Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Landlord Contract Program?


The Landlord Contract Program is a program run through Queen’s that allows landlords to make some changes to their rights as landlords in exchange for yearly inspections of their properties.

Most importantly, it means that any unit under the landlord contract program is only leased for a one-year period, and that you must reapply with your landlord if you wish to stay in the same unit. You can find out if your unit is a member of the Landlord Contract Program by calling 613-533-2501

Landlords have different practices in regards to this process, so it’s best to ask.


2. Can I stay in my house without signing a new lease?


If your unit is not under the Landlord Contract Program you can. If you choose not to re-sign a lease but your group wishes to stay in the house, you become a month-to-month tenant.

It is a courtesy to give your landlord notice of your intent to stay with 60 days of your lease ending but not necessary. All other aspects of your lease stay the same, until you give the required notice to your landlord.

If your unit is a member of the Landlord Contract Program, the above information does not apply and you will have to reapply on a yearly basis in order to continue living in the same unit.


3. How much can my landlord raise the rent?


Your landlord can only raise the rent by the provincially mandated amount; this amount for 2016 is 2.0%.

However, this is not the same for houses which are part of the Landlord Contract Program because these homes are exempt from this clause. You can check if your house is part of the Landlord Contract program by calling 613-533-2501. If your house is part of the Landlord Contract Program, your landlord must have an N11 form for you to sign with your lease, and an official letter from Queen’s University stating that they are a part of the Landlord Contract Program in order to raise your rent.


4. When do I need to give my landlord notice? What if my lease says differently than the provincial legislation?


Most students sign a one year fixed-term lease, usually from May 1st to April 30th. If your landlord is not a member of the Landlord Contract Program, you need to give 60 days notice-whether you’re leaving or choosing to stay.

When rent is paid on the 1st of the month, your notice period is two calendar months, i.e., you cannot give notice in the middle of the month.

For most students, this means you must give notice before February 30th.

The above is true no matter what your lease says. Like any illegal clause in your contract, this does not break your entire lease; it means that this clause is not enforceable under section 44.3 of the Residential Tenancies Act.


5. My landlord is pressuring us to make a decision. How should we react?


First, find out if your unit is a member of the Landlord Contract Program by calling 613-533-2501.
If it is not, call or write to your landlord and politely state that you understand your right to stay and will give notice, in writing, before February 30th (or 60 days notice).
If you continue to have problems or if your landlord threatens you, call Joan Jones or Queen’s Legal Aid (see the Housing Resources tab).

6. How can I be evicted? Who can I contact for support?


In most situations, before a landlord can evict a tenant they must give the tenant notice of what the problem is, why they are being evicted, and when the eviction is to take place. In order for a tenant to be legally evicted, a landlord must have an eviction order from the Landlord Tenant Board. A tenant has the right to stay in their unit until the Landlord Tenant Board issues an eviction order.

For some termination notices, the landlord must wait a specific number of days to allow the tenant to correct the problem before an eviction notice can be filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board.
In most cases, a hearing in front of this board will be scheduled.

For support, contact Joan Jones, Queen’s Legal Aid, or the Housing Resource Centre (see the Housing Resources page).


7. How much notice does my landlord need to give before they enter my house? When can they show my house?


According to the Residential Tenancies Act, your landlord must give you 24 hours notice before entering your unit; they can enter between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm.
If your landlord gives you proper notice, refusing them entry to your home interferes with their lawful rights and you (the tenant) could be evicted. However if your landlord does not give you proper notice, you may refuse them entry unless there is an emergency.

8. Can my landlord ask for last month's rent? What about other charges?


Yes, if your landlord requires last month’s rent upon signing your lease as a deposit they must pay you interest on this amount.

The amount of interest is the same as the rent increase guideline when the interest payment is due.
Last month’s rent can also be known as a ‘security deposit.’ Your landlord cannot use this money for anything else.

Your landlord can also ask for a deposit for your keys. Your landlord must give this money back to you when you move out and return the keys.

Most other kinds of deposits or payments are not allowed.

Be sure to get a receipt each time you pay rent or anything else. The law says that your landlord must give you a receipt if you ask for one.


9. Can my landlord change my locks?


Your landlord can change the locks, if every tenant is given a new set of keys.

As a tenant, you cannot change the locks unless the landlord agrees.

Additionally, a key to any lock that is added by the tenant (i.e., to a bedroom) should be provided to the landlord.


Still have questions? Contact the Housing Resource Centre at hrc@ams.queensu.ca.