Many responsibilities come with owning property and being a landlord. It’s not as easy as finding tenants and then walking away and hoping for the best. There are certain owner obligations you must know about and follow if you’re going to stay in good standing and avoid any sticky or unwanted situations and consequences.
Owner Obligations for Repairing Rental Properties
It’s required that the owner maintains the property during the lease or tenancy to nearly the same condition it was in from the start when the contract was signed. However, reasonable wear and tear is acceptable and not included in this clause.
It’s also the landlord’s responsibility to make repairs and pay for them out of pocket if there’s an issue that needs fixing that the tenant didn’t cause. Keep in mind that a tenant must inform and alert the landlord within seven days of becoming aware that there’s a repair that’s needed.
The tenant also has responsibilities and a duty to upkeep the rental. For instance, if the tenant causes a need for repairs, then the owner can request the tenant to arrange for the professional repairs to be made and pay for them.
Compliant smoke alarms are required, and the property needs to be clean and in good working order before a tenancy. If the owner requires a bond, they must give the tenant two signed copies of a condition report at or before the beginning of the tenancy and keep a copy for the bond inspection at the end of the tenancy.
Reasonable Wear & Tear
You may be curious to learn more about what reasonable wear and tear entails and means. They include things that may be unintentional, happen during the normal use of the property, and that don’t cause a significant impact or effect. Examples of reasonable and fair wear and tear include:
- Minor marks and scratches
- Wearing down of carpet pile
- Parts of the house fading due to sunlight
However, it may be on the tenant if there are significant carpet stains, marks, burns, or scratches.
The repairs will vary depending upon if they are general, urgent, or considered an emergency. It’s on the owner to ensure the property is well maintained and that repairs are made in a timely fashion during the tenancy. As for general repairs (ones that are not the fault of the tenant), the owner must complete them within 28 days of the tenant notifying them of the need for a repair.
Urgent repairs need to be addressed within 24 hours and completed as soon as possible (parts may not be available, for example). Urgent repairs are when any of the following stops working:
- removal of wastewater from kitchen, bathrooms, and laundries
- the supply of electricity
- cooking stove
- hot water service
Let’s say the tenant isn’t able to get in touch with the owner when an urgent repair is needed. In this case, the tenant can get the work completed by a handyman and invoice the owner.
Finally, emergency repairs include when the property is damaged and it’s assumed this damage will get worse if the repair is not completed immediately. One example is a broken window caused by a strong storm. Once again, if the owner is not reachable then the tenant can have someone else complete the work and give the invoice to the owner.
These are a few primary owner obligations and what you’d be responsible for if you become a landlord. The Residential Tenancy Act requires a property to be in good order and must comply with minimum standards
The reality is that there are many difficulties (stress and time) when it comes to managing a property and tenants. For instance, could you evict a tenant or attend court if you had to? It’s hard to chase rent from a tenant if they are family or friends as well. Contact CPPM today to manage your property.