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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER R-14

AN ACT RESPECTING TENANCIES OF RESIDENTIAL PREMISES

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Application of Act

4. Act binds Crown

5. Threats and harassment

6. Requirement for lease

7. Where rent other than money

8. Three possible leases

9. Statutory conditions

10. Notice to quit

11. Group eviction

12. Declaration of invalidity

13. Rental increase

14. Delivery of notice

15. Security deposit

16. When relationship can begin

17. Frustration

18. Post-dated cheque

19. Respecting covenants

20. Entry by public

21. Failure of obligations

22. Abandonment by tenant

23. Abandoned personal property

24. Director

25. Liability of director

26. Investigations

27. Residential Tenancies Boards

28. Meetings

29. Functions of board

30. Panels, composition, etc.

31. Quorums, majority and jurisdiction

32. Rules of a board

33. Notification by board

34. Appearance before board

35. Proof of signature

36. Setting rent

37. Appeal from board

38. Judicial proceedings

39. Offence

40. Regulations

Schedule


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Residential Tenancies Act.

1988 c44 s1

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Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "apartment complex" means a group of physically related apartment buildings and includes town houses and garden apartments by any other name;

(b) "board" means a Residential Tenancies Board established under this Act;

(c) "director" means the Director of Landlord and Tenant Relations appointed under this Act;

(d) "judge" means a judge of the Trial Division;

(e) "landlord" includes

(i) a lessor, an owner or the person giving or permitting the occupation of residential premises,

(ii) a person considered to be a landlord by section 3, and

(iii) a person deriving title under the original landlord;

(f) "minister" means the Minister of Justice;

(g) "mobile home" means a dwelling unit used as residential premises and designed to be mobile but does not include a travel or tent trailer;

(h) "rent" means money or other value paid or by lease required to be paid by a tenant to a landlord before or during the occupancy of residential premises for the use or occupation of the premises and includes

(i) payments made for the use of furniture contained in the residential premises,

(ii) payments made to a landlord on the sale of a mobile home which include

(A) a payment for the right to occupy the land, and

(B) hook up charges,

(iii) payments made to a landlord in relation to the cost of utilities;

(i) "rental period" means the interval for which rent is paid;

(j) "residential premises" includes a place that is rented and may be occupied by a tenant as a residence, and land leased by a tenant upon which the tenant locates a mobile home, but does not include living accommodations attached to premises occupied for business purposes where both are under a single lease;

(k) "security deposit" means security deposit as defined by subsection 15(1); and

(l) "tenant" includes

(i) a person who is a lessee, a person who is an occupant, a sub-tenant or an under-tenant, so long as expressly or impliedly permitted, and

(ii) a person considered to be a tenant by section 3, and an assign permitted under condition 3 in subsection 9(1) or a legal representative of the person.

1988 c44 s2; 1989 c19 Sch B; 1990 c62 s21

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Application of Act

3. (1) Notwithstanding another Act or agreement, declaration, waiver or statement to the contrary, this Act applies where the relationship of landlord and tenant exists between 2 persons in respect of residential premises.

(2) The relationship of landlord and tenant shall be considered to exist in respect of residential premises where the tenant

(a) possesses or occupies residential premises and has paid or agreed to pay rent to the landlord;

(b) makes an agreement with the landlord by which the tenant is granted the right to possess or occupy residential premises in consideration of the payment of or the promise to pay rent; or

(c) has possessed or occupied residential premises and has paid or agreed to pay rent to the landlord.

(3) Where a tenant retains possession of the residential premises after a lease expires and

(a) notice to quit is not given; or

(b) the period specified in a valid notice to quit has not ended

the relationship of landlord and tenant continues to exist on a month to month basis on the same terms and conditions as under the lease.

(4) An attornment clause in a mortgage or other instrument creating a security interest in residential premises does not create a landlord and tenant relationship to which this Act applies.

1988 c44 s3

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Act binds Crown

4. (1) The Crown is bound by this Act.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), this Act does not apply with respect to

(a) residential premises owned or administered by or for the Government of Canada or the province or a municipality, or an agency of one of them and occupied by social assistance recipients; and

(b) residential premises the rental of which is directly subsidized by the Government of Canada or the province where the residential premises are owned or administered by or for the Government of Canada or the province or a municipality, or an agency of one of them.

1988 c44 s4

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Threats and harassment

5. A landlord or a person acting on behalf of the landlord shall not, directly or indirectly, coerce, threaten, intimidate or harass a tenant or a member of the tenant's family

(a) in an attempt to deter the tenant from making or intervening in a complaint, application or objection or launching an appeal under this or another Act; or

(b) as retaliation for making or intervening in a complaint, application or objection or launching an appeal under this or another Act.

1988 c44 s5

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Requirement for lease

6. (1) A landlord shall not enter into a lease or grant possession or occupancy of residential premises to a tenant unless the landlord has provided the tenant with a copy or reproduction of this Act without cost to the tenant within 10 days of entering into the lease or of the granting of possession or occupancy, whichever occurs earlier.

(2) Where a landlord enters into a written lease of residential premises with a tenant, the landlord shall provide the tenant with a duplicate copy of the fully executed lease within 10 days following its execution.

(3) Where a landlord does not comply with subsection (1), the tenant may give written notice, using Form B of the Schedule, to the landlord that the tenant will quit and deliver up possession of the premises on a specified day within 3 months from the entering into of the lease, or of the granting of possession or occupancy of the residential premises, but the tenant is required to give the written notice to the landlord at least 48 hours before quitting and delivering up the premises, and upon the delivery of the premises, the lease shall be void.

(4) Where the tenant has not been provided with a duplicate copy of the fully executed lease by the landlord under subsection (2), the tenant shall not be obligated to pay rent but rent that is paid by the tenant may be retained by the landlord for a period from the time of the execution of the lease to the time that the landlord complies with the subsection.

(5) Where a landlord complies with subsection (1) or (2), the tenant shall, where the landlord requests it, execute a written acknowledgment of the compliance.

(6) At the time of entering into the lease or of granting possession or occupancy, whichever first occurs, the landlord shall provide the tenant in writing with

(a) the name and address of the landlord; and

(b) the telephone number of a person responsible for the premises, and the landlord shall notify the tenant in writing of changes to that information as they occur.

1988 c44 s6; 1990 c62 s21

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Where rent other than money

7. (1) Where rent is payable in part or in whole in other than money, a landlord shall not enter into a lease or grant possession or occupancy of residential premises to a tenant unless the landlord first gives to the tenant a written memorandum, signed by the landlord, specifying the payment in other than money and valuing in money each item contained in the payment.

(2) For the purpose of complying with subsection (1) the memorandum may form part of a written lease.

1988 c44 s7

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Three possible leases

8. (1) A person may not enter into a lease in relation to residential premises in the province unless the residential premises are let

(a) from week to week;

(b) from month to month; or

(c) for a year.

(2) Where a lease provides that residential premises are let for 1 year the lease may provide that the rent may be paid in equal monthly instalments and may state the amount of each instalment, whether or not the total amount of rent payable for the year is stated.

(3) Where the residential premises are let

(a) for a period that is less than a week, the residential premises shall be considered to be let from week to week;

(b) for a period that is greater than a week and less than a month, the residential premises shall be considered to be let from month to month;

(c) for a period that is equal to or less than 6 months, the residential premises shall be considered to be let from month to month; and

(d) for a period that is greater than 6 months, the residential premises shall be considered to be let for 1 year.

1988 c44 s8

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Statutory conditions

9. (1) Notwithstanding a lease, agreement, declaration, waiver or statement to the contrary, where the relationship of landlord and tenant exists in respect of residential premises under this Act or otherwise, there shall be and shall be considered to be an agreement between the landlord and tenant that the following conditions apply as between the landlord and tenant as statutory conditions governing the residential premises:

1. Condition of Premises - The landlord shall provide and maintain the premises in a good state of repair and fit for habitation during the tenancy and shall comply with a statutory enactment or law respecting health, safety or housing and notwithstanding that a state of non-repair existed to the knowledge of the tenant before the relationship of landlord and tenant arose.

2. Obligation of the Tenant - The tenant shall keep the interior of the residential premises clean, and shall repair damage caused by a wilful or negligent act of the tenant or of a person whom the tenant permits on the premises.

3. Subletting Premises - The tenant may assign, sublet or otherwise part with possession of the premises subject to the consent of the landlord which consent may not arbitrarily or unreasonably be withheld or charged for unless the landlord has actually incurred expenses in respect of the grant of consent.

4. Abandonment and Termination - Where the tenant abandons the premises or terminates the tenancy otherwise than in the manner permitted, the landlord shall mitigate damages that may be caused by the abandonment or termination to the extent that a party to a contract is required by law to mitigate damages.

5. Entry of Premises - Except in the case of an emergency or abandonment, the landlord shall not enter the premises without the consent of the tenant unless

(a) notice of termination of the tenancy has been given and the entry is at a reasonable hour for the purpose of exhibiting the premises to prospective tenants or purchasers and reasonable efforts have been made to give the tenant at least 4 hours notice; or

(b) the entry is made during the daylight hours and written notice of the time of the entry has been given to the tenant at least 24 hours in advance of the entry.

6. Entry Doors - Except by mutual consent, neither the landlord nor the tenant shall during occupancy by the tenant under the tenancy alter the lock or locking system on a door that gives entry to the premises.

7. Peaceful Enjoyment - (a) The tenant shall not unreasonably interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of adjoining residential premises or adjoining premises of the landlord.

(b) The landlord shall not unreasonably interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of premises occupied by the tenant adjoining the premises occupied by the landlord.

8. Disconnection of Services - A landlord shall not without the written consent of the tenant disconnect heat, water or electric power services being provided to residential premises.

(2) Where the landlord and tenant propose to enter into a written lease, in respect of the residential premises, the statutory conditions listed in subsection (1) shall be reproduced in the lease without variation or modification.

1988 c44 s9

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Notice to quit

10. (1) Except where the landlord and tenant agree in writing upon a longer period of notice, notice to quit residential premises shall be given

(a) where the residential premises is land upon which the tenant locates a mobile home, by the landlord at least 6 months and by the tenant at least 1 month before the date upon which the landlord requires vacant possession;

(b) where the residential premises are let for 1 year, by the landlord or tenant at least 3 months before the end of the year;

(c) where the residential premises are let from month to month,

(i) by the landlord at least 3 months, and

(ii) by the tenant at least 1 month,

before the end of the month;

(d) where the residential premises are let from week to week

(i) by the landlord at least 4 weeks, and

(ii) by the tenant at least 1 week

before the end of the week.

(2) A notice to quit shall be given in writing and shall

(a) be signed by the person giving the notice or an agent of that person;

(b) identify the residential premises in respect of which the notice is given; and

(c) state that the tenancy is to terminate on the last day of a rental period in the tenancy.

(3) A notice by a landlord to a tenant shall be in Form A of the Schedule and a notice by a tenant to a landlord shall be in Form B of the Schedule, and delivery of a notice shall be in accordance with section 14.

(4) Notwithstanding the periods of notice in subsection (1), where a year or a month to month tenancy exists or is considered to exist and the rent payable for the residential premises is in arrears for 15 days, the landlord may give to the tenant notice to quit the residential premises at the end of the rental period that would be determined as if the rent were paid monthly for the period in which the tenant received the notice so long as the notice is given at least 10 days before the end of that rental period.

(5) Notwithstanding the periods of notice in subsection (1), where a week to week tenancy exists or is considered to exist and the rent payable for the residential premises is in arrears for 7 days, the landlord may give to the tenant notice to quit the residential premises at the end of the rental period during which the tenant received the notice so long as the notice is given at least 4 days before the end of that rental period.

(6) Where the landlord has given the tenant notice to quit under subsection (4) or (5) and before the end of the rental period in which the landlord has given the tenant that notice the rent payable for the residential premises is paid to the landlord in full, the notice to quit is void and of no effect notwithstanding subsections (4) and (5).

(7) Where notice to quit is given by a landlord to a tenant and the landlord starts a proceeding under section 38 and requests an order for possession of the residential premises, the court may refuse to make an order where it appears that the notice to quit was given because of a resort by the tenant to a governmental authority concerning the residential premises or of an attempt by the tenant to enforce or secure rights or of the application by the tenant under this Act to have the rent set.

(8) Where a landlord rents more than 1 residential premises in the same building and retains possession of or provides part of the building for use, in common, of all or some tenants, the landlord shall, in that part of the building, post conspicuously, and maintain posted there, a copy of this section together with the name and address for service of the landlord; and a proceeding taken by or on behalf of a tenant may be started against the landlord in the name posted.

(9) Where a notice under paragraph (1)(a) has the effect of terminating a tenancy agreement on a date that extends beyond the expiry date of a lease entered into between the landlord and the tenant, the relationship of landlord and tenant continues to exist for the additional period on the same terms and conditions as under the lease.

1988 c44 s10; 1990 c62 s21

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Group eviction

11. (1) Notwithstanding an agreement, declaration, waiver or statement to the contrary, a landlord of 10 or more residential premises in a building or 6 or more parcels of land on which a tenant locates a mobile home shall not issue notices to quit to tenants or refuse to renew leases of tenants so as to constitute a group eviction.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the landlord may issue notice to quit to tenants or refuse to renew leases of tenants who are in arrears of rent.

(3) In this section "group eviction" means

(a) the circumstance where 50% or more of the tenants of a landlord receive notices to quit their residential premises or the landlord refuses to renew their leases at or about the same time; or

(b) the circumstance where 1 or more tenants of a landlord receive notices to quit or the landlord refuses to renew their leases over a period of time and it appears to a judge having regard to the circumstances of the case that the primary purpose of issuing the notices to quit or refusing to renew leases over a period of time is to effect a group eviction as described in paragraph (a).

(4) On the beginning of an action for possession of the premises by a landlord, where the court determines that the landlord in good faith required possession of a residential premises for the purposes of

(a) demolition;

(b) changing the use of the residential premises to a use other than that of rented residential premises; or

(c) making repairs or renovations so extensive as to require vacant possession of the residential premises,

and that landlord has obtained necessary permits or other authority that may be required, the court shall grant an order to terminate the tenancy.

(5) Notwithstanding paragraph 10(1)(a), where the court determines that the 6 month notice period as set out in that paragraph would result in undue hardship to the tenant, the court may extend the notice period.

(6) Where the court makes an order under subsection (4) and the landlord does not

(a) demolish the residential premises;

(b) change the use of the residential premises to a use other than that of rented residential premises; or

(c) make repairs or renovations to the residential premises,

the landlord shall apply to a board before again renting the residential premises and the board shall set the rent to be charged for the residential premises.

1988 c44 s11

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Declaration of invalidity

12. (1) A tenant who receives a notice to quit may apply to the Trial Division before 1 month has expired from the date the notice to quit was given to the tenant and may request the court to declare the notice to quit invalid on the grounds set out in subsection 10(7) or in subsection 11(1).

(2) A landlord who has given a tenant a notice to quit may apply to the Trial Division before 1 month has expired from the date the notice to quit was given to the tenant and may request a ruling from the court on the validity of the notice to quit.

1988 c44 s12

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Rental increase

13. (1) Where a landlord intends to increase the rent payable in respect of residential premises occupied by or in the possession of a tenant the landlord shall give to the tenant under section 14 a written notice stating the intention to increase the rent, the effective date of the increase and the proposed amount of the increase at least 3 months before the effective date of the increase in rent payable by the tenant.

(2) Notwithstanding another enactment, a landlord shall not increase the rent for residential premises more than once in a 12 month period unless the landlord has applied to a board before increasing the rent and the landlord's application to increase the rent has been approved.

(3) Where a lease provides for an increase in rent on a predetermined basis, that provision is void and of no effect.

1988 c44 s13

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Delivery of notice

14. (1) A notice under this Act

(a) by a tenant to a landlord may be given personally to the landlord or an agent of the landlord or may be sent to the landlord or an agent of the landlord, by registered mail, prepaid, at the address where the rent is payable or the address of the landlord as provided under subsection 6(6); and

(b) by a landlord to a tenant shall be given personally to the tenant.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(b), where the tenant cannot be given notice personally because of his or her absence from the residential premises concerned, or because of evading service, the notice may be given to the tenant

(a) by giving it to an adult person who apparently lives with the tenant;

(b) by posting it in a conspicuous place upon some part of the residential premises concerned; or

(c) by sending it, by registered mail, prepaid, to the tenant at the residential premises.

(3) In relation to a notice referred to in subsection (1), where the landlord or an agent of the landlord or the tenant is a company, the notice may be given personally to a director, manager or other officer of that company or by leaving it at, or sending it by registered mail, prepaid, to the registered office of that company.

(4) For the purposes of this section, where a notice is sent by registered mail it shall be considered to have been served on the 5th day after mailing, and the service of a notice may be proved by proving that the letter containing the notice was prepaid and properly addressed and sent by registered mail.

1988 c44 s14

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Security deposit

15. (1) Where a landlord obtains from a tenant a sum of money or other value that is in addition to the rent payable in respect of the residential premises, the sum of money or value shall be considered to be a "security deposit".

(2) A landlord shall not demand, accept, or receive from a tenant as a security deposit a sum of money or other value that is

(a) where the residential premises are let from week to week, in excess of 2 weeks rent for the residential premises;

(b) where the residential premises are let month to month, in excess of 1/2 of the rent for the residential premises for a month; and

(c) where the residential premises are let for 1 year, in excess of 1/24 of the rent for the residential premises for a year.

(3) The landlord shall return to the tenant the security deposit and interest as provided for in subsection (6) within 30 days after the date of the termination of the lease except where the landlord, with the written consent of the tenant, has applied all or a part of the security deposit and interest to outstanding rent or to expenses incurred in respect of damage to the residential premises that is the responsibility of the tenant.

(4) Where the landlord seeks to apply all or part of the security deposit and interest to outstanding rent or to expenses incurred in respect of damage and the tenant does not consent in writing, the landlord may start a proceeding under section 38 before the expiration of 15 days after the date of the termination of the lease and where an action is not so started the security deposit and interest shall be returned to the tenant under subsection (3).

(5) The landlord shall hold security deposits in the province in an interest bearing trust account in a financial institution authorized to accept deposits and the account shall be used exclusively for security deposits.

(6) The landlord shall credit interest to the tenant at the rate prescribed by the regulations on the full amount or value of the security deposit while the security deposit is held by the landlord.

(7) Security deposits and interest on them which are held by the landlord in trust are not assets of the landlord and may be used only as provided for in subsections (3) and (4).

1988 c44 s15; 1990 c62 s21

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When relationship can begin

16. A relationship of landlord and tenant is capable of taking effect at law or in equity from the date fixed for the beginning of the term, without actual entry.

1988 c44 s16

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Frustration

17. The doctrine of frustration of contract applies to the relationship of landlord and tenant as does the Frustrated Contracts Act.

1988 c44 s17

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Post-dated cheque

18. A lease may provide for the delivery of a post-dated cheque to be used for payment of rent.

1988 c44 s18

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Respecting covenants

19. (1) The common law rules respecting the effect of the breach of a material covenant by a party to a contract on the obligation to perform by the other party apply to the relationship of landlord and tenant.

(2) Covenants concerning things related to the rented premises run with the land whether or not the things are in existence at the time of the demise.

1988 c44 s19

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Entry by public

20. (1) A landlord or employee or agent of a landlord shall not restrict reasonable access to the rented premises by members of the public for reasonable purposes.

(2) A landlord or employee or agent of a landlord shall not restrict reasonable access to the rented premises by candidates, or other authorized representatives, for election to the House of Commons, the House of Assembly or an office in a municipal or similar government for the purpose of canvassing or distributing election material.

1988 c44 s21

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Failure of obligations

21. (1) Where

(a) a tenant fails in respect of the tenant's obligations under statutory condition 2 set out in subsection 9(1) with respect to repair of damage; and

(b) the landlord has by written notice requested the tenant to repair the damage and the tenant has failed to complete repair of the damage within 3 days, or a longer period of time given the circumstances, of receipt by the tenant of that notice,

the landlord may give to the tenant notice to quit to take effect on the 5th day following the date on which the notice to quit is given to the tenant by the landlord.

(2) Where

(a) a tenant fails in respect of the tenant's obligations; or

(b) a landlord fails in respect of the landlord's obligations,

under statutory condition 7 set out in subsection 9(1) with respect to peaceful enjoyment and causes continual interference with the peaceful enjoyment of the residential premises, the landlord or tenant whose peaceful enjoyment has been interfered with may,

(c) in the case of the landlord, give to the tenant notice to quit; and

(d) in the case of the tenant, give to the landlord notice of termination

to take effect on the 5th day following the date on which written notice is given by the landlord to the tenant or by the tenant to the landlord.

(3) A notice by a landlord to a tenant shall be in Form A of the Schedule and a notice by a tenant to a landlord shall be in Form B of the Schedule.

1988 c44 s22

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Abandonment by tenant

22. (1) Where a tenant abandons residential premises the landlord or tenant may before the end of 15 days after the date of abandonment start a proceeding under section 38 and the proceeding shall be held to determine the amount of rent owing.

(2) Where a tenant has abandoned residential premises the landlord may enter the residential premises and take possession of them.

1988 c44 s23

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Abandoned personal property

23. (1) Except where a landlord and tenant have agreed in writing for the storing of personal property of the tenant, where

(a) the tenant abandons the residential premises; or

(b) the tenant vacates the residential premises upon the termination or end of the tenancy agreement,

the landlord shall remove personal property left on the premises by the tenant and immediately place it in safe storage for a period not less than 2 months, and shall immediately provide the director with an inventory of the personal property so removed.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where the landlord alleges that personal property left on the premises by a tenant who has abandoned the premises or has vacated the premises upon the termination or end of the tenancy agreement

(a) is worthless;

(b) is unsanitary or unsafe to store; or

(c) is such that the sale of the property would realize an amount that is less than the cost of removing, storing and sale,

the director may in writing permit the landlord to dispose of the personal property in the manner and subject to the terms and conditions that the director may authorize.

(3) Where a tenant or a person claims title to personal property stored under subsection (1), the tenant or person, upon satisfactory proof to the director, is entitled to possession of the personal property so long as the tenant or person pays the landlord the costs properly incurred by the landlord in relation to the removal and storing of the personal property.

(4) Where a tenant or a person claiming title to the personal property has not claimed possession of the personal property after 2 months have expired from the date of the beginning of storage, the landlord may by public auction sell the property or a part of the property, and after the sale the landlord

(a) is entitled to recover from the proceeds of the sale actual expenses accrued in respect of the storage and cost of sale and the amount of a judgment given under section 38;

(b) shall within 5 days following the sale provide a written record of the details of the sale and proceeds, and a disposition of the proceeds, to the director; and

(c) shall within 5 days following the sale pay the sale proceeds minus money recovered under paragraph (a) to the director who shall keep them in trust in a financial institution and in turn pay them together with interest earned to the Minister of Finance where they are unclaimed within 1 year of the sale.

(5) Where a tenant or a person claims title to personal property sold under subsection (4) the tenant or person, upon satisfactory proof to the director or the Minister of Finance, is entitled to money held under paragraph (4)(c).

1988 c44 s24; 1990 c62 s21

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Director

24. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint a Director of Landlord and Tenant Relations.

(2) The director shall

(a) mediate disputes between landlords and tenants;

(b) inform landlords and tenants of the provisions of this Act;

(c) prepare reports respecting the administration of this Act;

(d) maintain records of the hearings of boards and orders made by boards;

(e) help boards in the conduct of their duties under this Act;

(f) deal with or dispose of personal property abandoned by a tenant on a landlord's premises; and

(g) perform the other duties that may be assigned by the minister.

(3) There shall be an Assistant Director of Landlord and Tenant Relations who because of the absence or inability to act of the director has and may exercise the powers and functions of the director.

(4) The director may assign the duties, including mediation of disputes, to the staff that the director may consider necessary.

1988 c44 s25

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Liability of director

25. The director shall not be liable for anything done in good faith in the course of his or her employment under this Act.

1988 c44 s26

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Investigations

26. (1) The director and other staff authorized by the minister may at reasonable times enter residential premises for the purposes of carrying out investigations or inspections under this Act, so long as it is reasonably necessary to determine compliance with this Act.

(2) A person authorized under subsection (1) to investigate or inspect shall be referred to as an "investigator".

(3) Where the director believes on reasonable grounds that a person has contravened this Act or the regulations, an investigator may with a warrant issued under subsection (4) at a reasonable time enter upon the residential premises and may investigate, inspect, inquire into and examine the affairs of the person in respect of whom the investigation or inspection is being made.

(4) A Provincial Court judge or justice of the peace who is satisfied by information upon oath or affirmation that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is on residential premises anything that there are reasonable grounds to believe will give evidence with respect to a contravention of this Act may issue a warrant authorizing an investigator to enter, inspect and search those premises and to make those inquiries and copies of books, documents, correspondence and records that are considered necessary, subject to the conditions that may be specified in the warrant.

(5) The owner or person in charge of the premises referred to in this section and a person found there shall give an investigator reasonable help to enable the investigator to carry out his or her duties and functions under this section and shall provide the information that the investigator may reasonably require.

1988 c44 s27

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Residential Tenancies Boards

27. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may by order designate the province or an area of the province as a residential tenancies area.

(2) Where a designation is made under subsection (1), the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may establish a Residential Tenancies Board for the designated area, composed of not more than 7 persons appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, at least 1 of whom, where practicable, shall be a lawyer, and 1 of whom shall be designated as chairperson and 1 of whom shall be designated as vice-chairperson.

(3) A chairperson is appointed for an indefinite term and holds office during pleasure.

(4) The chairperson of a board shall preside at meetings of the board but where the chairperson is absent or incapable of attending a meeting, the vice-chairperson shall preside or in the absence of the vice-chairperson the members attending shall select a member present to have and exercise the powers and functions of the chairperson for the meeting.

(5) A member of a board holds office during pleasure for a term of up to 3 years and on the end of the term of office is eligible for reappointment.

(6) The members of a board shall be paid the remuneration and expenses that may be prescribed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

1988 c44 s28

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Meetings

28. (1) The minister shall obtain from accountants, engineers, technical advisers or other experts or qualified persons advice that may be needed and requested by the board.

(2) Where there is not a lawyer on a board the minister shall provide the services of a lawyer to help the board in the exercise of its duties.

(3) The minister may convene a meeting of members of the boards established under section 27 at the time and place that shall be arranged.

1988 c44 s29

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Functions of board

29. (1) It is the function of a board, and it shall have power,

(a) to investigate and review matters affecting landlords and tenants;

(b) to provide and distribute information concerning rental practices, rights and remedies;

(c) to mediate disputes between landlords and tenants and give advice to landlords and tenants in disputes;

(d) to investigate allegations of violations of this Act and the statutory conditions provided for by section 9;

(e) to set the rent charged for residential premises at the written request of a landlord or tenant;

(f) to set the rent for residential premises incrementally in accordance with subsection 36(1);

(g) to rule on the validity of rental increase notices; and

(h) to recommend to the minister that a prosecution be taken under section 39,

and a landlord or tenant wishing that the board shall carry out, with respect to that landlord or tenant, a function or power referred to in this section may apply to the board in writing requesting the carrying out of the function or power and the board shall comply with the request.

(2) A board may make the investigation and may make the recommendations or do the other things that may be required of it by a judge under subsection 38(5).

1988 c44 s30

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Panels, composition, etc.

30. (1) The chairperson may establish 1 or more panels of the board and in respect of matters referred to a panel by the chairperson a panel has and shall exercise the power and authority of the board, and 2 or more panels may proceed with separate matters at the same time.

(2) The chairperson shall preside at meetings of the panel of which the chairperson is a member and the vice-chairperson shall preside at meetings of other panels and in their absence the person having the powers of the chairperson under subsection 27(4) shall preside.

(3) A panel consists of the chairperson or vice-chairperson or a person acting as chairperson and at least 2 other members.

(4) The chairperson may refer to a panel a matter that is before the board and to the board or another panel a matter that is before a panel.

(5) A panel ceases to exist where the matter it is considering is, in the opinion of the person acting as its chairperson, completed.

1988 c44 s31

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Quorums, majority and jurisdiction

31. (1) A board or a panel shall not proceed or continue with a matter unless a quorum is present.

(2) For the purpose of this section there shall be a quorum for a meeting of a panel where there are 3 members present and there shall be a quorum for a meeting of a board where there are 4 members present.

(3) The decision of a majority of the members of a board or of a panel present and constituting a quorum at a proceeding is a decision of the board or panel but where there is a tie vote the person acting as chairperson may cast a 2nd vote.

(4) Where a panel deals with an aspect of a matter referred to it under section 38, rules and regulations made under this Act and applicable to the board in similar circumstances apply, with the necessary changes, to the panel.

1988 c44 s32

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Rules of a board

32. (1) A board may in relation to hearings prescribe rules of procedure and evidence and may order the type and nature of information to be provided by a person to the board before or during a hearing and that person shall provide the information to the board.

(2) Notwithstanding rules prescribed under subsection (1), the board or panel may receive or accept the evidence and information on oath, affirmation, affidavit or otherwise as it considers appropriate, whether or not that evidence or information is admissible as evidence in a court of law.

(3) For the purposes of a hearing, a board, a panel and each member of them, has the powers that are or may be conferred on a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act, and a board is considered to be an investigating body for the purposes of the Public Investigations Evidence Act, and there shall be full right to examine and cross-examine witnesses called and to bring forward evidence in response and reply, and section 3 of the Public Inquiries Act shall apply to the witnesses.

(4) A person is not bound to appear as a witness unless the person is paid or is offered the witness fee provided by the Rules of the Supreme Court.

1988 c44 s33

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Notification by board

33. (1) A board shall notify a landlord and tenant

(a) of the time and place of a hearing respecting them; or

(b) of an order of the board respecting them,

by registered mail or by personal service except that in the case where more than 50 tenants are in the same apartment complex notification may be deposited in the mail box of each tenant and posted in a conspicuous place in the apartment complex.

(2) A board may, for the purpose of notification under this section, use the address of a landlord as provided under subsection 6(6) and where the landlord is a company may apply subsection 14(3).

(3) Where a notice or order referred to in subsections (1) and (2) is sent by registered mail, it shall be considered to have been served on the 5th day after mailing.

(4) Where tenants have in writing authorized a representative to accept notice on their behalf, notification by the board to that representative is, notwithstanding subsection (1), sufficient notification to the tenants under this Act.

1988 c44 s34

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Appearance before board

34. (1) A landlord or a tenant is entitled to appear before a board, either personally, by counsel or by a representative designated by the landlord or tenant in writing, for the purpose of presenting the landlord's or tenant's case.

(2) A person giving evidence to a board may not, unless authorized to do so by the board, give evidence as to a statement spoken or written by another person for the purpose of proving the truth of the statement.

(3) A board may hear the testimony of witnesses, which shall be given under oath or affirmation administered by a member of the board.

(4) Where a person notified under section 33 does not, in person, by counsel or by representative designated under this section, attend the hearing, the board may proceed in his or her absence to examine into the matter of the hearing and to hear the witnesses, and receive evidence and adjudicate.

1988 c44 s35

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Proof of signature

35. An order of a board purporting to be signed by the person who is chairperson or acting as chairperson is, without proof of the office or signature of that person, receivable in evidence as, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof of the order in an action, proceeding or prosecution.

1988 c44 s36

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Setting rent

36. (1) The board may set rent retroactively or prospectively or both and may order that the rent so set shall be effective for a period not exceeding 12 consecutive months.

(2) In a case where it considers it appropriate the board may make an interim order setting rent effective to the date of a final order, and the interim order may be made following the hearing and evidence that the board considers appropriate in the circumstances.

(3) In setting the rent to be charged for residential premises, a board shall consider the following factors where evidence is brought forward in relation to them:

(a) a fair return on investment;

(b) the current fair market rental;

(c) reasonable operating expenses;

(d) the quality of life and shelter; and

(e) the allowance for a capital replacement reserve,

and the board may also take into account the other matters that the board may consider appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

1988 c44 s37

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Appeal from board

37. (1) An appeal lies to the Trial Division from a decision of a board.

(2) An appeal made under subsection (1) shall be made within 30 days following service of written notice of the decision of the board.

(3) A board is entitled to be heard by counsel upon the argument of an appeal.

(4) The practice and procedure under the Rules of the Supreme Court relating to appeals apply to an appeal made under this section, with the exception of rule 57.03(2).

1988 c44 s38

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Judicial proceedings

38. (1) A proceeding under this Act other than one under sections 29 and 39 shall be started in the Trial Division and may be in respect of the following matters:

(a) a contravention of or failure to comply with this Act;

(b) a contravention of or failure to comply with a statutory condition provided for in section 9;

(c) a security deposit, or money or other value held by or for a landlord or tenant;

(d) a failure or refusal to go out of possession of residential premises upon termination of a tenancy;

(e) a dispute in relation to a clause in a tenancy agreement that provides, where default has occurred in the payment of rent due under a tenancy agreement or in the observance of an obligation of the tenant and under the terms of the tenancy agreement, the whole or a part of the remaining rent for the term of the tenancy has become due and payable;

(f) a matter arising under section 11; and

(g) a matter arising under section 12.

(2) A proceeding started under subsection (1) shall be started in

(a) the judicial centre of the Trial Division where the residential premises are located; or

(b) another judicial centre that a judge of the Trial Division may order is most appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

(3) A landlord or a tenant may not start a proceeding under this section unless the landlord or tenant gives to the other party a written notice of an intention to start a proceeding, at least 5 days before the proceeding is started.

(4) Where tenants are entitled to receive a notice under subsection (3) and there are more than 50 tenants in the same apartment complex notification may be deposited in the mail box of each tenant and posted in a conspicuous place in the apartment complex.

(5) Before or after hearing a proceeding under this section, the judge, on his or her own motion, may require a board to provide the court with a report, within the time period that the court considers appropriate, of an investigation in connection with all or a part of the subject matter of the proceeding and may require a board to make recommendations or do the other things that in the opinion of the court are appropriate in the circumstances.

(6) Where a board is required by the court under subsection (5) to provide a report, the board shall proceed with the subject matter of the report as if it were a matter referred to the board under subsection 29(1) and the provisions of this Act apply with the necessary changes to the proceeding.

(7) Where a board provides a report to a court under subsection (5) it shall immediately send by registered mail a copy of the report to the landlord and tenant and the board shall file immediately with the court an affidavit of proof of service.

(8) A landlord or tenant may file with the Trial Division a notice of objection to the content of a report within 5 days after service and the notice shall specify the particular grounds of objection.

(9) Where a notice of objection has been filed, the court shall set a date for a hearing and hear the evidence that the court considers necessary.

(10) After a period of 5 days has expired from the date a report is served by a board and whether or not a notice of objection to the recommendations of the board has been filed, the court may at the instance of the judge or upon the application of the landlord or tenant

(a) set a date for a hearing and give directions respecting notice of that hearing;

(b) adopt the report in whole or in part;

(c) vary or reverse the report and a finding in the report;

(d) require a supplemental report from the board;

(e) decide a question or issue referred to the board on the evidence taken before the board as disclosed by its report, with or without additional evidence; or

(f) make an order

(i) requiring the payment of money by the landlord or the tenant,

(ii) requiring the landlord or the tenant to perform an act or stop performing an act,

(iii) authorizing the application of a security deposit and the interest on the deposit, or a specified part of the deposit and interest, to the purposes referred to in subsection 15(3),

(iv) providing for rent payable to the landlord to be received and held in trust by the director pending performance by the landlord of an act the landlord is required by law to perform and may authorize payments including disposition of the entire sum, as are considered necessary in the circumstance,

(v) providing for the termination of the tenancy between the landlord and tenant, or

(vi) directing that the landlord be put into possession of the residential premises.

(11) An order, or part of an order, directing that the landlord be put into possession of the residential premises may be enforced by a person to whom it is directed, including a peace officer, as defined by the Criminal Code.

1988 c44 s39

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Offence

39. A person who contravenes this Act or an order made under this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $400 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 months, but the conviction of a person under this section does not operate as a bar to further prosecutions for the continued contravention or failure to comply on the part of the person under this section, and the continuance of the contravention or failure for each day or part of a day constitutes a separate offence.

1988 c44 s40

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Regulations

40. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing forms to be used under this Act;

(b) prescribing the form of a tenancy agreement for residential premises;

(c) setting the rate of interest for a security deposit held by the landlord; and

(d) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

1988 c44 s41; 1989 c12 s25

 

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Schedule
FORM A
TERMINATION NOTICE TO TENANT

TO:

I give you notice in accordance with section of the Residential Tenancies Act to deliver up possession of the premises _____________________________ which you hold of me as tenant, on the _____ day of ____________ 19___.

Dated this _____ day of ____________ 19___.

_____________________________
(Landlord)

 

FORM B
TERMINATION NOTICE TO LANDLORD

TO:

I give you notice in accordance with section of the Residential Tenancies Act that I am giving up possession of the premises _____________________________ which I hold of you as tenant, on the _____ day of ____________ 19___.

Dated this _____ day of ____________ 19___.

_____________________________
(Tenant)

1988 c44 Sch

©Earl G. Tucker, Queen's Printer