The Residential Tenancies Act does not deal specifically with repairs and maintenance, but landlords have a responsibility under public health laws to ensure their properties are sanitary and safe to live in. However, there are some repairs that are the tenant’s responsibility.
The landlord must ensure that:
- the living space is safe and meets minimum housing, fire, building, and health standards;
- the heating, wiring, and plumbing work;
- the structure of the building is maintained including windows, doors, walls, roofs, ceilings, floors, and stairs;
- the fridge and stove work; and
- the common areas are clean (common areas are the spaces shared with other tenants including hallways, stairs, and parking lots).
The Residential Tenancies Act states that in order to enter a tenant’s unit to do repairs, the landlord must give notice to the tenant, except in the case of an emergency.
Sometimes the tenant will be responsible for making repairs or maintaining the rental property. The tenant should read the lease for information about what they are responsible for. The tenant is usually obligated to:
- keep the property clean;
- inform the landlord of any needed repairs;
- repair any damage they cause to the property; and
- make small repairs (for example, changing light bulbs or unplugging drains).
If the there are repairs that need to be done to the property by the landlord, then the tenant should make that request in writing (see example below).
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