Health and Safety
You have the right to a safe home. Your home must be safe and kept in a state of good repair.
As a tenant, you are responsible for keeping your rental unit to the minimum health standards. You must:
- Keep your rental unit clean and sanitary.
- Work with your landlord and your roommates to maintain the cleanliness of your rental unit and other areas of your residence.
- Give your landlord notice of any issues with plumbing, or other unsanitary issues in your rental unit. This information should be shared with your landlord verbally, as well as in writing.
- Notify your landlord of any pest infestations in your rental unit, including cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas, silverfish, weevils, flies, rats, and mice. This information should be shared with your landlord verbally, as well as in writing.
- Make sure that the number of people living in your rental unit is within the legal limits. This will depend on the size of your apartment.
As a tenant, you have the right to the minimum health standards as stated by law. You and your landlord must work together to keep your rental unit in a good state of repair.
Here are some examples of things your landlord must provide:
- Heating: If your heat is provided in your rental agreement, you have the right to have a temperature of at least 65 F (around 18.3 C). If you pay for your own heat (separate from your rent) but use your landlord’s heating equipment (for example, a furnace), your landlord must ensure that it is in working condition.
- Prevent or eliminate pest infestations: If you have pest infestations, your landlord must take steps to prevent or eliminate the pests. This includes cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas, silverfish, weevils, flies, rats, and mice.
- Garbage disposal: You should be provided with proper garbage disposal.
- Help with prevention of mould: Mould can be dangerous to your health. You should talk with your landlord about any large areas of mould in your unit or building. You can find out more information about protecting yourself from mould from Health Canada.
- Functioning plumbing: Your plumbing must be working properly. It is important you communicate with your landlord immediately if it isn’t.
Protecting Your Rights
Be proactive. Contact your landlord as soon as you notice a health concern. You should communicate your concern in writing. You and your landlord should make a plan about how to deal with the health concern together.
If your landlord does not address your concern in a reasonable amount of time, you can contact Environmental Health and request an environmental health inspection. Use the online reporting tool to request an inspection. People without access to a computer can make the request over the phone. You can contact Environmental Health at 902-368-4970.
Once you submit your request, Environmental Health will contact you to set up a time to inspect your rental unit. After the inspection, Environmental Health will write a letter documenting any health-related concerns in your unit. This letter will include recommendations for changes your landlord should make and a timeframe for when these repairs should be completed by. This letter will be sent to you, your landlord, and the Rental Office.
Your landlord should work on the recommendations from Environmental Health in a timely manner. If your landlord does not complete the recommendations in a reasonable amount of time, you can file a Form 2 – Application for Enforcement of Statutory or Other Conditions of Rental Agreement with the Rental Office.
A hearing will be scheduled after you file a Form 2. The hearing may take place in your rental unit as part of an inspection. The Rental Property Officer will view the condition of your apartment, hear testimony from you and your landlord, and review evidence. Present any evidence you have, including communications with your landlord, Environmental Health inspection letter, and anything else you think should be included. Find out more about How to Prepare for a Hearing.
An order will be issued following the hearing. Read the full order and note the requirements for both you and your landlord. Note dates that health concerns must be addressed by. If you have any questions about the order, communicate with the Rental Property Officer as soon as possible.