If you're thinking about buying an investment property and renting the units out to tenants, whether it's a small scale operation like a two flat house or a large scale one like a high rise tower full of condominiums, you need to familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities before going ahead.

Filling Your Property

As the landlord, you will be responsible for choosing your applicants and outlining what you will expect in terms of payment and time of residency from them. While you cannot discriminate against tenants based on race, gender, religion, or orientation, you are not required to accept everyone who sees your ad in the real estate listings. You can collect references, as well as some credit and income information and impose deposit of one month's rent. Once you and they have come to an agreement you must supply them with your contact information and a copy of their tenancy rights. Tenancy agreement definition can be found here

Maintaining Your Property

You are responsible for maintaining the building, units, and landscaping. Landlords are permitted to hold tenants responsible for cleaning the property, however, and for repairing any damage they caused. Landlords are also responsible for snow removal and ensuring the heat in the winter is 20 degrees Celsius. If you fall down in your duties you still have the right to collect rent from the tenant, however be aware that the tenant can ask the tenancy board to intervene and force you to do so. You are not required to do renovations unless the unit is not fit for habitation. For major repairs and renovations the landlord is responsible for calling upon experts who will ensure the updates meet code and safety is a priority.

Money and Contact

You and your tenant must agree on the rent before the agreement is signed. After that, you are permitted to increase the rent after 12 months but not before and give 90 days notice in case they need to take out a mortgage to pay it. If you wish to enter your tenant's unit, you can only do so with 24 hours written notice and after giving your reasons for doing so. The tenant cannot refuse to let you in if you do this. If they do, they are giving you grounds for eviction.


In a perfect world all tenancies would end amicably. Sadly many end with evictions, which are the landlord's right to perform if the tenant refuses to pay. Rent is late if it is not delivered on the day due, and the landlord can present the tenant with a notice giving them 14 days to pay. If they still do not pay, a notice of eviction from your building gives them 60 days to clear out. Tenants can also be evicted for other reasons, but the tenancy board must get involved.

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