Most regular repairs are your landlord’s responsibility
The vast majority of maintenance and repair issues are your landlord’s responsibility. Renters are mainly responsible for routine upkeep and a deep clean when you move out.
Here’s a quick reference chart:
Your Landlord’s responsibility:
Remember: document your requests for repairs - If your landlord fails to act after written requests, you can initiate an RTB dispute to force them to make repairs.
Most cities have Standards of Maintenance bylaws, whereby minimum maintenance of buildings is enforced through fines. You can contact your city government to enforce issues like garbage, pests, unsafe structures, fire safety issues, etc.
You don’t have to wait to deal with emergency repairs
Some critical repair issues can’t wait - under the law they are considered “emergency” repairs.
If your landlord is not responding in a reasonable amount of time (two phone calls), you have the right to cover the cost of the repair and ask your landlord to pay you back.
Only do this if the repair issue matches this criteria:
- Is urgent and necessary for the health or safety of people or property; and
Is meant to repair one of the following:
- major leaks in pipes or the roof
- damaged or blocked water or sewer pipes or plumbing fixtures
- the primary heating system
- damaged or defective locks that give access to a rental unit
- the electrical systems
If you’re not sure and don’t want to be on the hook for the cost - call a legal advocate or the RTB.