Archived — A Roof Over Your Head

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You've already made some important financial decisions, and the decision making isn't over yet. The choices you make now may affect your financial situation for many years to come.

While these decisions may seem overwhelming, resolving them is easier if you have solid information before you start. Here are some questions you need to ask and general information about putting a roof over your head, whether it's a house or a rented unit.

Find information for different jurisdictions through the following links:

Renting Your Roof

  • Can I get out of my rental agreement?
  • I'm going away for four months. What do I need to know about subletting?
  • What are my landlord's responsibilities for repairs and upkeep?
  • Can a landlord come into my apartment anytime?
  • A landlord told my friend he had to move out in three days. Does my friend have to move?

These are some of the common questions that landlord and tenant offices have received. The legislation varies by jurisdiction, so the answers will depend on where you live.

It's important that you know your rights and responsibilities under the legislation and where you can get more information and help.

Before you rent:

  • Decide what you want.
  • Find out what the law says.
  • Read and understand what the rental agreement says.
  • Find out who will be responsible for repairs and maintenance.
  • Know who handles disputes between landlords and tenants.

Rental Agreements

A great deal of information is contained in your rental agreement. It is important to know:

  • What type of tenancy period is it — yearly or month-to-month?
  • Are heat, lighting, cable or laundry facilities included in the rent?
  • Are pets allowed; will there be a pet deposit and is it refundable?
  • Who is responsible for grounds upkeep?

Be sure you see a copy of the rental agreement before you decide to rent. Read the entire agreement, and make sure you understand its contents before you sign it.

You need to know what the legislation says about your rights and responsibilities as well as those of the landlord.

What are the tenant's responsibilities?

  • Find out the answers to the following questions:
  • Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs?
  • Who is responsible for replacing appliances?
  • How do you give notice to end the tenancy?
  • What happens if your rent is late?
  • Can the landlord evict you?
  • Are you allowed to sublet or assign your apartment or house?
  • What happens if you don't follow the rules in the tenancy agreement?

What are the landlord's responsibilities?

  • Does the landlord have to give you notice before entering your unit?
  • Is there a limit to the amount or frequency of rent increases?
  • What happens if the tenants above you have loud parties that last well into the morning? Can you take any form of action?
  • What happens if the landlord believes you have abandoned the rented premises?