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Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?

Question
Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?

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Reviewed: 
August, 2015
Answer

It is your landlord's job to repair and maintain your home. Your landlord must fix or replace anything that is in bad condition or does not work properly.

This includes things that came with your place, such as appliances like a fridge or stove. It also includes common areas, like parking lots, elevators, and hallways.

It doesn't matter if your lease or rental agreement says something different. It doesn't matter if you knew about the problem when you agreed to rent the place. The law says your landlord is responsible.

Your belongings

Your landlord isn't normally responsible for your personal property such as furniture, clothing, or electronics. But your landlord could be responsible if it is their fault your things are damaged. For example, there is water damage to your things because your landlord did not fix a plumbing problem or a leaky roof.

Cleaning and outdoor maintenance

It is your landlord's job to clean and maintain the common areas. These are areas, both inside and outside the building, that are not part of tenants' apartments. For example, your landlord must:

  • keep halls, elevators, stairways, and lobbies clean
  • keep laundry rooms and garbage rooms clean
  • pick up garbage outside the building
  • cut the lawn
  • shovel snow and keep ice off the driveways and sidewalks

It is up to you to keep your own apartment or rental unit clean, unless your lease or rental agreement says your landlord will do it.

If you rent a whole house, the law is not clear about who is responsible for outdoor work like lawn mowing and snow shovelling.

Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations

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