Repairs and Maintenance
- What are the landlord's and tenant's responsibilities for cleaning and maintenance?
- Can a landlord terminate a non-essential service or facility?
- What are "emergency repairs"?
- Is the landlord required to post emergency contact information?
- When must a landlord reimburse the tenant for emergency repairs?
- Who is responsible for emergency repairs to a manufactured home?
- Is a landlord responsible for regular or minor repairs?
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What are the landlord's and tenant's responsibilities for cleaning and maintenance?
The landlord is responsible for ensuring that rental units and property, or manufactured home sites and parks, meet health, safety and housing standards established by law, and are reasonably suitable for occupation given the nature and location of the property.
The tenant must maintain reasonable health, cleanliness and sanitary standards throughout the rental unit or site, and property or park.
Can a landlord terminate a non-essential service or facility?
A landlord may eliminate or restrict a service or facility, unless the service or facility is essential to the use of the rental unit as living accommodation or use of the manufactured home site as a site for a manufactured home, or if the service or facility provided is a material term of the tenancy agreement.
- The landlord must provide 30 days written notice, on a Notice Terminating or Restricting a Service or Facility form, and reduce the rent in an amount equivalent to its value.
A service or facility is not essential if the tenant can obtain the service or facility or a reasonable substitute through an alternate source.
It is an offence for a landlord to discontinue providing a service or facility that is essential to the tenant's use of the site or unit for their residence, even if the service or facility is not recorded in the tenancy agreement.
What are "emergency repairs"?
Repairs are considered an emergency only if the health or safety of the tenant is in danger or if the building or property is at risk. Emergency repairs are permitted for major leaks in pipes, damaged or blocked water pipes or sewer pipes, electrical systems and in the case of residential tenancies, plumbing fixtures, broken central or primary heating systems, or defective locks that let anyone enter the rental unit without a key.
Is the landlord required to post emergency contact information?
Landlords are required to post an emergency contact name and phone number in a visible place in the park or building, or provide tenants with the name and number of the emergency contact in writing.
When must a landlord reimburse the tenant for emergency repairs?
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 without obtaining a Residential Tenancy Branch order. If the tenant does contact the landlord before the repairs are completed, the landlord may either take over the repairs and pay for work done up to that point or allow the repairs to continue and reimburse the tenant for the full cost incurred.
A landlord must reimburse a tenant for the costs of emergency repairs unless the Residential Tenancy Branch orders otherwise. The tenant must provide all receipts for repairs and a written account of what happened. If, after receiving the receipts and account from the tenant, the landlord does not offer to reimburse the tenant, the tenant can deduct the repair costs from the rent payments. The landlord cannot try to end the tenancy because the tenant deducted the costs. However, if the landlord believes that the costs were too high, or the repairs were unnecessary or were required because the tenant didn't take proper care of the site, the landlord can:
- file a monetary claim against the tenant, or
- issue a Notice to End Tenancy for non-payment of rent.
Who is responsible for emergency repairs to a manufactured home?
The owner of the manufactured home is responsible for emergency and all repairs to a manufactured home.
Is a landlord responsible for regular or minor repairs?
A regular or minor repair is not an emergency; however, it is an inconvenience for the tenant and may make the tenancy less valuable. The tenant is responsible for repairs for damage caused by the tenant or their guests. If the repair is not for damages done by a tenant or their guests, the landlord is generally responsible for it. If the landlord doesn't make the repair, the tenant can contact the Residential Tenancy Branch for assistance.