Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

At the beginning of a landlord-tenant relationship, both parties should understand their basic rights and responsibilities and they should communicate their expectations to each other. Once the landlord screens, finds and accepts a tenant's application, the relationship starts. When a tenant signs the lease and/or pays the rent, the legal contract to move in activates. If either party breaks the rental agreement at this point, compensation may be in order for the wronged party.

Sometimes situations arise that require the attention of both landlord and tenant. They need to rely on each other to ensure emergencies, repairs and even complaints, are handled in a timely manner. A good relationship where both parties respect the rights of the other facilitates problem solving. Difficult landlord-tenant relationships can require mediation or costly legal intervention to settle conflicts.

In all provinces, landlords are legally obliged to ensure that the rental unit complies with the rules and regulations pertaining to minimum health, safety, housing and maintenance standards. Before a landlord rents a property, it must meet municipal property standards, zoning bylaws, fire safety regulations and local building codes. The premises might have met the acceptable standards upon rental and it is the landlord's responsibility to ensure that the place does not deteriorate below these standards.

Landlords must... Tenants must...

Maintain the tenant's home in a good state of repair and fit for habitation and at the landlord's expense comply with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards.

Not withhold, during a tenant's occupancy, the reasonable supply of fuel, electricity, hot and cold water and other utility services (cable, Internet) unless the tenant has agreed to obtain and pay for these services.

Not interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of the tenant and the members of his or her household and guests.

Not seize, without legal process, a tenant's property for rent default or for the breach of any other obligation of the tenant.

Not harass, obstruct, coerce, threaten or interfere with the tenant.

Pay the rent on time.

Behave well, clean the rental premises, repair damage caused by a willful or negligent act of the tenant or a person whom the tenant permits on the premises.

Not harass, obstruct, coerce, threaten or interfere with the landlord.

Contact the landlord as soon as possible when a serious problem arises involving repairs or services.

Permit entry (with proper notice) for repairs or showing of premises for next tenant or purchaser.

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