Tenant rights and landlord rights in yukon

NOTE:

Yukon recently passed a new Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, which effectively replaces the section of the current legislation that relates to residential tenancies. The legislation has not yet gone into effect, and the information included in this fact sheet reflects the most current law. When the new Act becomes effective, as is expected later this year, this fact sheet will be updated accordingly.

Governing or Regulatory Body

Residential Tenancies Office

Name of Act / Regulations

  • Landlord and Tenant Act (Part 4 Residential Tenancies)
  • Prime Rate, YOIC 1994/177
  • Security Deposit, YOIC 1984/134

Types of Housing/Living Arrangements Covered by the Provincial Legislation

Residential premises, Mobile Home Sites

Types of Rental Periods

Week-to-week, month-to-month, annual

Is a signed lease required?

No. A rental agreement simply means an agreement between a tenant and a landlord for the occupancy of a residential property, whether the agreement is written oral, expressed or implied. If a rental agreement is written and signed, the tenant must receive a duplicate copy of the agreement within 21 days of the document being signed. In cases where the tenants signs a lease and delivers it to the landlord, the landlord has a total of 21 days to deliver a signed duplicate of the original document to the tenant.

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

No, but it is highly recommended.

Deposits

The total amount for a deposit should not be any more than the first month of rent. A security deposit can be applied towards the last month of rent. The landlord must pay interest at the rate prescribed (it is set by Consumer Services on a semi-annual basis) on the security deposit either annually or 15 days after the tenancy is terminated, which comes first. A security deposit can be applied toward the payment of the last rental period under the lease. If a landlord and tenant have signed statements that detail the condition of the rental property at the time of move-in and move-out, the security deposit may be applied toward the repairing of any damage done to the property.

Key Money

The requiring of key money is not illegal in the Yukon. The landlord must, however, disclose all fees and charges payable, in addition to the rent, to any prospective tenant before they enter into a lease.

After the rental agreement is made, the landlord cannot increase any fees or charges that are detailed in the rental agreement or impose any additional fees or charges without giving the tenant written notice of the increase or additional with a minimum of three months notice before the increase or addition goes into effect.

Post-dated Cheques

Landlords are not allowed to require post-dated cheques or other negotiable instruments to be used for payment of the rent. Landlords can request post-dated cheques but tenants are not obligated to provide them.

Renewal of a Lease

The Landlord and Tenant Act in the Yukon does not specifically cover automatic renewals.

Terminating a Tenancy (Lease): Notice and Timing

The same notice periods apply to landlords and tenants alike:

  • Year-to-year tenancy: At least 90 days notice is required. The notice to terminate has to be given by the 90th day before the last day of the year in which the rental agreement will expire. Once the proper notice has been given, the tenancy will end on the last day of the year. Landlords must give a 14 day notice to vacate in the event of breach of the lease or by court order.
  • Week-to-week tenancy: At least one week’s notice must be given. The notice to terminate has to be given by the last day of the month before the month in which the tenancy is set to expire. Once proper notice has been given, the tenancy will end on the last day of the month that follows. For example, a tenant who plans to end their tenancy on October 31 is required to give their landlord a notice of termination by September 30.
  • For mobile home sites: At least twelve months notice is required. The notice to terminate has to be given on or before the last day of the month that is twelve months before when the tenancy expires. Once proper notice has been given, the tenancy will end on the last day of the twelfth month after the month in which the notice was given. Mobile home site tenancies cannot be terminated in December, January or February.

Assignments and Sublets

With a tenancy agreement for a term of six months or more, a tenant has the legal right to assign or sublet the rental property. This is subject to the approval of the landlord and a valid reason must be given for denial of such a request.

Rent Increases: Notice and Timing

It is against the law to increase rent during the first year of a tenancy agreement. Landlords are required to notify the tenant in writing three months prior to the date of the increase.

Late Rent Payments

It is the responsibility of the tenant to pay their rent on time and on the date stated in the lease.

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:

  • Apply to a court for an order terminating the tenancy, or
  • Terminate the tenancy by providing the tenant with a 14 day written notice of termination, stating the date by which they must vacate the premises.

In the event that a tenant violates the lease in a significant way, the landlord may either:

A significant violation of the rental agreement includes a breach of responsibility of the tenant as detailed in the Act or a series of violations of a residential tenancy agreement, the cumulative effective of which is significant and highly detrimental. A tenant can object to an eviction notice by filing an application with the Landlord and Tenant Court.

Fine Points

Landlord Entry

The landlord is required to specify the time in which he or she will be entering the property with a written notice 24 hours in advance. Allowable entry times fall between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Exceptions: The landlord has the right to enter: in the event of an emergency situation; with the consent of the tenant at the time of entry; to show the rental property to prospective renters or buyers after a notice of termination has been served, or in the event that the tenant abandons the property.

May the tenant withhold rent for repairs?

No. A tenant is required to pay the full amount of rent on the due date specified in the rental agreement each month.

Changing Locks

This is not allowed without the consent of both parties. A landlord or tenant cannot, during occupancy of the rental property by the tenant, alter or cause to be altered the locking system giving entry to the rented property, except by mutual consent.

Pets and Smoking

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

The Landlord and Tenant Act for the Yukon does not cover this particular issue.

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?

Yes, if a no smoking or a no pets clause is present in the rental agreement and all tenants in the building are treated equally (in this case, nobody in the building is allowed pets) and there is a strict no-smoking policy in the building, tenants who violate these rules are committing a significant violation of the rental agreement and can be served with an eviction notice.

Contact Information

For general information about renting in Yukon contact:

Government of Yukon
Consumer Services (C-5)
307 Black St.
Whitehorse, YT
Y1A 2N1

Toll-free: 1-800-661-0408, ext. 5111(within Yukon)
Tel.: 867-667-5111
Fax: 867-667-3609
http://www.gov.yk.ca



Yukon Housing Corporation
This organization links “families, communities and the housing industry with programs that offer access to adequate, suitable and affordable housing". Most of the valuable information targets social housing.
http://www.housing.yk.ca/

Yukon Government
Department of Community Services
Tel.: 867-667-5111
http://www.community.gov.yk.ca/index.html

Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities
This information is a general summary of the Yukon Landlord and Tenant Act, outlining landlord and tenant responsibilities and where to go if you have a problem.
http://www.community.gov.yk.ca/consumer/landtact.html

Social Housing
Information on the social housing program, which is available to individuals, families and seniors "in need" who cannot secure affordable, adequate and suitable housing on the private housing market.
http://www.housing.yk.ca/shp.html
410G Jarvis Street
Whitehorse, Yukon
Y1A 2H5

In Whitehorse call 867-667-5106 or call toll free 1-800-661-0408, ext. 5759 for Yukon callers outside of Whitehorse.

Email: ykhouse@gov.yk.ca