Frequently Asked Questions by Tenants
Tenants and landlords are frequently at odds owing to misconceptions about their respective roles and duties. Tenants may find themselves performing tasks intended only for the Landlord, causing misunderstandings, while Landlords may misuse their position by attempting to override the Tenant. This can be resolved if both the Tenant and the Landlord are aware of their obligations under the law at all times. Here are some frequently asked questions about both the Tenant and the Landlord’s duties.
Who is responsible for carrying out repairs on the rental property?
The landlord is solely responsible for the rental property’s structural and external repairs; the tenant is responsible for the interior repairs and minor wear and tear maintenance. If the tenant carries out structural and external repairs on the property with the landlord’s prior written approval, the tenant is entitled to reimbursement from the landlord for the cost of the repairs.
Can the Landlord enter my rental property at will?
When there is an emergency or the tenant has abandoned the premises, the Landlord has the right to enter. When the Landlord wishes to examine the property, make repairs, or present the property to a possible buyer, he can enter the property after issuing you with a notice of entry.
Can I accommodate guests on the rental property?
Yes, your guests can visit the rental property. The landlord, on the other hand, can order the guest(s) to leave if the lease has a condition limiting how long they can stay on the property.
What are my basic duties as tenant?
By signing the tenancy agreement, you agree to abide by all of the lease’s stated and implied requirements, including paying rent on time, paying utility bills on time, reporting any property damage to the landlord, maintaining the cleanliness of the premises, and so on.
Can the Landlord or tenant change the lease agreement at will?
The tenancy/lease agreement can only be modified with the other party’s consent. The landlord, on the other hand, has the right to raise the rent at any time.
Who can evict a subtenant?
A subtenant can be evicted at the Landlord’s discretion. However, if you take on the position of Landlord, you may be allowed to remove subtenants if you had a direct lease arrangement with them or were collecting rent from them.
What happens when my term of lease expires?
At the end of the lease period, the Landlord has the option to terminate the lease. That implies the Landlord is not required to renew your lease or enable you to remain in the property. If your lease agreement included a renewal option, the Landlord shall provide you ample notice that your lease will not be renewed. If there is no formal agreement to extend the lease for another period when your initial term expires, you must vacate the property and hand over ownership to the landlord. You can renegotiate and sign a new lease with the Landlord. Where the Landlord continues to accept rent from you after the end of the first term, you become a periodic tenant of the landlord.
Is it valid for the Landlord to evict the tenant without an adequate eviction notice?
If the Landlord has not given you adequate eviction notice to terminate a periodic tenancy, the notice may still have effect. The expiration date may be construed by the court to begin counting from the day you were served with the notice. It’s worth noting that the deadline for legitimate eviction notices may be defined by your lease agreement.
If no agreement is reached, the time-frame will be decided by the operation of law, which will be based on the length of your lease and your method of rent payment, as follows:
- If your tenancy is on a weekly basis, you are entitled to 7 days’ Notice to Quit
- Tenancy at will – 7 days’ notice
- Monthly tenancy – 1-month notice
- Quarterly tenancy – 3 months’ notice
- Half-yearly tenancy – 3 months’ notice
- Yearly tenancy – 6 months’ notice to quit
What defense do I have if the Landlord files an eviction proceeding against me?
If you are facing a court action brought by your landlord to reclaim possession of your rental property, you may be able to argue that the landlord did not follow proper eviction procedures; or that you withheld rent because the landlord failed to make necessary structural repairs despite repeated demands; or that you were not compensated for your improvements. If you were ejected without cause by your landlord, you may be entitled to trespass damages.
Can the tenant refuse the Landlord entry into the property?
If the Landlord has provided sufficient notice to the tenant, the tenant cannot block the Landlord’s entry, but may suggest a different date and time for entry.
What should the Landlord do if tenant does not vacate the rental property after being served with eviction notices?
If the tenant fails or refuses to give up possession after the time stated on the Notice of Owner’s Intention to Apply to Court to Recover Possession of the Property (also known as “7 days’ Notice”) has expired, the Landlord can hire a lawyer to apply to the appropriate court to reclaim possession of the property. The court bailiff is the only with the authority to physically remove the renter and his or her possessions. The law forbids the Landlord from evicting the tenant on their own.
However, the purpose of this article is to offer a broad overview of the subject. Regarding your unique situation, you should get professional counsel.