Real Estate

Additional Terms of a Tenancy

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  • Apr 21st, 2020 11:21 am
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[OP]
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Apr 19, 2020
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Additional Terms of a Tenancy

Hello, I'm not sure where to ask this.

I'm renting a free hold town house and my landlord had put in a stipulation in the original tenant agreement (in 2017) that reads "The Tenant agrees not to use the balcony for the hanging or drying of clothes, nor for the purpose of barbecuing."

My neighbors on either side seem to both hang clothes up and BBQ on their balconies.

As I've read the following in the latest Residential Tenancy Agreement I'm wondering if my landlord's stipulation holds water:
"If a term conflicts with the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 or any other terms set out in this form, the term is void (not valid or legally binding) and cannot be enforced."
24 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 18, 2018
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Not sure how they can enforce the hanging/drying of clothes, but if the BBQ is not yours and it not an essential (which it isn't), I guess they can mention for you not to use it. It's also a big hazard if something happens...
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Jan 2, 2012
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Steel1 wrote: Hello, I'm not sure where to ask this.

I'm renting a free hold town house and my landlord had put in a stipulation in the original tenant agreement (in 2017) that reads "The Tenant agrees not to use the balcony for the hanging or drying of clothes, nor for the purpose of barbecuing."

My neighbors on either side seem to both hang clothes up and BBQ on their balconies.

As I've read the following in the latest Residential Tenancy Agreement I'm wondering if my landlord's stipulation holds water:
"If a term conflicts with the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 or any other terms set out in this form, the term is void (not valid or legally binding) and cannot be enforced."
Essentially correct, anything the landlord puts into the lease agreement that doesn't align with the RTA, can be considered void and unenforceable.

The only way the laundry/bbq clause would be enforceable is if there was some specific municipal by-law or similar law, fire code, etc you would be breaking. Of if there was some condo/property management by-laws that prohibited the action.
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Jul 3, 2011
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Steel1 wrote: Hello, I'm not sure where to ask this.

I'm renting a free hold town house and my landlord had put in a stipulation in the original tenant agreement (in 2017) that reads "The Tenant agrees not to use the balcony for the hanging or drying of clothes, nor for the purpose of barbecuing."

My neighbors on either side seem to both hang clothes up and BBQ on their balconies.

As I've read the following in the latest Residential Tenancy Agreement I'm wondering if my landlord's stipulation holds water:
"If a term conflicts with the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 or any other terms set out in this form, the term is void (not valid or legally binding) and cannot be enforced."
What exactly within the RTA does the clause conflict with?

You have no inalienable right to bar-b-que. You can attempt to challenge it as unfair because the next door neighbours do it, but that doesn't mean you will win. even if it's allowed by the building. Long before smoking restrictions, the no smoking clauses were being challenged and failed miserably. In fact the were even wrongly argued in here as being against the RTA.
[OP]
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Apr 19, 2020
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licenced wrote: What exactly within the RTA does the clause conflict with?

You have no inalienable right to bar-b-que. You can attempt to challenge it as unfair because the next door neighbours do it, but that doesn't mean you will win. even if it's allowed by the building. Long before smoking restrictions, the no smoking clauses were being challenged and failed miserably. In fact the were even wrongly argued in here as being against the RTA.
Well, I haven't done either yet but I'm wondering what the laws are regarding such items. The RTA is far from exhaustive that's why I thought to ask here, but I'll err on the side of caution. I googled what items could NOT be put into a tenancy agreement in Ontario but nothing came up.
[OP]
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Apr 19, 2020
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Also, as the original lease expired 2 years back and I've been going month-to-month since then I assume the 'Tenant Rules' from the original lease agreement still apply. Is this correct?
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Steel1 wrote: Also, as the original lease expired 2 years back and I've been going month-to-month since then I assume the 'Tenant Rules' from the original lease agreement still apply. Is this correct?
Leases automatically go month to month, but the main terms and conditions (that don't conflict with RTA) outlined in the original lease I assume would still be applicable.

The laundry condition sounds like bs, I don't think it's a valid clause to have in the first place and you can probably safely ignore it. As I said, unless there is some property management company, neighborhood committee or something that sets and enforces rules for your townhouses.

The bbq one as mentioned could be seen as a "smoking" condition. I have no idea if LTB would lump bbq in the same category as smoking.
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May 12, 2014
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rob444 wrote: The laundry condition sounds like bs, I don't think it's a valid clause to have in the first place
Not sure why you say this. Many cities, condos, or buildings will have this rule to maintain a certain "look" and it's definitely allowed.

BBQs on balconies are a safety issue, and even if allowed by the fire code the owner's insurance may require him to ban it. Or he may chose to ban it for his own peace of mind.

The way to enforce these is by going to the local landlord tenant court and getting a judgement issued.
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Steel1 wrote: Also, as the original lease expired 2 years back and I've been going month-to-month since then I assume the 'Tenant Rules' from the original lease agreement still apply. Is this correct?
That's correct, the original terms will apply until changed by mutual agreement.

BTW, what's the size of the balcony, is there a gas line?

is this a stacked townhouse and if so, is anyone above you, if not, do you have a main floor outdoor area?
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It is once more valid. Ford rescinded the previous rescision of the ban on outdoor laundry. It is at the OP's detriment to ignore it.
rob444 wrote:
The laundry condition sounds like bs, I don't think it's a valid clause to have in the first place and you can probably safely ignore it. As I said, unless there is some property management company, neighborhood committee or something that sets and enforces rules for your townhouses.
[OP]
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Apr 19, 2020
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licenced wrote: That's correct, the original terms will apply until changed by mutual agreement.

BTW, what's the size of the balcony, is there a gas line?

is this a stacked townhouse and if so, is anyone above you, if not, do you have a main floor outdoor area?
I don't see a gas line.

The balcony is 8.5 feet by 10 feet.

It is not a stacked townhouse and no one is above me. I do have a main floor outdoor area in the backyard but is not segregated between neighbours. Moreover, there are spaces between the townhouse units and anyone can actually enter my backyard (i.e. I would not reasonably trust something of value left there).
[OP]
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Apr 19, 2020
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By the way I called the LTB today (took forever to get through) and the person on the other end wasn't able to answer my questions about the specific clauses in my tenancy agreement. I mentioned the laundry as an example and she said she was not sure if that was 'even enforceable'. Ultimately, I'm not sure she knew and advised me to take to a lawyer or paralegal.
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FrancisBacon wrote:
Not sure why you say this. Many cities, condos, or buildings will have this rule to maintain a certain "look" and it's definitely allowed.
Because this is not a condo, it's a freehold townhouse.

In a condo the balcony is basically an extension of common area, so you don't really own it you just have exclusive access to it. So the condo board can put in whatever rules they want as to what is and isn't allowed on the balcony, even restricting the quantity of chairs you have. But in a freehold townhouse you own your own balcony so can for the most part do what you want on it.

As far as cities having rules, that is why I stated above that they need to check their city bylaws to see if they have anything. If there is a city or some other specific neighborhood bylaw that bans clotheslines/hangers, then the OP wouldn't be able to use one regardless if it was in the lease agreement or not.
licenced wrote: It is once more valid. Ford rescinded the previous rescision of the ban on outdoor laundry. It is at the OP's detriment to ignore it.
As I understood it Ford rescinded the ban on cities enforcing their own laws. So he put it back on the municipalities to set their own rules on clotheslines/outdoor laundry.

I don't recall seeing OP's city, so I cant say if there are any city bylaws restricting this. If there are, then he needs to follow it. However if there aren't, then I don't think the LTB would enforce it.

In Toronto for example, I did a quick search and don't see any city bylaws or rules restricting use of clotheslines or outdoor clothes hangers. Would be curious if there actually is one.
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Steel1 wrote: I don't see a gas line.

The balcony is 8.5 feet by 10 feet.

It is not a stacked townhouse and no one is above me. I do have a main floor outdoor area in the backyard but is not segregated between neighbours. Moreover, there are spaces between the townhouse units and anyone can actually enter my backyard (i.e. I would not reasonably trust something of value left there).
Then you have no right to a gas bar-b-que on the balcony. None! it is not in any fashion substantially interferring with your quiet enjoyment of the unit. It doesn't matter what you trust about trespassers.
Steel1 wrote: By the way I called the LTB today (took forever to get through) and the person on the other end wasn't able to answer my questions about the specific clauses in my tenancy agreement. I mentioned the laundry as an example and she said she was not sure if that was 'even enforceable'. Ultimately, I'm not sure she knew and advised me to take to a lawyer or paralegal.
This person doesn't know the answer and should not have guessed. The clause stands.

Green Energy Act, 2009, Revoked January 1, 2019. o. Reg 97/08: Designation of Goods, Services and Technologies
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/080097/v2

Within that Act is this clause that was :
1. Clotheslines.

2. Clothestrees.

3. Any goods and technologies that have a purpose that is the same as a clothesline or clothestree, and no other purpose.

4. Any equipment that is necessary for the proper installation and operation of anything that is designated under this section. O. Reg. 97/08, s. 1.

Prescribed circumstances
2. A person is permitted to install and use any goods or technologies designated in section 1, if the following circumstances apply:

1. The designated goods or technologies and any necessary equipment are installed on property upon which is situated a house or building that is used solely for residential occupancy and which is the person’s place of residence.

2. The designated goods or technologies and any necessary equipment are installed in a manner so as to ensure that there are no impediments to safety, including, but not limited to, impediments to access to or egress from the house or building.

3. The designated goods or technologies and any necessary equipment are installed adjacent to the side or rear wall of the house or building so as to be useable by a person,

i. standing directly on the ground,

ii. standing on a deck or other fixed platform accessed directly from the ground floor of the house or building, if the deck or fixed platform is no higher than the floor level of the ground floor, or

iii. standing on a step-stool or similar device placed either directly on the ground or on a deck or other fixed platform accessed directly from the ground floor of the house or building, if the deck or fixed platform is no higher than the floor level of the ground floor.

4. The designated goods or technologies and any necessary equipment are installed in an area where the person has an exclusive right of use by virtue of their residency. O. Reg. 97/08, s. 2.
Last edited by licenced on Apr 20th, 2020 9:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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rob444 wrote: In Toronto for example, I did a quick search and don't see any city bylaws or rules restricting use of clotheslines or outdoor clothes hangers. Would be curious if there actually is one.
It is repealed meaning that there is no right to air one's laundry. That also means in the absence of a by-law, that any owner or condo building is not bound to a nonexistent right and is free to form an agreement with a tenant.
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licenced wrote: It is repealed meaning that there is no right to air one's laundry. That also means in the absence of a by-law, that any owner or condo building is not bound to a nonexistent right and is free to form an agreement with a tenant.
What is repealed is now no longer relevant. So if there is no bylaw or restriction around it for a given city, then there is an assumed right or allowance to do it in that city.

While a condo is allowed to make such rules, I'm not so sure on a landlord being able to. I could very easily see the tenant-friendly LTB siding with the tenant that being able to hang their laundry is within their "reasonable enjoyment" rights as it does not cause any damage to the unit and (dependent on city) there may be absolutely no bylaws or regulations against it. This is just my guess of what would happen if it ever went to an LTB hearing, which is all we can do as I doubt this issue has any precedent since it's so trivial. They won't allow landlords to enforce no-pet rules (which are way worse for landlords), so I can't see them allowing to enforce this.
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rob444 wrote: What is repealed is now no longer relevant. So if there is no bylaw or restriction around it for a given city, then there is an assumed right or allowance to do it in that city.
You do not understand. What is repealed is relevant.

It means there is no Act in place dictating the requirements previously enforced. Ergo - there is nothing and no assumed right to do anything. I have no idea why you would think in the absence of a right to do something that right exists.

This isn't about condos. OP specifically mentioned he s in a freehold. But just to show your that your point above is incorrect, a condo may make rules against laundry lines precisely because there is no assumed right to have a laundry line.

The OP agreed to no laundry on the balcony. They have no right under any law or act to do otherwise.
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licenced wrote:
This isn't about condos. OP specifically mentioned he s in a freehold. But just to show your that your point above is incorrect, a condo may make rules against laundry lines precisely because there is no assumed right to have a laundry line.
I mentioned condos as an example of who does have authority to dictate what you can and can't do on your balcony, since the balcony is not technically owned by the person that lives in the unit. It's a common element that they have exclusive rights to. So a condo can ban, limit or put restrictions on anything they want from balconies, and unit owners/tenants must follow it regardless. This is different from an individual landlord trying to set rules for their rented home.
The OP agreed to no laundry on the balcony. They have no right under any law or act to do otherwise.
The RTA states this right for tenants:
Landlord not to interfere with reasonable enjoyment
22 A landlord shall not at any time during a tenant’s occupancy of a rental unit and before the day on which an order evicting the tenant is executed substantially interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of the rental unit or the residential complex in which it is located for all usual purposes by a tenant or members of his or her household. 2006, c. 17, s. 22


If any condition in a rental agreement is found to interfere with a tenants reasonable enjoyment of the property, it can and will be voided by the LTB. A tenant could argue that denying them from hanging laundry outside interferes with their reasonable enjoyment of the unit, and ask for a ruling from LTB to void this clause. Without precedent, you can guess but you do not know for certain how the LTB would rule.

There are many clauses that a landlord could put in an agreement, that could be struck down by the LTB. This is nothing new. They could have a clause they don't want any red furniture on the balcony. Or that a tenant must have no more than 2 chairs. Just because a clause is in a rental agreement, doesn't mean it's enforceable if the LTB determines it interferes with the enjoyment of the property (except in the case of condos where condo bylaws trump everything else). In the absence of any municipal or similar bylaw, same could be argued for having a clothesline.

Realistically if the OP thinks this clause interferes with their enjoyment, there is essentially no risk to challenge the landlord on it. If they put up the clothesline and landlord notices, the landlord will need to take it to LTB to get a judgement. The LTB will either rule in favor of landlord so tenant can no longer use it, or they will rule in favor of tenant meaning clause is invalid and they can use it.
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rob444 wrote: What is repealed is now no longer relevant. So if there is no bylaw or restriction around it for a given city, then there is an assumed right or allowance to do it in that city.

While a condo is allowed to make such rules, I'm not so sure on a landlord being able to. I could very easily see the tenant-friendly LTB siding with the tenant that being able to hang their laundry is within their "reasonable enjoyment" rights as it does not cause any damage to the unit and (dependent on city) there may be absolutely no bylaws or regulations against it. This is just my guess of what would happen if it ever went to an LTB hearing, which is all we can do as I doubt this issue has any precedent since it's so trivial. They won't allow landlords to enforce no-pet rules (which are way worse for landlords), so I can't see them allowing to enforce this.
The RTA explicitly says that no pet clauses are void. It says nothing about BBQ’s and hanging tighty-whitey’s on the deck, so a tenant’s “right” to do that isn’t guaranteed. And since that clause doesn’t clash with the RTA, it should be enforceable.

IMHO. IANAL, though.

C
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CNeufeld wrote: The RTA explicitly says that no pet clauses are void. It says nothing about BBQ’s and hanging tighty-whitey’s on the deck, so a tenant’s “right” to do that isn’t guaranteed. And since that clause doesn’t clash with the RTA, it should be enforceable.

IMHO. IANAL, though.

C
Bbq part I'm not arguing as that could be a safety issue.

Regarding the laundry. the term "reasonable enjoyment" is quite vague in the RTA, and could be interpreted to mean a number of things. Hence why all anyone can do is guess, as I'm fully aware I am doing. The LTB is often very tenant-friendly and I would not be surprised if they frowned on a landlord trying to dictate how tenants use their property when it's for something that causes zero damage, no safety issue, etc.

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