COVID-19 Tenant health and safety

COVID-19 Tenant health and safety

COVID-19 Tenant Health and Safety
COVID-19 Tenant health and safety

Learn about landlord and tenant responsibilities.

 
Reviewed: June 22, 2020

Issue What landlords and tenants can do Notes
Cleaning and disinfecting common areas Your landlord is responsible for cleaning common areas. During the COVID-19 crisis they should do extra cleaning and disinfecting, especially areas like door handles and elevator buttons. 

Talk to your landlord about this. If they aren’t doing enough, call your local public health department.
Tell your landlord to use these City of Toronto guidelines as an example, or check with your local public health unit.
Physical distancing in common areas Landlords should support physical distancing in their buildings. For example, they can:

  • post signs in common areas like elevators and laundry rooms
  • close non-essential common areas where physical distancing isn’t possible
Talk to your landlord about this. If they aren’t doing enough, call your local public health department.
Tell your landlord to use these City of Toronto guidelines as an example, or check with your local public health unit.
Landlord banning or limiting visitors Your landlord can’t stop you from having visitors. But you are responsible if you or your guests:

  • don’t follow the emergency public health rules
  • endanger the health or safety of others
  • do something illegal
If any of these things happen, your landlord could take legal action against you. In serious cases, you could be evicted.
Learn more about evictions and the special rules that apply during the COVID-19 emergency.
Landlord is afraid to come in to do repairs Your landlord can hire professional tradespeople who know what precautions to take. But if you’re self-isolating or quarantined, and the repair isn’t urgent, your landlord might want to wait until your situation changes. If the repairs are urgent and your landlord isn’t dealing with them, learn more about steps you can take.
Landlord asking tenants personal questions about their health Landlords are responsible for making sure their buildings are safe. But they usually don’t have a right to ask about your health status.

You are responsible for following public health rules and making sure you don’t endanger other people. Your landlord can report you or take legal steps against you if you don’t.
For example:

  • You must follow the limits on social gatherings.
  • If you have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to the virus, you must isolate in your home for 14 days.
Landlord wants to show my place Your landlord normally has some rights to show your place if they give you proper notice. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, they should find a way to show the place safely. For example, they can use photos or videos.

You could refuse to let your landlord show your place if you don’t think they will do it safely. But try to get legal advice first. Your landlord could take legal steps against you. In extreme cases, you could be evicted.
The Ontario Real Estate Association says: “While legally, the Residential Tenancies Act may permit showings, for obvious health and safety reasons, these showings need to stop now. It’s the right thing to do.”
Other tenants’ behaviour If your neighbours don’t seem to be following the emergency rules, try speaking to them or calling your local public health department. You can also speak to your landlord, but keep in mind that your landlord might give them an eviction notice. All local public health units in Ontario are listed here.

For legal advice:

CLEO’s Steps to Justice website has more information about housing issues.
Visit stepstojustice.ca/legal-topic/housing-law.
This is general information for people in Ontario, Canada.
It is not intended to be used as legal advice.

Reviewed: June 22, 2020