Both landlords and tenants are responsible for certain things under the law. In Saskatchewan, the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and The Residential Tenancies Regulations, 2007 help highlight what each party is responsible for under a Saskatchewan rental agreement.
We here at GoodDoors Property Management have made this article to take you through some of the key rules these laws outline. Having a basic understanding of these laws can help solve many legal questions before they become problems.
Saskatchewan Rental Agreement Rules
Per the Residential Tenancies Act provision, tenancy agreements or a written lease or isn’t necessary in Saskatchewan with the exception of fixed-term residential tenancies that go for more than 3 months. It’s imperative that the tenancy agreement adheres to all provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act. If a written agreement changes or contradicts any right or responsibility under the RTA, then the written agreement shall be deemed illegal.
The following are some of the requirements written tenancy agreements must comply with. Legal Saskatchewan rental agreements must state:
The legal (signed) names of both you and your tenant.
The rental’s address.
The date the agreement comes into effect.
Your address or the service address of your agent/property manager.
What type of tenancy period is being agreed upon (fixed-term or periodic tenancy).
Per the Office of Residential Tenancies, the landlord must then give their tenants a signed copy of the tenancy agreements within twenty days after the agreement has commenced.
Security Deposits in Saskatchewan
Many Saskatchewan landlords require their tenants to pay a security deposit. A security deposit helps cushion a rental property owner against financial loss from an irresponsible tenant. It’s in your best interest as a landlord to have a security deposit when renting out your property.
According to the RTA provision, a landlord must not charge their tenant a security deposit exceeding the rent payment of one month.
The tenant doesn’t have to have paid the deposit in full to the landlord during the lease signing. At the time that both parties sign a fixed term lease, they actually only need to pay half of the deposit amount, as is part of the tenant rights. The law allows tenants to pay the other half of the security deposit within 2 months after the date the tenant moves into the rental.
Tenant Rights Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan tenants have a right to the quiet enjoyment of their properties according to the Office of Residential Tenancies. That means:
Right to privacy.
Freedom from unreasonable disturbance, such as having proper written notice prior to the date of landlord entry.
Reasonable and lawful use of common areas.
Exclusive use of the rental unit subject to landlord’s right of access.
Right of Tenants to Access Their Saskatchewan Rental Property
As a landlord, you cannot restrict tenants from accessing the rental, or restrict the access of someone they have permitted on the property until after the end date of the lease.
In addition, when renting out a property a landlord must allow access to:
Revising agents or enumerators carrying out their responsibilities as per The Election Act of 1996.
A candidate or their representatives who seeking election to an office governed by The Local Government Election Act, 2015.
Tenant’s Right to Display Election Advertising
Before the end date of the lease, tenants have a right to display election posters on the property during an election campaign, as per The Local Government Election Act, 2015. As a landlord, you must abide by this.
Landlords Rights in Saskatchewan
Right to Impose Rules
In addition the rules set out in a Saskatchewan tenancy agreement, a landlord can also impose other additional rules for their tenants. A landlord may impose rules on things like the tenant’s:
Use of services and facilities. These may include a number of heating facilities or services, common recreational facilities, elevators, storage facilities, parking spaces, utilities and appliances. This should be stated in the lease.
Use, occupancy or maintenance of the residential property. This includes rules that prohibit the possession, use, or trade of cannabis products in the rental unit. It is also beneficial to outline this in the lease.
These rules will only be applicable if the landlord has them delivered in writing, are reasonable, and are made known to your tenant.
Right of Entry
As a landlord, you have a legal right to enter your tenant’s rental unit with proper notice. The following are some reasons why a landlord might need to exercise this right:
To perform repairs. It’s a landlord’s responsibility to ensure their property meets the province’s habitability standards.
There is an emergency and entry is necessary for the landlord.
You have an order from the ORT that permits the entry.
The tenant has abandoned the premises, or you have a valid reason to believe they did permanently vacate the property, such as no rent coming in.
The RTA also requires that a landlord notifies their tenant in writing of their intended entry. The written notice must be at least 24 hours (and not more than 7 days) before the date of the intended entry.
Right to Increase Rent in Saskatchewan
Landlords can increase rent in a periodic tenancy. The landlord must give a notice of 12 months prior to increasing the rent. However, if the landlord is in good standing with an association such as the Saskatchewan Landlord Association Inc., this is reduced to 6 months.
A landlord must not increase the rent more than twice each year. If not a member of a landlord’s association, then the landlord must give full year’s advance notice and not increase rent more than once in a year.
Tenant & Landlord Responsibilities in Saskatchewan
Tenant’s Responsibility to Pay Rent
A tenant has a responsibility to pay rent when it’s due, regardless of whether there are problems with the tenancy or landlord. If both the landlord and tenant fail to resolve the problems, a tenant should consult a person at the Office of Residential Tenancies. Withholding rent isn’t an option.
Tenant’s Responsibility to Adhere to the Terms of the Lease
Once a tenant signs a lease, they are obligated to follow its terms. Violation of any of the terms can lead to eviction and breaking the lease agreement. This can include late rent payments.
Responsibility of the Tenant to Repair Damages
A tenant must repair any excessive damage to the rental premises that is caused by their own negligence. A tenant must also ensure that the rental unit is kept clean and sanitary at all times, as per the signed lease agreement.
Landlord’s Responsibility to Maintain the Property
The landlord must ensure that their property is always in good state of repair when they rent it out, and that it is fully habitable for their tenant, which is required both in the lease and by law.
Landlord’s Responsibility to Notify Their Tenants When A Lease Term Ends
According to the Residential Tenancies Act, as a landlord, you must notify your tenant two months before the end of a tenancy agreement in the case of a fixed-term lease. If you have a month-to-month tenancy, you must serve your tenant a two weeks’ notice notifying them of your intention to end the tenancy after the lease expires.
Disclaimer: This blog isn’t a substitute for legal advice. It’s only meant to be informational. If you require more help, please consider hiring professional legal services.