01 May 2018

Before You Sign The Lease, Know Your Rights And Responsibilities

As the market continues to change and property becomes more expensive, more people are choosing to rent.

If you have never rented, it is important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and your landlord’s rights and responsibilities as well.  Similarly, if you are a new landlord, it is important to understand what you are required to provide to your tenant, and what rights you are entitled to.

Tenants Responsibilities:

Pay rent – The tenant must pay their rent in full and on time as per the contract. It must be paid under all circumstances unless the landlord agrees to something otherwise. 

Keep property clean – As a tenant, you are required to keep your unit clean and free of damages.  This includes damage done deliberately or by accident due to neglect of the unit. This also includes any damage caused by your guests. 

Obey the law – All laws must be followed in your unit. If laws are broken, you will be held responsible, not your landlord. If you live in a condo, you must also educate yourself on the rules and regulations of your building and ensure you are following them.

Be reasonably quiet – Although a tenant is allowed to enjoy their residence, they must also respect the right of those living around them to do the same.  Noise must still be at a reasonable level.

Tenants Rights: 

Right to enjoyment of unit – As a tenant, you have the right to enjoy your unit as your own, free from harassment from the landlord and free of noise. 

Repairs – If there is a repair (from wear/tear, malfunction, or break down) that needs to be done on the premises, it should be done in a timely fashion and with as little inconvenience to you as possible.  The repair should also be at the owner’s expense, not your own.

Pests – Any pest/insect extermination needed that is not caused by your own negligence/uncleanliness should be taken care of immediately by the landlord, also at their expense.

Visitors – As a tenant, you have the right to have visitors at your leisure, so long as they are not endangering any others in the building or area, damaging the property, or engaging in any illegal activities.

Landlord Responsibilities:

Safety – As a landlord, you must ensure that the unit you are renting is safe and liveable for tenants. This includes structural issues. 

Repairs – The landlord is responsible for fixing anything in the unit that has broken down as a result of wear and tear or malfunction.  This includes but is not limited to appliances, large outdoor structures, flooring, etc.

Property taxes – The owner of the property is required to pay the property taxes, not the tenant.

Ensure vital elements of home are working –  As landlord it is your responsibility to make sure all systems - heating, water, electricity, etc. - are working at all times (within reason), and if they are not, that every accommodation possible is made for the tenants to live comfortably until those elements are restored.  (The tenant may be responsible for paying for utilities, but the landlord must ensure the elements are working.)

Landlord Rights:
Entry into Unit – The landlord is permitted to visit or inspect the unit between the hours of 8am-8pm with reasonable cause with 24 hours notice to the tenant. The landlord can enter the unit outside of the accepted hours in a proven emergency.

Eviction – A landlord can evict a tenant or request the unit back under certain circumstances and within the required time frame. Acceptable circumstances include needing the unit for family, extensive renovations, non-payment, and damages.  In most cases, the standard time frame is 60 days, but it may vary depending on the reason.

Rent increase – The owner of a property is allowed to increase rent on a yearly basis as per the rent increase guidelines.  

Deposit – A landlord is not allowed to ask for any other deposit aside from collection of first and last months' rent upon signing of the lease, and it is only to be used towards the rent.  

For additional information and details on all procedures and regulations see the Landlord and Tenant Board Website  - http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/

Read 1339 times Last modified on Wednesday, 02 May 2018 00:04
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