People change and sometimes those changes affect the people they live with. It is common to have disagreements with those you live with whether family, friends, acquaintances or unfamiliar people. Ontario's Residential Tenancies Act is not usually (some very specific exceptions apply) a mechanism to address housemate issues. The RTA assumes that students who sign a joint and several lease have a shared understanding of how they will live together.
Student households can set themselves up for success by having explicit conversations before and after signing a lease together. As well, households need to establish good communication during the tenancy. After all, if a housemate vacates unexpectedly, for example because they perceive they are not welcome, any or all of the remaining housemates can be held liable for unpaid rent or damages.
Conflict Resolution Tips
Every household has conflict. Here are some tips (PDF, 1.0 MB) for resolving conflict between housemates.
Get to know your housemates!
Even if your housemates are floor-mates from Res, friends from a club or people you went to high school with you how much do you really know about the people you live with?
Play this game (PDF, 36.6 kB) together and find out more about what you have in common and how you are different.
Households that talk about how they are going to live together have fewer conflicts. A housemate agreement records your understanding of how your home will operate.
On Oct. 17, 2018, recreational cannabis became legal in Canada. While cannabis legislation in Ontario indicates that residents could smoke or vape cannabis in private residences the rules also acknowledge that additional restrictions on smoking and vaping may exist in lease agreements and the policies of property owners. Student Community Relations encourages tenants to refer to their lease and to talk with their housemates about cannabis use.
The Housemate Agreement is a fillable form. Open it in Acrobat!
Housemate Hunting Worksheet
You may be thinking about living with someone you met in Residences, or went to high school with, or a friend from an extracurricular activity. Find out if the people you think you want to live with all have the same idea of how you should live together.