Tenant rights and landlord rights in new brunswick

Governing or Regulatory Body

The Office of the Rentalsman

Name of Act / Regulations

  • The Residential Tenancies Act and Regulation

Types of Housing/Living Arrangements Covered by the Provincial Legislation

All residential rental properties. Includes lots in mobile home parks.

Exclusions: Co-op housing, public housing and vacation homes.

Types of Rental Periods

Leases can be week-to-week, on a month-to-month basis, annually or fixed term.

Is a signed lease required?

Yes. There must be two individual copies of the standardized lease, referred to as the Residential Lease, and it has to be signed by the landlord and tenant for all types of tenancies. In the event that the landlord and tenant did not sign the lease, its terms will still be applicable to the tenancy and there will be a month-to-month term. Residential Lease form can be acquired online at the Service New Brunswick website.

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

No. The Rentalsman provides tenants and landlords with an initial inspection report form for both parties, though completing it is not required.

Deposits

It is not legal for a landlord to collect last month’s rent, but a security deposit that is equivalent up to one month’s rent is allowed. If the deposit is collected, it has to be paid to the Office of the Rentalsman. The Rentalsman, as opposed to the landlord, holds onto the deposit until the end of the tenancy to ensure it is returned to the tenant when they move. Landlords have a total of 7 days after the tenant moves out to file a formal claim to the Rentalsman to get security deposit funds to be used for repairing damages, cleaning or outstanding rent. If there is no claim filed, the money is returned to the tenant from the Office of the Rentalsman.

Key Money

Requiring key money is not legal.

Post-dated Cheques

Landlords can legally request post-dated cheques if it is specified in the Residential Lease.

Renewal of a Lease

If a fixed-term lease has come to an end and the two parties involved have not negotiated and the landlord accepts the rent, the lease automatically become a month-to-month tenancy. When it comes to a periodic lease (one that is year-to-year or month-to-month), the tenancy is automatically renewed as the same unless proper notification of termination has been served to the tenant.

Terminating a Tenancy (Lease): Notice and Timing

In New Brunswick, the end of a fixed-term lease is an adequate reason to end the tenancy. The contract comes to an end on the date that is specified in the rental agreement. The tenant does not automatically have the right to keep renting the property after that date unless there is a negotiation in advance to extend the tenancy or the landlord accepts payment in exchange for renting the property once the fixed-term tenancy has ended, which not the case in a majority of other provinces and territories. The landlord does not have to give any type of notice to terminate a lease if it ends on a specific date; a lease for a fixed-term ends automatically at the end of the term. In order to end a month-to-month tenancy, there is a period of one full rental month required; in a year-to-year tenancy, a total of 3 month’s notice must be given. Termination of a long-term tenancy (constituting 5 years or more) requires the tenant to give the landlord one month’s notice. The landlord must give 3 month’s notice as well as a valid reason in order for the tenancy to be terminated. Some of the reasons for termination include a family member moving in, major renovation work, building changes to commercial or recreational use.

In addition, a landlord can end a periodic tenancy in the event that:

  • Rental arrears
  • Concerns involving conduct
  • Damage to the property
  • Safety issues

Assignments and Sublets

In New Brunswick, a sublet, or a similar situation where a tenant will be eventually returning to the premises, is classified as a partial assignment. The rental agreement can limit a tenant’s ability to sublet the unit. Whether the assignment is for part of the remaining term or all of it, a lease agreement can dictate that the tenant may not assign, or may only do so with permission from the landlord. The landlord cannot deny the right to assign or sublet unreasonably, though. A lease agreement may state that the tenant can in fact assign the unit. If the lease does not cover these issues, the tenant can assign without any restrictions whatsoever. If there is no lease in place, then the province’s Residential Lease takes precedent and the tenant may assign.

Rent Increases: Notice and Timing

There are no rent controls in New Brunswick. In a month-to-month tenancy, a total of two month’s notice is required to allow the tenant to be able to give a month’s notice to end the rental agreement. In a year-to-year lease, a total of three months’ notice is required and the tenant may choose to terminate the tenancy by giving at least one month’s notice before the day the rent increase is set to take effect. If a fixed-term tenancy using the lease prescribed by the province has a check mark in the body to allow for a rent increase during the year, the landlord may choose to do so with a total of three month’s notice. If not, the full year must go by before any increase in rent is allowed.

Late Rent Payments

Rent is considered to be the day after it is required by the tenant. The landlord can issue a 15 day Notice to Vacate the premises at this point. If the tenant pays the rent that is due within 7 days after receiving the notification, it is no longer valid. If the tenant refuses to leave or pay the rent, the landlord can request an Eviction Order. If the tenant fails to pay rent a second time, the landlord can issue a Final Notice to Vacate, followed by an eviction request regardless of whether rent is paid. With mobile home parks, the tenant is allowed to be late on rent a total of three times before a Final Notice to Vacate can be issued.

Evictions

There are a number of reasons why a tenant can be evicted. The required notice period for eviction depends on the ground for the eviction. Some of the reasons for eviction include:

  • If the tenant does not leave on the date that is specified in the Notice to Vacate issued by the landlord for non-payment of rent.
  • If a tenant does not leave on the date that is specific in a Notice to Quit issued by a Rentalsman for breach of lease.
  • If a tenant does not leave the property at the end of the term lease or on the date given by one of the parties in an official Notice to Terminate served in a periodic tenancy.

The process to evict someone in New Brunswick usually takes anywhere from 3-6 days to complete.

Fine Points

Landlord Entry

Landlords have the right to enter a tenant’s premises in emergency situations, but they have to give 24 hours notice for inspections as well as 7 days notice for repairs. The Residential Lease provides information on permitted entry after a tenant requests that repairs to be done in their unit. If it is the last month of a tenant’s lease term and if the lease allows, a landlord can enter the premises between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to show the property to prospective tenants, excluding Sundays and holidays.

May the tenant withhold rent for repairs?

No. If the tenant is having problems with getting repairs in their unit fixed, they can get help from the Rentalsman. Tenants are required to give a total of 7 days prior notice to the landlord about repair problems, and landlords are required to provide a solution to the problem, or upon application by the tenant, Rentalsman can take the rent to ensure all repairs are done in a timely manner.

Changing Locks

Changing locks is not allowed without consent from both parties or permission from the Office of the Rentalsman.

Pets and Smoking

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

Yes. Restrictions on pets are strictly linked to a premises and not a person. The presence of a no-pets clause in a rental lease may prohibit a tenant from having a pet in the rented property, but it does not prevent the tenant from owning a pet.

If pets are explicitly allowed in the rental agreement, or the agreement does not cover this issue, then the tenant can have pets in the unit.

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

Yes. Smoking restrictions, similar to that of pet restrictions, are linked to the premises and not the person. If there is a no-smoking clause in a residential lease, it may prohibit the tenant from smoking in the unit but it does not mean that they cannot be a smoker.

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?

Yes, any landlord can enforce a no pet/no smoking policy if it is explicitly stated in the rental lease. Landlords and tenants can agree to terms like “no pets and no smoking” in the rental agreement. If a tenant is in violation of this agreement by having a pet and/or smoking in the unit, the violations will be dealt with on a case by case basis by the Rentalsman and could result in an eviction.



Contact Information

For general information about renting in New Brunswick contact:

Service New Brunswick
In Person: At any Service New Brunswick Centre located across the Province (Addresses can be found at www.snb.ca)
Phone: Teleservices: 1-888-762-8600
Online: www.snb.ca/irent (Landlord and Tenants may manage their security deposits and/or apply for assistance online)

You can also communicate by email with the Office of the Rentalsman at IRENT@snb.ca



Residential Tenancies Act
http://laws.gnb.ca/en/showdoc/cs/R-10.2
(See provincial contact, above.)

Regulations
http://laws.gnb.ca/en/showdoc/cs/R-10.2/ga:s_29#anchorga:s_29
(See provincial contact, above.)

Office of the Rentalsman Forms
A collection of forms and publications in pdf format, including the Accommodation Rental Report, standard lease forms and guides.
https://www.pxw1.snb.ca/snb7001/e/1000/1001e.asp#1042

Landlord and Tenants
The online version is presented in a question-and-answer format, with very short answers to commonly asked questions. Contact information for Offices of the Rentalsman across the province is provided at the end of the Web page.
http://www.snb.ca/e/1000/1000-2/e/1000-2_003_e.asp

Landlords and Tenants of Mobile Home Sites
The online version of a pamphlet that applies to renters "… in mobile home parks which contain two or more sites".
http://www.snb.ca/e/1000/1000-2/e/1000-2_003_e.asp#13

Human Rights Commission
The section on the Human Rights Act (New Brunswick) is a good resource for tenants who feel that their rights may have been violated.
http://www.gnb.ca/hrc-cdp/index-e.asp
(See provincial contact, above.)