Tuesday, 29 September 2015


In Ontario, tenants are entitled to receive a receipt for rent that they pay.  This is true even if their rent is paid by cheque, electronic transfer, or other instrument that would appear to be its own receipt.    The landlord's obligation to provide a receipt is set out in section 109 of the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act.  That section provides:

109. RECEIPT FOR PAYMENT ---(1)  A landlord shall provide free of charge to a tenant or former tenant, on request, a receipt for the payment of any rent, rent deposit, arrears of rent or any other amount paid to the landlord.

(2)  FORMER TENANT--Subsection (1) applies to a request by a former tenant only if the request is made within 12 months after the tenancy terminated.

The obvious use of a rent receipt is that it allows a tenant to prove that the rent has been paid.  However, that is not the only reason that a tenant may request a rent receipt.  There are certain tax credits available to some tenants that may only be claimed with a proper rent receipt.  Further, a tenant may need the receipt to prove payment of rent to other agencies or in other court proceedings.   It is for this reason that the law very clearly requires a landlord to provide a receipt when requested to provide one.

While the obligation to provide a receipt is clear it is not always clear what a receipt needs to contain.  Many landlords buy a generic receipt book at Staples and simply fill in the spaces provided in that book.  For the most part, receipts like this do not meet the legal requirements imposed by the Residential Tenancies Act.

Aside from the section 109 requirements, the Regulations to the Residential Tenancies Act spell out the details of what a valid rent receipt must contain.  Section 9 of Ontario regulation 516/06 states that a document constitutes a receipt for the purposes of section 109 of the Residential Tenancies Act if it includes, at a minimum, a) the address of the rental unit to which the receipt applies; b) the name of the tenants to whom the receipt applies; c) the amount and date for each payment received for any rent, rent deposit, arrears of rent, or any other amount paid to the landlord and shall specify what the payment was for; d) the name of the landlord of the rental unit; and e) the signature of the landlord or the landlord's authorized agent.

As you can see from this section of the regulation the standard receipt from a generic blank receipt book will not constitute a receipt.  By the wording of the regulation any document that a landlord provides to a tenant that does not include the mandatory information will not legally be considered to be a receipt.  Accordingly, a landlord who provides such a document is contravening the law when the tenant makes a request for a rent receipt.

I've pasted into this article a blank rent receipt that I have prepared which, if you compare it to the section 109 requirements and the section 9 requirements of the regulation, meets the mandatory requirements of the law. 

Michael K. E. Thiele

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About Michael Thiele

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Ottawa lawyer and partner at Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP.  Graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.  Called to the bar in Ontario in 1997.  Undergraduate degree at Colby College, Waterville Maine, U.S.A.