9 Responsibilities of Landlords

February 03, 2019 Shauna

9 Things All Landlords Must Know!

There are many duties that a landlord must fulfill aside collecting rent when renting out a property to potential tenants. These  landlord responsibilities include an obligation to their tenant's to keep a habitable rental. This is achieved by making sure the rental is livable, safe and clean for your tenant. A landlord is also responsible for financials, taxes, utilities and property maintenance and right down to meeting all applicable compliance that go with a rental property. Here we are listing 9 core duties a landlord must perform in a rental agreement.

1. Knowledge of tenancy act: First and foremost, it becomes the duty of the landlord to ensure that they are well versed with the Residential Tenancies Act, Rental Fairness Act and other applicable government and state laws and acts. At the same time, it is the duty of the landlord to ensure that the tenancy is in compliance with these laws and acts. Landlord should register the tenancy and provide the tenant with a regular rent receipt.

2. Meet provincial obligations: The legalities surrounding the business of property rental differs from province to province in Canada. For example, some municipalities in Canada do not issue permits to secondary properties such as basement suites. It is the duty of the landlord to have a clear understanding of these legalities to ensure proper compliance.

3. Provide utilities: Landlords cannot refuse to provide you with utilities in the rental house or apartment, such as electricity or water. Note the cost of those services may or may not be included in your rent depending on the rental agreement. In most cases water, sewer and trash collection is paid by the landlord. On the other hand, tenants generally get and pay for cable TV and internet services for their own use. 

4. Have safety compliance: It is also the duty of the landlord to ensure the rental is safe to live, is in good condition and in safety compliance. If such legal requirements are not met, the landlord could be forced to pay a fine and take down the rental property.

5. Handle tenant concernsIt is the duty of the landlord to investigate any complaints of disturbances or safety concerns and attempt to resolve them to the best of their ability. 

6. Address special needs: The landlord may also have to accommodate certain special needs of the tenants. For example, if a tenant has a disability, the landlord might need to make certain structural changes to the unit and/or the entrance, structure, etc.

7. Be easily available: Houses and apartments require regular maintenance and it is the duty of the landlord to ensure that the tenant can easily get in touch with them or their agents related to the rental property when tenants have routine repair or maintenance issues. You as tenants are not responsible for maintaining the functional aspects of your home, such as plumbing, electricity, and heating. Also when flooding, a clogged pipe, or other problems arise, landlords generally must take action unless it is tenants fault. Please make sure you have walk reviewed the tenant walk through report and verified condition of the rental before moving in. 

8. Hold necessary insurance: Even though landlords' insurance isn't compulsory, but some lenders mandate it for rental properties. It is also a good idea because a landlords’ policy includes useful features, such as buildings insurance, accidental damage cover, flood and financial protection. Similarly tenant insurance is not compulsory but some landlord may require tenants to have it as it protects tenants belonging in the rental house or apartment tenant is living in.

9. Legal notices: If there is a need for termination of tenancy or need for eviction, it is the duty of the landlord to provide the tenant with a valid written notice in advance. 

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Shauna is passionate about real estate and frequently writes in online industry magazines columns. The views expressed are her own