Dealing with Landlords
- Scrutinize your lease and insist on being provided with a copy of your signed lease.
- Know your rights; for example, your landlord can only ask for your first month’s rent and a security deposit (up to the cost of 1.5 months’ rent), and no more.
- Before moving in, have your landlord walk you through your rental/apartment and note any existing damage.
- Be mindful of your noise.
- The landlord must give notice before visiting your rental; emergencies exempt them from this courtesy.
- If the police are summoned to an incident at your rental, your landlord may receive notice. This could lead to consequences from your landlord as well as from the township.
- Determine who is responsible for carrying out repairs. Notify your landlord if a repair is required, especially if it concerns the livability of the rental unit and needs to be fixed immediately. For non-essential repairs, let a reasonable period of time elapse before asking for an explanation as to why the repairs have not been completed. If the repairs are still not completed, send a certified letter (keep a photocopy) to the landlord stating the issue to be repaired and detailing the history of your requests. If the repairs are still unfinished, it is time to contact an attorney.
Sharing the Rental
Be sure to set clear expectations with anyone you are sharing the rental with:
- How will food be handled? Is it shared or individual?
- How will communal items be purchased? Will the cost be split? Who gets to keep them?
- What items will be shared (e.g. kitchen implements)?
- Rules for using or borrowing personal items.
- How will damage to the property or to personal possessions be dealt with, and how will the cost be divvied up?
- Views on alcohol, drug use, smoking, quiet times and guests.
- Expectations for methods of communication to address conflict or concerns.