Residential Tenancies Act
Repairs and Maintenance
The Residential Tenancies Act (the “Act”) governs the relationship between Landlords and Tenants. Please see below the responsibilities of each party as defined by the Act:
1. Landlords’ Responsibilities
- Clean and maintain all common areas – for example, shoveling snow and cleaning the hallways)
- Keep the rental unit and the building in good state of repair
- Must fix anything that does not work properly or breaks
- Must help get rid of pests
- Must ensure that the temperature in the rental unit is at least 21° Celsius between September 15 and May 31
2. Tenants’ Responsibilities
- Must keep the rental unit clean
- Must fix anything that you break or damage
- Contact the Landlord to report any of the issues discussed in point 1 and request repairs to be done. If the Landlord does not fix the problem here’s how to ask for a repair (after the verbal request is ignored):
- Ask for the repairs in writing & keep records of it
- Take pictures & talk to your neighbours in case they are experiencing the same problem
- Contact the Municipal Licensing and Standards Office as the last resort
Do not withhold your rent because the maintenance is not done as the Landlord can apply to evict you. Instead apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for abatement (reduction) of rent.
1. Landlords’ Responsibilities
Refer to the terms of the Tenancy Agreement. The Landlord must not withhold any of the services specified in the Tenancy Agreement during the tenancy.
The Residential Tenancies Act was amended relating to suite metering and the apportionment of electricity costs concerning Tenancy Agreements that require Tenants to pay electricity costs either directly to a distributor or the suite meter provider or through cost apportioning.
Some of the important changes are:
Utilities are not considered rent and the Landlord and Tenant Board will not consider applications involving utilities. The landlord may file a claim in Small Claims Court to collect arrears owing on the utility bill from the Tenant.
Energy Efficiency is the Landlord’s responsibility. If the landlord provides a refrigerator for the rental unit, the refrigerator must be manufactured on or after January 1, 1994. If the landlord replaces a refrigerator, the replacement must be manufactured on or after December 31, 2002.
It is the Landlord’s responsibility to provide specific information to the Tenant before obtaining their written consent to transfer the responsibility of the utility bill (see s. 137(4) of the Residential Tenancies Act and O.Reg. 394/10s. 5.).
In order to terminate the landlord’s obligation to supply electricity to a sitting tenant, the landlord must provide the tenant with specific information before obtaining their written consent to transfer responsibility. The information the landlord is required to provide can be found in section 137(4) of the Residential Tenancies Act and O. Regulation 394/10 s. 5. If the tenant consents to the transfer, a 30 day written notice must be provided by the landlord using the prescribed form and the rent will be reduced accordingly.