Tuesday, November 1, 2005


Written by Kathryn Hofer (SLCS)

There is a leak in the basement, the toilet keeps getting plugged, and the fridge is on the verge of blowing up...you called your landlord during the first week of classes and he said he would get right on it. You called again a couple of weeks later and he said he would send someone over to fix things. You are still waiting and your landlord is no longer responding to your voicemail and emails.

Many tenants face scenarios like this. In this case, knowledge is power and knowing your rights as a tenant is your best asset to assisting you with moving forward to get your repairs completed.

Two weeks ago in this column we covered the basics of the Tenant Protection Act (TPA) and repairs:

  • The TPA, the Tenant Protection Act, covers any tenant who doesn't share a bathroom or kitchen with their landlord or his/her immediate family, and it refers to rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords. If you are covered by the TPA, then you can appeal to the ORHT, the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal, for problems with repairs, evictions, etc
It is your landlord's responsibility to fix the property. Tell your landlord about the problem, keep a journal of it, and speak to the fellow tenants to see if they have similar problems. If unresolved, submit your request in writing and keep a copy for yourself. If still unresolved, you can appeal to the ORHT.
Whether you are covered by the TPA or not, putting a repair request in writing to your landlord is the best start to getting something accomplished. You can send a letter or an email. Make sure you date the correspondence, include the address of your place, outline the repairs or problems that need to be addressed, and include a date that your expect your landlord to respond to your request by. This whole process can be done in a friendly tone and it provides a record of your request (so keep a copy for yourself).

If you are covered by the TPA, you can use the ORHT as a resource if your landlord has failed to complete a repair. The ORHT has forms online that you can submit to get a hearing on the case and seek out a resolution to the issue.

A lot of repair and maintenance issues are covered by City bylaws. For example, fixing a leak in the basement, having locks on the entrances to the unit, and having screens in your windows are all standards that are outlined in the City of Guelph's Property Standards Bylaw. You can call the City's Planning and Building Department at 519.837-5615 with questions or you can access copies of bylaws online at www.studentlife.uoguelph.ca/neighbourhood.

You can even request that a property inspector or building inspector come to your house to look at the problem. If the inspector finds that your landlord is in violation of the bylaw or building code then an order to repair the problem can be issued by the City of Guelph to the property owner.

If you have questions about your tenant rights and how to resolve maintenance and repair issues, email us at . Our peer helpers can review your letters with you, guide you to the right resources and services, and even help facilitate a resolution with your landlord.

Scroll down to comment

| More


Back to Top

No comments

Share your thoughts

Bookstore First Year