The rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in Ontario were established by The Residential Tenancies Act. In this article, Paralegal Toronto provides you with some critical issues regarding the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in Ontario. If you need legal advice and assistance with a residential tenancy and applications to the Landlord and Tenant Board, contact a preferred paralegal landlord and tenant in Toronto.

Under the law, all tenants are responsible for repairing any damage they cause to the unit’s premises. Also, they have to keep their unit clean. A landlord is responsible for maintaining the rental unit and premises in a good state of repair. S/he has to ensure that the rental unit and property meet housing standards established by law. The rental unit must be reasonably suitable for occupation given the nature and location of the property and comply with all safety, health, and maintenance standards that are usually set by the local municipality.

In Ontario, a landlord is responsible for repairing any damage caused due to reasonable wear and tears. Also, all tenants have to maintain the premises in a good state of repair. It does not just arise when the disrepair becomes severe, and the tenant complains.  Here are some duties of a landlord:

– Fixing clogged pipes, broken appliances, leaking faucets, peeling paint

 – Maintaining common areas such as laundry rooms and garages

–  There must be proper supply of water and other utilities (they should be included in the tenancy agreement)

– Preventing pests and insects from the rental unit and premises

A landlord may be investigated and charged with an offense if s/he or fails to live up to the obligations or violates his/her tenants’ rights. Here are some common offenses committed by a landlord:

– Failing to maintain building standards

– Interfering with the supply of electricity, heat or water

– Charging extra fees or illegal rent

– Harassment

– Entering a unit without proper notice (24 hours written notice between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.)

– Evicting a tenant without an order ( it should be from the Landlord and Tenant Board)

If you believe that your landlord has committed an offense, you can make a lawsuit to the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit (the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing). In case your complaint is filed, the Enforcement Unit can attempt to resolve it. Also, it may lay charges against the offender who will have to stand trial in court.

 If a tenant withholds any or all of the rent without first getting approval from the Landlord and Tenant Board, s/he can be evicted by the landlord. Even if the tenant feels that necessary repair has not been completed or maintenance is poor, it can be applied. When a landlord is not maintaining the premises properly, the tenant can write a letter to the landlord. S/he should be detailing all repairs that are needed. (Keep a copy of the letter for the records in the court)