I own several properties that I rent out. Do I have to paint my rental units and steam clean carpets every time I have a new tenant move into a unit?
This will be a judgment call you will have to make depending upon the condition of the premises each time they are vacated. You have a statutory obligation to keep to standards set out in public health regulations. Walls must be easy to clean and floors must be clean and sanitary. If this is not the case, you run the risk of a tenant lodging a complaint with a regional health authority or local authority. The tenant could also take legal action for damages, rent reduction, or a termination of the tenancy.
I own an apartment building and rent suites to tenants. I rented an apartment to a new tenant last month. There has been a problem with the heating system in that apartment which I am trying to fix. Today I got a notice from the court that the tenant wants to apply for a reduction in rent for the time that the heating is not working. Can she do this?
Yes. If a landlord is not fulfilling the terms of the tenancy agreement, the tenant can apply to court for a reduction in rent that reflects the benefit the tenant is not receiving. The Residential Tenancies Act imposes a duty upon landlords to ensure that premises meet the minimum public health standards for housing at all times.
Public health standards require minimum indoor temperatures to be maintained during the winter months. If your tenant can establish that this standard is not being met, she may have a good case to argue for a reduction in rent. She can also report you to a regional health authority. You may want to try talking with your tenant to see if there is some arrangement you can make while fixing the heating system.
This page was last updated in April, 2006.