There was a fire in the tenant’s unit and he did not have insurance even though the lease specifies tenants must carry contents insurance. Are we protected?
The issue of insurance is not really addressed under the Residential Tenancies Act. All landlords are encouraged to include a clause in their tenancy agreements specifying that the tenants are responsible to obtain their own contents insurance. This will usually minimize the chances of the tenant claiming that the landlord is responsible when a problem arises. However, if a problem occurs due to negligence on the part of the landlord, the tenant could still claim compensation from the landlord despite any clause in the agreement. Our understanding is that including these clauses in a tenancy agreement may not completely absolve the landlord of any responsibility. When dealing with insurance issues we suggest consulting a lawyer as it is not an issue that is clearly addressed in the law. The Law Society Referral Service can refer you to a lawyer or paralegal, you can reach them at 1-800-268-8326.
The lease states “The tenant shall carry insurance for contents and liability, and provide evidence thereof to the landlord.” The tenant has refused to do this, could this be sufficient grounds for eviction?
If the tenant has not complied with this provision of the lease agreement you don’t have much recourse. The Residential Tenancies Act does not include any provision requiring tenants to obtain insurance and does not provide any remedy for landlords, it is not grounds for eviction. The purpose of having this clause in your lease is to clarify that it’s the tenant’s responsibility to obtain insurance and it protects you against certain claims the tenant might have if a problem arises.
The Residential Tenancies Act does not include any provision requiring tenants to obtain insurance. However, it is recommended that landlords include a clause in their tenancy agreement stating that the tenant is responsible to obtain their own contents insurance.