After you move in
What should I know?
When you rent a house there are several things that you should know BEFORE and AFTER you sign the lease and move in. It is imperative that you read the following information to avoid any problems that may arise in the future:
- The landlord has the right to request the following information from you when you are leasing out his/her property.
- Character references, including testimonials from previous landlords.
- Name of tenant's employer and income.
- Credit history to determine if the tenant has a history of debt.
- A full list of anyone else planning on moving into the rental property.
- Redecorate only at the discretion of the landlord. This involves any painting or installation that can be done on the apartment, or any change of locks. Any of these changes must be done at the tenant's expense.
- Once the lease has been signed and you moved in, the landlord cannot enter the building without your consent UNLESS it is an emergency OR you have notified the landlord that repairs need to be done and the report was made within the last 24 hours; OR if the tenant has, for some reason, terminated the contract; OR if the premises have been abandoned.
- Make sure you have your landlord's full contact information (more than just a cell phone number). Some "busy" landlords will choose to ignore tenants cell phone calls for a long time. It is very important to have the landlord's address in case you really have to contact him formally. According to the Residential Tenancies Act, the landlord is required to provide this information when you move in.
- Be sure to get receipts for all payments.
- Try to put every decision/discussion that you have with your landlord in writing to avoid disputes later on. If you always communicate by email, this is an effective tool for doing this.
- The landlord must give sufficient notice (24 hours in advance) if he/she intends to come to the property for whatever business he intends to do.
- The landlord cannot interfere with your guests or your over all enjoyment of the residence. Similarly, you are obligated to not harass, mistreat or denigrate the landlord; neither can you change the locks in the house.
- If you wish to add another roommate to the unit it is generally considered permissible, as long as the roommate does not hinder the safety, health and overall enjoyment of the unit to the other tenants, as well as if it does not contradict any by-laws. In no way can the landlord increase the rental payments during the term of the lease based upon the number of occupants.
- It is illegal to discriminate against anyone because of race, sex, age, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or place of origin. A landlord cannot refuse to rent to someone because of these reasons. They can neither discriminate against a tenant because they are disabled or are living with children. Complaints can be directed to:
The Executive Director
Human Rights Commission
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL, A1B4J6
Ph. (709) 726 2709
Fx. (709) 729 0790
Toll Free: 1 800 563 5808
Still have questions? Email our housing coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org