Regular maintenance will help forecast repairs needed and lower the likelihood of unexpected emergencies.
Some provinces require emergency contact information, even if it’s just the landlord, be posted in a visible place in the building.
Landlords are responsible for maintaining and repairing:
- Appliances (fridge, stove, dishwasher, laundry — if they are included in rent)
- Common areas (halls, lobbies, stairwells)
- Security systems
- Swimming pools
- Gym facilities
- Laundry facilities
- Garbage rooms
Tenants should not be involved in fixing minor repairs unless they have agreed to do so, or if they (or their guests) have caused the damage.
Even if a landlord doesn’t make any necessary repairs, a tenant can’t withhold paying rent. If you do, it can result in eviction.
For landlord-tenant disputes surrounding maintenance and repairs, contact your local rental authority or the Office of the Rentalsman, located in some provinces.
To find out how far in advance a landlord must give notice to enter a rental unit in your province or territory, please consult with the office in that province or territory.
Emergencies are considered those that impact the tenant’s health or safety, or put the building or property at risk. By law, landlords must handle and pay for all emergency repairs.
Tenants should always try to contact the landlord at least twice in the event of an emergency, and allow a reasonable amount of time for them to respond.
After that, they can call an external repair person to fix the problem. (See tips for tenants)
- Broken pipe(s) are flooding the premises
- The heating system is not working and it’s cold outside.
- The sewage system is backing up into the premises.
- A defective lock lets anyone enter the unit without a key.
- A short circuit in the wiring is creating a risk of fire and/or electrocution.
- The refrigerator supplied by the landlord isn’t working.
- An interior door doesn’t close properly.
- A stove element is burnt out.
- The kitchen sink has a slow drain.
- There is a minor leak in the roof.
- There is a minor leak or dripping in the household plumbing.
- A garage door opener is not working, but manual access is still available.
- There is a cracked pane in an upper window.
Pests present serious health hazards to residents.
If a tenant is unable to get rid of them on their own, the landlord is responsible for hiring a professional exterminator who will try to use non-toxic methods to eliminate them if possible.
Common pests include:
- Carpenter ants
Many pest removal companies have information on their websites on what to look for, and tips for eliminating or preventing common pests in residences.
If you are considering renting a place that you suspect might have pests, ask to view the unit after dark or ask other tenants in the building if pests are a problem.