Need to know
- The Residential Tenancies Act does not deal specifically with repairs and maintenance.
- However, landlords have a responsibility under public health laws to make sure their properties are sanitary and safe to live in.
- Both landlords and tenants should refer to the lease for who’s responsible for repairs.
- Some repairs are the tenant’s responsibility.
Landlords must make sure that:
- the living space is safe and meets minimum housing, fire, building, and health standards
- the heating, wiring, and plumbing work
- they maintain the building structure including windows, doors, walls, roofs, ceilings, floors, and stairs
- the fridge and stove work and
- the common areas are clean (common areas are spaces tenants share including hallways, stairs, and parking lots).
Sometimes the tenant will be responsible for making repairs or maintaining the rental property. The tenant should review the lease for what they are responsible for. The tenant usually is responsible for:
- keeping the property clean
- informing the landlord of any needed repairs
- repairing any damage they caused to the property and
- making small repairs (for example, changing light bulbs or unplugging drains)
If there are repairs that need to be done to the property, then the tenant should make that request in writing (see sample request for repairs below) to their landlord.
Sample request for repairs
Below is a template request for repairs that have to do with minimum housing and health standards. To use it, copy the text into a typeable document and insert your words in place of the prompt words in the square brackets. You can change the template wording to suit your situation.
To [Landlord’s name]:
I am writing this letter to request that you make some repairs to my rental property.
[Describe your problems here:
what needs fixing? where is it? what’s the extent of the problems? when did you start having the problems? how have they impacted you?
e.g., the bannister between the main and upper floor is very loose and needs to be fixed.
The oven stopped working yesterday, and I need the oven to cook most of my meals.
There is black mold growing in my bathroom, and it’s making my asthma flare up.]
I would appreciate you contacting me as soon as possible to let me know when the repairs will be done.
If I do not hear from you by [deadline for landlord’s response], I will contact Environmental Public Heath to request a health inspector visit my suite.