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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently asked questions are divided into two sections:

Questions related to Investigation and Enforcement

The following FAQs are intended to clarify what steps can be taken in various situations that may arise among tenants and landlords.

My landlord entered my rental unit without giving me any notice. If I complain to the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit, what will happen?

The Rental Housing Enforcement Unit will take a complaint that your landlord has entered your rental unit without first meeting the legal requirements to do so. A Compliance/Customer Service Officer will contact your landlord to explain the requirements of the legislation and request that they make no further entries into your unit without serving proper notice under s. 27 of the Act.

I just received a disconnection notice from the gas company stating that my gas will be cut off in three days. My rent includes all utilities. Although I am behind in my rent, will the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit take my complaint?

Yes, we will take a complaint and try to prevent the gas from being disconnected. Even though you owe rent, the landlord cannot allow the service to be disconnected.

I applied for an apartment and paid last month’s rent deposit to the superintendent. I was supposed to pay first month’s rent before I moved into the unit, but the landlord decided not to give me the apartment. The landlord will not return my last month’s rent deposit. Is this an offence?

Yes. If the landlord says that you cannot move in, they must return the money. If the landlord refuses to return your deposit, you can contact the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit. However, if you changed your mind about moving in, you may not be entitled to any money back and Rental Housing Enforcement Unit would not take further action.

I owe rent and my landlord keeps calling me to ask me for the rent, and even coming to my apartment to ask for it. Is this harassment?

No. When a tenant owes rent, it is within the landlord’s rights to request payment. If you feel that the landlord is interfering with your reasonable enjoyment of the rental unit, you may contact the Board about filing an application.

I got behind in my rent and the landlord served me a notice of termination from the Landlord and Tenant Board. I moved out on the day the notice told me to, but returned the next day to get several items that I didn’t have room to take. The landlord changed the locks and will not let me in to get the rest of my property. Is this an offence?

No, the law requires tenants to take everything with them when they vacate, and anything left behind becomes the property of the landlord. It is important to note that tenants must move everything out on or before the day they move.

I live in a basement apartment and share the laundry room with my landlord who lives upstairs. The landlord has to walk through my unit to do their laundry, and when I moved in they said that they would do their laundry once a week. Now they are doing laundry 5 days a week. Is this legal?

This situation comes down to whether consent has been given to the landlord to enter. Often, these arrangements are left fairly informal at the commencement of the tenancy, which becomes a problem later on when parties disagree. It is always a good idea to put entry agreements in writing, so that a schedule can be used to resolve disagreements. If no written agreement exists, the landlord may be required to serve a 24-hour written notice each time he wants to do his laundry (in accordance with s. 27 of the Act).

I gave my landlord notice that I will be moving out in two months at the end of my lease. The landlord is trying to re-rent the unit. The Landlord calls me often to tell me that a potential tenant wants to view the unit in an hour, and then just shows up. Sometimes I’m not home and sometimes it’s not convenient for me to have people come through my apartment. Can the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit help me?

This is not an offence, and the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit cannot take this complaint. Section 26 of the Act states that once the landlord or the tenant serves a notice of termination, the landlord does not have to give a 24-hour written notice to show your unit to a potential tenant. The landlord is only required to make a reasonable attempt to inform the tenant of their intention to enter. If you feel that the landlord is not being reasonable, you can call the Landlord and Tenant Board to get information about filing an application.

At a Board hearing, my landlord told the adjudicator that I signed an agreement to move out on a certain date, and filed that agreement as evidence to support his application at the hearing.  I never agreed to move out on a certain date and I never signed that agreement.  Is this an offence?

If a person does not tell the truth under oath, they may be committing perjury under the Criminal Code of Canada, however, this is not an offence under the Act. It is an offence for any person to file with the Board a document which is either false or misleading. In this case, we would take the tenant’s complaint and investigate to determine if the document submitted to the Board is fraudulent.

Questions related to Maintenance Standards

The following FAQs are intended to clarify the role of the Ministry and the process to be followed in enforcing the provincial Maintenance Standards.

I called to report a maintenance complaint and I was referred to my Municipality. Why didn't the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit take my maintenance complaint?

The provincial Maintenance Standards can only be enforced in areas of the Province where a Municipality does not have its own property standards by-law. When a Municipality has its own property standards by-law in place, the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit has no jurisdiction to intervene and the tenant is then advised to contact their Municipality.

If you have maintenance-related problems and you are unsure as to whether or not you are covered by a Municipal by-law or the provincial Maintenance Standards, you may contact your Municipality to obtain more information.

Can I get a rent abatement or compensation by filing a maintenance complaint with the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit?

If a tenant is looking to be compensated as a result of the lack of repair for damage done to their property or for out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the lack of repair, then they must file a Tenant Application about Maintenance (T6) with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Work Orders issued by the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit do not award tenants any rent abatement or other financial compensation.

My landlord has refused to comply with a Provincial Work Order and has been fined by the courts. My landlord still refuses to do the work. What can I do?

Once the courts have dealt with the matter and the Work Order has not reached the compliance stage, you may file a Tenant Application about Maintenance (T6) with the Landlord and Tenant Board. The Board may, independently of the courts, order the landlord to complete the repairs and require the landlord to meet any other standard they deem appropriate and/or compensate you for the lack of repair.

My landlord will not repair a leaky roof and I am holding back part of my rent until the roof is fixed. I have now been served with an eviction notice. Can my landlord do that?

You should always continue to pay your rent, as you could be facing eviction if your rent is not current. If your landlord is refusing to cooperate in the area of maintenance, you may file a Tenant Application about Maintenance (T6) with the Landlord and Tenant Board. When a tenant files a T6, the Board may permit a tenant to pay all or part of their rent into the Board.

My landlord has received a Provincial Work Order from the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit and the timeline for compliance was 30 days. The landlord complained to the Landlord and Tenant Board and now has another two months to do the work.  Can my landlord do that?

When a landlord receives a Work Order, the landlord has 20 days from the date on the Work Order to appeal the Work Order to the Landlord and Tenant Board by filing an Application for Review of a Provincial Work Order (L6).

Based on the landlord’s submission, the Board’s adjudicator may change the terms of the Work Order. For example, the adjudicator may confirm the Work Order, allow more time to complete specific items on the Work Order, remove items from the Work Order, or decide that the landlord has complied with the terms of the Work Order. The landlord is bound by the decision of the adjudicator. The Rental Housing Enforcement Unit will continue to monitor the Work Order until the work has been completed.