Is it okay to sever a new lease within a certain amount of time in Ontario?
February 16, 2009 1:45 PM   Subscribe

I've heard that one can sever certain contracts they sign in Ontario if it's within the first 10 days of signing. If this is true, does it also apply to a lease on a house?
posted by gman to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: To clarify, I've heard this is possible on long term/larger contracts such as cell phones.
posted by gman at 1:46 PM on February 16, 2009

Best answer: Everything I've ever seen in the TPA (Tenant's Protection Act, old version) says no, and a skimming over the RPA says the same. Your best best is to assign your tenancy. If they refuse or ignore it (for no good reason, of course), you're allowed to end the tenancy. I think that still requires the 30-day notice, but there won't be a lease-breaking fee.

So that you know, the contract breaking within 10 days is called a cooling-off period. Generally it refers to things where you can be intimidated into signing - health clubs, timeshares, door-to-door stuff, etc. At least I think that was the rationale behind the choice of applicable contracts.

I'm not certain that cell phones are covered under this - it would be a direct agreement, except that generally you negotiate them over the phone/internet or in their place of business, which is excepted. But I'm not sure on cell phones.

Houses, it looks like there is no cooling-off period.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:41 PM on February 16, 2009

You're likely thinking of the Consumer Protection Act. Here's a news release on it, with some links at the bottom, but Google for "Ontario consumer protection act" will lead you to the relevant info. If nobody comments whether a house lease is covered, or you find that it isn't, also consider looking into the Tenant Protection Act. There might be something in there you can leverage. There should be a local number you can call for that to talk to someone who would know.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 2:46 PM on February 16, 2009

I should definitely preview when the MeFi server drops the connection
posted by hungrysquirrels at 2:50 PM on February 16, 2009

Best answer: There is a statutory 10-day cooling off period under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002, but the Residential Tenancies Act governs non-commercial rentals, so the CPA doesn't apply.

Here is info on the TPA from the Landlord Tenant Board, which is the dispute body for landlord-tenant issues. Here is a directory of Legal Aid clinics, who might be able to help advise you on getting out of the lease.
posted by girlpublisher at 2:52 PM on February 16, 2009

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