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Landlord/Tenant Myths Debunked: Part 2

14 February 2013

Whether you’re someone looking for a place to rent, or a landlord investor, there are always tenancy issues that can confuse anyone. And with so many myths abounding (and more popping up every day,) it doesn’t help clear it up any. Yesterday we looked at some of the biggest myths surrounding residential tenancy agreements. But with so many, one post simply wasn’t enough and so, we continue on today with even more myths – and the truth behind them!

The landlord is allowed to ask for post-dated cheques
Just like the pet rule we talked about yesterday, this is one that surprises both renters and landlords, because so many landlords request post-dated cheques in so many leases, and it’s never questioned. However, this is not a legal request and if the tenant wishes to pay each month on an agreed-upon date, and not before, the landlord must agree to it.

The landlord can enter the rental unit at any time
This one most people know. As tenants live in the property and need their own sense of privacy, landlords must give at least 24 hours notice before entering the property. Written notice must be given, and that notice must state a reasonable time between 8am and 8pm, as well as a valid reason for entering the property.

Lease renewals are mandatory when the landlord requests it
Leases work as a sort of probationary measure when it comes to residential tenancy agreements. The lease is to protect the landlord at the beginning of the term when they’re renting to someone new and that they don’t know. The lease also provides for an outline of what will be expected of the landlord and tenant throughout the duration of occupancy; as well as secure things such as safety deposits. The lease will be for a certain amount of time and if at the end of that time, the landlord no longer wants to rent to the tenant they can provide notice of such. If both parties want to keep the agreement, rent will typically move to a monthly basis. All conditions of the lease, excluding tenancy dates, will still be considered valid (smoking policies, etc.) but the tenant will not be ‘locked in’ to staying for a certain amount of time. However if both parties agree to signing a lease renewal, that of course is perfectly acceptable.

Without a lease tenants only need to provide 30 days notice before leaving
This is a very popular myth surrounding tenancy notice, and it’s one that has many investors up at night. One month is hardly enough time to get the property ready for new tenants, advertise to attract new tenants, and have showings. And of course, the longer the property sits empty, the longer the investor loses money. Luckily, this myth is not true. Without a standing lease, tenants must give 60 days notice before vacating the property.

When the rental property is a house, tenants are responsible for outdoor maintenance
This one is very important, especially investors. Many in the rental market – both investors and renters – assume that if the rental property is a home (especially a single detached) the tenants are responsible for things such as lawn maintenance and snow shoveling in the winter. However, the law states that the landlord is responsible for maintenance both in and around the property – and it doesn’t differentiate between different types of rental properties. To avoid having to shovel the drives of your 5 different rental properties every time it snows, it must be stated in the lease that this is the tenant’s responsibility. Including this provision is okay. Assuming that your tenants will take care of it is not.

We think in the past two days we’ve covered the biggest myths surrounding residential tenancy agreements. If you’re an investor that’s extremely eager to rent based on some of these (or other) myths you’ve heard, or you’re eager now that the myths have been debunked, give us a call. We can help qualified investors obtaining financing for that property – with no confusing myths or urban legends included!

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