As a renter, you may have wondered what’s within your right to have fixed, repaired, or maintained. It’s natural to have questions about these important matters, so here are 5 questions that every tenant should know the answer to when it comes to the maintenance and repairs of your rental.
1) What repairs are landlords responsible for in Ontario? In Ontario, landlords are responsible for fixing or replacing anything that is in bad condition according to Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO). Tenants are responsible for keeping the unit clean, but landlords must repair things like appliances if included in the rental agreement. (Appliances can include fridges, stoves, dishwashers, and laundry).
Regular maintenance to keep the property in good condition is also the landlord's responsibility. This can include things like keeping halls, elevators, stairways, laundry, or garbage rooms clean, as well as snow and ice removal off driveways and sidewalks. Landlords must also address problems with pests like bedbugs or mice by either getting rid of them or preventing them from getting into your rental unit.
2) What happens if you damage something? If you accidentally damage something in your rental unit, usually you must pay for the repairs. Accidents can happen and it's best to inform your landlord or property management company immediately.
3) How much heat must my landlord provide? Landlords must provide a minimum temperature of 20 degrees Celsius between September and June. However, the rules are different for each region in Ontario so it’s best to contact your municipal office to be sure of the standards.
4) Can my landlord cut off my utilities? Landlords cannot cut off services like water, electricity or heat.
5) What can I do if my landlord does not do repairs? CLEO explains that you can do a few of the following actions:
- Send a letter or email informing your landlord what needs repairing
- Ask if other tenants in your building are experiencing the same problems
- Call a government inspector like a by-law department, municipal office, or local councillor
- Find legal support through legal clinics like the Waterloo Region Community Legal Services
- Apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board
These common questions could help you navigate some of the unknowns about maintenance and repairs in your rental unit. To find more answers to frequently asked questions for maintenance and repairs, visit CLEO resources here.
*Please note, Lutherwood does not give out legal advice.
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