residential Tenancies Act

The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) is the legislation that governs the landlord-tenant relationship in Ontario. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants and provides rules for rent increases, evictions and maintenance orders. Please also see the Guide to the RTA.

The RTA is the responsibility of the Province of Ontario. We do not enforce the RTA. If you believe your landlord has broken any of the rules of the RTA, contact the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit (RHEU) for help.

The Landlord and Tenant Board

The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) is an independent adjudicative tribunal that resolves disputes between landlords and tenants in Ontario and enforces the Residential Tenancies Act. They provide information on the Residential Tenancies Act and can help tenants and landlords understand their rights and responsibilities. The Board also hears applications from tenants and landlords on issues such as rent increases, eviction notices and maintenance.

The LTB's Information for New Tenants brochure provides helpful information for new tenants. 

We do not participate in the Landlord and Tenant Board. This a provincial matter.


The Residential Tenancies Act allows a landlord to evict you (end your tenancy) for several reasons. A landlord can only end a tenancy for the reasons allowed by the Act.

The first step is for your landlord to give you a notice in writing that they want you to move out. Your landlord must use the proper form provided by the LTB and the form must give the reason for the eviction.

You are not required to move out upon receiving a notice from your landlord. Your landlord must apply for and receive an eviction order from the LTB. Only the LTB can authorize an eviction. The eviction order provided by the LTB will indicate your termination date (when you must vacate your rental unit).

The LTB's Information for New Tenants brochure provides more information on the rules for how a landlord can end a tenancy and evict a tenant.

Online eviction survey

As part of our Rental Housing, Eviction and Displacement Study, we are collecting information from (people who have been or are being displaced) tenants who have been or will be evicted from their rental units because of the landlord’s intent to demolish, renovate, convert or occupy their rental unit.

Please complete this survey if your landlord asked you to move out because:

  • your landlord wants to demolish your rental unit
  • your landlord wants to renovate your rental unit
  • your landlord wants to convert your rental unit to a non-residential use
  • your landlord, a purchaser or a family member wants to move into your rental unit
  • other reasons 

The information you provide will help inform our understanding of the nature and magnitude of evictions and displacements occurring in Kitchener. The information collected through this survey is confidential and will only be accessible to authorized city staff.

Property standards

Although the RTA and the LTB are administered and enforced by the province, we have standards on property maintenance and occupancy that all properties, including rentals, must meet. These property standards are outlined in our Municipal Code. If you have concerns that your rental unit does not meet property standards, inform your landlord or property manager in writing first and keep a copy of this letter for your records. If your concerns are not resolved within a reasonable amount of time, you can file a property standards complaint.

Fire inspections

If you are concerned about the safety of your rental unit, please contact Kitchener Fire and request an inspection. Every residential unit must have working smoke alarms. It is the owner’s responsibility to provide smoke alarms. Smoke alarms should not be removed unless they require replacement. If replacement is required, they must be replaced immediately. Smoke alarms save lives. Other fire safety requirements may apply.

It is a requirement of Ontario Fire Departments to respond to all complaints or requests for inspection under Ontario Regulation 365/13.

Community supports

Community legal clinics provide free or low-cost information, legal advice and representation to tenants encountering issues with their landlords such maintenance issues. They can also help you navigate eviction notices and rent increases and provide information on your legal rights as a tenant and the options available to you. 

There are provincial and local resources and groups that can help:

There are other community supports available including:

Region of Waterloo resources

The Region of Waterloo oversees affordable housing in the Region and has additional information available on their website: