No, but a landlord usually requires that everyone who is living in a rental unit be named on the lease agreement – either as a tenant or occupant. Landlords have the right to know how many people are living in the rental unit and who is living in it. This information is important to ensuring the Minimum Housing and Health Standards are met, and that both landlords and tenants can fully exercise their rights if either breaches their legal obligations.
If a person is named as a tenant on the lease agreement, that person is subject to all of the rights and obligations of a tenant as outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act. For example, if Joe and Beth are both named as tenants on the lease and they don’t pay their rent, the landlord can choose to collect the rent from Joe alone, Beth alone, or from Joe and Beth.
Where someone is named as a tenant on the lease agreement but has not signed the agreement, he or she still has the rights and obligations listed in the Residential Tenancies Act. However, if the lease agreement includes rights and obligations outside of the Act, the tenant who has not signed the agreement may not be subject those provisions. For example, if a lease agreement gives a tenant the ability to end a periodic tenancy with a shorter notice period or requires a tenant to shovel the sidewalks, a tenant who has not signed the agreement may not get the benefit of the shorter notice period but also may not be held responsible for failing to shovel.
If someone moves into the rental unit without the landlord’s approval, then the landlord has the right under the Residential Tenancies Act to require the person to vacate the property. Depending on the circumstances, the person may have to leave within 48 hours or 14 days. You can read more about notices in the Notices of this website.