tenant advocates are ringingalarm bells over Tory amendments to the Tenant Protection Act that will strip sub-tenants of their rights.Elinor Mahoney of the Parkdale Community Legal Clinic says the Tories' Omnibus Bill 119 has changed the act so it no longer recognizes the relationship between head tenants and sub-tenants.
The move could adversely affect university students, for example, who don't sign leases directly with landlords but simply pay their rent to a head tenant.
"This means the head tenant can charge more than first and last month's rent, which a landlord is prohibited from doing," says Mahoney, adding that there could be all sorts of opportunities for abuse.
"First of all, I could see university students trying to finance their tuition; and secondly, I can see landlords working with students to get kickbacks," Mahoney says.
An official with the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal, who did not want to be identified, says, "There's a grey area now (in the law when it comes to sub-tenants' rights)," and adds, "There won't be, for sure" when the amendments are proclaimed law.