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In January 2007, the Residential Tenancies Act became effective. The law outlines the benefits, obligations, and rights of both landlords and tenants. (Tenants NSW Information, Advice and Advocacy, 2014). The act specifies certain conditions that must be met before the landlord may issue an eviction notification. The Landlords and Tenants Board has been granted the legal authority to arbitrate disputes between landlords and tenants.
According to the legislation, the landlord cannot refuse to provide utilities, such as water, electricity, or gas. Tenants have access rights to utilities like electricity, gas, and water once they relocate into a home. It is illegal under the Residential Tenancies Act for a landlord to cut off these essential services even if the tenants have not paid rent (Settlement Organization, 2015). However, the law allows the owner to cut-off necessary utility service, such as electricity, in case they want to carry out repairs, in which case they have to issue a prior notice. The responsibilities of the landlords are to ensure tenants have access to essential utilities and to monitor meter readings for gas and electricity (Winnipeg Rental Network, 2008). Other responsibilities include ensuring that tenants enjoy use of premises for reasonable and legal activities together with providing security (Residential Tenancies Act, 2016).
If a tenant fails to pay rent for two consecutive months, the landlord is mandated by the Act to issue a notice to terminate tenancy for failure to pay rent. The tenant has 14 days from the date of issue to pay rent or vacate the apartment. If the tenants fail to pay rent in 14 days, the landlords refer the issue to Landlords and Tenants Board. The board issues an order requiring the tenant to pay rent and issues an eviction notice if the tenants fail to pay within the specified time (Landlord and Tenant Board, 2017). Cutting off essential services is not an option under the law and may attract hefty fines.
Landlord and Tenant Board. (2017). Brochure: A Guide to the Residential Tenancies Act. Retrieved on June 20, 2017, from http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/documents/ltb/Brochures/Guide%20to%20RTA%20(English).Html
Social Justice Tribunal Ontario. (2015). LTB: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved on June 20, 2017 from http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/faqs
Winnipeg Rental Network. (2008). Landlord Guide. Retrieved on June 20, 2017 http://www.winnipegrentnet.ca/landlord-guide.cfm
Tenants NSW Information, Advice and Advocacy. (2014). The Residential Tenancies Act. Retrieved on June 20, 2017, from https://www.tenants.org.au/factsheet-01-residential-tenancies-act
Settlement Organization. (2015). What are my rights as a tenant? Retrieved on June 20, 2017, from http://settlement.org/ontario/housing/rent-a-home/tenant-rights-and-responsibilities/what-are-my-rights-as-a-tenant
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