We would all like to think that a tenant living in a home will treat and care for the property as well as the owner would. However this is not always the case and there are obligation that a landlord must satisfy under the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) and Property Standard Bylaws. A landlord has to keep the rental property in a good state of repair, obeying all health, safety, housing and maintenance standards. This is true even if the tenant was aware of any deficiencies/problems when they agreed to rent the unit.
So you may ask yourself what is my tenant required to do. A tenant must keep their rental unit clean, up to the standard that most people would consider ordinary or normal cleanliness. A tenant must repair or pay for the repair of any damage to the rental property caused by the tenant or the tenants guests. This includes damage to the unit and common areas such as a hallway, elevator, stairway, and driveway.
The tenant is not responsible to repair damage caused by normal “wear and tear”. For example, if the carpet has become worn after years of normal use, the tenant would not have to replace the carpet. Tenants should not withhold any part of the rent, even if the tenant feels that maintenance is poor or a necessary repair has not been done. A tenant could be evicted, even if they withhold rent without first receiving approval from the Land Lord and Tenant Board.
So what can an owner do to ensure his investment is in good standing? Inspect the property regularly. Property inspections play a very important role with reducing costs, adhering to property standards and keeping happy tenants. Inspections can identify problem area and addressing them can save you time and money.
Never forget that it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure a property is in good condition. This includes small items from cutting grass, snow removal, and pest control. No matter what happens at a property you are the one that will be contacted for any deficiencies.
So be safe, smart and proactive and inspect your investment on a regular basis.
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