Glossary

[ A | B| C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]

A

Advocacy Agency
Serving both landlords and tenants, these agencies represent the concerns of renters and property owners to governments and serve as places to go for help or mediators in the case of disputes.
Amenities
Conveniences such as stores, malls, transit, parking, restaurants, theaters, service outlets, needed from day to day.
Arrears
An unpaid, overdue debt or an unfulfilled obligation, or the state of being behind in fulfilling obligations.
Assign
To transfer the tenant responsible for a rental unit, which will occur when one tenant leaves before a lease expires and the lease is assumed by the incoming tenant. See sublet.
Arbitrator
A person chosen to settle the issue between parties engaged in a dispute.

B

Beacon Score
A credit rating, also referred to as a credit score, used by banks and other lenders, indicating a person's credit worthiness (poor, fair, good, excellent, etc.) in comparison to others.
Breach
A violation of a law, contract, or obligation.

C

Coerce
To compel or force someone to act or think in a certain way by the use of intimidation, threats or pressure.
Credit Bureau
An agency that maintains individual credit files on consumers. There are three credit bureaus in Canada.
Credit Check
A process whereby a person has his or her credit history reviewed before credit is extended.
Credit File
A detailed history of money borrowed, credit used and whether bill and debt repayments have been made on time. A credit file may list employment history and present/past residences.
Credit Rating
A numerical score calculated using the information in a person’s credit file. The credit rating is often used to determine an individual's credit worthiness and is sometimes referred to as a credit score.

D

Damage Deposit
See deposit.
Deposit
Depending on the area, a deposit may be referred to as a damage, security, or rent deposit. In any case, it is money given to the landlord at the start of the rental agreement and returned to the tenant at the end of the tenancy provided all the conditions of the lease have been met. A deposit is not allowed to be collected in Quebec.

E

Empirica Score
A credit rating, also referred to as a credit score, used by banks and other lenders, indicating a person's credit worthiness (poor, fair, good, excellent, etc.) in comparison to others.
Eviction
To put out or force out a tenant using the proper legal process. This process is different for each province and territory (see the Provincial and Territorial Fact sheets for information related to a specific province or territory).

F

FICO® Score
A credit rating, also referred to as a credit score, provided directly by Equifax to individuals. The rating provided is a three digit number indicating a person's credit worthiness (poor, fair, good, excellent, etc.) in comparison to others.
Freehold
Ownership of land or ownership of land and a building or house.

G

Guarantor
Someone who guarantees to pay the debt of an individual should that person find himself/herself unable to pay his/her own debt.
Guarantor's Jetter
The legal document indicating the guarantor's agreement to assume the debt of another person.

H

Highrise
A multi-unit residential building that is six or more storeys high.
Human Rights Code
Laws defining the rights of Canadian citizens. In addition to the federal code, each province and territory has its own code. The various Codes are most commonly known for protecting citizens from discrimination based on race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, age, marital status, family status, disability, or the being in the receipt of public assistance..

I

Infringe
To violate, transgress or exceed the limits. When renting in Canada either party, the landlord or tenant, is infringing on the rights of the other party if they violate the party's legal rights, human rights or an agreement between the parties.
Internet Email Lists
An online community where people sign up to a single user list, such as list@server.com, through which subscribed members communicate with one another via email. On an email list messages are sent to the main list address, e.g. list@server.com, which then relays messages to all the subscribers' email addresses.

J

Judgment
The official decision of a court action or suit. When money or debts are owed, this information may be listed on a credit rating.
Jurisdiction
The area or limits an authority has to make laws and enforce them. In the Guide this term is often used to denote the province or territory where a rental property is located.

K

Key Money
This phrase can have one of two meanings. In some areas it refers to money requested to get a person’s name on a waiting list for an apartment. In other situations, often buildings with sophisticated security systems, it may refer to money requested to cut new keys. It can also be called "keyhole money".

L

Landlord
A person who rents or leases a premises he/she owns to another party. Landlords of residential premises typically own an apartment building, condominium, townhouse or house.
Lease
As a noun, a contract or agreement between a landlord and a tenant. As a verb, to rent a premises (apartment, house, etc.) for a specific period of time.
Legally Binding
A legal agreement enforceable by an authority.
Legislation
Enacted law or group of laws.
Liable
Legally obligated or responsible.

M

Month-to-Month
Refers to a periodic tenancy that is not bound to a specific lease period, such as a year, but renews each month. Notice periods to end this type of tenancy vary amongst the provinces and territories.

N

Normal Wear and Tear
Damage to an apartment or house resulting from normal use by the tenants. The landlord is responsible for normal wear and tear repairs.
Notice
Specific legal meaning varies for different provinces and territories. In general, it refers to a notification, in writing, given by one party (landlord or tenant) to the other. Check local legislation.
NSF Cheque
Often called a bounced cheque, when the bank does not transfer funds from the cheque issuer to the recipient because there are insufficient funds to cover the amount of the cheque. NSF stands for "not sufficient funds".
Notice to Move
See notice

P

Party
In legal terms, persons named in a contract or agreement.
Periodic Tenancy
A tenancy that is not bound to a lease with a fixed period, but follows another period such as a month-to-month tenancy or a week-to-week tenancy.
Post-Dated Cheque
A cheque made out with the date after the current date. The cheque cannot be cashed until on or after the date on the cheque. Many landlords and tenants find this to be a convenient way to collect and pay rent, provided they adhere to provincial requirements regarding the use of post-dated cheques.
Premises
Land and the buildings on it, or a building or part of a building. In the Guide this term is often used as a broad term covering the various types of rental premises, from farms and houses to single condominium and apartment units.
Property
Can refer to a section of land, or to designate ownership.

R

Renew
To enter into a new lease term for a rental property after the existing lease term has expired. Automatic renewal of leases without a new written agreement is common. Check the Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets for exact terms relating to lease renewals.
Rent
As a verb, to obtain occupancy or use of another's property in return for regular payments. Or, as a noun, payment made by a tenant at specified intervals in return for the right to occupy or use the property of another.
Rent Bank
Community-based organizations providing assistance to individuals and families who cannot afford to pay the rent. The type and range of assistance varies from organization to organization.
Rent Control
Regulations defining how a landlord can increase the rent and restricting a landlord's ability to increase the rent.
Rent Geared-to-Income (RGI)
Common in subsidized housing, where the amount of rent to be paid by the tenant(s) is based on the amount of income earned by the tenant(s), often as a percentage of the tenant's income.
Rental
Refers to any rented property.
Rental Accommodations
Residential rooms or buildings available for rent.
Rental Authority
The legal authority overseeing landlord-tenant issues in a province or territory. In some areas the courts are the rental authority, while in other areas a Rent Tribunal is the authority.
Rental Agreement
A legally binding agreement to rent a premises, either written or oral, between a landlord and tenant.
Rental Application
Filled out by a prospective tenant and often including an authorization to conduct a credit check; a landlord uses the application to determine the suitably of renting a unit to the individual. Questions on the rental application cannot violate the applicant's rights.
Rental Property
Lands and/or buildings and/or units and/or rooms available for or being rented..
Roommate
Someone who lives in a rental property with other tenant(s), sharing rent, the cost of utilities and other expenses according to mutually agreed upon terms.

S

Security Deposit
See deposit.
Seize
To take possession of by legal process.
Settlement Services
Agencies and organisations who assist immigrants, helping these individuals to establish themselves in their new location.
Sublet
To rent leased property to another person. The original tenant continues to be responsible to his or her landlord under their rental agreement. The original tenant is responsible for the actions of his or her sublessee. This is not the same as assigning, where the original tenant transfers the responsibility of the rental agreement to a new tenant. See assign.
Sublessee
One who sublets from a current tenant.

T

Tenant
A person who leases or rents a premises from a landlord. The premises rented is often an apartment, room or house.
Tenant Insurance
Additional insurance purchased by the tenant to protect personal property contained in a rental unit from loss due to fire, theft, water damage and other circumstances. Specific terms of coverage are determined by the policy purchased from the insurer.
Tenancy
The occupation of lands, buildings, or other property by title, under a lease, or on payment of rent and can also refer to the duration of the occupation.
Tenure
The act, fact, or condition of holding something in one's possession, such as real estate.
Term
Length of a lease or rental agreement, or, an item or requirement in a lease or rental agreement.

U

Ttilities
Services such as heat, water and electricity that may or may not be included in the amount of rent paid. Cable and telephone services are usually not included.
Unit
The premises rented under one tenancy agreement, usually an apartment within a complex with a group of units (apartment buildings, condominiums, townhouse complexes, etc.).

W

Week-to-Week
Refers to a periodic tenancy that is not bound to a specific lease period, such as a year, but renews each week. Notice periods to end this type of tenancy vary amongst the provinces and territories.
 

Canada

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