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D.A.M., Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 2755
Experience:  Cross-Border (US/Canada) Lawyer
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What is the difference between renting, and room and board

Resolved Question:

What is the difference between renting, and room and board? Also, what type of guidlines are there in place for a person wanted to leave a room and board situation. EG; giving notice?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  D.A.M. replied 5 years ago.

"Room & Board" would indicate that you are not only renting the physical premise (which is often less than a separate apartment but merely a room in an undivided living space but could also be a separate physical apartment in some circumstances) but would also include food (the board).

A mere "rental" agreement would be simply for the living premises.

Both situations would generally be governed by substantially the same rules with respect to notice requirements as well as the contractual requirements.

What Province are you in? I can try to get you a link to some information on your rights as a tenant.

Regards XXXXX XXXXX wishes.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I live in Ontario, I was told by a representative from the tenant board that since I was sharing a kitchen and a bathroom with the landloard that I was in a "room and board" situation and was not covered under the tenancy act. Therefore the laws that require a tenant to give 2 months notice did not apply to me. I simply wanted to verification on that aspect since I do belive my room mate will attempt to take me to court.
Expert:  D.A.M. replied 5 years ago.

The two-month requirement only really applies where you're signed into a one-year term. Is that the case here? Are you renting from the landlord or are you subletting from your roommate (who is on a lease)? Or, are you even jointly on a lease? All three of these situations could result in different rights/obligations.

What was your agreement? How long are you into it?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
There was no agreement. My roommates parents owned the condo which me and her shared. No lease was signed, she never asked for last months rent or anything along those lines. My only requirement was to pay her rent on the first of every month.
Expert:  D.A.M. replied 5 years ago.

In that situation, unless your roommate is the actual OWNER of the property, your landlord would be the parents (the owners) and you could both be seen as co-tenants in a residential lease.

The RTA (Residential Tenancies Act) does not actually require that leases be in writing but does require that you be provided with the contact information for the landlord (the owners) to deliver notices. In the absence of a written lease, however, the period would be monthly (unless the conduct of the parties indicated otherwise -- meaning that you were actually paying on a daily or weekly basis -- which isn't the case here).

In a situation like this, 60 days' notice would be required.

See CMHC's site for an overview of the RTA and landlord/tenant obligations. LINK.

Regards XXXXX XXXXX wishes.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for that link; I have how ever found this under "exeptions"


" accommodation whose occupant or occupants are required to share a bathroom or kitchen facility with the owner, the owner's spouse, child or parent or the spouse's or same-sex partner's child or parent, and where the owner, spouse, child or parent lives in the building in which the living accommodation is located. "


In which case I was required to share a bathroom and kitchen with the owners child, am I not exempt from the 60 days notice ?

Expert:  D.A.M. replied 5 years ago.

No doubt you have an argument on that basis BUT I'm not convinced it would necessarily hold up here. You would have to argue in front of a Judge that the agreement for the lease was so intimate (bring up no last month's rent, no written agreement and anything else that was dealt with informally perhaps even if rent was abnormally low for the building or there were no applications or background checks performed as would be normal in a typical rental with a third-party) as not to constitute a arms-length transaction. The more you can couch the entire arrangement as a family-situation, the better you are positioned to make that argument.

What I'm saying is that you shouldn't rely on it expecting to win. A judge may just as readily see it as a situation where the parents - at arms-length - rented to you and your girlfriend (who happened to be their daughter). Again, the things mentioned above (amount of rent, how the arrangement came about, etc.) will have bearing on this.

I would even go so far as to ensure that you have that money set aside in the event that you do end up losing at trial.

In the interim, if you decide to give less notice do so, but remember - your landlord is not the girlfriend in the situation you've described, but the owners. When you do give notice, I would, however, cite that provision as justification for not providing any more notice than you are.

You may well be correct that you'll end up in Small Claims with this if they decide to pursue it, however.

Regards XXXXX XXXXX wishes.
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