April 8, 2021
House Repairs at Tenant’s Expense: A Guide for Landlords

Consider this article as your guide to find out how to ensure you can have stress-free resolutions for these issues. Read on to learn more!!

Many landlords in charge of rental property management often cite that dealing with damage, repairs, and who needs to pay for them are some of the tensest situations they have ever handled. As someone familiar with the process, you may emphasize this sentiment.

While most would like to think that tenants are generally friendly and understanding, money matters and property fixes can trigger them. Fortunately, there are ways around this. Consider this article as your guide to find out how to ensure you can have stress-free resolutions for these issues: 

What Are the Kinds of House Repairs in Need of Immediate Attention? 

As a property owner, you may already know that not all repairs are immediate and require swift attention. However, if you don’t come up with a solution right away for some of them, your tenants can hold you legally accountable for these mishaps, especially if it puts them at risk of getting severely injured, ruining their belongings, and causing other related inconveniences. 

Besides your tenants’ wellbeing, your business as a landlord can be affected if you end up with a damaged property because it means you have a hard time getting it rented out after your current tenant’s stay. You may even be barred by local authorities from staying in business if they find your house unfit for living. Thus, ensure that you address the following house repairs as soon as possible: 

  • Electrical short or failure (e.g., fuse panel suddenly exploding for no reason)
  • Major structural defects (e.g., severe ceiling and floor damage, putting tenants’ lives in jeopardy)
  • Catastrophic plumbing issues (e.g., pipe burst, causing water damage in the basement)
  • Presence of mould, mildew, and pest (especially when not caused by the tenants) 
  • Malfunctioning heating system during the winter
  • Locked doors and windows that won’t budge 

When Can I Make My Tenants Pay for Repairs? 

Your tenants have their own responsibilities just as much as you being their landlord also requires to be of service to them. You may even have a signed contract that details all of these terms and conditions, giving you the ability to recall any of them to take the financial pressure off you to pay for repairs, especially major ones. However, some tenants may be hesitant to meet payments if you don’t have valid reasons for them to do so. As such, refer to the following list of repairs that make your tenants liable for paying: 

  1. Electrical outlets overloading: Your tenants are oriented about the proper use of utilities, especially electricity and water. It means it’s their fault if they bring in more electronic devices and don’t look out for overloading. 
  2. Improper use of household appliances: If you have any household appliances that you left on your property for your tenant’s convenient use, they should read the instructions through the provided product manuals. It means if anything breaks, it’s only right that they fix it, especially if they did something wrong to it. 
  1. Having rowdy guests at home: You may allow your tenants to have visitors over, but issues arise when they ruin your rental property. The tenant should pay for any necessary repairs and look into splitting the cost with their guests when needed. 
  1. Refusing house contractors to inspect and fix household issues: Sadly, even if you have the best intentions as a landlord, some tenants may be uncooperative by claiming that having professionals come over to fix any issues is an invasion of their privacy. If they ever do this, don’t hesitate to demand payments, primarily from their security deposit.  


Two of your main prerogatives as a landlord are maintaining your professional relationship with tenants and thinking about the best for your rental properties as assets. Fortunately, you now have the practical knowledge needed to ensure you go above and beyond your duties. Just ensure you stay consistent and seek out alternative managerial options when necessary to guarantee peace of mind. 

Are you in need of professional residential property management in Ottawa to handle your landlord-related duties? We at Fahel & Co can help you with that. We service both residential and commercial clients, giving you the flexibility you need to attend to other obligations as we handle your landlord-tenant tasks. Be properly represented through our team by applying today!