Are you looking forward to getting out on your own and renting an apartment or perhaps you’re wanting to sell your home and move into a rental property so that you have more freedom to travel. Whatever the reason, if renting is the right choice for you, then it’s a good idea to do your homework and find out what your rights are as a tenant.
Often, it’s a case of if you don’t ask, you don’t know. However, having that little bit of extra information before you sign a rental agreement can give you peace of mind and help you to manage your expectations should situations arise.
Regulations related to tenant and landlord rights are governed in Manitoba by the Residential Tenancies Branch. Some of the basic rights that tenants have under the Residential Tenancies Act are:
- The unit must be made available to the tenant on the scheduled move in date.
- The tenant should receive a written receipt when the rent is received showing the amount paid, the date and the address of the rental unit.
- Essential services such as heat, electricity, as well as hot and cold water, must be provided.
- A landlord must provide 24-hour written notice to enter your unit unless it is an emergency.
- The space that you are renting must be kept in good repair and meet provincial health guidelines, as well as housing and safety standards.
- You have the right to quiet enjoyment of your rental unit and not be disturbed by people living in your building or your landlord. The landlord must investigate complaints of disturbances or risks of safety to the residents.
- You have the right to be notified of any rent increases with a minimum of three months notice.
Beyond these rights protected by the Residential Tenancies Branch, each building or community may also have their own rules to help ensure the enjoyment of residents in their homes. Such rules can include having a non-smoking environment, the use of gas grills, quiet hours and restrictions on pets. Of course, with the impending marijuana legislation, property managers and landlords may be reevaluating rules that they already have in place.
Ideally, when you start your search for a rental unit, it is important to ask questions and research what rules are implemented for the building or community that you’re considering. This may help you to determine if the space is indeed conducive to your personal lifestyle.
Vionell Holdings Partnership (VHP) provides rental housing and property management for an array of residential and commercial customers, including Condominium Management. VHP currently has over 3,000 units under management in Manitoba.