Landlord's rights and responsibilities - what to know when taking legal action

At a certain point in time, negotiating with the tenant may no longer be an option, and it is at this point that legal action may be necessary. Whether the problem is that the tenant refuses to pay rent, won’t make certain repairs, or you just want to evict them, there is a specific process that you will need to follow to resolve the matter. You will have to fill out certain forms and give the tenant all of the proper notices as well as observing a waiting time for the tenant to respond to the action you have taken. In most jurisdictions, there are fees that are applicable. Usually, it is not necessary to involve a lawyer in these matters.

The specific process that needs to be followed and forms that must be filled out for any action differs depending on the province or territory. Basic information regarding these issues can be found in the Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets, and more specific information is available from your local rental authority. To locate rental authority in your province or territory, check the Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets.

If you get to the point where you feel the need to contact your local rental authority to force the tenant to take action, you will have to pay close attention to detail. When you are filling out the necessary paper, do not make any mistakes. Even the smallest error in paper can delay the entire process quite a bit, so it is important that you take the time to go through everything carefully and thoroughly. Failure to fill out all of the paperwork properly can result in a dismissal of the claim.


Steps to follow when Handling Complaints

  1. Put down all complaints and warning in writing
  2. Obtain copies of the local by-laws pertaining to parking and garbage, local noise, neighbours, and agents of the landlord. Local bylaws are set by the municipal government in your area. If you would like to obtain copies of the by-laws in your area, contact your local city councilor’s office at your local town hall, which is listed in the Blue Pages or telephone book. There are some municipalities that post by-laws on their website. Look into your local library to get more information on these bylaws.
  3. If necessary, call the police.
  4. Always use the proper legal channels when proceeding with a dispute.
  5. Pay close attention to detail when taking any legal action against a tenant.