The Definitive Guide To The Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance

A Municipal Law That Governs Most Tenancies in Chicago

If you’re a landlord in the Windy City, it’s essential you know the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, also known as the RLTO.

The ordinance has been in effect since 1986 and outlines many of the city’s regulations and rules that govern the relationship between a landlord and tenant. Understanding the municipal ordinance can help in avoiding unnecessary conflicts and disputes with your tenants. A summary of the ordinance, by law, must be attached to the lease. If you are a landlord in Chicago and fail to provide a summary of RLTO, your tenant has the right to terminate the lease upon notice.

The RLTO applies to all apartment buildings in Chicago unless:

  • the building has 6 or fewer units and the landlord lives there.
  • Hotels, motels and rooming houses (private houses where rooms are rented for living or staying temporarily), unless the tenant pays rent on a monthly basis and the unit is occupied for over 32 days.
  • School dormitories, shelters, employees’ quarters and non-residential rental properties.
  • Co-ops and condominium that the owner occupies.

What Tenants Need To Know:

43 percent of Chicago residents rent according to the most recent data from DePaul’s Institute for Housing Studies, and the RLTO dictates that they have to pull their weight as well.

Some of the basics of what tenants are required to do are:

  • Buy and install working batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors within the tenant’s apartment.
  • Keep the unit safe and clean.
  • Use all equipment and facilities in a reasonable manner.
  • Not deliberately or negligently damage the unit.
  • Not disturb other residents.

Landlord Remedies:

  • If your tenant fails to pay the rent you can terminate the rental agreement after giving a 5 days written notice.
  • If the tenant fails to comply with the Code or the rental agreement, the landlord, after giving 10 days written notice to the tenant, may terminate the rental agreement if tenant fails to correct the violation.
  • If the tenant fails to comply with the Code or the rental agreement, the landlord may request in writing that the tenant comply as promptly as conditions permit in the case of emergency, or within 14 days. If the breach is not corrected in the time period specified, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit and have the necessary work done. In this case, the tenant shall be responsible for all costs of repairs, including roofing repairs which can be done by professionals like Roofer Broken Arrow and others.

Security Deposits:

As a landlord, you are legally required to provide a receipt to your tenant for a security deposit. A receipt must be provided when the deposit is made and it must be signed by the person receiving the deposit, include the name of the person receiving the deposit and the name of the landlord, if the person receiving the deposit is not the landlord. The amount of the deposit is also a requirement as is the date it was made. The tenant must also be given the name and address of the financial institution where the deposit is maintained. If a receipt meeting these requirements is not given, the tenant is entitled to return of the security deposit and to damages against the landlord of double the amount of the security deposit plus interest at 5% per annum.

Read a summary of the ordinance here or download the whole thing here.

 

Landlords Have Legitimate Issues with Canada’s Half Baked Legislation

The Federal government didn’t bother to get into specifics on upcoming marijuana legislation.

The tabled cannabis law proposes allowing Canadians to grow 4 plants per person at home – whether they own or rent, provided the plants aren’t taller than 100 centimetres. It sounds benign when it’s framed as a new and progressive law – which in many ways it is – however the practical implications of the legislation are something that a growing number of national and provincial landlord groups aren’t happy with in the least. The government has not said if landlords will be able to prohibit tenants from growing pot in their apartments.

The Professional Property Managers Association and  The Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations are both looking to compel the government to change this aspect of the law. They both seek a ban on tenants growing plants in rented homes or multi-unit buildings. Full disclosure: we also support this change in the law as it is rooted in common sense. We touched on some of the complicated aspects of growing marijuana in a rented unit – particularly the insurance nightmare it has the capacity to create.

“I think the government is obviously balancing a lot of issues here. They do want to break the black market, and that’s important. But we think we can break the black market if they let people [only] grow it in their own owner-occupied homes, and the product is readily available in stores or by mail order.” -John Dickie, Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations

Optimal conditions for growing marijuana include warm temperatures, extensive lighting and high humidity. In order to grow weed, you need these three things. Creating the hydroponic conditions in a residence in an effort to achieve this key trifecta is not something you can do without affecting the domicile in some capacity. That’s just a fact. Water that is fed to plants will transpire and evaporate from the containers into the surrounding air. Cannabis plants also require warmth. Excess water vapour and high temperatures can create humidity damage. Large mold accumulations can follow and grow fast in humid environments and can lead to structural decay.

To boot, unusually high amounts of steam coming from vents in winter can damage exterior finishes on houses. The smell of weed seeps into drywall the same way tobacco smoke does, and even when it’s not being smoked, marijuana can create a permanent odour that can be repulsive to people – like other tenants and incoming ones in the future.

The electricity required for lighting in even a small cultivation of weed is high. It also introduces a fire concern with having that much botanical lighting in a house – and that’s assuming that a tenant doesn’t re-wire the electrical in a home (which they can’t do). Most wall outlets are on a 15-amp, 120 volt circuit. Many outlets are generally on that one circuit. One 1,000 watt metal halide or high pressure sodium light draws 9 amps at 120 volts. So just by using one of those plugged into a wall outlet, you have already significantly maxed your circuit – and that’s not taking into account the other devices, computers, or appliances that are also typically in a unit. Maxing a circuit is not a good thing. Your circuit breaker (if it’s working properly) may shut down your circuit because you’ve overloaded it. Your wiring may heat up, flame up, short out or otherwise fail. Lastly, there is an increased fire hazard danger due to people drying marijuana in a household stove.

Even four plants in a building can change the risk assessment on a property, and creates a greater likelihood of water damage, mould, fire, vandalism and burglary. Under most basic home insurance policies, marijuana-related damages or anything that companies believe is “high risk” is not covered. That view is shared by many insurance companies, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

“Landlords currently have little recourse available if a tenant is growing medical marijuana and aren’t required to be told if it’s happening” -Avrom Charach, The Professional Property Managers Association

Under new federal rules introduced last August, landlords are left a little high and dry (no pun intended) if a tenant is growing licensed medical marijuana. They don’t even have the right to know it’s happening. None of that is right. The federal government should formally include a clause in the Cannabis Act including restrictions on any and all rented dwellings or they should at least mandate that provincial legislation needs to compensate for the loophole this creates.

 

 

Arkansas: Bad For Tenants…But Is It Good For Landlords?

The U.S. state of Arkansas was recently featured in an excellent Vice News piece on what tenants in Bill Clinton’s home pasture deal with when they rent. The piece – entitled “Arkansas” The Worst Place To Rent In America” – was a fascinating look into a place where the lack of laws regulating the rental market work backwards. As founders of a software that serves landlords – not really tenants – and as landlords ourselves, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t sympathize more with the plight of property owners renting out to tenants. As we’ve said before, it’s a thankless job most of the time. With that said, we’re also advocates of healthy and productive relationships between landlords and tenants. Relationships that are fair, follow the law in whatever province, state, or district you happen to be in, and that include methods and approaches that are reasonable and equitable.

Here’s a few key things in Arkansas. It’s the only state in the entire country that has no “implied warranty of habitability”. In english, that means landlords have no legal obligation to repair or maintain their properties – unless there was a written or oral agreement to fix something. It’s also the only state where you can be fined and jailed if you don’t pay your rent on time. Seriously. Here it is. To real estate investors – this could be perceived as an ideal place to invest your money. The existing law favours landlords heavily, and repossessing property there is fairly easy to do when tenants don’t pay rent. On the other side of the debate, a 3rd of Arkansas’ almost 3 million residents are renters, and a high percentage of those renters have serious concerns and issues with the properties they rent. Most renters are agreeing to take their units “as is”. By law – tenants are required to pay their rent no matter what – even if landlords don’t repair or maintain their buildings and units. Taking into account that Arkansas is the second poorest state in the U.S., and that 18% of the population live below the poverty line, this creates a situation where in arrears renters get swept up into the criminal justice system.

As a tenant, if you don’t pay your rent – even if your roof has holes in it and your windows are broken, not paying gives you 10 days to vacate. If you don’t – you could go to jail. Don’t bother contesting the order to vacate, because in the vast majority of cases, tenants don’t get the opportunity. The legal process for getting in front of a judge is convoluted by the black and white insistence of whether the money is owed, and if it is, for whatever reason that might be, you’re more likely to see the inside of a jail cell than a judge. The state’s unique “failure to vacate” law sees tenants charged as criminals purely on their landlords’ say-so, without any independent investigation by prosecutors. That’s why 90% of tenants who receive an order to vacate decide to just leave. It’s simply a criminal issue immediately. To boot – Arkansas is one of only 10 states that don’t prohibit retaliatory eviction. For the uninitiated – retaliatory eviction is when the landlord doesn’t like something you’ve done..like the reporting of a health or building code violation…and wants you out of the unit. So, in short – if you’re landlord doesn’t like your face, you can be evicted. If you make a complaint, you can be evicted. If your landlord simply wants you out of the unit, and you’ve been paying on time – they can rip up a good check or make themselves conveniently unavailable to accept cash from you on whatever agreed upon date, and you’d technically be evictable.

The Non-Legislative Commission on the Study of Landlord-Tenant Laws, created in 2011 by the state legislature, released a report on Dec. 31st, 2013 that recommended 15 tenant-landlord law reforms. Lynn Foster, professor at the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a member of the study commission, said, “If you’re on a month to month lease, maybe it says the landlord makes repairs, maybe it doesn’t — but if you report something to code, the first thing the landlord is going to do is try and evict you. That’s why it’s imperative that if we adopt a warranty of habitability, we also adopt a statute prohibiting retaliatory eviction.”

Human Rights Watch, an organization that follows rights violations worldwide, issued a report in 2013 called “Pay the Rent or Face Arrest: Abusive Impacts of Arkansas’s Draconian Evictions Law.”

This is all a far cry from some of the provinces and states that have laws that in some cases favour tenants. Good laws achieve as much of a possible balance possible between the obligations of providing habitable and functional dwelling to people paying for them while also protecting the landlord’s rights and property. The lack of this in Arkansas has police being involved with evicting people for not paying their rent – an almost ridiculous waste of that resource – and people who don’t pay their rent for whatever reason in many cases entering the criminal justice system.

What do you think? Are you an Arkansas landlord? Are you an Arkansas tenant? Share your thoughts with us.

Home Insurance Industry Kicks Montreal Landlord To The Curb After Repair

Montreal property owner Sari Buksner is in the midst of a nightmare of sorts, courtesy of her insurance company, and she’s yet to wake up from it.

Back in 2012, one of her tenants alerted her to a leak dripping from the second floor to the first. Her insurance firm saw the problem was a valve linking to her water heater on the second floor. They also proactively noticed a completely separate leak, near the toilet of her third floor. The estimate on the repair work for both claims originally came in at a little under 20K.

In moments like these, having a robust home insurance policy is pivotal. Home insurance acts as a safeguard against unexpected damages, providing a layer of protection that extends beyond the immediate costs of repairs. It becomes a vital asset in mitigating financial stress and ensuring that unforeseen circumstances don’t turn into prolonged nightmares for property owners like Buksner.

In a broader context, individuals should also consider the significance of financial planning, which extends beyond property concerns. Life insurance, for instance, offers a safety net for loved ones in the event of unexpected tragedies. It serves as a crucial component of comprehensive financial security, providing a foundation for long-term planning. Moreover, individuals might be pleasantly surprised to discover that they can Get a tax deduction on life insurance. This financial incentive adds an extra layer of appeal to life insurance, making it a strategic and potentially cost-effective tool for safeguarding one’s financial future. Just as home insurance shields against property-related nightmares, life insurance, with the added benefit of potential tax deductions, contributes to a holistic approach to financial well-being.

Amidst the challenges faced by property owners like Sari Buksner, it’s evident that unexpected issues, such as leaks, can quickly escalate into complex and costly repairs. Just as vigilance is crucial in addressing plumbing concerns, the importance of a sturdy and well-maintained roof cannot be overstated. In situations where unforeseen damages extend to the building’s structure, seeking the expertise of a local company becomes paramount. For property owners in Montreal, navigating such predicaments necessitates a reliable partner. Their commitment to timely and efficient solutions aligns seamlessly with the urgency often required in property maintenance. By entrusting the care of the roof to roofing and siding contractors, property owners can not only mitigate potential damages but also navigate the intricate landscape of insurance claims more effectively, ensuring a swift and comprehensive resolution to their property concerns.

After the meticulous process of resolving structural issues, the prospect of revitalizing your living space post-renovation can be both exciting and daunting. Just as a reliable roof safeguards a property, the decor within defines its character. While the aftermath of repairs may leave you yearning for a fresh start, the choices you make in adorning your space matter. Explore the array of possibilities at untamedcreatures.com, where a fusion of affordability and style awaits. The site not only caters to budget-friendly options but also presents an opportunity to infuse your newly renovated space with a touch of individuality. It’s a destination where the practical meets the creative, ensuring that your post-renovation decor journey is as seamless as the resolution of unexpected structural challenges.

According to the original CBC News piece, Buksner said she settled with a contractor recommended by the insurance company after the first one she found declined the job, indicating it was beyond their capabilities. Once she started with the recommended contractor from the insurance company, the work began, and unexpectedly continued for months. Some of the reasons for this included a lack of proper insulation for the new pipes, which froze, creating an even bigger issue than the initial leaks. A rip up was required, and a complete re-do of the work – as in new pipes, gyproc, drywall, painting, and Expert Liquid Rubber Roof Installations. The initial $20K that was speculated turned into a little under $87,000 in construction/renovation costs. On top of this – the insurance company paid her $58,155.00 in lost rental income while the work was taking place. The total payout to Buksner was about $145,000. Whoa.

After the work was done, her insurance company decided not to renew her policy – something that insurance companies have the right to do.

So far, she has only found a willing insurer in the substandard market, and that policy would cost her around $11,000, roughly $4,000 more than what she was last paying, per year. Adding insult to injury, she’d be required to pay the whole thing up front and wouldn’t receive water damage protection. Feeling overwhelmed, she contemplated seeking advice from a California personal injury lawyer.

Thoughts? Comments? From personal experience, water damage claims aren’t exactly a cakewalk. Here’s another kicker – water damage claims are on the rise in Canada.

 

 

Landlord Sues Grow Op Operators For Destroying The Place!

A landlord in Calgary is suing former tenants for $105,000 after police discovered a grow-op in the rental property in 2011, which caused extensive damage to the house. David Gin and Michelle Chen were charged, but only Chen was convicted, sentenced, and ordered to pay restitution to landlord Steve Habbi.

“I came home from work and saw basically a police raid in action,” Habbi said. “People in bio suits and bullet-proof vests and guns and things like this, which was really surprising to me … How do people who seem so friendly to your face run something like that?”

Here’s a shocker. Habbi had checked the pair’s references when they first moved in and those all checked out, including Gin’s job as a tax auditor with the Canada Revenue Agency.

200 potted cannabis plants were removed from the property – each with an estimated street value of about $1250 each. If you do the math – that’s $250 grand. The couple had about 100 U.V. lamps in basement bedrooms. The system was set up so that it was being vented inside the house, which expedites the cultivation of mold.

Chen and Gin were charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, production of a controlled substance, theft of water and electricity and mischief. More than a year later, in November 2013, Chen pleaded guilty to production of a controlled substance and charges against Gin were withdrawn.

Chen was given an 18-month conditional sentence to be served in the community under strict conditions and was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution. When Habbi argued the damages he incurred were well above the restitution amount, he says the Crown told him to sue the couple.

The case is ongoing, and Gin and Chen have yet to file a statement of defense. Steve Habbi has some advice for other landlords, though…

“Mandate in your lease that you will be doing physical home inspections on the interior of the property,” he said. “Your only hope is to deter them from coming into your property.”

Couldn’t agree more, Steve!

Professional Tenants Royally Screw Multiple B.C. Landlords

CBC ran an exclusive story this morning on two highly professional tenants who are working the system in a huge way in British Columbia.

Susan and Chris Perret, have lived nearly rent-free in at least five homes over the past two years. CBC News found records going back to August 2012, when the pair were evicted from one Maple Ridge home. They affect people financially, ignore eviction orders, bounce rent checks, and prey on property owners and landlords. Most importantly – these two know the province’s landlord and tenant legislation better than most people. The only thing they know how to do better than this is moving every 3-9 months.

Amy Spencer, president of Landlord B.C., says tenants like the Perrets are exactly what her association want to warn its members about.

“Ninety-nine per cent of tenants are good, but it’s those ones that get out there, like the ones in Maple Ridge, that give tenants a bad name,” Spencer said.

Landlords who lost money to the Perrets are angry no one at B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Branch warned them about the couple’s history of evictions.

“When people go around doing it professionally time after time, I mean, somebody — there should be a place that you can check,” said landlord Noel Beaulieu, who said he was out $1,500 from the ordeal.

Kim Gouws, who evicted the Perrets last month, said she was frustrated there didn’t seem to be a way to warn the next landlord.

“Every time I’d call I’d say,’ what about the next person? They’re just going to do this to another innocent person. How can I stop that?” she said. “I couldn’t.”

Credit and background checks everyone.

Ottawa Couple Face Eviction Over Autistic Son’s Wall Shaking Noise

Add this to the “difficult situation” file and try coming to a conclusion on how you feel about this one after hearing the whole story. The Ottawa Citizen reported parents Keri Oastler and John From were recently served an N5 notice by their landlord over the noise their autistic son has been making. The couple literally just moved in to the unit on a year long lease that started on October 1st.

According to the article, the formal notice came after tenants below and beside the family complained the noise was “like a 50-pound box being dropped repeatedly.” The notice said the two neighbours were disturbed by “running, jumping and screaming” between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. — the only times that From says his son is at home and awake. As is common with N5 notices in the province of Ontario, the family has been afforded 7 days to rectify the problem.

From’s son, Logan — an 80-pound, blond, blue-eyed boy — occasionally has tantrums, though they are becoming less and less frequent, his parents say. He will sometimes “squeak” and loves to climb and jump, so much so that his parents say they’re considering acrobatics as a career path. After this whole exchange – From and Oastler no longer want to live in what they’ve described as a hostile environment and are currently considering registering a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. I can understand where they’re coming from. They just moved in to this place. Kind of difficult to feel unwelcome amidst all this.

Residents of the townhouse community on Lisgar stret were set aback a bit on the initial story about this on the 11th.

Noise complaints have to be pretty severe in order for most people to complain. A lack of concrete division between units (as is the case here) can do nothing for the dampening of transferable sound, so I can definitely appreciate where the other residents are coming from. As a parent, I can also appreciate where Oastler and From are coming from. It sounds like their son’s condition is a challenge, and situations like these have a tendency to put you on the defensive – but what do you do? The other tenants have the right to the reasonable enjoyment of their units, and the “noise” they’re complaining about sounds like it’s occurring at pretty inopportune times. Imagine sitting down to dinner or trying to get your kids down for the night, and hearing the “constant and repeated dropping of a 50 lb. box”.

I think we can all imagine being on both sides of the aisle with this one. According to the Oye Times, who also did a piece on the dilemma, the property management company was not “properly informed” of Logan’s disability by From. From claims he did in fact explain that his son has autism and would be making a little more noise than usual.

As an example of the frequent impossibility that many landlords find themselves in – had the landlord denied the application for tenancy based on the explanation of Logan’s disability, From and Oastler could have applied to the Ontario Human Right’s Commission for discrimination on the basis of disability. Now, they’re doing it anyways. This kind of thing can happen. Landlords can get raked over the coals over stuff like this – even if they do the right thing and have good intentions. To add a level of complexity to the situation – the landlord is also bound by the will of the condominium board (they pushed on the notice serving with the owner/property manager) – proving that condo landlords have it a little harder.

In the end, it sounds like it just wasn’t a good match between unit and tenant. From and Oastler are better served to be living in a single family home or a more audibly insulated unit from their neighbours. What do you think? Share an opinion here. I’d love to hear the thoughts of other landlords and tenants.

Alberta Freeman On The Land Makes Life Difficult For Alberta Pensioner Landlord

Every landlord needs to be made aware of this situation. I read this piece in the Huffington Post today, and it made me quite angry. It ups the game in professional tenancy and redefines people taking advantage of other people for their own benefit.

Rebekah Caverhill is an Alberta landlord. She owns a duplex in Calgary’s Parkdale neighbourhood. She rented half of said duplex out to a guy named Andreas Pirelli back in 2011. The new tenant – a self described handyman – agreed to spruce the property up in exchange for 3 months of rent. When Caverhill came to inspect the work, she found that the kitchen and bathroom had been gutted and that the floors had been painted black. Pirelli declared the unit an “embassy” and identified himself as a freemen on the land. I’ll explain what this is…

Freemen on the land is a North American movement of “sovereign” citizens who basically believe that all statute law is contractual in nature. They further believe that law only governs them if they choose or consent to be governed. By implication, they believe that, by not consenting, they can hold themselves independent of government jurisdiction.

According to the B.C. Law Society and the FBI (who list the sovereign citizen movement as a domestic terror threat) Freemen may number up to 30,000 in Canada and hundreds of thousands in the United States. They believe they can avoid taxes, mortgages, utility bills and more. They state that they have an unfettered right to travel (hence their belief that they do not need driver’s licences, licence plates or insurance). They believe that ­government-issued identification is somehow different from the “natural person.” They commonly list their names in the format of “First:Last” (using a colon in between). They are loosely affiliated with Canadian “detaxers,” whose tenet is that income taxes do not have to be paid to the government.

In other words – they believe they can essentially do whatever it is they want and that laws don’t apply to them.

Back to Caverhill. Pirelli (also known as Mario Antonacci) changed the locks on the place, and informed Caverhill he was willing to pay $775 a month instead of the $1500 plus utilities they agreed on. To make matters worse, his company – CPC Universal Group – billed Caverhill $26,000 for the work. Caverhill also received a notice from the Land Titles Office and discovered the property had been liened for $17,000. Pirelli’s Linked In profile lists him as a supervisor/coordinator/estimator with CPC Universal Group AND a diplomatic minister with Sovran Nations Assembly – which has a website that looks as if it was designed in 1991. This guy must have a busy day.

As to be expected, when Caverhill – a pensioner who relies on the rental income – got police involved, they indicated to her that this was a civil matter, and that she needed to pursue this with the Alberta LTB.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? As landlords, we all know professional renters exist, and they cost small landlords millions of dollars every year. Saying this is an interesting situation may be the world’s biggest understatement.

Hamptons Landlord Pens Letter Of The Year To Lousy Renters

Caught this hilarious piece on Jezebel today. Long story short: a landlord in the Hamptons rented a residence out to some young professionals for the summer – for $40,000. Sounds like a lot, but it’s chump change for the Hamptons. Seriously.

The summer ended. The landlord came back to the residence, and proceeded to have a heart attack over the condition of the property. Her outlet of choice to articulate her displeasure? The world’s best point form letter.

With damage including a variety of “bodily secretions” that included blood and soiled linens, broken locks, and damage to wood mouldings and drywall, the landlord clearly had reason to be more than a bit miffed. As much as this piece was written to be a bit tongue in cheek, part of me kind of agrees with the author’s suggestion on “what would you expect here?”. If 10 guys with Lacoste golf shirts and popped collars rent out a house for a summer, this kind of thing might be a given – even if they work for JP Morgan Chase.

The landlord clearly has never seen Weird Science, 21 Jump Street, or Superbad. If you do a quick hashtag search for parties in the Hamptons on Instagram – things like #hamptonsparty and #hamptonspartyface come up.

Either way. Good for a chuckle.

Use A Move In Inspection Report, Already. Geez.

Caught this hot piece on the Globe and Mail today. A little ditty called “How To Steer Clear Of Bad Tenants”. In it – the move in inspection report is cited as the second most important document between the landlord and his/her tenant, besides the actual lease. Here’s the kicker. Most landlords don’t use one.

This is interesting. When you rent a car they use one. When you rent a boat they use one. Hell…I remember renting movies at Blockbuster and getting a call about the DVD copy of State of Grace I rented once looking like it had been dropped when they opened the case. Some people think they’re experts at “reading” other people. They convince themselves out of the necessity to cover all the bases. They don’t check credit scores. They don’t call previous landlord references. They just assume that since the new tenant they just rented a unit to is employed and capable of paying the rent, the likelihood of a kegger is minimal or non-existent.

I’ll cut to the chase. You should always use one. It’s the basis of an understanding – one that is paired with a mutual acknowledgement between you and the individual(s) renting from you, that what you are providing is in a certain condition prior to move in, and that it is meant to be returned to you in a certain condition. It’s as simple as that. Using a move in inspection report has the potential to save you money, clear up any excuse of miscommunication, and covers you in the event of something going south.

In British Columbia, a Condition Inspection Report is required by provincial law. The tenant and the landlord need to complete, sign, and date the form to show the condition of the residential premises at the beginning and end of the rental agreement. B.C. is smart about this, especially with such a great concentration of renters. Think about it – one of the biggest sources of conflict between landlord and tenant is often condition of apartments. A mutually acknowledged and signed off report greatly reduces the number of hearings that go to the LTB. The Northwest Territories, Alberta, and Nunavut also require signed and mutually acknowledged inspection reports to be completed.

It’s not the law in other provinces, however, they’re still highly recommended and it doesn’t mean you can’t use them. The CMHC put together a handy little rundown of what you should look for and point out when doing an inspection. Here’s a taste.

  • Walls and ceilings: note any dents, holes, or cracks in the plaster; scuff marks that don’t rub off; tears, bubbles, or peeling wallpaper.
  • Floors: note stains or discolouration in carpets; tears in linoleum; cracked or chipped tiles; dents, scuffs, or stains on hardwood floors. Carpet cleaning laguna hills can get rid of any stains on carpets.
  • Trim (including moldings, door and window sills and door and window frames): note stains, cracks, leaks or other problems.
  • Electrical outlets and lights: make sure they function.
  • Bathroom(s): make sure all faucets (hot and cold) work without leaking; water runs clear, not brown or yellow; water carries sufficient pressure in the shower and toilet; hot water tank holds enough for your needs. Check for chips or scratches in fixtures and tiles; walls around the tub for “sponginess”; countertops for dents, scratches, or stains.
  • Kitchen: make sure all faucets (hot and cold) work without leaking; water runs clear, not brown or yellow; all appliances work and are clean. Check for chips or scratches in fixtures and tiles; countertops for dents, scratches, or stains.
  • Exterior roof and gutters: check for a reliable seamless gutter company such as seamless gutter company in Wilkesboro to ensure optimal water drainage and protection for your home. If you need roofing repairs, then make sure to contact your local roofing company for a quick fix. Colorbond roofers in Brisbane provide durable, stylish roofing options.
  • Deck, balcony or patio, if applicable: check for chipped stone, warped or cracked boards, or problems with exterior siding.

Smart indeed. You can see the full list here.