Starting later this year, all residential landlords and tenants in Ontario will have to use a standard form for their leases.

Housing Minister Peter Milczyn announced Wednesday that the standardized lease requirement will be mandatory for any rental agreements reached on or after April 30. 

It will apply to all rented homes, apartment buildings and condos, as well as secondary units like basement apartments, but not to seniors’ homes, mobile home parks or most forms of social housing – although the province plans to work toward developing standardized leases for those units as well.

Milczyn said in a press release that the form balances what the government has heard from landlords and tenants.

“Renters told us that their leases were often confusing and contained illegal terms. Landlords, especially smallers ones, say a standard template makes it easier for them to do business,” Milczyn said.

Tenants’ advocates say the standardized form will help protect renters and eliminate confusion around leases.

The new standardized lease comes on the heels of a number of measures the province undertook last year to protect renters, including an expansion of rent controls and the creation of stricter regulations around evictions.

It is estimated that there are 1.25 million residential renters in Ontario.