Are you a tenant in Manitoba? If so, you’d be well-advised to understand what your rights and responsibilities are. Any number of issues can arise when tenants and landlords don’t hold their end of the bargain with lease agreements.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s expected of tenants in Manitoba, as well as what they can expect from their landlords.
Responsibilities Of A Tenant In Manitoba
In exchange for a safe and habitable place to rent, tenants have a set of responsibilities they’re expected to uphold:
- Pay rent on time
- Keep their home clean and well-maintained
- Make any minor repairs for damage caused by themselves or their guests
- Do not cause a disturbance to others in the complex
- Do not put others in the building in danger
- Do not participate in criminal activity in the complex
- Adhere to the terms of the tenancy agreement and The Residential Tenancies Act
What Should Be Included In A Rental Lease?
A rental agreement should be comprehensive and include terms that offer protection to both the landlord and the tenant. The terms should be clearly detailed so that there is no confusion about the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved.
The following terms should be included in a rental lease in Manitoba:
- Names of all parties to the agreement, including the landlord and the tenant(s)
- Names of all occupants of the property
- Rental property address
- Tenant’s current address
- Contact information of the landlord and/or property manager
- Emergency contact information for the tenant
- Lease type, such as year-to-year or month-to-month
- Rental amount
- How often rent must be paid
- Whether or not utilities and appliances are included
- Who is responsible for lawn maintenance, snow removal, and garbage removal
- Restrictions, such as no smoking or no pets
- Whether or not a security deposit is required and the amount
- Landlord and tenant signatures
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Fees You May Have To Pay As A Tenant In Manitoba
In addition to your tent, there may also be other fees you may have to pay as a tenant in Manitoba, including the following:
- Admin fee. There may be some administrative fees that the landlord may charge to cover miscellaneous costs. Such fees may be charged when the tenant moves out before the lease term is up or if the balance of the rent isn’t paid before the tenant moves out. Landlords may charge up to $75 for admin fees.
- Assignment or sublet fee. If the rental unit is assigned or sublet to another tenant, a fee of up to $75 may be charged to the original tenant for consenting to the assignment or sublet.
- NSF fee. If the rent cheque “bounces”, the landlord may charge the tenant $60 for the NSF cheque.
- Late rent payment fee. If rent is paid late, landlords may charge $10 for the first day the rent is late and $2 for each day going forward, up to a $100 maximum.
- Security deposit. Tenants may be required to pay a security deposit at the start of a tenancy or in the case of an assignment. When the tenancy ends, the security deposit can be used to cover the cost of damage to the unit, extra cleaning required, or unpaid rent. Landlords may charge no more than half of the first month’s rent.
- Pet damage deposit. If a pet is permitted on the premises and causes damage to the property, a pet damage deposit can be used to cover the cost of repairs. Landlords cannot charge any more than 1 month’s rent as a pet deposit. Only one pet damage deposit can be charged, regardless of how many pets live on the premises. Further, a pet damage deposit does not apply to service animals.
- Tenant services security deposit. Landlords may charge a tenant services security deposit to cover the cost of any unpaid tenant services fees or other funds still owed that relate to a tenant service. No more than half of 1 month’s tenant services security deposit can be charged.
Rent Increase Limits In Manitoba
The cost of living increases all the time, and as such, landlords may want to increase rent accordingly. But there are rules surrounding how often and how much landlords can increase rent.
In Manitoba, landlords can only increase rent once every 12 months. The government establishes a specific limit on the amount that rents can be increased every year, referred to as the rent increase guideline.
The 2021 rent increase guideline was set at 1.6% and took effect on January 1, 2021. For the year 2022, the rent increase guideline is 0%, effective January 1, 2022.
To increase rent, a landlord must provide a minimum of 3 months’ notice to the tenant before the rent is increased. For instance, if the landlord wishes to increase the rent for August 1, notice must be given to the tenant no later than April 30.
The notice must be provided in writing and contain details about how much the rent is now versus how much it will be. It must also specify the date in which the increase will take effect, how much the landlord is permitted to increase the rent, the rent increase guideline, and an explanation that the rent increase is not legal unless the tenant is given 3 months’ notice.
The landlord is also required to provide written notice of the rent increase to the Residential Tenancies Branch no later than 14 days after informing the tenant.
Learn more about rent control laws across Canada.
What If You Don’t Agree With The Rent Increase?
As a tenant, you may not agree to the rent increase that your landlord is requesting. In this case, you can write to the Residential Tenancies Branch explaining why you disagree. The Branch must receive the letter a minimum of 60 days before the rent increase takes effect.
How To Terminate A Lease In Manitoba
A lease typically includes a tenancy end date. That means tenants are bound to the tenant agreement until that date, including paying their rent by the due date and maintaining the property in good condition. There are 2 forms of tenancy:
- Periodic tenancy (ie. month-to-month). Tenants who are on a month-to-month tenancy or other form of periodic tenancy must provide the landlord with at least one full tenancy payment period’s notice. So, a month-to-month tenancy would require at least 1 month’s notice to the landlord of the tenant’s wish to vacate early.
- Fixed tenancy (ie. year-to-year). Tenants who are on a year-to-year tenancy or other form of fixed-term tenancy must pay rent up until the end of the term. Landlords must provide tenants with a lease agreement renewal at least 3 months before the contract expires. Tenants who want to move out when the tenancy agreement expires should inform their landlords accordingly.
Tenants who want to move out early can provide the landlord with written notice to end the lease. The amount of notice required depends on why the notice is being given. While tenants are typically required to adhere to their lease agreements until the term ends, there are some exceptions. The following table outlines these exceptions as well as the amount of notice required:
|Amount of Notice Required
|1 full rent payment period
|Enrollment into personal care home
|1 full rent payment period
|Rent increase is above maximum allowed
|2 full rent payment periods
|Canadian Forces member is posted at least 50km from rental property
|1 – 3 full rent payment periods
|1 full rental payment period
Manitoba Eviction Rules
An eviction is a legal process that a landlord initiates to remove a tenant from a rental property. Landlords cannot arbitrarily evict tenants in Manitoba. Instead, they must go through the proper channels to legally evict a renter from a rental unit.
The following are some reasons why a landlord may lawfully evict a tenant.
Tenants who do not pay their rent on time may be evicted from their rental home. Landlords can provide a notice to terminate the tenancy to tenants who do not pay their rent within 3 days after the rent is due.
The notice must be in writing and signed by the landlord. It must also include the following:
- Total rent owed
- Reason the tenant is being asked to vacate
- Date the tenant must move out
- Address where the tenant lives
- Information about how the tenant can dispute the notice
- Information about how the tenant may not have to vacate if the tenant pays the total amount owed, unless the landlord informs the tenant that the notice is still in effect
If The Property Is For Sale
If a landlord sells the rental property, they may provide their tenants with written notice to terminate the tenancy if the buyer or their children, parents, or spouse is moving into the property.
The landlord selling the property will have to give the tenant written notice that the lease agreement will end. Further, the sale must be final, which means all conditions will either have to be already met or waived.
The amount of notice required depends on the type of lease:
- Month-to-month tenancy: 3 months’ notice if the vacancy rate in the area is less than 3%.
- Fixed-term tenancy: 3 months’ notice.
For Landlord’s Own Use, Demolition, Renovation Or Change of Use
Landlords can ask a tenant to vacate the premises with written notice to end the lease if the landlord wants to do any of the following:
- Move into the unit (or allow a spouse, child, or parents to move in)
- Tear the property down within 6 months of the notice
- Renovate the property and have the tenant move out while the work is being done
- Convert the property to be used for something else (such as retail or industrial space) within 6 months of the notice
The amount of notice required depends on the vacancy rate in the area according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which publishes an annual report every October showing up-to-date vacancy rates.
Can your landlord say no to overnight guests? Find out here.
Landlords may also choose to evict if the tenant is doing any of the following:
- Not keeping the rental property reasonably clean
- Damaging the rental unit or complex
- Disturbing other residents in the complex
- Participating in illegal activity in the complex
- Threatening the safety of others in the complex
- Allowing too many people live in the unit
- In breach of the lease terms
If any one of these situations apply, the landlord may have grounds to evict. The tenant will require a written warning informing them that they must rectify the issue within a reasonable amount of time. If the problem is not corrected, the landlord can give the tenant written notice of termination at least 1 full rental payment period beforehand.
Manitoba Tenant FAQs
Do I need to do a condition inspection report in Manitoba?
Can I refuse to pay rent if my landlord refuses to repair something I asked for?
Can a landlord say no to pets in Manitoba?
Both tenants and landlords in Manitoba have their own set of rights and responsibilities when it comes to rental properties in the province. Be sure to get familiar with what these are and adhere to the terms of your lease to avoid issues.