Can we evict subtenants if they don't take care of the apartment?
Who can do the evicting depends on your status as landlords and whether or not the primary landlord wants to do the evicting.
Subtenants become tenants of the primary landlord as far as the Residential Tenancies Act is concerned. If the primary landlord thinks that the subtenants are in breach of the obligation to maintain the property, he can use the procedures under the Act to evict the subtenants.
If any of the original tenants who made the agreement with the subtenants have stayed in the apartment, then you will likely not be considered to be landlords under the Residential Tenancies Act. The Act does not cover rental situations where a landlord shares living quarters with a tenant. In that scenario, you would have to use principles of common law to evict the tenants.
If none of you are living there, you would be considered a landlord under the Act and could use the procedures to evict the subtenants.
Can a lease prohibit a tenant from subleasing?
A lease may provide that a tenant may not sublease without the landlord's prior consent. However, the Residential Tenancies Act provides that a landlord can only refuse a request for a sublease on reasonable grounds. Hence, you should be able to refuse where you could reasonably have refused to accept a tenancy yourself, for example, where the proposed subtenant does not have the ability to pay rent.
I have two tenants who signed a lease together and each paid half of the security deposit. One tenant is moving out early and has asked for his half of the deposit back. Am I obligated to return it?
If tenants are sharing a rental property and each paid part of the security deposit, you are under no obligation to return part of the security deposit if one tenant leaves before the tenancy is over. The only exception would be if both you and the tenants had specifically agreed in the original tenancy agreement to the partial return of the deposit before the tenancy is over. In the absence of such an agreement, the security deposit will only be returned when the tenancy ends. When the security deposit is returned at the end of the tenancy, you must make the cheque out to all original tenants even if some have already left the premises.
This page was last updated in March, 2006.