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Your Obligations as a Tentant

You may know that landlords have to keep rental property up to a certain standard, but did you know that you have legal maintenance responsibilities under landlord tenant act too?! Here are some helpful tips on how to be a responsible tenant!

Free From Sanitary Hazards

Tenants are required to properly dispose of their garbage and not let it pile up in their apartment. Excessive trash could create a health issue. The tenant needs to keep the unit in a reasonably clean and sanitary condition to prevent pest infestations and breathing issues.

Free From Safety Hazards

Tenants must make sure all emergency exits are accessible. Nothing can be blocking any of the emergency exits from the unit. The tenant must not remove batteries from or otherwise tamper with smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.

Follow Building and Housing Codes

Tenants must also follow the appropriate building and housing laws. If the tenant has signed a lease for two people, they cannot sneak additional people in to live in the property. Not only is this a fire and safety issue, but it also creates more wear and tear on the property and likely higher utility bills, which can be an additional problem if the landlord is the one paying for utilities.

Prevent Mold Growth

Tenants are responsible for preventing excess moisture from accumulating in their unit which could lead to mold growth. This could include always turning on the fan in the bathroom or opening the window when showering to prevent possible mold growth. If the tenant notices any areas of prolonged moisture or mold starting to appear, they need to report it to the landlord immediately.

Avoid Potential Lead Paint Hazards

For property built before the 1970’s, landlords can require tenants to contact them for permission before the tenant does anything that could disturb potential lead paint. This could include repainting the property or even drilling into a wall to hang a television.

Respect the Property

Tenants are responsible for treating the property with care, maintaining a reasonable level of cleanliness and not being abusive or neglectful. This includes:

 

 

  • Plumbing Fixtures: Tenants must keep all plumbing fixtures reasonably clean to prevent rust, soap scum buildup, mold or excessive dirt. All of these fixtures must also only be used for their intended purpose. For example, paper towels, sanitary hygiene products or baby wipes cannot be flushed down the toilet and cooking grease should not be put down the shower drain.
  • Landlord Supplied Appliances: Tenants must keep all landlord supplied appliances in a reasonably clean condition. They cannot allow excessive grease to build up on and around stoves or rotting, spilled food to damage the refrigerator. These appliances must only be used for their intended purpose. For example, the tenant should not use the dishwasher to wash their tennis shoes.
  • Not Damage the Property: This includes inside the tenant’s unit, as well as in all common areas of the property. Normal wear and tear on the unit is expected, but damage, such as a cracked countertop is not.

1. Seasonal Maintenance:

Seasonal Maintenance Tasks Include:

  • Cutting Grass
  • Shoveling Snow
  • Putting Down Salt for Ice
  • Raking Leaves/Picking Up Branches
  • Cleaning the Gutters

2. Take Out Garbage: Take out the garbage on time and bring the bins back in when the garbage has been collected. In many towns, you can be fined if you put the garbage out too early or store your garbage and bins improperly. Visit your municipality’s website for more information.

3. Keep Common Areas Clean: In a shared accommodation, all tenants are equally responsible for keeping all common areas of the property clean. This could include sweeping, vacuuming, mopping and keeping the area free from garbage or debris.

4. Report Problems Immediately: One of the best ways that you can help with property maintenance is to report anything that seems like a problem immediately. Since you are living at the property on a day to day basis, you may be able to spot potential issues more quickly than your landlord. It is better for us to check out the situation and have it be a false alarm than to discover a problem a year later when it has become a major issue.

5. Perform Repairs: This could be risky, so you must always as permission before completing work on a rental property. If you don’t complete the work to a satisfactory standard you may be held responsible for additional repairs!

The Reviews Are In

Frequently Asked Tenant Questions

Here are some questions that we hear regularly from current and prospective tenants! Hopefully you are able to find the answers you are looking for right here! If not, we’re only a message away!

Leasing

We try our very best to get this information for our tenants. If we aren’t sure, we will reach out to the home owner to let you know as quickly as possible. Visit the City of St. John’s website for more information about the cost of living in our beautiful area!

Whether or not pets are allowed to reside at a certain property is at the complete discretion of the home owner and will vary from location to location. It helps if your pet is well behaved and comes with references from previous landlords. Cute pictures can’t hurt either!
Anyone over the age of 18 must submit their own individual application. For example, a married couple will submit TWO SEPARATE applications!

Most of our home owners have maintenance packages with us and allow us to handle any maintenance concerns with the property. Some home owners have their own maintenance people and some do the maintenance themselves. You’ll find out this information once you choose YOUR specific rental home!

For the vast majority of our properties, the tenants are responsible for lawn care, grass cutting and snow removal. If these services are included in the rental fee, it will be clearly listed in the property advertisement.
Painting and other upgrades are decided on a case by case basis by the owner of the home. If you have a request let us know and we will clear it with the home owner for you!
Did you know that in this province, there is no such thing as a “damage deposit?” It’s actually called a security deposit here! We charge 75% of a full months rent for our deposits!

Leases are required although they very in the length of their fixed term. Generally a one year lease is required however sometimes shorter periods are approved by the home owners!

Accounting & Administration

Residential Tenancies allows us ten days to complete processing the refund.

Unfortunately, Security Deposit’s do NOT accrue interest. The legislation changed back in 2014.

Unfortunately, our ONLY method of refund is via Cheque.

Unfortunately, we can not use the Security Deposit collected towards monthly rent. However, if a tenant has an outstanding balance with the company we are unable to provide a refund and will apply it to the owing balance.

If a tenant is unable to pay rent on the 01st of the month, please call us as soon as possible. Payment arrangement’s will ONLY be approved by the Home Owner. Unfortunately, an Eviction Notice will be served to those with an outstanding balance after the 06th of each month.

Tenant Troubleshooting Tips

When something goes wrong in your rental unit, we’ll always be here to offer support and guidance. Sometimes the problem is simple and other times, more complicated. Here, we’ve compiled a list of common issues that require simple fixes! Take a look! You might just find the answer you’re looking for.

Washing Machine Not Draining Properly?

Check the soap dispenser and filter to remove any blockages; don’t fill the drum all the way and make sure to evenly distribute the weight. Refer to user manual if one is present and if not, find one online!

Dryer Not Drying Clothes?

Do not over fill; suggestion to put only half a load each time. Clear lint trap on every use.

Oven Not Working?

Set clock/time and check to make sure your breaker/fuse box has not been tripped.

Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes?

Ensure salt and rinse aid is topped up; clean the blades and remove any blockages from the filter. Use cleaning fluid regularly as advised by the product manufacturers. You can find manufacturer recommendations online!

Fridge and/or Freezer Not Keeping Things Cold?

Check temperature dial is set to at lease 3. Move food items away from the back of the fridge this will allow the temperature to circulate more freely. Freezers need to be defrosted regularly to maintain the correct temperature.

Lights Not Working?

If it’s one light, check the bulb and replace if required. If its lots of lights that are not working, check the fuse box or panel box as something may have tripped.

Appliance(s) Tripping The Electrics?

Before going to the fuse box, first unplug all items that have a plug, everything including TVs, lamps, fridges and reset fuse box. Plug/turn items back on one and a time to determine which appliance is causing the problem, then please report to us.

Inside Of The Windows Are Wet?

This is caused by the inside of the property being warmer than outside, therefore you need to moderate the level of heating in your property. Windows must be wiped down daily especially in the winter months when you have the heating on and its cold outside. Too much build up of moisture in the property will cause mould spores to form on the walls, ceilings and around windows. You must ventilate the room/s when you are showering/bathing etc. Affected areas can be wiped down regularly using a sponge and diluted bleach, very carefully. Review guide to understanding damp and mold.

Unwanted Pests?

Please contact us immediately if you notice any pests around your home and take all necessary steps to mitigate the problem! Your tenancy agreement states “To take all reasonable precautions to prevent infestation of the Premises and to pay for the eradication of any infestation caused by the negligence of the Tenant, his family or his visitors”. Ensure that garbage is properly stored and that your yard is free from animal excrement at all times.

Smoke Alarm Is Beeping?

Your battery is running low and needs replacing.

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