If you’re thinking of purchasing a rental property as an investment here in Hanover, ON, there are a few things you’ll want to know first. One of those things is what your responsibilities are as a landlord for keeping your property in good condition. Plumbing is one area where there always seems to be confusion over who’s responsible for what. To clear that up, here’s a guide to who’s responsible for plumbing repair and maintenance in a rental property.
Understanding the Residential Tenancies Act
Here in Ontario, there’s a law that governs the specifics of landlord-tenant relationships throughout the province. It’s the Residential Tenancies Act, and it spells out all of the rights and responsibilities of both renters and property owners.
The law says that landlords have the responsibility to keep their rental properties in good repair. This includes making sure that your tenant has access to habitability essentials, including heat, power, and running water. Since water qualifies as an essential service, it follows that you, as a landlord, have to keep your rental property’s plumbing in working order at all times.
This means that you’ll need to schedule plumbing repair and maintenance services as needed for your rental unit. So, if your tenant reports a slow or clogged drain or indicates that there’s a leak on your property, you have a legal obligation to act promptly to remedy the problem.
However, you also have the right to select a plumber to handle the work. This helps make sure that you always know about what plumbing repairs and alterations occur on your property. It also gives you the peace of mind of knowing who to contact if your property has an issue after a repair.
Your Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities
Of course, you should know that your tenant has a right to contact a plumber of their own to fix a problem on your property if you don’t act promptly. That’s important to know because the Residential Tenancies Act doesn’t offer any specificity on what constitutes a prompt response. For that reason, it’s in your best interests as a landlord to either be available yourself or have a designated contact person your tenants can reach at all times. Plus, you’ll want a reputable plumbing service you can trust to complete repairs on your property right away.
You should also know that your tenant can’t legally interfere with any plumbing repair arrangements you make. It’s their legal responsibility to allow your plumber entry into your property and access to wherever they need to go to make repairs. If they don’t do so, you have the right as a landlord to file a complaint with the Landlord and Tenant Board to prove that you’ve made a good faith effort to fix the plumbing problem.
In situations where the needed repairs aren’t due to ordinary wear and tear but result from the tenant’s negligence or malfeasance, the tenant must pay for the repairs. So, for example, if your tenant drops something on their toilet and cracks it, they must have it fixed at their own expense. For your protection, it’s a good idea to give your tenant the number of a plumber you trust to handle those kinds of repairs.
However, your tenant isn’t obliged to use the plumber you’ve recommended; they’re free to contact any plumber they prefer to do work at their expense. The good news is that the work they have done must still meet all applicable building codes and can’t be any kind of temporary repair.
Contact the Plumbing Pros Today
Now you know who’s responsible for what when it comes to plumbing in your rental unit. Since it’s such an important part of your property, you’ll want to keep the phone number for Montgomery's Industrial Services close at hand. We’re a local company that’s served residents and landlords in Hanover since 1992. We offer comprehensive plumbing services but also offer HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair, as well as complete electrical services, too. We’re also a member of the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Contractors of Canada, and a TSSA registered contractor, too. That means you’ll always get quality work you can count on from us. So, for solutions to the plumbing problems in your Hanover rental property and a whole lot more, contact the experts at Montgomery's Industrial Services today.