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What words do I need to know about renting a home?
Here are some of the words and phrases
that you might hear when you start looking for a place to rent:
Unpaid rent that a tenant owes to the landlord.
Bachelor / Studio Apartment
A small apartment with only 1 room used as both bedroom and living space.
Many landlords make an application to a credit bureau to check a potential
tenant's record of paying bills. Usually, landlords believe that a good credit
rating means that a tenant will pay the rent on time.
A small room, in addition to the bedroom and living room. Often used as a home office or TV room.
A single house that is owned by 1 or more persons. Owners may rent 1 or more rooms or the whole house.
To force a tenant to move out of a rental home.
Guarantor / Co-Signer
Someone who signs a lease along with the tenant and agrees to be responsible
for paying rent if the tenant does not pay it.
Housing Help Agency / Centre
A non-profit organization that helps people, including new immigrants, find
housing. In Ontario, most major cities have a housing help agency, and its
services are usually free.
A person or company who owns apartments or houses and rents them to people
to live in. A landlord can also be called a lessor
A legal contract between a landlord and tenant. A rental contract can also be called a tenancy agreement
or a rental agreement
. It can be a spoken (verbal) agreement or a written agreement.
Legal Aid Clinic / Community Legal Clinic
An agency that provides free legal advice to people with low income. Most
cities have at least one legal aid clinic.
A tenancy where the tenant rents one month at a time.
A small, somewhat distinct area that is part of a larger city or town.
Someone who can tell a landlord about a potential tenant's employment,
character or ability to pay rent. A reference is not responsible for paying the
rent if the tenant does not.
The payment a tenant makes to the landlord, usually each month, for the
right to live in that apartment or house.
Money paid to a landlord before the start of a tenancy as a deposit to cover any future arrears. The amount of the deposit cannot be greater than one month's rent
(or one week's rent, if you are renting weekly).
A single house that is joined to another house with a common wall.
Government-subsidized, non-profit housing that is managed either by
municipalities or community/religious groups. This is sometimes also called subsidized
Some non-profit housing organizations are also co-operatives
. Co-operatives are managed by their residents.
The period of renting a house or apartment. It is usually specified in a
rental contract, lease or tenancy agreement. Most tenancies last for one year
at first, although month-to-month tenancies are also common.
A person who lives in a rental apartment or house. A tenant can also be called a lessee.
Townhouse / Row House
A small house that is joined to a row of other small houses.
The percentage of rental apartments that are available in a community.
Services that are essential. These include heat, hot and cold water,
electricity and fuel (such as natural gas).
For More Information
March 17, 2015