Tenent rights and emergency repairs

As part of the Kuu-us Crisis Line Society’s ongoing series on homelessness issues, this article focuses on tenants’ rights when emergency repairs are necessary.

Tenants and property owners both have responsibilities in maintaining and repairing the rental unit. Property owners are responsible to repair and maintain the rental unit; whereas the tenant is accountable for repairing damage done by themselves, their pets, or guests.

At times an emergency repair may be needed which is not the responsibility of the tenant. Repairs are considered emergency only if the health or safety of tenants or building is at risk. Examples of emergency repairs are:

– Major leaks in pipes or roof

– Damaged or blocked water/sewer pipes or plumbing fixtures

– Primary heating system

– Malfunctioning electrical system

– Damaged or defective locks

By law, a property owner must post an emergency contact number and phone number in a visible place or provide the number in writing to all tenants.

If an emergency arises, tenants must try to contact the emergency number at least twice while giving enough time in between for the property owner to call you back.

Please keep a written record of the times and dates of each call.

When the emergency contact responds, tenants must allow a realistic time for the repair to be done.

If the emergency contact does not respond, the tenant can get the repairs done as long as he costs are sensible and repair done correctly. At any time the landlord may take over and pay for work done up to that point.

It is recommended that you call different businesses to get estimates. Write down all the prices and hire the cheapest one that is qualified to do the job.

Keep all receipts, as your property owner has to pay you back the cost of the emergency repairs if you followed the process required by the Residential Tenancy Act. Give a copy of the receipts to your property owner and you keep the original.

If your property owner does not give you the money back, you can deduct it from your rent.

If you need more money from the property owner for damages to your stuff (i.e. in a flood that was the landlord’s fault) and you and the property owner cannot agree on a fair settlement then you can apply for dispute resolution.

It is recommended that all tenants have tenant insurance to cover damage and your belongings.

Should you wish to access AHRI services for advocacy, landlord/tenant mediation, for landlords wishing to post a vacancy in the housing registry, please call 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 250-723-4050.

The KUU-US Crisis Line Society operates the Aboriginal Homeless Response Initiative (AHRI) program, among others.

Just Posted

Illegal cannabis club in Port Alberni ticketed again

RCMP seize cannabis, issue fine for second time in five months

Motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash west of Whiskey Creek

Witnesses say three vehicles involved in collision; man in 70s confirmed dead

Chef returns to North Island College to inspire young cooks

Tina Tang shares her culinary journey since graduating

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

BCHL: Bulldogs announce the departure of head coach Matt Hughes

Hughes led the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for two seasons

Port Alberni Fire Department engages Indigenous youth in fire awareness

Workshop took place as part of Gathering Our Voices event in Port Alberni

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Most Read