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Landlord & Tenant Frequently Asked Questions

Cannabis

Yes, a landlord can restrict smoking of cannabis as a term or condition of the rental agreement

Yes, a landlord can restrict tenants from growing cannabis plants as a term or condition of the rental agreement

If the landlord and tenant agree on changes to the rental agreement, such changes can be effective at any time agreed upon by the landlord and the tenant. If the landlord and tenant do not agree on changes to the existing rental agreement, the landlord must terminate the existing rental agreement by giving the tenant a termination notice as required by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2018. Then the landlord and tenant are free to enter into a new rental agreement with the new terms and conditions identified. If the tenant is not agreeable to the terms and condition of a new rental agreement, the tenant would be required to give the landlord a termination notice as required by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2018.

Issues of accommodating persons with disabilities fall within the Human Rights Act. For additional information, contact the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission.

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Damage

The Rental Premises Condition Report is completed, signed and dated by the tenant and landlord to show the condition of the residential premises at the beginning and end of the rental agreement. Both landlords and tenants find that an inspection report is in their best interests. A tenant can use it to show there were damages before the tenant moved in. A landlord can use it to show damages which were not there before the tenant moved in. The premises should be vacant during an incoming and outgoing inspection, unless the landlord and tenant agree otherwise. The landlord and tenant should inspect the premises together and write down any damages such as holes, scratches and burns. The landlord and tenant should sign and keep a copy of the report. If a landlord or tenant does not want to participate in an inspection report, the landlord or tenant should complete the inspection report, preferably with a witness, and provide a copy to the other party. Many landlords and tenants take pictures of the conditions in the unit or videotape them at the start and at the end of the tenancy.

A tenant is responsible to repair damages where the tenant or one of the tenant's guests or visitors caused the damages.

A landlord can request in writing a tenant to repair damages. If the tenant fails to make the repairs within 3 days, or within a reasonable time, then a landlord can give a tenant a written termination notice to move out not less than 5 days after the notice is served.

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Personal Property

When a tenant leaves behind personal possessions, the landlord is required to safely store the tenant’s belongings either in the rental unit or in another secure location and provide a written inventory of the belongings, along with printed photographs to the Residential Tenancies Office as well as to the tenant, if the landlord can locate the tenant. The landlord is required to obtain approval from the Residential Tenancies Office before disposing or selling any abandoned personal property.

Yes, a tenant is responsible to carry insurance on his/her personal belongings. A tenant's personal belongings are not covered by insurance the landlord may have on the residential premises.

A landlord is not permitted to dispose of, keep or sell any possessions of the tenant regardless of any rent or other monies owed to the landlord. At the end of the tenancy however, the landlord and tenant may enter into a written agreement about what to do with the tenant’s personal property.

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Rent

Yes, the landlord can charge $5.00 for the first day the rent is late and $2.00 for each additional day the rent is not paid up to a maximum of $75.00.

Yes, the landlord can request post-dated cheques.

No, a landlord cannot increase rent by giving a verbal notice to the tenant. A landlord is required to provide a tenant with six months’ written notice of a rent increase.

A landlord cannot increase the rent during any fixed term rental agreement or during the first 12 months of a week to week or month to month rental agreement.

No, a tenant may not withhold rent because the landlord is not maintaining the premises. The tenant has other options to have a landlord carry out required maintenance work. The tenant should contact the landlord in writing outlining the maintenance work required. If the landlord does not then carry out requested maintenance work, or if any work carried out is not satisfactory the tenant may contact the Residential Tenancies Office for assistance.

If a rent cheque is returned for non-sufficient funds, a landlord may charge a fee not greater than the amount charged to the landlord by the financial institution.

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Rental Agreement

A rental agreement is defined as a written, oral or implied agreement between a landlord and a tenant in which the tenant is granted the right to use or occupy a residential premises on the condition that rent is paid.

There are three types of rental agreements:

  1. week-to-week;
  2. month-to-month;
  3. a fixed term of not less than 6 months and not more than 12 months.

A rental agreement is defined as a written, oral or implied agreement between a landlord and a tenant in which the tenant is granted the right to use or occupy a residential premises on the condition that rent is paid.

Yes, the Act applies to a verbal rental agreement.

No, the Act does not apply to a commercial landlord-tenant relationship or to a premises that is used for a business purpose.

Yes, the landlord is required to give the tenant a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act as well as a duplicate copy of a written rental agreement within 10 days after the date of signing by all parties or written notice of a verbal or implied rental agreement within 10 days after entering into the agreement. If the landlord fails to do this, the tenant may withhold rent until the landlord has provided the required documents. These documents may be provided in paper form or electronically to an address provided to the landlord by the tenant.

Yes, the rental agreement (written or verbal) continues as if there was no change in ownership, however a foreclosure may result in an exception.

Yes, the rental agreement (written or verbal) continues as if there was no change in ownership, however a foreclosure may result in an exception.

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Residential Tenancies Act

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2018 does not apply to living accommodations that are:

  • used or occupied as a vacation home for a seasonal or temporary period;
  • used or occupied by a person for penal, correctional, rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes or for the purpose of receiving care;
  • provided to temporarily shelter persons in need;
  • provided in a hospital, nursing home or a home established to provide personal care for the aged;
  • provided by an educational institution to its students;
  • provided on a transient basis by a religious, charitable or non-profit organization for the purpose for which it is established;
  • provided by a co-operative housing corporation to its members or shareholders who use or occupy the living accommodation;
  • for a business purpose.

Additionally, the Residential Tenancies Act, 2018 does not apply to arrangements where an attornment clause in a mortgage or other instrument (such as a rent to own agreement) creates a security interest (or equity) in the residential premises.

Official copies of the Act can be purchased for $5.25 (including tax) at our Locations and at the Government Service Centres. Credit card, debit card, cash, cheque and money order payments are accepted. Cheques and money orders must be made payable to "Newfoundland Exchequer". You can order copies by phone using your credit card by calling 1 877 829-2608.

Yes, a landlord has to provide a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2018, without cost, to the tenant, upon entering into a rental agreement.

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Security Deposit

A security deposit is a sum of money or other value given to the landlord, that is in addition to the rent paid in respect of the residential premises, and is held as security for the performance of an obligation or a liability of the tenant

A landlord shall give the tenant a written receipt stating the amount of the deposit, the date of payment, and the premises to which it applies. The security deposit is not an asset of the landlord, but must be held in trust by the landlord.

When a security deposit is refunded to a tenant, a landlord is required to pay interest on the security deposit for the entire period the landlord has had the security deposit. The rate of interest is set by the Security Deposit Interest Regulations. You may use the Security Deposit Interest Rate Calculator to assist in determining interest on your security deposit.

The amount of the security deposit that a landlord can ask a tenant to pay depends on the type of rental agreement: (i) if the premises are rented from week to week, the deposit cannot be greater than the first two weeks rent; (ii) for a monthly rental agreement, it must not exceed three-quarters of the first month’s rent; and (iii) where the premises are rented for a fixed term of 6 to 12 months, the deposit cannot exceed three-quarters of the first month’s rent if the rent was proportioned to a monthly payment.

The landlord is required to return the security deposit to the tenant within 10 days after the tenant vacates, unless the landlord has a claim for all or a portion of the security deposit. A landlord can keep a security deposit with the tenant's written agreement. When a landlord and tenant disagree on the status of the security deposit, then either party may file an Application for Dispute Resolution with the Residential Tenancies Office.

The new owner will be responsible for the security deposit.

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Termination

No, a termination notice must be in writing.

Yes, a landlord can issue a termination notice when the rent is not paid within 5 days after the day rent is due.

Yes, all notices of termination by a landlord will also require a written notice from a tenant when s/he is leaving, otherwise rent is payable to effective date of termination.

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