Tenant rights and landlord rights in manitoba

Governing or Regulatory Body

Residential Tenancies Branch — Department of Tourism, Culture, Sport and Consumer Protection

Name of Act / Regulations

  • Residential Tenancies Act
  • Residential Tenancies Regulation
  • Residential Rent Regulation
  • Residential Tenancies Interest Regulation
  • Residential Tenancies Costs Regulation

Types of Housing/Living Arrangements Covered by the Provincial Legislation

Permanent residential premises

Exclusions: Hotels that are occupied on a temporary basis; seasonal homes; co-ops; temporary shelter; universities and colleges; accommodations for religious groups; adjoined staff accommodation in an agricultural venture.

Types of Rental Periods

The tenancy agreement can be periodic, including month-to-month or fixed-term, such as a full year long lease.

Is a signed lease required?

No, but if the rental agreement is put in writing, the tenant and landlord are both required to sign it and the landlord has to give the tenant a copy of the lease within 21 days of the tenant signing it. If a landlord requests a tenant to get a guarantor, the tenancy agreement must be put in writing. Tenancy agreements that include tenant services must also be put in writing. Tenants who have no received a copy of the rental agreement have the right to contact the Residential Tenancies Branch, who will direct the landlord to give the tenant a copy of the agreement as soon as possible.

Is a signed move in/move out inspection report required?

No, except in the event that the landlord or tenant ask for one to be created. Even though it is not required by law, it is still a good idea for a landlord and tenant to go through the property and complete a full condition report together when the tenant moves in and when they move out. The Residential Tenancies Branch provides tenants and landlords with copies of the Rental Unit Condition Report form at no charge, though another checklist can be used for the same purpose.

Deposits

Security Deposit A landlord is not allowed to request more than ½ of the first month’s rent from a tenant. The security deposit is held by the landlord until the tenancy comes to an end.

Pet Damage Deposit A landlord who allows a tenant to keep a pet in the rental unit can charge the tenant a pet damage deposit that is equivalent to ½ month’s rent. This deposit is held by the landlord until the end of the tenancy. Starting March 1, 2013, a tenant services charge can be increased if the number of people living in the unit increases at any time. If the landlord increases this fee, the tenant may be required to pay more towards the tenant services security deposit.

Tenant Services Security Deposit A landlord who provided tenants with certain services ask request that a tenant pay a security deposit for them. Tenant services security deposits are not allowed to exceed more than ½ month’s rent. This deposit is held by the landlord until the end of the tenancy.

If the landlord finds that there are no valid reasons to withhold the tenant’s deposit(s) as well as the accrued interest, it must be given back to the tenant with a period of not more than 14 days after the end of the tenancy. If a claim is made against the deposit, the landlord must notify the tenant of the claim within 28 days. The government sets the interest rate that the deposit accrues during the period of the tenancy.

A landlord is legally obligated to forward deposits or rent overpayment to the Branch if they cannot return them directly to the tenant for whatever reason. Tenants may then apply to the province for the money they are owed.

Key Money

Requiring key money is against the law. A landlord cannot require a tenant to pay key money under any circumstances.

Post-dated Cheques

Landlords can ask tenants for post-dated cheques, but tenants are not required to provide them.

Renewal of a Lease

If it is a fixed-term tenancy, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with a renewal of the agreement three months before the term comes to an end. If the landlord does not offer a renewal and the tenant chooses to stay in the unit, the agreement will automatically renew for another fixed-term period.

When an agreement is automatically renewed because a landlord fails to offer a renewal on the lease, the tenant has the right to invalidate the renewal agreement by providing the landlord with notice of one rental payment period.

A tenancy may become month-to-month if the tenant:

  • Fails to sign and return a new tenancy agreement or a renewal to the landlord
  • Does not move out of the unit; and
  • Pays rent, which the landlord takes, after the current tenancy agreement comes to an end

When a fixed-term tenancy turns into a month-to-month tenancy under the above-mentioned circumstances, the landlord is not able to force a tenant to sign another lease or make them agree to another fixed-term. When a lease is renewed, unless agreed to by landlord and tenant, all other conditions of the rental agreement stay the same except for a rent increase.

Terminating a Tenancy (Lease): Notice and Timing

When a landlord offers a tenant a renewal of a fixed-term tenancy, the tenant must sign the renewal and give it back to the landlord at least 2 months before the term is set to end. If the tenant does not do this, the tenancy is considered to be terminated effective the end of the term. Tenants cannot give notice to move during a fixed-term lease, but they can assign or sublet their tenancy agreement to someone else who is approved by the landlord. A landlord can only legally terminate a tenancy for specific and valid reasons that are laid out in the local legislation and cannot do so simply because the tenancy term has expired.

The amount of notice that a tenant is required to give to end a rental agreement depends on whether the agreement is structured as month-to-month or a fixed term. Periodic tenancies demand that there be notice of one full rental payment period to end the tenancy. Tenants on fixed-term agreement are usually required to assign their agreement to someone else if they want to move before the rental agreement has expired. There are some exceptions to this. Please call the Branch office that is closest to you for more information on this subject.

The amount of notice that a landlord has to give a tenant depends on the reason for giving the notice initially, as well as whether the agreement includes a periodic or fixed-term. Landlords must use the prescribed form laid out by the Residential Tenancies Regulation for all Notices of Terminations.

Assignments and Sublets

Tenants have a legal right to assign or sublet their fixed-term tenancy agreement. The landlord has the right to accept the application of the new tenant before it is finalized. Landlords are required to have a valid reason to deny an assignment or sublet request. A landlord can charge the original tenant a one-time administrative fee of up to $75 for assignment or sublet as compensation for the landlord’s expenses related to processing the transaction.

Rent Increases: Notice and Timing

There is an official guideline set for rent increases each year by the province and takes effect on January 1st. Landlords are able to apply to the Residential Tenancies Branch for a larger increase if they are able to prove that the amount stated in the guideline will not cover the cost increases they have incurred. A landlord pays a fee to apply for an above guideline increase. This fee is $150.00 if there are a total of 19 or less units in a complex and $500.00 for complexes that have 20 or more units in them. Rents can be increased just once every 12 months.

A landlord is required to provide a tenant with written notice of a rent increase on a prescribed form at least three months prior to when the increase is set to take effect. The landlord also has to provide the Branch with a copy of the notice. The Brnach provides the forms or the landlord can complete it on the website, print a copy out for the tenant and submit all of the information to the Branch via email or the website. A tenant may object to a rent increase and send in their objection to the Residential Tenancies Branch at least two months prior to when the increase is set to go into effect.

Late Rent Payments

A landlord has the right to charge a fee if a tenant does not pay their rent on time. This fee cannot exceed $10.00 for the first day the right is late plus an additional $2 for each day thereafter for a maximum amount of $100 for each rental payment month. The landlord is required to tell the tenant in writing if they intend to charge late fees.

Evictions

When a landlord wants to terminate a tenancy, they are required to provide the tenant with written notice on the appropriate form. This notice has to state why the tenant is being told to move, when the tenant has to be out by and it has to also be signed by the landlord. If a tenant refuses to move after receiving the notice, the landlords can apply to The Residential Tenancies Branch for an Order of Possession. The landlord has to pay a filing fee of $60.00 for this. There is a hearing held, which is when evidence must be introduced, including the Termination Notice. If an Order of Possession is granted, the order can be enforced by the Sheriff’s office. If the tenant or landlord disagrees with the result of the hearing, they can appeal to the Residential Tenancies Commission and a new hearing date will be set.

Fine Points

Landlord Entry

Landlords are required to provide tenants with at least 24 hours and not more than 2 weeks written notice before they enter their rental property. The Residential Tenancies Branch has set entry hours for landlords between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. as a reasonable, however, specific items are not included in official legislation. The notice that the landlord gives to the tenant has to state when they plan on entering the premises and the reason for it.

A landlord can enter the rental unit without prior notification in the event of an emergency, but only if the tenant gives the landlord permission to do so. The landlord can also enter the premises without permission if they have given the tenant a notice of termination and need to show the unit to a prospective renter, or if it is the last day of the tenancy and the landlord needs to do a condition report for the unit.

In tenancies that feature tenant services, a landlord is able to enter a unit to provide these services (housekeeping, for example) without giving prior notification. If a landlord has to enter for other reasons, such as a yearly inspection, they will have to follow the proper procedure.

May the tenant withhold rent for repairs?

No. A tenant is required to give the landlord a written list of the repairs that are needed as well as a reasonable period of time to complete all of the work. In the event that the landlord fails to do the repairs, the tenant can reach out to the Branch for help. The Branch may order the landlord to do the necessary repairs. If the landlord fails to comply with this order, the Branch may then collect rent and hire a contractor to do the work that is needed.

If a landlord causes an unreasonable delay in getting the repairs done, the tenant can make a claim to get compensation from the landlord. In order to get their claim approved, the tenant must show that they took the proper steps to notify the landlord of the necessary repairs.

Changing Locks

A tenant is not legally allowed to change the locks on the rental unit without getting prior approval from the landlord. For the tenant’s own protection though, the approval should be in writing. If the landlord requests the tenant for a key, the tenant is required to give them one.

Pets and Smoking

Is a landlord allowed to refuse to rent to a tenant who has pets?

Yes, a landlord is legally allowed to refuse prospective renters if they plan on bringing pets with them. In cases where new management takes over a building and wishes to impose a no pets rule, existing tenants who have pets would be allowed to keep theirs but not replace them.

Can a landlord include a no-smoking clause in the lease?

Yes.

If there is a no pets and no smoking clause written in the lease and the landlord finds out that the tenant has a pet and/or is smoking in the unit, can the landlord legally evict the tenant?

A landlord has every right to evict a tenant who knowingly violated a no pets policy, but first the landlord must give the tenant a written warning. If the tenant fails to remove the pet, the landlord can give the tenant a breach of tenancy agreement notification. If a pet causes damage to the property or disturbs other tenants, the landlord can also give the tenant a warning followed by a notice to move.

When it comes to smoking, the landlord can give the tenant a warning followed by a notice of termination if they do not stop. The tenant can, however, challenge the landlord’s notice and request the Branch to determine whether or not the landlord’s ruling was reasonable and valid.

Smoking in common areas is against the law, and includes areas like elevators, hallways, recreational facilities and laundry rooms. If a tenant smoked in any of the previously mentioned areas, the landlord has the right to give the tenant a warning followed by a notice for breach of a reasonable rule.



Contact Information

For general information about renting in Manitoba contact:

Manitoba Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs
Residential Tenancies Branch
302 – 254 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 3Y4
Toll-free: 1-800-782-8403 (within Manitoba)
Tel.: 204-945-2476
Fax: 204-945-6273
Email: rtb@gov.mb.ca
http://www.manitoba.ca/rtb (See website for other locations within Manitoba)

Manitoba Government Inquiry:
Tel.: 204-945-3744
Fax: 204-945-4261
Toll Free: 1-866-MANITOBA (1-866-626-4862)
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf: 204-945-4796
Email: mgi@gov.mb.ca



The Residential Tenancies Act
http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/r119e.php
(See residential tenancy contact, above.)

The Life Leases Act
http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/l130e.php

The Residential Tenancies Regulation
http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/pdf/r119-071.10.pdf

The Residential Tenancies Rent Regulation
http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/pdf/r119-156.92.pdf

The Residential Tenancies Costs Regulation
http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/pdf/r119-149.06.pdf

The Residential Tenancies Interest Regulation
http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/pdf/r119-073.10.pdf

Residential Tenancies Branch
The main page provides a basic overview of the branch, their contact information, the services they provide, and links to several forms, documents and services.
http://www.manitoba.ca/rtb
(See residential tenancy contact, above.)

FAQs
Answers to frequently asked questions for both tenants and landlords.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/faqs.html

Residential Tenancies Guidebook
This extensive guide is an excellent resource. Unfortunately, the layperson may find it difficult to pull the information they need out of the formal structure that was used; the information comes across in a very technical manner.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/cca/rtb/gbook/preintro.html

Forms
PDF versions of commonly used forms.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/cca/rtb/download.html

Security Deposit Interest Calculation
This online tool lets users input the original deposit date, the deposit return date and the deposit amount to calculate the interest owing.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/cgi-bin/cca/interest.pl

Life Lease Rental Housing
A life lease is "... a form of rental housing which is usually aimed at tenants who are 55+." This section provides information about life leases and the Life Lease Act.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/cca/rtb/lifelease/index.html

Rent Status Reports
Downloadable forms (Word document and PDF formats are available) that can be submitted to find out if there have been any rent increase discrepancies.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/cca/rtb/rsr.html

Orders System
Information on this subscription-based system that lists final Orders of various types issued from 1998 onward, which were issued to both landlords and tenants by the Residential Tenancies Branch and Commission.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/rtos/

Resource List
Residential Tenancies Branch Fact Sheets can be found here that will answer many questions that tenants may have.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/resource.html

Provincial Services, Manitoba Family Services and Labour
This website of the provincial government links renters to the forms needed to apply for RentAid benefits.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/jec/eia/RentAid/index.html

Seniors' Guide
The Seniors' Guide is a comprehensive guide to services in Manitoba for older adults. It is published by the Manitoba Government each year.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/shas/publications/docs/seniors_guide.pdf

Independent Advisor Office
The independent tenant advisor offers assistance to qualifying tenants who need help going through the hearing process at the Residential Tenancies Branch. This program is available in Winnipeg and is also available to smaller, independent landlords needing help.
http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/advisor/lantenadvisor.html