As a landlord, there are certain responsibilities you cannot shy away from. Besides collecting rent from tenants or answering calls every day, there are many other duties you must assume to maintain and protect your property, as well as the tenants living in it.
Tenants pay rent every month. It is only fair that certain things should be expected from you as well. It is important for you to acquaint yourself with some of these duties in Canada. While these duties can be daunting at times, following them comes with many benefits for you.
One of these perks includes preventing any potential issues with your tenants. To understand more about what these responsibilities are, keep reading this comprehensive guide!
The Responsibilities of Landlords
To ensure that their properties are well-managed while avoiding potential legal issues, landlords must understand what their duties are. This section will take a brief look at what these responsibilities are one after the other. Don’t stop reading!
This represents one of the basic responsibilities of a landlord. The different kinds of repairs landlords can carry out should range from hearing, plumbing, window repairs, and more.
Whether or not a tenant knows about the issues before signing the lease contracts, the landlord must make all necessary repairs. The tenants are only liable for damages caused by them or their guests. The new items you replace the damaged items with should not necessarily be new one. It could be a used item. However, the new item must work properly.
Landlords must be aware of the fact that any repairs that must be done should be carried out within a reasonable period. However, by failing to do so, the tenants are within their right to take action. This could include reporting the situation to the Land and Tenancies Board.
Providing Essential Services
It is important to provide certain essential services, including certain basic amenities like heat, fuel, and electricity. These should be provided when they are needed, especially in the case of heat. The standard requirement for these amenities varies from one local government to another. As a result, it is important to check with yours to figure out what the required rate is.
As a landlord, whenever you provide essential services to your tenants, it is important that you do not restrict the supply they get. This is even so if they damage your property or their rent is overdue. If you cut off or limit these services for whatever reasons known to you, it is possible for the tenants to file a lawsuit against you for withholding the service.
Furthermore, if the lease terms highlight that the tenant must arrange to have some of these services, you must not interfere with these services.
Maintaining Standards of Property
Maintaining the standards of property is very important. You must ensure that the property you claim to own is completely legal. Your property must satisfy certain standards set for health, safety, and maintenance. These must comply with local laws and provincial maintenance standards.
If the required standards are not met, you must ensure that you renovate it before attempting to rent it out. The importance of avoiding legal issues cannot be stressed enough. To do so, you should ensure that the unit you offer up for lease must comply with all legal requirements.
You will be charged with paying a certain fine if it is discovered that you erected an illegal property. This makes it imperative to ensure and maintain the legitimacy of your property.
Landlords Must Keep Spacing Units Insured Against Damages or Loss
This is another important duty of a landlord. It is important to insure premises. This insurance provides landlords and their properties with the protection they need against property risks, including theft, weather damages, and more. You must also acknowledge the fact that the tenant can insure the property in the joint name of the tenant and the landlord. This remains so even if it is not expressly stated in the terms of the lease contract.
The tenant must ensure that they do not commit any act that would impact the insurance policy taken by the landlord. If this happens, the landlord is entitled to certain compensation. This makes getting insured a very important action landlords must take.
Maintaining The General State of The Property
As the landlord who leases the property to a tenant, you must ensure that you provide a habitable space for your tenants. Before the place can be considered habitable, the property must be fit for anyone to live in while being free from any kind of hazard. It also complies with safety and health maintenance standards.
Maintaining the safety and cleanliness of the living space is very important for a landlord. This includes acquainting yourself with the building codes while cleaning the common areas of the property. After all, tenants have the right to expect certain standards from their landlords. It is the responsibility of the latter to provide these services.
While it might not be legally stated explicitly what a habitable space should look like, anything that makes it possible to live in a place without the threat of safety and health is considered habitable. Otherwise, it is regarded as inhabitable. Some of the inhabitable conditions of a house include:
- Broken/missing windows or doors
- Bad plumbing system or gas.
- Mold, leaking roof, or cockroaches
- Messy grounds
- An unclean building and environment
It is equally important for you to understand that the failure to offer your tenants habitable living conditions can force them to sue you. If you are found ignorant by the court, you may be forced to award tenant damages by accepting a lower rent price than the amount you normally receive.
Renting your property represents a good investment that may provide lucrative returns. However, you must be aware of the various responsibilities that are expected of you as a landlord. As your tenants pay rent, there are services you must provide for them while complying with necessary laws to avoid any legal issues. Essentially, you must keep the property as habitable as possible. These could include making the environment clean, providing basic amenities, and maintaining the standard of your property, among other duties. After all, the responsibility of your tenants and your property is yours.