The Residential Tenancies Act does not specifically address this issue. There is no sure way of preventing tenants from installing a washer and dryer in their unit. You can include a clause in the tenancy agreement that states the tenant is not allowed to install these appliances in their unit. However, if they install them anyway and damage is caused, electrical problems occur or the noise from the washer and dryer interferes with other tenants THEN you can issue an notice to terminate the tenancy using Form N5. This notice gives the tenant seven days to correct the problem. If the tenants do not comply with the notice the landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a hearing.
We have a tenant that left the unit. Our Property Management team found estimated damage of $1,900+ when they went in to inspect it. Can we try and claim this from the tenant? Is there any action we can take against the Property Management?
Since the tenant is no longer in possession of the rental unit, your recourse is to file a claim in Small Claims Court. However, in order to be able to serve the claim, you’ll need to have the tenant’s new residential address. We cannot advise on whether you can take action against the property management company, as we can only advise on the landlord and tenant issues. You might have to speak to a lawyer or paralegal about this issue, as it would probably come under contract law.
The tenants painted badly without consent and used horrible bright colours. Can we ask they repaint?
A poor paint job may be considered damage to the rental unit. You can ask tenants to repaint the rental unit before they leave as it was done improperly and without your consent. If they do not comply and vacate the rental unit without repainting you can bring an action against them in Small Claims Court for the costs you incurred repainting the unit.
The tenants damaged the toilet tank and the main entrance door, what can I do if the tenants do not repair the damages? How can I take legal action?
When the tenants have caused damage to the property and refuse to repair it, you can serve them with a Form N5 which is the legal notice based on damages. It’s a 20 day notice which allows the tenant to correct the problem within the first seven days and if not then you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board. This form can be downloaded from the Board’s website at www.ltb.gov.on.ca.
The tenants are moving out but have been leaving lights & fans on and water running, what can I do?
If the tenants are already moving out your options are limited to rectify this situation. You could try writing them a letter stating your concerns about the possibility of damage and about the safety of other occupants of the house as well as the increased consumption of hydro, but that would be all you could do for the time being. Once they have moved out and you discover any damages, you may pursue an action against the tenants in Small Claims Court.
The tenant vacated leaving damages which cost $5000 to repair. What’s the best way to recover the money I’ve spent?
Since the tenants have already moved out, the only recourse you have is to sue them in Small Claims Court for the damages. However, in order to file a claim in Small Claims Court you will have to find out their new residential address to be able to serve them with the claim. Here is a link to information on the Small Claims Court process, http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/scc/
The tenant vacated at the end of a one year lease and left the unit extremely dirty. There is no structural damage but it appears he didn’t clean the place once for the entire lease. Is there any other way to recover the cost of cleaning?
To recover the cost of cleaning from the tenant you would have to file a claim in Small Claims Court. The filing fee is $75.00. If you want to pursue this you will need to have the tenant’s new address where he/she can be served with the claim. For more information on the Small Claims Court process please visit: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/scc/b4aClaim.asp
In this case you may have to serve your tenant with a notice based on damages which is Form N5. You will have to find out the cost of repairing the damage before giving this notice. Once you serve the notice the tenant will have seven days to correct the problem otherwise you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an order to evict and compensation for the damages. You can obtain this form on the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website at www.ltb.gov.on.ca.
On inspection I found a structure built without consent and damage and there is no written lease agreement, what can I do?
The Residential Tenancies Act applies to the landlord-tenant relationship regardless of whether or not the rental agreeement is in writing. You should send the tenant a letter outlining the issues that you mentioned and request that it be corrected. If they do not comply you may serve them with a Form N5 Notice to Terminate a Tenancy for damaging the rental unit. This form can be obtained from the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website at www.ltb.gov.on.ca.
Tenants are responsible for any damage they cause either wilfully or through negligence. The problem that landlords face though is being able to prove that the damage was caused wilfully or through negligence. If you can prove that they have caused the problem then you can request that they repair or pay for the cost of the damages.
My tenant signed an agreement to take out and maintain fire, theft, liability and water damage insurance. She let her kitchen sink overflow and it caused a lot of damage to the apartment below. She never got insurance, what can we do?
There is usually no recourse for a landlord when a tenant does not obtain their own insurance even when it’s stated in the tenancy agreement. In your situation, you might have to claim it on your own insurance and ask the tenant to at least pay for the deductible since it seems she caused the problem. If she refuses to pay for anything then one of the options you have is to serve her a Form N5 based on the reason that she has caused damage to the property and is liable to pay for the repair costs, or in this case, your deductible. If she has caused other damages, they can also be included on the N5. I’m not sure if this is the way you want to proceed, but if so, you can obtain the form from the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website at www.ltb.gov.on.ca.
My tenant is supposed to look after the lawn but he didn’t and I had to repair it on my own. It cost around $1,600 with materials and labour to repair the damage. How do I prove these amounts are legitimate? How would I find the tenant after he moves?
If your tenant has already moved out, then your recourse would be to file a claim in Small Claims Court but you do have to obtain the tenant’s new residential address. It’s not easy to track down a tenant, and you may have to hire an agency that provides this service. You can search on line for agencies that will do this; they’re called skip tracing agencies. As for the claim issues, you can try claiming for your own labour costs but it can be difficult to justify the amount you’re claiming. One way that might help is to obtain a quote from a landscaping company on the cost of doing the work, including labour costs. It’s ultimately up to the judge to decide what would be a reasonable amount. I’ve included the link below to the Small Claims Court website for information on the procedures and forms, http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/guides/.
My tenant is leaving at end of the month and has caused damage to the new floors in the unit. What can I do to recover the cost for repair?
You have two choices: 1) You may apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board on an L2 application for the damages. You must do this while the tenant is still occupying the unit. Forms are available online at www.ltb.gov.on.ca 2) You may apply to the Small Claims Court AFTER THE TENANT MOVES OUT. Small Claims requires that you know the current residence of the former tenant, so that may be the only drawback to filing your claim there. Forms are at www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca In either case, you will have to get at least two estimates for the repair or replacement costs, and since it is better to take photos and take witnesses to verify the damage that you see, it is easier to do this after the tenancy is over.
My tenant has vacated the rental unit early and is requesting the return of their last months rent deposit. There is damage to the rental unit. Can I deduct the cost of the repair from the last months rent?
A landlord returning the last months rent deposit to the tenant cannot deduct anything from that deposit without the expressed permission of the tenant in writing.
The tenant has the option of filing an application requesting that the tenancy be terminated and for a rent abatement for the period of time they suffered the loss or reduction of use of the property. Many tenants simply opt to leave and possibly sue at a later date. You cannot stop them from leaving, nor can you rely on the fact that they will vacate when they say they will even if they have received some kind of payment from you. To make it clear that you are taking the obligation to maintain the property seriously, ensure that you are entering the unit properly when doing the repairs. WRITTEN notice is required, at least 24 hours before the time of entry. A span of time such as “between 9 and 11 am” can be given and this particular notice can be put on the door.
Since damage deposits are unlawful and since it is an offence (under the RTA a landlord could be fined up to $25,000.00) to charge them I recommend you return that amount, get a receipt and make a full damage claim in Small Claims Court. The issues will be easier to prove with the unit empty anyway.
I came home one morning to find that our tenant had authorized the installation of a satellite dish. She had not asked us about this. We feel she has compromised our insulation. Can she do this? Can we ask her to take it down? What are our rights?
The law does not make any specific references to satellite dishes. However, if the installation of the dish has resulted in damages to your property, you have the right to claim that from the tenant, especially if they did this without your knowledge. If you cannot come to a resolution with the tenants then legally you could serve the tenants with an N5 Form, Notice to Terminate a Tenancy based on the damages, and apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a decision on the issue.
A damage deposit is illegal, you can only ask for the last months rent deposit. A landlord cannot require a tenant to provide post-dated cheques. A tenant may choose to pay the rent in that manner or make payments on a monthly basis.