Tenants, landlords, and property managers often have a set of expectations about who is responsible for maintenance when renting an apartment. Tenants expect the landlord to take care of any maintenance issues or repairs that arise during their stay. Landlords, on the other hand, are more likely to expect tenants to maintain the property in good condition at all times throughout their tenancy. But who takes care of maintenance?
In this post, we’ll explore maintenance responsibilities between landlords and renters, including how long they’re expected to last and what’s fair game for both parties.
1. Tenants are responsible for their repairs
When renting an apartment, tenants are in charge of their repairs. Tenants should expect the landlord to take care of any major maintenance issues or emergencies that occur during the tenancy (i.e., broken windows, and faulty plumbing). However when it comes to smaller items like painting walls and fixing faucets; these types of repairs fall under the “tenant’s responsibility”.
Tenants should expect to pay for their repairs, but landlords can help by offering a list of reputable contractors and providing access to the property. This will ensure that the tenant does not need to find or negotiate with tradespeople on their own time.
Landlords are required under the law (the Residential Tenancies Act) to ensure that the property is in good condition at all times, but they are not responsible for smaller repairs. For this reason, it’s important to discuss who will pay for maintenance with your landlord before signing a tenancy agreement.
Tenants should expect landlords to be responsible for any major issues during their stay while paying attention to small problems like faucets that need to be fixed.
2. Landlords are responsible for any structural problems with the property
Generally, landlords are responsible for any structural problems that arise with the property. This includes anything from a faulty electrical system to non-working appliances and holes in the walls. Landlords must ensure that their properties meet all minimum requirements (i.e., working elevators, heating) as per provincial law and local bylaws; but they aren’t held responsible for smaller issues like minor plumbing problems.
Landlords can set out their expectations around maintenance in the tenancy agreement and may include a clause that states who is financially responsible for certain types of repairs (i.e., major or minor). Tenants should become familiar with these requests during the application process so they are aware of what to expect.
Landlords are required to maintain their properties in good condition at all times, but will not be responsible for smaller repairs like faucets and painting walls. In addition, tenants should expect landlords to outline who is financially responsible for certain types of maintenance before signing a tenancy agreement.
3. If something breaks, landlords should fix it
Tenants should expect landlords to fix any major issues within a reasonable time frame. Unfortunately, what is considered “reasonable” can be subjective and will vary from case to case – but there are some general guidelines you can follow:
- Leaky faucets – A few drips of water every day probably won’t warrant a repair, but if you have a chronic leak that’s causing damage or is very noticeable then it should be fixed right away.
- Lights – If one light bulb in your suite goes out, the landlord may not fix it for some time. But several lights going out at once (especially when they are all located in the same area) could indicate serious electrical problems, and the landlord should fix them as soon as possible.
- Heating – If it’s getting cold in your suite or you notice a lack of hot water then it may be time to call your landlord. In this case, timing is key – if you wait too long then they won’t be able to do anything until it’s warm enough outside, but if you call too soon then they may think that the problem is not a big deal.
4. Tenants should maintain the property in good condition at all times throughout their tenancy
Tenants are expected to keep their units in good condition at all times. This means that they should take care of any general maintenance, including cleaning the carpets and making sure appliances are working well. Even if your lease includes a clause requiring you to pay for minor repairs, it is still important for tenants to maintain the property so things don’t become worse!
If you are having problems with your landlord, consider consulting the Residential Tenancies Act. This act outlines what landlords and tenants can expect from each other so it may be helpful to have a copy nearby when dealing with any issues.
You should communicate early on about who is responsible for maintenance before signing an agreement or else these responsibilities may be open to interpretation.
5. No set timeline defines when maintenance responsibilities end
It depends on what you’re renting and your landlord’s expectations.
In general, landlords are responsible for maintaining properties in good condition at all times. If something breaks or needs fixing then they should fix it right away. However, small issues like a faulty light bulb may not be worth their time and money so you could end up taking care of them yourself. It is important to discuss maintenance before signing an agreement so you both know what to expect from each other.
You will need to ask your landlord before doing any work on the property, but they cannot withhold consent unreasonably. This means that if it’s a small job and does not require them to do anything then there is no problem with allowing tenants to take care of it themselves as long as it’s within reason.
For example, if you decide to paint the walls then your landlord cannot refuse unless they need to repaint as well – but changing light bulbs or hanging pictures is usually not considered unreasonable and there should be no problem with doing it yourself.
In conclusion, the following points should be noted:
- The landlord is responsible for maintaining the property in good condition at all times. If something needs to be fixed then they should do it right away, but small issues like a faulty light bulb may not always require immediate attention. Landlords and tenants should discuss maintenance before signing an agreement so both parties are aware of what to expect from each other.
- Tenants need to maintain the property so things don’t get worse and it’s within reason for them to do small jobs like hanging pictures or changing light bulbs themselves. Tenants cannot make any changes without their landlord’s consent, but landlords cannot withhold consent unreasonably as long as it isn’t something big.
- No set timeline defines when maintenance responsibilities end, but in general, the landlord is responsible for maintaining properties in good condition at all times while tenants are expected to keep their units clean and any appliances working well. If you have problems with your landlord then refer to the Residential Tenancies Act which outlines what landlords and tenants can expect from each other.