Winter is coming, which means for Tenants the return of snow and ice.
An innocent and hard-working Tenant named RyanR posted and shared his concerns about his landlord bullying him that HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR SHOVELING THE SNOW.
Let's break this down to help hard-working tenants make sure you are not bullied by evil landlords.Now weather is bad and I need some help.
Now this is getting serious. We are having some bad weather and my landlord texted me tooday telling me to make sure I clear any ice or snow tomorrow morning BECAUSE IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY. Guess he was thinking about me cashing my check today
First of all, I have to work from midnight to noon. Second of all, what am i paying the damn rent for? Where does the rent money go?
Sure the landlords forced me to sign an agreement saying we would do the snow removal but they said if we didn't sign they wouldn't rent to us.
What are my rights?
1. Lease says tenants must cut the lawn and shovel the snow
This is ILLEGAL
The landlord has an obligation to keep the building and the rental units in it in a good state of repair and comply with health and safety standards. It is the landlord’s responsibility for snow removal and grass cutting. Under section 26 of Ontario Regulation 517, exterior common areas must be maintained by the landlord and this includes removing noxious weeds and any unsafe accumulation of ice and snow.
The case then went to the Ontario Court of Appeal and in a decision dated June 29, 2009. The court ruled that since the responsibility for snow removal is the landlord’s under the Act, then the landlord cannot transfer this responsibility to the tenant unless there is separate consideration given. In other words, the landlord would have been required to sign a separate agreement whereby he paid the tenant to remove the snow. Without this, the clause requiring snow removal was void.
https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onca/doc/2 ... nca808.pdf
The Court of Appeal stated that the Act and Regulations make it clear that in the residential landlord and tenant relationship, the landlord is responsible for keeping the common walkways free of snow and ice. Therefore, it cannot be a term of the tenancy that the tenants complete snow removal tasks.
2. Corrupt landlords have created the myth here on the OLA forum that landlords can create a "separate form" outside of the lease that tenants must sign agreeing we are responsible for mowing the lawn and shoveling the drive-way.
It's amazing how there has been a true CONSPIRACY ON THIS WEBSITE by landlords who post information they know will not hold water to intimidate tenants. This has been one of the goals of the landlords since day 1. Even more amazing is how the landlord information here has spread like a wild fire, as everything the landlords post here is quickly picked up and repeated all over the place.
The Act and Regulations make clear that in the residential landlord and tenant relationship, the landlord is responsible for keeping the common walkways free of snow and ice. It cannot be a term of a tenancy that the tenants complete snow removal tasks.
But...A Landlord can enter into a separate contract with the Tenant in which the Tenant agrees to snow removal services right? We read this here are all time.
So a crafty landlord get you to sign a separate agreement and there's nothing you can do, right?
WRONG! Don't be tricked or intimidated!
It is the landlords legal responsibility to take care of ice and snow and be liable for any "slip and falls", not Tenants.
So What Can I Do If I Was Tricked Into a Separate Agreement To Give Away My Tenant Rights?
You have great choices.
(a) First of all you can file against your landlord at the Landlord and Tenant Board and explain you only signed because your landlord demanded you sign to rent to you. The adjudicator will order the landlord to FULFILL THEIR LEGAL OBLIGATIONS (and even fine your landlord and put them on the LTB's "BAD LANDLORD DATABASE" which exists but is shhhhhhhhhhhhhh...secret.more on this later.)
(b) If you don't shovel your landlord can't evict you because they will have to take you to small claims court. This process takes months and will the landlord even pay the fees and do all the work for a $50/month shoveling contract? No way. And even if they do you just explain the rules of the Residential Tenancies Act and you will win at small claims court and can get a judgement against your landlord for wasting your time so he/she will have to pay you $$$$$$$$. While you are waiting you can file a Tenant Rights Claim and force your landlord to shovel while you wait for small claims court
TENANTS, THE DEVIOUS LANDLORD AGENDA TO MAKE US SHOVEL SNOW, ICE, AND BE RESPONSIBLE FOR SLIP AND FALLS MUST COME TO AN END
Landlords are responsible and separate agreements don't work and can give the landlord a huge legal problem.
Learn your rights. And in the process you are helping your landlord with some really important exercise. Work it baby, work it.
Shovel landlord, shovel. And make sure you put down salt and sand because if the tenant falls the landlord is in big trouble. (You might even end up OWNING the property!)