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Saturday, November 01, 2014      

  What Should I Know About Entering into a Rental Agreement? Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property, Prince Edward Island, Canada



Please note that "landlord" and "tenant" are used in this pamphlet while "lessor" (landlord) and "lessee" (tenant) are used in the Rental of Residential Property Act.

What is a rental agreement?

A rental agreement is a contract between a landlord and tenant whereby a landlord gives a tenant the right to occupy the residential premises.

Do rental agreements have to be in writing?

A rental agreement can be written, verbal or implied. Since the rental agreement is the most important part of a landlord and tenant relationship, it should be in writing. The advantage of a written agreement is that it outlines the terms and conditions agreed to by both parties. Once the landlord and tenant agree to the terms and conditions of their contract, it cannot be changed unless both parties agree.

What information does a landlord have to provide to a tenant at the time of entering into a rental agreement?

A landlord must provide the tenant with the following information:

a) the name and address of the landlord;
b) the name and telephone number of the person responsible for the premises.

Can a landlord ask for the names of the people living in the unit?

A landlord has the right to request the names of the people living in the unit.

Can a rental agreement be for a fixed period of time or can it be a month to month?

A rental agreement can be for a fixed period of time, a month to month period or a week to week period. If a landlord and tenant sign a written rental agreement for a fixed period of time, usually for one year, they are bound by the terms and conditions until the end of the fixed term.

If there is a written rental agreement, do both parties receive a copy?

Once the rental agreement is signed by both parties, a copy should be provided to the tenant at the time of signing or within 21 days after the tenant has signed. If the rental agreement is signed prior to the date it begins, a copy should be provided to the tenant within 21 days after the date it begins. The tenant is not bound by any additional terms and conditions in the rental agreement unless a copy has been served within 21 days.

Should a tenant know what services and equipment are included with the rent?

It should be clear to the landlord and tenant, upon entering into a rental agreement, what services and equipment are included with the rent. Services agreed to at the time of entering into a rental agreement cannot be changed without mutual consent of both parties, or by making application to the Director of Residential Rental Property.

When does the rent have to be paid?

The rent is usually due on the first day of the month unless the landlord and tenant agree to a different due date. If the rent is not paid on the due date, the landlord may serve the tenant with a Notice of Termination on the following day.

Is a landlord responsible for damages to a tenant's personal belongings during the tenancy?

Under the Rental of Residential Property Act, a landlord is not responsible for damages to a tenant's personal property. If a tenant wishes to be compensated for losses or damages to their personal belongings, the tenant should obtain tenant insurance. If a tenant believes he has a cause of action against the landlord for personal injury and/or damages to personal property, the tenant may pursue the matter in the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island.

Can a landlord refuse to rent to someone who has a pet?

There is nothing in the Rental of Residential Property Act that prevents a landlord from refusing to rent to someone who has a pet. If the agreement has an additional term stating that the tenant cannot have a pet, the landlord may serve the tenant with a Notice of Termination for that reason.

Who is responsible for cleaning a rental unit before a tenant moves in?

If the rental unit is not clean or in a good state of repair at the time the tenant moves in, the tenant must notify the landlord. If the repairs are not carried out in a reasonable amount of time, the tenant can contact the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property for advice.

Can a tenant withhold rent if the rental unit is not clean or in a good state of repair?

A tenant cannot withhold rent for failure on the part of the landlord to clean or do repairs. The landlord may serve a Notice of Termination to the tenant if all of the rent is not paid on the due date.

Can a landlord increase the rent when a new tenant moves in?

A landlord cannot increase the rent just because a new tenant moves in. The Rental of Residential Property Act outlines the procedures a landlord must follow to increase the rent.

The information in this pamphlet is intended as a guide for landlords and tenants under the Rental of Residential Property Act. Further information can be obtained at the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property on the 5th Floor, National Bank Tower, 134 Kent Street, Charlottetown. Copies of the Act and forms can also be obtained at any Access PEI office or online at www.irac.pe.ca/rental. Our telephone number is (902) 892-3501 or 1-800-501-6268.

Office of the Director of Residential Property
Suite 501, 5th Floor
National Bank Tower
134 Kent Street, PO Box 577
Charlottetown, PE  C1A 7L1
T 902-892-3501 or 1-800-501-6268
F 902-566-4076
www.irac.pe.ca/rental

This Guide is also available in PDF format.

Page last reviewed or updated: Friday, January 10, 2014