Resource E: Rights and Responsibilities – Tenant and Landlord

A tenant has the right to live in the new residence and to enjoy it in peace and contentment. However, a tenant also has certain responsibilities. A tenant must:

  • Pay the rent on time;
  • Ask for a receipt for all rent and any security deposit paid;
  • Keep the rental unit clean at all times;
  • Take care not to damage the premises, and if damage does occur, repair the damage properly within a reasonable period of time;
  • Not interfere with the “peaceful enjoyment” of others in the rental property or in any neighbouring properties. This means that one cannot play loud music or have people make too much noise when they come to visit late at night;
  • Obey the landlord’s rules and regulations;
  • Notify the landlord in writing of necessary repairs;
  • Redecorate the rental unit only with the consent of the landlord.

The landlord also has responsibilities. The landlord must:

  • Collect the first month’s rent and security (damage) deposit before providing keys to the rental unit;
  • Provide a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act;
  • Provide the tenant with a copy of the rental agreement within 10 days after signing;
  • Provide a written notice of the landlord’s name, telephone number and address; and if he/she has an agent or caretaker then he/she must provide that person’s name, telephone number and address;
  • Keep the rental unit in good condition according to all health, safety or housing laws;
  • Complete a written incoming inspection with the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy. This helps protect the tenant if there are damages to the rental property before moving in;
  • Collect up to 3/4 of the first month’s rent as a security deposit and the first month’s rent;
  • Provide a written receipt for the rent and security deposit paid. The receipt should show the amount of rent received and for what period, the date it is received, and the address of the rental unit;
  • Keep records of rent and security deposits received from tenants;
  • Investigate complaints from the tenants of disturbances or repairs as soon as possible and try to resolve the problem.

A landlord must:

  • Make the rental unit available on the date agreed upon;
  • Do repairs and keep the rental unit in good condition;
  • Ensure the supply of essential services such as heat and water;
  • Investigate complaints and try to resolve as soon as possible;
  • Provide and maintain doors and locks to make a unit reasonably secure;
  • Not enter the rental unit without proper 24-hour notice of entry, unless it’s an emergency.