When a problem occurs, both the landlord and tenant must follow the proper steps to resolve the issue. They each have legal rights that protect them in the event of disputes.
For example, a landlord can’t simply lock a tenant out of their home for not paying rent. They must follow proper eviction procedures as set out by their province or territory.
Similarly, a tenant can’t decide to not pay rent just because they don’t agree with their landlord or feel an issue hasn’t been taken care of.
Tenants should always contact the proper rental authorities in their province or territory and follow the steps provided. Refusing to pay rent without court approval is unadvisable and can result in eviction.
Problems relating to repairs
Any problems relating to repairs should be handled in writing. If required, fire, health or building inspectors may intervene in order to prompt improvements.
Tenants can also file an application to ask the province or territory to order a landlord to make necessary repairs.
Problems relating to the tenancy
If a tenant:
- Is excessively loud or noisy, especially late at night
- Has an unreasonably dirty apartment or living space
- Has too many people in the living space
Then, a landlord can either:
- Ask for changes, either in writing or verbally
- Call the police, if the actions violate local by-laws
- Formalize a complaint through the local rent authority as a last resort.
Eviction notices must be based on actual violations of the lease agreement and must explicitly state when the premises must be vacated.
If the rent is late or hasn’t been paid, paying the amount due in full will automatically cancel the eviction notice and allow a tenant to stay.
Did you know? 91% of applications for evictions are for failure to pay rent. Source: Landlord and Tenant Board Annual Report 2009 - 2010
TIPS FOR TENANTS...
Landlords cannot bully or harass you, or even try to evict you unless the proper legal process is followed and the reason for eviction is valid.
If you are evicted and oppose the reasons given why, you do not have to vacate the premises until an order from the local rental authority is issued. They will give you a new date to move out, which you must follow. You are responsible for paying the rent in full up until the date you leave the premises, however.
Always check with your provincial or territorial rental authority to find out if there are any tenant advocacy agencies near you to help you in the event of landlord complaints and disputes. These organizations will help explain your rights, respond to complaints and protect you against unreasonable or untrue accusations.
TIPS FOR LANDLORDS...
Steps to handling complaints
- Put complaints and warnings in writing.
- Get copies of the local noise, parking and garbage bylaws for tenants, neighbors and their agents. Some municipalities post bylaws on their websites.
- When appropriate, call the police.
- Proceed with dispute resolution through legal channels.
- Make sure to be meticulous and detail-oriented when taking legal action.