While owning a condominium in the GTA can be a lucrative business investment, there are a vast number of province-wide regulations that you need to follow when you lease your rental property. Some of the most important laws to be aware of are those that relate to the health and safety standards for all rental properties in the GTA.
Failing to comply with these rules can get you into serious legal and financial trouble. We’ve put together a set of useful tips that are designed to help you follow these regulations—so you can reduce your risk and turn your property into a powerful investment tool.
Keeping the Property in Good Repair
The Residential Tenancies Act (sometimes known as the RTA) states that landlords in Ontario are required to follow certain guidelines for the health and safety of their tenants. The most important regulation, and the one you are most likely to come across as a landlord, is that the property must be kept in good repair.
This means that it is your legal responsibility to repair any damage caused by reasonable wear and tear for your tenant’s safety. This can include:
- Replacing broken appliances. Be sure to check the lifespan of all of the appliances in your rental unit. Most appliances have a lifespan of around ten years. However, this can vary. Do your research before an appliance breaks down.
- Fixing leaking faucets. Leaking faucets are a matter of safety for your tenants as water leaks can lead to dangerous and expensive mould build-ups.
- Repainting walls with peeling paint. Peeling paint poses a health danger as it can create lead-contaminated dust.
- Dealing with clogged pipes and drains. Clogged pipes can also create an unhealthy atmosphere in the home. If left untreated, they can also damage your property.
- Providing a suitable supply of utilities. Unless it is specified in the lease, you cannot start charging for utilities.
- Maintaining clean and hazard-free communal areas. As the owner of the entire building, you are responsible for keeping areas like the garage and communal hallway clean and free from hazardous materials.
- Preventing and removing pest and insect infestations. You may be surprised to learn that pests and insects are also your responsibility—however, if your tenant reports an infestation, it’s your job to hire a pest control company.
All of these responsibilities are in place to ensure your tenants live in safe and healthy conditions. It’s important that you are aware of which repairs and utilities you are responsible for to avoid the legal repercussions that come when you fail to comply.
It’s always best practice to stay on top of your repairs and maintenance in order to keep your property from falling into a state of disrepair. If you are new to being a landlord, you may be surprised at how quickly “wear and tear” can occur. For this reason, schedule regular inspections where you can keep an eye on what is safe in the unit and what is not.
The Most Common Legal Repercussions
When you fail to keep your rental unit safe by neglecting any of the issues mentioned above, you can quickly run into legal difficulties.
Here is what you can expect to occur when you don’t maintain healthy living standards for your tenants.
- After issuing a letter to you, the tenant can contact the Property Standards department.
- An inspector will make an appointment and order the necessary repairs with a deadline.
- If you fail to comply in time, you will be fine or event charged with an offence.
It’s important to note that even if you do comply, the tenant can apply for an abatement of rent until the repairs are made, so you may lose your rent money until the home is safe and healthy. Be careful to request the official documentation proving that your tenant has applied for this abatement in an official capacity.
Del Condominium Rentals: Helping Landlords in the GTA
Staying on top of your property’s compliance with health and safety standards is both a time-consuming and an incredibly important part of your landlord duties. If you fail to stay on top of the crucial repairs listed in this article, you may find yourself in legal trouble for failing to ensure the health and safety of your tenants.
That’s where we come in. At Del Condominium Rentals, we offer a full range of property management services. We shoulder the burden of repairs, rent collection, tenant screening, and more—so you can sit back and wait for your monthly rent cheque.
Find out more about our services or contact us at 647-952-3644 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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