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Tenants Checklist Dispute Prevention

  • Know your rights and responsibilities. Learn more about them here.
  • Do a checklist on the suitability of the accommodation
  • Vet your landlord.  Does he have other houses in the same area, are they in good state of repair, does he have a good reputation, check the RTB website to see if the landlord has been involved in previous disputes before renting out the accommodation. Read more here.
  • When giving the deposit, ensure you get a receipt and ensure that the tenancy begins and you are given the keys. If you give a deposit and the tenancy does not begin for a number of days and something happens that you do not move into the dwelling, then a tenancy has not been created and this is outside of the jurisdiction of the RTB.
  • A lease should contain the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
  • If a lease agreement is used, ensure you understand the contents of the lease before you sign it as it is a legal contract once signed.
  • Ensure that all appliances work and agree arrangements for disposing of the household and garden rubbish.
  • Create a list of the contents and condition of all items in the property and get the landlord to sign this to confirm their agreement.  Check every plumbing fixture, light switch, cupboard door, and appliance to make sure they all work properly.  If repairs are necessary, both parties should discuss whether the landlord will make the repairs before the tenant moves in.
  • Take photos or video tape recordings of the rental unit before you move in.
  • Ensure you receive a rent book and record all rents and other charges.
  • Ensure you have the contact details of the landlord in case you have to contact him regarding repairs or replacements.
  • If there is a problem on either side, make sure to notify the other party immediately and be open and honest in all your dealings.
  • Keep copies of any correspondence and make notes of conversations about any problems.  Tenants should ask for repairs in writing and keep a copy of the letter.