The City of Ottawa enacted a new bylaw regarding rental properties on September 9, 2020, set to come into effect on August 31, 2021. Bylaw #2020-255 creates minimum standards for landlords and rental property owners regarding capital maintenance plans, pest control, and management of tenant requests. This bylaw applies to both short-term housing, long-term housing, and social housing.
Capital Maintenance Plans
Apartment buildings with more than 10 units or with 3 or more floors will require a capital maintenance plan to regularly inspect and repair electrical and plumbing systems, fire escapes, elevators, roofs, and balconies.
Information Packages for Tenants
Landlords will be required to provide all tenants with an information package containing instructions on contacting the property manager, submitting service requests, and other general information such as how to take care of garbage and fire safety.
Pest control is the most frequent reason for tenant requests in Ottawa, making up nearly a third of all requests in the city. This bylaw creates pest control standards, requiring landlords to undertake preventive inspections and give their tenants instructions on preventing and treating infestations in their units.
The bylaw also creates duties for tenants, requiring them to take steps to prevent infestations in their own home and to report infestations or conditions encouraging infestation to their landlord.
Service Requests from Tenants
This bylaw will require landlords to create a system to log and store requests from tenants. The system will have to record the issue reported by the tenant, the actions taken to rectify the issue, and the outcome of the service request. Landlords will have 24 hours to respond to urgent requests and 7 days for non-urgent requests.
Failing to abide by the bylaw could result in fines ranging from $500 to $100,000 for each day the offence persists.
This bylaw will coexist with the scheme of the Residential Tenancies Act and provides a minimum for standard lease agreements. Landlords will have 3 months after the coming into force of this bylaw to provide information packages to their existing tenants.
If you are a landlord or a tenant dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, our lawyers can help you find the quickest and most efficient solution to your problem. Reach out today!