What if if my landlord doesn't do the repairs I have requested and that he or she is responsible for?
If you have requested a repair and your landlord does not have it done, you should write to them asking for it to be done. Provide a reasonable deadline for them to have it completed and keep a copy of the letter. If the landlord still does not have the repair done, you can apply for Dispute Resolution to the Residential Tenancy Branch.
What happens if the landlord and I have to go to Dispute Resolution?
You will be required to submit proof of the need for the repairs, including photographs, and/or testimony from witnesses to the problem.
A dispute resolution officer can order the landlord to do the repairs. They can also order the landlord to reduce your rent until the repairs are done, or they can allow you to have the repairs done and deduct the cost from your rent. They can also have you pay your rent to the Residential Tenancy Branch, instead of your landlord, until the repairs are done.
When something in your place needs repairing, the first thing to do is let your landlord know. It is important to do this so the problem does not get worse.
Some repairs your landlord is responsible for include: the heat, the electrical service, the locks, the plumbing, the intercom, the roof and the elevator. The landlord is also responsible to maintain the items in place when you took the unit, like: the fridge, the stove, and the laundry facilities.
The landlord may also be responsible for other items depending on the type of unit you are renting. Pest control is another issue the landlord is really responsible for.
In some situations, a tenant is allowed to have repairs done on an emergency basis. These situations would involve major leaks, blocked sewer pipes, major leaks in the roof, non-functional heating systems, and some other issues allowed under the Residential Tenancy Act.
You must try and contact the landlord or their representative at least twice before you take it upon yourself to undertake any repairs. It is important to keep records of your attempts to contact the landlord or their representative. You must also be sure the repairs are truly an emergency or you may not be reimbursed for any work you have paid to have done.
Alex Creighton has over 30 years experience in property management with Devon Properties and her family-run property management company.
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