Vancouver Rental Issues - Repairs and Maintenance

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Repairs, upkeep and maintenance

Tenant's Responsibilities

  • tenants are expected to maintain reasonable health, cleanliness and sanitary standards throughout their rental units
  • tenants should notify the landlords of minor repairs that require their attention as soon as the problem arises
  • tenant is responsible for damages caused, either deliberately or as a result of neglect, by the tenant or his/her guest
Emergency repairs
Tenants should immediately notify the landlord if urgent emergency repairs are needed.
Repairs are considered an emergency if they are urgent and necessary for the health or safety of anyone, or for the preservation and use of the property. The following are examples usually considered as emergencies:
  • major leaks in pipes
  • blocked or damaged water or sewer pipes
  • faulty electrical systems
  • major leaks in the roof
  • damaged or defective locks

If an emergency arises and the tenant has tried to contact the landlord or the emergency contact number at least twice and allowed a reasonable amount of time for the contact to respond, the tenant may have the repairs done. The landlord must reimburse the tenant for the costs of emergency repairs unless an arbitrator orders otherwise.

Landlord's responsibilities and obligations to repair and maintain

  • maintaining the premises in as near as possible the same condition which existed when the tenancy started
  • cleaning the outside of the windows at reasonable intervals
  • repairing appliances provided under the tenancy agreement unless the damage was caused by the tenant
  • painting the interior of the rental unit at reasonable intervals
  • keeping smoke alarms in good working condition
  • inspecting and servicing the furnace
  • cleaning and maintaining the fireplace chimney (if applicable)
  • cleaning out the dryer exhaust pipe and outside vent at reasonable intervals
  • replacing light bulbs in hallways and other common areas
  • emptying and maintaining a holding tank and/or a septic tank
  • continuing to provide services or facilities that are essential to the tenant
  • if the landlord doesn't deal with the problem the tenant should inform the landlord in writing and keep a copy
  • if the landlord doesn't make the necessary repairs, the tenant can contact Residential Tenancy Office and/or file for an arbitrator's order that the landlord make the repair
Do-it-yourself Notice to Repair Form by

More on this Subject

   Expert Tenancy Advice

         - Repairs and Maintenance

   Related Subjects

         - Starting Tenancy / Landlord's Duties
   - During Tenancy / Landlord's Entry
   - Ending Tenancy / Checking Out

   Other Resources

         - Emergency Repairs - Fact Sheet RTB-110
   - Landlord & Tenant Responsibility for Residential Premises GL-01

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