Real Estate Talk:
Income property / 7
A look at the landlord’s obligations
By Joseph Marovitch
Updated June 9, 2021
People who buy income property for the first time have certain preconceived notions of being a landlord. Initially, the buyer’s idea is, they will buy an income property and collect rent. It sounds easy enough, but there is more to being a landlord than collecting rent. There are the maintenance issues, tenant issues and the fact that the landlord is partially responsible for the people that live in their income property. Both the landlord and the tenant have responsibility and obligations to the lease. Next week I will discuss the tenant’s obligations. In this article, we will discuss the landlord’s obligations.
People who buy income property for the first time have certain preconceived notions of being a landlord.
There are many issues and rules to being a Landlord. For this article I will discuss the main responsibilities.
1. The unit must be in clean and move-in condition
The first responsibility of the landlord is to ensure the unit (apartment) is in clean and liveable condition. If there are repairs required before the tenant taking possession, such as cracks in the walls or ceiling, these must be repaired and painted. If the sink is leaking, repair it. If air conditioning or appliances are included, these must be in good working order before possession.
2. Possession date
In the lease, which must be a Tribunal administratif du logement (formerly Régie du logement) form, a date for possession is indicated. The landlord must ensure that the unit is ready by the agreed-upon date for the tenant to take possession. This means all preparation work including repairs and painting must be performed by that date.
3. Peaceful enjoyment of the unit
The tenant has the right to live in the unit in peace and enjoy the space. The landlord cannot disturb the tenant unless there is either an emergency or by mutual agreement and for good reason with prior notice.
‘The tenant has the right to live in the unit in peace and enjoy the space.’
The landlord can be held responsible for the disturbances caused by other tenants to the tenant in question. In such a case, the tenant must provide written notice to the landlord that there is a problem, such as loud noises or barking dogs, and provide time for the landlord to resolve the situation.
4. Guarantee the unit can be used for the purpose for which it was rented
The landlord cannot change the status of the space during the entire time of the lease. For example, the space cannot be changed to offices or condos for sale while the tenant is in the term of their lease.
5. Repair as necessary
The landlord is responsible for making necessary repairs to the unit as required. If the electrical system ceases to work or the basement floods or damage occurs to the outside of the building, then the landlord must repair this in a reasonable time from when the tenant states in writing that there is a problem. Minor repairs such as changing light bulbs would not be the responsibility of the landlord, however, it should be noted that in an emergency such as in -40-degree weather and the heat stops working, the landlord must respond immediately with a solution such as sending a repair person right away or having the tenant call a repair person and have the landlord pay for the issue.
‘Minor repairs such as changing light bulbs would not be the responsibility of the landlord…’
It should also be noted that if the unit includes appliances and it is not stated in the lease that the tenant is responsible for these appliances, should the appliances break down, the landlord can be responsible for repairing or replacing the faulty appliances.
6. Maintain the form of the unit
The landlord must maintain the form of the unit and not, for example, change the space to offices or add an additional storage room unless the tenant should agree to such a change at the landlord’s expense.
These are the main responsibilities of the landlord, however, there can be more, and I would refer prospective landlords to refer to the Tribunal administratif du logement for further details.
The information I provide in these articles is a summary. Should you have questions or comments, please refer to the comments section at the bottom of the page. As well, to view past articles, click here.
Next article: Income property /8 – Tenant’s Obligations
State of the market
According to the Montreal Real Estate Board, home sales fell 14% from last year, between April and May 2021, as pandemic restrictions are being removed. Prices are beginning to settle to a normal pace of growth and, chances are, we will see fewer multiple offer situations as more property enters the market.
‘Rising inventory means more property to choose from and more competition for sellers. With this change of dynamic, the market is becoming a buyer’s market.’
For those who are purchasing a home or investing, time is a factor. Two weeks ago, a 5-year mortgage amortized over 25 years offered an interest rate of 1.68%. Today the rate is 1.99% and rising. The other issue affecting sellers is the number of new listings entering the market. Without fear of the pandemic due to dropping infection rates and mass vaccinations, people are listings their homes. No longer afraid of strangers entering the property, inventory is rising. Rising inventory means more property to choose from and more competition for sellers. With this change of dynamic, the market is becoming a buyer’s market.
For those selling, now is the time, and I mean immediately. Summer shows property best, people are in town until July when the construction holiday takes place, mortgage rates are still low, and inventory has not peaked. Come September, we are looking at rates well over 2% and an influx of new listings.
Remember Economics 101:
High inventory = Lower prices
Low inventory = Higher prices
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Joseph Marovitch has worked in the service industry for over 30 years. His first career was working with families from Westmount and surrounding areas, hosting children between the ages of 6 to 16 as the owner and director of Camp Maromac, a sports and arts sleep away summer camp established in 1968. Using the same strengths caring for the families, such as reliability, integrity, honesty and a deep sense of protecting the interests of those he is responsible for, Joseph applies this to his present real estate broker career. Should you have questions please feel free to contact Joseph Marovitch at 514 825-8771, or firstname.lastname@example.org