Once you have moved into your new home, remember that you have important rights. Take a look at the Residential Tenancies Act which applies to most people who rent their housing.
Rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants
The Residential Tenancies Act sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, such as:
A Safe Home:
Your home must be safe and in good repair. This is true even if you knew about the problems before you agreed to rent the home.
Vital Services (utilities):
You must have access to heat, hot and cold water, electricity, and fuel (such as natural gas). Your landlord cannot shut-off these services, even if you have not paid your rent. These utilities might be included in your rent or, you might pay for them separately.
Your landlord can enter your home only for certain reasons. For example: to make repairs or to show the home to possible tenants or in an emergency. However, on all other occasions, your landlord must give you 24 hours notice before entering.
Your landlord may raise your rent once in a 12-month period. The amount of the increase has to be within legal limits.
Protection from unlawful eviction:
You can only be evicted for certain reasons. If your landlord tries to evict you, you have the right to a hearing with the Landlord and Tenant Board.
How to end your tenancy/lease:
Ending your lease can be done if you give your landlord the proper amount of notice. This is usually 60 days or 2 months before you wish to leave.
You have a right to a written copy of your tenancy agreement, written notice of your landlord’s legal name and address, and rent receipts. It is advisable to keep copies of all of these documents and to keep them safe.
After you have moved in and you feel like some of your rights as a tenant are not being met, discuss these issues and concerns with your landlord – sometimes good communication can solve these problems. You might actually be helping the landlord with a problem he/she is not aware of. If communicating with your landlord does not work, you should contact a legal clinic or a housing-help centre for more information.