Tenant vs. Landlord Responsibilities for Rental Utilities and Maintenance | Oshawa Property Management - Article Banner

The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) sets out the obligations of Oshawa landlords and tenants when it comes to maintaining the property. In general, the utilities will be the responsibility of each individual tenant. However, if you’ve decided to include utilities in your rental amount, you’ll be responsible for paying those bills each cycle. 

How to Handling Utilities in a Oshawa Rental Home

With single-family rental homes, utilities are almost always paid for by the tenant. You can expect your residents to establish their own accounts with the utility companies and to manage the payment of electricity, water, sewer, trash, and gas.

In multi-family properties, you can decide whether you want tenants to pay their own utilities based on usage or if you want to pay the utilities for the building and then bill back the cost to your tenants. There are pros and cons to both methods. Maybe you’ll want to bill a flat fee for electricity and water use or you can pay the utility bills and then charge the tenants for the amount that they used. Some tenants will see included utilities as a perk, which could incentivize them to choose your property over another. 

Oshawa Landlord Maintenance Responsibilities 

Landlords are generally responsible for repairing and maintaining the property while it’s occupied by a tenant. The home has to be in a good state of repair and all the property’s functions must be in good working order. Landlords are responsible for providing and fixing:

  • Electricity 
  • Plumbing
  • Heating
  • Appliances
  • Walls, floors, roofs, and ceilings
  • Windows, doors, lighting, and locks
  • Common areas such as parking lots, garages, elevators, laundry rooms, and pools

When something is reported as broken, landlords must repair or replace it. This doesn’t mean you’re responsible for upgrading the model. You simply have to restore the property to the condition it was in when your tenants took possession. 

In multi-family properties, you’ll be responsible for clean common areas, including lobbies, hallways, elevators, laundry rooms, and parking areas. Pest control is your responsibility, as is landscaping. 

All health, safety, housing, and maintenance standards must be met and if they’re not – it’s the landlord’s responsibility to remedy the situation.

Oshawa Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities 

Clean PropertyTenants have the responsibility for keeping their property clean. Everyone has different standards of cleanliness, but a normal standard is what’s used in rental properties. You can’t evict a tenant for not being clean enough unless they are keeping the property in such a condition that there are pests, rodents, smells, and other issues that might interfere with other tenants in the building. 

Tenants are also responsible for any property damage they’ve caused that isn’t simple wear and tear. 

This might be a hole in the wall that occurred when they were moving furniture, a broken window due to children playing ball inside the house, or other issues that are due to a tenant’s abuse, misuse, or neglect. 

This includes damage in any common areas such as a hallway, elevator, stairway, or parking garage. 

Tenants can be held accountable for any costs incurred by using the rental property for something other than residential use. 

If you still have questions about who should be responsible for which maintenance items and utilities, we can help. Contact us at Investor’s Choice Property Management. We provide property management in Oshawa, Whitby, Courtice, Bowmanville, Pickering, Ajax, and communities in the regions of Durham and Clarington.