What are the Rights for Repair in Ontario
There is a certain degree that a tenant can demand or even take legal action from property managers or landlords when it comes to repairing and maintain the property that they are renting. This includes complying with all health, safety and maintenance standards that are usually set by the local municipality.
What are the obligations of property managers, landlords and tenants?
Under the law, property managers and landlords or property owners are responsible for keeping up with their rental premises in a decent condition of repair. This includes conforming with all health, safety and maintenance standards that are usually set by the local municipality. Tenants are responsible for keeping their unit clean and for fixing any harm they or their visitors cause to the unit or the premises.
What is the property manager’s obligation to maintain the premises in good repair?
A property manager’s commitment to keeping up with the premises is continuous and doesn’t simply emerge when the tenant complains or when the damage becomes serious. The tenant commits to keep the premises clean, it is the obligation of the property manager or landlords to repair damage due to reasonable wear and tear in a long time. This incorporates: fixing broken appliances, leaking, stripping paint, and clogged lines or pipes, maintaining it to a good state, for example, garage and laundry rooms, and guaranteeing that there is enough supply of water and different utilities remembered for the tenancy arrangement. A property manager or landlord is also responsible for preventing and ridding pests and insects from the tenant’s unit and the entire premises.
The property manager can’t interfere with vital services. “Vital services” refer to hot or cold water, fuel, power, gas and, during specific months of the year, heat. If a landlord offers any vital services to the tenant, the property manager or landlord can’t withhold a reasonable supply of services. This rule applies even in such cases as when the tenant’s lease is past due or then again if the tenant has damaged the property.
What are the tenant’s legal options if a property manager is not maintaining the premises?
In the event that a landlord isn’t maintaining the premises appropriately, the tenant has four legal options.
To start with, the tenant can write a letter to the landlord or property managers specifying all fixes that are required and should keep a copy of the letter for their records.
Second, if the landlord will not resolve the issues, the tenant can contact the Property Standards department of the local community. In areas where there isn’t a property standards office, the tenant can contact the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Since issues of deterioration, security, and infestation are typically an infringement of a by-law, if the tenant calls the municipality, an inspector will ordinarily plan to examine the premises. In the event that the inspector finds down that a by-law has been violated, they will typically create a report requesting that the fixes be finished by a given time or deadline. The landlord or property managers and tenants will both get a copy of the report.
Third, if the landlord doesn’t comply with the request, they might be fined or charged with an offence, and the tenant can use the report as proof of legal action against the property manager or landlord.
Fourth, regardless of whether the property manager fixes the issue, the tenant can apply for an abatement of rent to the Landlord and Tenant Board by filing a Tenant Application About Maintenance. Abatement of rent is a reduction in rent for the months that the premises were in disrepair. In the event that an abatement of rent is approved by the Board, the tenant will either receive money back for previous rent paid or be entitled to hold back all or part of the rent normally paid to the landlord, until the repair is made.
Applying for abatement of rent involves a hearing in front of a Board member who will review the evidence of disrepair, hear arguments from both sides, and decide if the tenant should receive a deduction from their rent. Nonetheless, a tenant is only eligible to receive an abatement for up to 12 months before they began their application. Therefore, a tenant should deal with disrepair problems right away.
Note that a tenant can be evicted in the event that they retain any or the entirety of the rent without first getting an endorsement from the Landlord and Tenant Board. This applies regardless of whether the tenants feel that maintenance is poor or an essential repair has not been finished.