The Ontario Guide to Tenants' Rights
Peter Martin is a senior projects editor at the University of Ottawa
“This is the kind of book that can never be finished,” says Freedman
at the beginning of a chapter titled “Update: Rent Control.” He goes
on to point out that: “landlord-tenant laws change from day to day.
New problems arise, vacancy rates go up and down, governments change and
so do tenant populations.” Add the fact that Freedman, a Toronto Star
columnist, deals only with Ontario law and practice, and you’ll see
the book’s limitations.
But within its boundaries, this little book is quite splendidly useful.
Clear and accurate, Tenants’ Rights is as valuable for small landlords
(big property-management companies know this stuff already) as for
tenants. Most of the book deals with nuts-and-bolts issues like leases,
rent review, subletting, and so forth, but Freedman enriches the mix
with discussions of such broader issues as the pros and cons of rent
control, people’s right to affordable housing, and (yes!) the
commonality of landlord and tenant interests.
Amazingly, Freedman even manages to be entertaining. You can, for
instance, be evicted for “selling drugs, turning your suite into a
brothel or using the laundry room to launder money,” he informs us.
If every Ontarian with an occupancy problem read this book, the lawyers
would make a lot less money. And that’s a social benefit if there ever