Tenant FAQ’s

Can a tenant withhold rent because their landlord isn’t properly maintaining their building or unit?

No. If the tenant withholds rent, the landlord can give the tenant a notice of termination for non-payment of rent and then file an application to evict the tenant. There are other options for dealing with maintenance problems.

When does a landlord have to turn the heat on? What temperature does my landlord have to keep my apartment at?

If a landlord provides heat, the Act requires the landlord to keep the heat to at least 21 degrees Celsius from September 15 to June 1. In addition, many municipalities have their own property standards or bylaws about heat. You should contact you local municipal government to find out if your community has a bylaw that sets minimum standards for heat.

Can a landlord enter a tenant's unit?

The Residential Tenancies Act (the Act) allows a landlord to enter a tenant's unit only under specific circumstances. In most cases, the landlord must first give the tenant 24 hours written notice, stating when they will enter and for what reason. There are some exceptions, however, such as in the case of an emergency or if the tenant agrees to allow the landlord to enter the unit.

Can a tenant change the locks?

A tenant cannot change the locks unless the landlord agrees. Also, the tenant cannot add locks that might stop a landlord from entering the unit if there is an emergency or if the landlord has a valid reason for entering the rental unit and the landlord has given the tenant proper notice to enter. If the tenant does change the lock, a copy of the key must be given to the landlord immediately

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