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house under microscope

10 household things landlords must maintain

By Zoocasa

Luckily, tenant rights in Ontario are strong and are all outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act.

Landlords have few circumstances under which they can evict tenants, and tenants can always contest these terms in a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

But Ontario’s strong tenant rights go above and beyond simply a high bar for evictions – they also outline landlord’s responsibility to maintain his property.

Even if a tenant signs a lease agreeing to take on this maintenance, it is still the landlord’s responsibility; illegal clauses within a lease are automatically nullified.

Certainly, this has played a large part in the rise of investors purchasing condos for sale in Toronto, condos for sale in Mississauga, and indeed, in all areas in the Greater Toronto Area: condos require almost no hands-on maintenance and make the job of a landlord much easier.

Hopefully, the Ontario’s new standard lease agreement will prevent landlords from trying to shift these responsibilities in the future. It’s still important for both parties, however, to understand their responsibilities to reduce any conflict.

To that end, Zoocasa has compiled a list of 10 things that the landlord, not the tenant, is responsible for maintaining:

1. Shoveling the snow and mowing grass
2. Keeping halls, elevators, stairways and the lobby clean
3. Getting rid of bedbugs and cockroaches
4. Waterproofing the basement and roof
5. Fixing the toilet and sink
6. Hot water of at least 43 degrees Celsius
7. A washroom door with a lock that’s also easy to open in an emergency (like a push-button)
8. Heat during winter of at least 20 degree Celsius ( A space heater can never be the primary source of heat)
9. Lightbulbs
10. A mailbox that is capable of being secured (watch out for identity thieves!)

If your landlord is not maintaining your unit to a good standard, first talk to him. If he does not fix the problem, you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to schedule a hearing where you will each present your case. If the board rules in your favour, they can order your landlord to do repairs, give you back some of your rent money and potentially repay any expenses you had to incur because of the problem.

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