A private landlord and an SHP entered into a standard form of residential lease which specifically stated the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) governed their relationship, and named the housing provider as the sole tenant. Despite this, the Board determined that the SHP was not a “tenant” under the RTA because it did not, and did not intend to, “occupy” the rental unit. The lease between the landlord and the SHP is a commercial lease agreement.
The rental unit was actually occupied under an “occupancy agreement” made between the SHP and an individual (“Occupant”), and the private landlord was not a party to it. The LTB held that the Occupant was an RTA tenant and both the landlord and the SHP were “co-landlords” under the RTA. The Board explicitly considered and rejected submissions that relationships at issue constituted an “upper tenancy” and a “lower tenancy”, or that the Occupant was a sub-tenant. The bottom line is that where there is a head lease with an SHP, which in turn enters into separate leases with subsidized “sub-tenants”, the LTB will treat the Occupant as an RTA tenant in a legal relationship with two RTA landlords: the landlord and the SHP (“co-landlords”). The decision is at this link at our website: https://cohenhighley.com/wp-content/files/2015canlii13940.pdf