7 Free Resources for Tenant Legal Assistance

Tenants have rights. There are organizations that can provide guidance on certain cases - FOR FREE!

Author: Openroom HQ

Published: Tuesday, August 1, 2023 | Updated: Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Ontario Tenants, Don't Let The Landlord Walk All Over You!

In Ontario, there are rights for both Landlords and Tenants. Many Landlords operate compliantly, abide by the agreement, and respect Tenants wholeheartedly.

And then, there are some Landlords and/or Property Managers who treat Tenants unfairly. At Openroom, that is not something we stand for.

We believe that responsible Tenants will work with responsible Landlords to ensure a safe, healthy, and respectful relationship on reasonable grounds. It's common sense, right? Well, sometimes common sense isn't so common. In cases when Tenants find their Landlords have operated questionably, there are resources available to help them navigate this absurdly complex rental ecosystem.

It makes us react with 🀯, and that's precisely why we want to provide some quick deets for you. Let's go through two common examples where some Landlords try to do things under the table, and that's not okay.

Example Case: Did You Get an Abnormally High Rent Increase?

A Landlord raises rent by an abnormally high amount. What is abnormally high? The government of Ontario sets a limit on the permitted rent increase. Learn more about Residential Rent Increases from the Ontario Government.

For 2023 and 2024, it is 2.5% per year on top of the existing lawful rent - and no more than that if the unit is rent controlled. There are a few special cases such as renovations that warrant a slightly higher increase but not the case for the standard rental unit.

Ah, we know what's on your mind! Now you are thinking: "is my rental unit on rent control"? Go on, take a read and stay informed.

Example Case: Were You Asked to Give Damage Deposits?

Another example, a Landlord cannot collect damage deposits from Tenants. The typically deposit collected at the beginning can only be used for Last Month's Rent (LMR) payment.

Learn more about Rent Deposit in Bullet Point #8 from the Ontario Government.

Resources for Tenant Rights Questions

There are many other common violations that occur in the rental ecosystem. As a tenant, when you're in a position you aren't sure about, it's always best to double check. It's free to explore so there is no harm in explaining your situation and getting more educated. These resources are a starting point. Nothing beats being prepared.

Please note that the hours of operation below may change at any time and it's advised that you check the organization's website to confirm.

Tenant Duty Counsel (TDC)

TDC helps Tenants who do not have a legal representative present on the day of their hearing with the Landlord and Tenant Board.

By appointment in advance or try to call at least 30 minutes early into your hearing.

See Details

Pro Bono Ontario – Free legal advice hotline

The hotline offers 30 minutes of free legal help and advice over the telephone on civil law matters such as housing.

Toll Free 1-855-255-7256

Monday to Friday between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST

See Details

Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR)

Tenants facing eviction can get information about the eviction process and services. CCHR’s human rights services include helping tenants who: are being discriminated against when looking for housing, are being harassed, need accommodation for a human rights reason, such as a disability, want general information about human rights or the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.


416-944-0087 | 1-800-263-1139

Phone lines: Monday to Thursday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm EST, Friday: 9:30 am – 1:00 pm EST | Live chat: Friday: 1:00 – 5:00 pm EST

See Details

Tribunals Ontario – Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)

The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) resolves: disputes between residential landlords and tenants, and eviction applications filed by non-profit housing co-operatives. The LTB also provides information about its practices and procedures and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act. Note: LTB isn't legal advice but can share information on the Residential Tenancy Act.


Phone 416-645-8080 | Toll-free 1-888-332-3234 | Toll-free TTY 1-800-855-0511 (Bell Relay Service)

Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST

See Details

Law Society Referral Service

The Law Society of Ontario has on online Law Society Referral Service that gives you the name of a lawyer or licensed paralegal who will give free legal advice for up to 30 minutes in any area of law.


1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255

Monday to Friday, between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST

See Details

Ontario Legal Information Centre

The Ontario Legal Information Centre offers free 30-minute meeting with a lawyer to understand your legal situation. Consultations available in French and English for matters such as Landlord and Tenant issues.


Monday to Friday 9:00 to 12:00 pm EST, Monday to Thursday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm EST

See Details

Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA)

ACSA Legal Assistance Centre provides assistance to those who need legal support and assistance in filling out forms. You can book a free 20 minute legal consultation online.


(416) 292-6912 ext. 335

Varies depending on appointment

See Details

Enjoyed this and want more? Send us a note with your feedback, a πŸ™Œ, or suggestions on what else we can write about! You can reach us at hello@openroom.ca.