Section 4 Maintenance & Repairs
Sub-Section 4.11

Urgent Repairs


Legislation


s. 59
, 154(1), 154(2)3, 154(2)4, 156, 179.1, The Residential Tenancies Act
Residential Tenancies Regulation, s.25(2)


Definitions

Mortgagee: a person, mortgage company or financial institution that takes a mortgage interest in a property as security for a loan.

Order to redirect rent: when the Branch orders a tenant or tenants to pay their rent to the Branch, instead of to the landlord; when the tenant receives an Order and pays the Branch, rent is considered paid.

Residential Tenancies Repair Program: a program that allows the Branch to make and pay for repairs in cases of emergency.

Urgent repair: for the purpose of this subsection, an urgent repair is one that’s required to protect the health and safety of a tenant or a group of tenants. For example: furnace breaking down in January, burst hot water tank.


Policy

In emergency situations the Branch may use the Residential Tenancies Repair Program to pay for repairs. The Branch borrows money from the program only if:

  • the Branch can’t contact the owner, property manager or mortgagee; or
  • the owner, property manager or mortgagee refuses to do the repairs; and
  • the tenant agrees to stay in the rental unit and pay future rent to the Branch; and
  • he Branch will be able to recover the money in a reasonable period of time.

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A tenant is responsible to repair damage they or their guests cause. If a landlord says that the tenant caused damage, the Branch will investigate and decide if the tenant did the damage. A landlord may use a rental unit condition report or pictures to show the condition of the unit when the tenant moved in. If the tenant caused the damage and there is a health or safety concern, the Branch may order the landlord to do the repair. The landlord may then file a Claim for Compensation against the tenant for the cost of the repair.

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The Branch will not usually order a landlord to do repairs if the tenant owes rent. If the tenant owes rent, the landlord may give the tenant notice to move. In exceptional cases, if there is an immediate health or safety concern to tenants in a complex, the Branch may order the landlord to do the repair. For example: The tenant has damaged the smoke alarm in their unit creating a possible fire hazard for other tenants. The landlord may then file a Claim for Compensation against the tenant for the cost of the repair.

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When the repairs will cost more than $999.99, the Branch tries to get estimates from at least two contractors. However, in emergency situations, the Branch may hire a contractor without getting estimates.

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The Branch enforces repair orders issued by the Residential Tenancies Commission and The Court of Appeal.



Procedure

Overview

The tenant asks the Branch to help get repairs done by filling out repair forms. In serious situations, the request can be made by phone. The officer may inspect the rental unit to be sure that the repair is needed and decide if it’s urgent. The officer issues an Order to the landlord to make the repair immediately. If the repair is not completed, the officer may use money from the Residential Tenancies Repair Program, to hire a contractor to do the repairs.


Steps ▼

1.The officer tries to contact the landlord or owner to get the repair done. In some cases, the officer may also contact the mortgagee.

2.The officer may inspect the rental unit or residential complex to decide if the repair is necessary or urgent.

3.If the landlord refuses to do the repair, or the officer can’t contact the landlord, then the officer issues an Order to Repair to the landlord. In an emergency, it may be necessary to do the repair before the appeal period is over.

4.If the repair is urgent, and the landlord doesn’t do the work, the officer may ask for money from the Residential Tenancies Repair Program to do the repairs.

5.The officer must make a request for funds in writing. This request must:

  • describe the situation;
  • estimate the cost of repairs; and
  • show the plan to repay the Program within a reasonable period of time

Once management approves the request for funds, funds can be used to make the repair.

6.The officer hires a contractor to do the work.

7.The officer inspects the work when it’s complete, to make sure the work has been done properly, and pays the contractor from the money from the Repair Program.

8.The officer issues an Order to the tenant to pay rent to the Branch. In some cases, the officer may also order other tenants in the complex to pay rent to the Branch.

9.The Order redirecting rent is not put on hold if there is an appeal. The tenant(s) continues to pay rent to the Branch.

10.The officer pays out the redirected rent according to the appeal decision.

When the officer receives rent, they pay back the money the Branch borrowed from the Residential Tenancies Repair Program.

The landlord must also pay an administrative fee if a contractor is hired to do the repair. The officer uses the Residential Tenancies Regulation to calculate the fee. The fee is deducted from the redirected rent. After the Branch pays the contractor and the administration fee, any balance is returned to the landlord.


Forms & Form Letters


X-Referencing


Policy Developed

September, 1992


Last Revision

March, 2004


Other Resources

None


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