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Law 2101 (688)

Landlord-Tenant Law

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Law 2101
Mysty Sybil Clapton

LANDLORD & TENANT LAW What Law Applies? Residential Tenancies [not commercial] o Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) o S. 5 of the RTA lists exemptions: Non-profit co-op housing Penal or correctional facilities Tenant shares a bathroom or kitchen facility with the owner or the owners family Residence in a university o If the RTA does not apply, there are still protections under common law (Judge made law) and/or other statutes o Landlord Tenant Board is the forum that hears residential tenancy disputes where the RTA applies and where $ amount is under $25,000 Applying & Entering Into a Tenancy Agreement Application Process o Written/oral tenancy agreements o Terms (length of tenancy) o When tenancy begins the term of a tenancy begins on the day the tenant is entitled to occupy the rental unit under the tenancy agreement Actual entry is not required Agreement takes effect when the tenant is entitled to occupy the rental unit, even if they do not occupy it o Guarantors & co-signors o S. 1 Landlord may request credit references and rental history information; Landlord may request income information only if they request credit references and rental history information o S. 2 Landlord can ask tenant for a guarantor o S. 4 Landlord can NOT refuse tenant based on race, anc estry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, same -sex partnership status, family status, handicap, or the receipt of public assistance Acceptance Process o Methods of acceptance (oral or wr itten) and concept of consensus Consensus ad idem an agreement of parties to the same thing; a meeting of minds o Requirement for written tenancy agreements (must set out legal name & address of the landlord) If the tenancy agreement is in writing landlord must give copy of agreement to the tenant within 21 days of the signing If the tenancy agreement is not in writing landlord must give tenant written notice of landlords legal name & address within 21 days of signing If landlord fails to comply until a landlord does either of the two actions stated above, the tenants obligation to pay rent is suspended and the landlord cannot require the tenant to pay rent When the landlord complies, they can require the tenant to pay any rent withheld o Acceleration Clause Void An acceleration clause is a provision in a tenancy agreement that makes the tenant pay extra money if the tenant defaults in paying the rent when its due, or makes the tenant pay extra money if the tenant does not carry out some obligat ion Under S. 15 of the RTA, acceleration clauses are VOID o No Pet Provisions Void Provision in the tenancy agreement that prohibits the presence of animals in or about the residential complex Void under S. 14 of the RTA o Provisions Conflicting With Act Void Any provision in a tenancy agreement that is inconsistent with the RTA is void o Mediated Settlements The Board can attempt to mediate a settlement of any matter that is the subject of an application if the parties agree to the mediation Limit on the amount that a mediated settlement can increase the rent o Security of Tenure Tenancy may be terminated only by order of the LTB or court, agreement, or through proper notice However, a notice of termination need not be given if a landlord and a tenant have agreed to terminate the tenancy o Security Deposits The only security deposit that a landlord is allowed to collect is a rent deposit, which cannot be more than one months rent Valid Tenancy Agreement o A landlord may require a tenant to pay a rent depos it, but can only do so on or before the tenant enters the tenancy agreement o If the amount of rent for one rent period (weekly rent) is less than the amount of rent for one month, then the amount of rent for one rent period (weekly rent) is the maximum amo unt the landlord can require from the tenant as rent deposit o A landlord cannot require a tenant to provide post-dated cheques or other negotiable instruments for payment of rent, nor can the landlord require automatic debiting of the tenants chequing or credit card accounts o If a tenancy agreement is in writing, the landlord must give the tenant a signed copy of the agreement within 21 days after signing o Agreement takes effect when the tenant is entitled to occupy the rental unit, whether or not the tena nt actually occupies it Roommate Agreements o Good idea avoids conflict and sets out legal obligations, responsibilities, and remedies o Joint and several liability Jointall tenants are responsible for rent Severalif one tenant does not pay, the other tenants are responsible o Enforcement Assuming joint and several liability, each tenant is liable for whole rent I can sue my roommate in the Small Claims Court based on the roommate agreement to recover the rent I paid Obligations of Landlords Landlords Responsibility to Repair o Landlord responsible for maintaining a residential complex in a good state of repair and fit for habitation, and for complying with health, safety, housing, and maintenance standards Intention is to make landlords responsible f or maintaining complexes and to not transfer obligations to tenants Obligation to maintain the unit is absolute doesnt matter if the landlord has insufficient money Extends to entire residential complex (rental unit, facilities, common areas, etc.) Standards o Provision of heat, hot water, air conditioning minimum temperatures o Pestsall buildings kept free of rodents, etc., at all times o Garbage Storage & Removal specifics on where/how garbage should be stored and how often it should be removed o Elevatorsshall be maintained o Many other sections dealing with doors, windows, screens, plumbing, drainage Fit for Habitation o If the state of disrepair
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