Like every occupation has added responsibilities and pressures, landlords, too, have their own set of responsibilities. Collecting rent from the tenants, meeting new people, and answering calls all day are some of the most basic commitments landlords have to deal with. In this blog, we have described other Landlord tenant responsibilities must fulfil under the landlord tenant act Ontario

As tenants are required to pay monthly rent, they expect a few things in return. The Residential Tenancies Act Ontario describes all the details regarding the landlord-tenant responsibilities in the province. Although the duties might be cumbersome, abiding by the rules has numerous advantages, like reaping generous benefits, maintaining great tenants, and straying off potential problems. 

Summarising Landlord Responsibilities

Summarising Landlord Responsibilities

Any person who leases the property to a tenant is expected to offer a habitable environment, as per rental property management in Ontario. A habitable accommodation is fit for a person to reside in, is free of hazards or defects, and is compliant with health, maintenance standards, housing, and safety. Landlords are also accountable for providing their tenants with a clean and safe living space. This means they must comply with all building codes, ensure that the property has trash receptacles and running water, keep the common areas clean, and repair any damage. 

In general, uninhabitable living conditions are anything that makes living in the premises or rental unit impossible. For instance :

    • Dysfunctional or faulty gas or plumbing system
    • Missing/broken doors or windows
    • Default electrical outlets
    • Cockroaches, leaking roof, or mould
    • An unclean environment or building
    • Messy grounds

An important point for landlords to remember is that if you cannot deliver a habitable living space to the tenant, they can take legal action against you. This action is taken under the landlord-tenant act of Ontario. If these charges are negligent, the court might award the tenant damages by reducing the rent the tenants pay you. But every landlord strives to avoid this situation. 

The Residential Tenancies Act of Ontario has made these responsibilities compulsory to abide by for landlords. 

  • Repairs

When a landlord renting homes, maintaining and repairing the rental unit is the responsibility of the landlord. These repairs include heating, electrical, roofs, plumbing systems, doors, windows, locks, pools, patios, appliances, lighting fixtures, and other regions. The tenant does not need to know about any of these problems in the unit prior to signing the lease since they are obligated only for the damages caused by them or their guests. 

However, the landlord is not required to replace the damaged item with a new one. You can replace it with a used one too, ensuring that it is in good working condition. An important question that tenants often ask is ‘how much time does a landlord have to get something fixed in Ontario?’ The Landlord tenant Act of Ontario defines that a landlord must fix the problem within a reasonable time frame. If the landlord fails to get the work done, then the tenant can take action by filing an application or reporting it to the Land and Tenancies Board. 

  • Maintenance of the Property

Maintenance of the Property
Credits : Vrbo

The landlord and tenant act Ontario requires a landlord to maintain the rental premises/property, and keep it safe and clean. The places included are the lobby, elevator, halls, garage, pool, and parking lots. The landlords must also take the necessary steps to ensure that the property is not infested with mice, cockroaches, and other related creatures.  

  • Property Standards

landlord tenant act Ontario Property Standards
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The most essential factor that every landlord should keep in mind before they start managing any property is their duty to ensure that the property is legal. The premises must meet the housing, safety, maintenance, and health standards as defined by the provincial maintenance standards and the municipal by-laws. 

If the property does not meet these standards, the landlord has the option of renovating it before renting it out. Please note that the space or unit available for rent that does not meet the legal requirements does not enjoy the same protection as those who rent out legal units. Additionally, suppose you construct an illegal property and the authorities discover it. In that case, you will have to pay a fine and also get rid of the property according to the landlord-tenant act Ontario. 

  • Vital Services

According to the landlord tenant act Ontario, the vital services include gas, fuel, electricity, heat, and hot/cold water. The heat should be provided during the required time of the year, i.e., from 1st September to June 15th. The requirement is to keep the heat at 20 degrees Celsius. This temperature requirement is set at different levels by the local governments, so ensure to confirm the same. 

If you are a landlord and provide important services to your tenant, then you are prohibited from withholding a moderate amount of either. This is valid even if the tenant has damaged your property or if the rent is overdue. The tenant is in a position to sue you if you withhold or cut off the service or cannot pay the utility bill. 

The landlord is also not allowed to intervene in any vital service if it is stated in the lease that the tenant has to lay out one or more services. 

  • Entering a Rental Unit

landlord tenant act Ontario Entering a Rental Unit

If the landlord plans on getting inside a rental unit or property for inspection purposes or to get an idea of the repairs to be made, maintenance issues, or to replace something, they need to issue a 24-hour notice to the tenant in writing. You need to mention the reason for entering the property, the time, and the date of entry. 

You also need to take the following steps, apart from the aforementioned things:

    • Throwing off the garbage or arranging for it to be disposed of regularly
    • Repair any sort of damage done to the property during maintenance works and repairs, due to neglect, or deliberately
    • The tenant must be issued a copy of the lease or tenancy agreement plus your legal name and address. If the tenant requests rent receipts, the landlord is expected to provide it to them. These documents must be provided without any charge. 

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

What does a landlord legally have to provide?

The landlord tenant act Ontario defines a set of rules that the landlords must abide by like security and locks, reasonably secure property, etc.

What are landlords responsible for?

Landlords are responsible for repairing the property's exteriors, the structure, hot water systems and heating, baths, sinks, basins, and other sanitaryware.

What can a landlord not do in Ontario?

Landlords are in no way allowed to impose repayment agreements on the tenants. The tenants cannot be evicted if they refuse a rent repayment plan. The above statement is an offence as per the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, that a landlord cannot threaten or harass a tenant to leave the property.

What are landlords obligated to fix?

The Residential Tenancies Act of Ontario states that landlords must replace items that wear down or tear off or repair any damage.

What can landlords be fined for?

According to the landlord tenant responsibilities, if the landlord fails to provide the tenant with certain documents required by them, it also includes a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate.