Repair and Service of Tenant’s Residence (19:VI)
A. Duty to Provide and Maintain Rental Unit in Repair
Sections 32(1)(a) and (b) of the RTA provide that a landlord must provide and maintain residential property in a state of decoration and repair that complies with the health, housing and safety standards required by law, and having regard to the age, character and location of the rental unit. It must be suitable for tenant occupation. With respect to a landlord’s obligation to repair, the RTR Schedule states that the landlord must provide and maintain the residential property in a reasonable state of decoration and repair, suitable for occupation by a tenant.
A landlord is responsible for repairing:
- the rental structure, and roof;
- heating, plumbing, electricity;
- locks, walls, floors, ceilings;
- fire doors, and fire escapes;
- intercoms, elevators; and
- anything else included in a tenant’s rent, if so identified in the tenancy agreement.
If a landlord is required to make a repair to comply with the above obligations, the tenant should be advised to notify the landlord of the need for repair (preferably in writing). If the landlord refuses to make the repair, the tenant may seek an Arbitrator’s order. If the tenant fails to notify the landlord and substantial damage results from the lack of repair, the tenant may have breached his or her duty.
When a tenant goes to the RTB to request a repair order, they may also request for a rent reduction until the repair is complete.