Can a Landlord and Tenant Agree to Alter Statutorily Prescribed Rights or Duties?

A Landlord and Tenant Are Unable to Alter the Rights and Duties Prescribed Within the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and Any Terms Within A Lease or Other Form of Agreement That Attempt to Alter Such Rights and Duties Are Avoid and Unenforceable.

Understanding the Supremacy of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 As Applicable Regardless of Agreed Lease Terms

Residential Lease Document Regardless of how adamant and willing a landlord or tenant may be in attempting to waive or to restrict various rights or duties prescribed by statutory law, with only a very rare exceptions, such rights and duties are unalterable and any terms within a lease or other agreement are void and unenforceable.

The Law

In Ontario, most residential tenancy relationships are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, Chapter 17 which contains various statutorily prescribed rights and duties that are unalterable despite any lease or other form of agreement that may purport to do so. Specifically, the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, states:

Provisions conflicting with Act void

4 (1) Subject to subsection 12.1 (11) and section 194, a provision in a tenancy agreement that is inconsistent with this Act or the regulations is void.

Many court cases as well as decisions of the Landlord Tenant Board will confirm that any attempt to contractually alter the provisions prescribed within the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, or regulations thereto, is void.  The case of White et al. v. Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, 2020 ONSC 7822, clearly states so whereas it is said:

[28] According to s. 4 of the Act, should a provision in a tenancy agreement be found to be inconsistent with the Act or the regulations, the provision is void.

Summary Comment

Terms within a lease, or another form of agreement, that purport to alter or forgo the statutory rights and duties as prescribed within the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, and regulations thereto, are void with only a few very rare exceptions.


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