Repairs & Maintenance

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:

  • Heating
  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Locks
  • Light fixtures in common areas
  • Walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Fire doors and fire escapes
  • Smoke alarms
  • Intercoms
  • Elevators
  • Painting at reasonable intervals
  • Routine yard maintenance, such as cutting grass and clearing snow, in multi-unit residential complexes
  • Infestations and pests, such as bed bugs
  • Serious mold issues
  • Fixing/replacing anything included in your tenancy agreement, such as the:
    • Fridge
    • Stove
    • laundry facilities
    • security system
    • Furniture
    • Garage
    • storage facilities

 Your responsibility:

  • Replacing Light Bulbs
  • Minor mold issues (such as in a window, or tub)
  • Taking out the garbage/recycling
  • Routine yard maintenance if you have exclusive use of yard (cutting grass, snow removal etc)
  • Carpets:
    • reasonable maintenance during the tenancy;
    • steam cleaning or shampooing at the end of tenancies lasting one year or longer;
  • Patching nail holes in walls
  • Cleaning marks on the walls;








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.

Further Reading