As a tenant, you have certain rights and responsibilities. These rights and responsibilities are different depending on the province or territory where you live. No matter where you live, it is important that you know about the rental laws where you are, especially if you’re moving out for the first time or are moving from another country.
Responsibilities Of A Tenant In PEI
Just as your landlord has certain responsibilities to you as a tenant, you have certain responsibilities to your landlord. Your responsibilities as a tenant in PEI include:
- Paying the rent and utilities in full and on time
- Keeping the peace by not disturbing your landlord or other tenants
- Not conducting illegal activities or business on the premises
- Keeping your unit clean and well-maintained
- Preventing damage made in your unit by yourself, your pets, or your guests, and repairing that damage if it is beyond regular wear and tear
- Telling your landlord if any repairs are needed
- Letting your landlord enter your unit (provided they give you the appropriate amount of notice) if they need to perform maintenance, make repairs, inspect your unit, or show your unit to potential buyers or tenants
- Moving out when your rental agreement has ended
What Should Your Rental Lease Agreement Include?
Your rental lease agreement is the basis for your lease. It provides all the information you should need about the terms of your tenancy.
Your rental lease agreement should include:
- Who the parties to the agreement are
- The address and contact information for the parties to the agreement
- The start and end dates of your rental agreement
- What kind of lease you have. For example, is it week-to-week, month-to-month, or fixed term?
- How much you will have to pay for rent, when it’s due, and how to pay for it
- Information on security deposits
- The services and facilities that your landlord will provide and what you are responsible for
PEI Security Deposit Rules
Your landlord can require you to pay a security deposit before you move in, from which the landlord can take the costs of losses such as unpaid rent or damage. It is kept in trust by your landlord as long as you live in your rental unit. Your security deposit can be as much as one month’s rent unless you have a week-to-week lease agreement, in which case the security deposit can be as much as one week’s rent.
If you paid your rent and bills in full and kept the unit clean and in good condition, you should receive your full security deposit back. Your landlord cannot keep your security deposit to repair normal wear and tear, nor can they charge for a key deposit, holding deposit, pet deposit, or for both first and last month’s rent.
A good way to maximize the chances of getting your security deposit back is to inspect your unit with your landlord before you move in and make note of any damage or issues. They cannot charge you to fix problems that existed before you moved in.
You can contact the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property (often referred to as the Rental Office) if you have concerns about getting your security deposit back.
Find out how tenant insurance works.
Does PEI Have Rent Control?
Yes, PEI has rent control. There is a set amount that landlords can raise the rent by every year as decided by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, and if a landlord wants to exceed that amount, they must get approval from the Rental Office. There can only be a rent increase once per year.
Notice Of Increase In Rent
You have to get at least three months of notice before a rent increase if you have a month-to-month or fixed-term lease, or three weeks of notice if you have a week-to-week lease. Rent increases take effect automatically after the notice period unless they exceed the amount allowed by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, in which case a hearing is held to determine if the rent increase is allowed.
If your landlord wants to raise your rent, they must give you Form 10 – Notice of Increase in Rent of Residential Premises. If they want to raise the rent by an amount higher than is allowed by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, you must also receive Form 12 – Application by Lessor for Approval of Rent Increase Exceeding Percentage Allowed by Regulation. Without these forms, a rent increase is not allowed.
Rent Increase Review
If you want the rent increase reviewed by the Rental Office, you can submit to them Form 13 – Application by Lessee for Review of Proposed Rent Increase within 10 days of receiving the rent increase notice. The Rental Office will then schedule a hearing to review the rent increase.
How To Terminate A Lease In PEI
There are three options for terminating a lease in PEI: subletting, assigning, or ending the lease outright. You cannot sublet or assign if you live in subsidized housing or in a unit owned by a non-profit housing organization.
You can temporarily rent your unit to another tenant. In this case, you retain your rental agreement with your landlord, and you can make a sublet agreement with the new tenant. Since you retain your rental agreement with your landlord, you are responsible for the new tenant’s actions, including if they don’t pay rent or if they cause any damage.
You can get a new tenant to take over your lease. Unlike with a sublet, the rental agreement is between the new tenant and your landlord, not your landlord and yourself. You are no longer responsible for your unit once the new rental agreement is signed. You should charge the new tenant for the amount of the security deposit you originally made to your landlord because your original security deposit will now be held for the new tenant.
You must get permission to sublet or assign your lease, and if your landlord says no they must have a good reason to do so. If you disagree with their reason, you can submit a Form 2 – Application for Enforcement of Statutory or Other Conditions of Rental Agreement to the Rental Office to kick off the hearing process. Your landlord can also charge you for subletting or assigning a lease if they had to spend any money, such as the cost of advertising.
Ending Your Lease
If you want to terminate your lease outright, you must give an adequate amount of notice to your landlord depending on the type of tenancy you have. You must also give them Form 3 – Notice of Termination by Lessee of Rental Agreement.
- Week-to-week lease: You must give at least one week of notice before moving out.
- Month-to-month lease: You must give at least 30 days of notice before moving out.
- Fixed-term lease: You must give at least 60 days of notice before moving out if you do not intend to renew your lease.
PEI Eviction Rules
There are several reasons that a landlord in PEI can legally evict you:
Eviction For Not Paying Rent
If you are even one day late on paying your rent, your landlord has the legal right to serve you an eviction notice. They must provide the notice on Form 4 – Notice of Termination by Lessor of Rental Agreement. You must be given at least 20 days to move out after receiving the eviction notice, although it becomes void if you pay your rent within 10 days. If you are regularly late paying your rent, you can still be evicted even if you pay your rent within 10 days.
Eviction For Breach Of The Law or Rental Agreement
If you break the law or break the rules outlined in your rental agreement, such as by having pets in an apartment where you signed a rental agreement with a “no pets” clause, your landlord will have cause to evict you. They must provide the eviction notice on Form 4 – Notice of Termination by Lessor of Rental Agreement. Your landlord must give you at least 30 days to move out after they give you an eviction notice.
Eviction For Personal Use, Renovations, Conversion To Non-Residential, Etc.
Your landlord can evict you if they want to use your unit for their own use or that of their family. They can also evict you if they are renovating the unit in a significant enough way that you cannot live there while they are renovating. A landlord can also convert your unit to use it for a purpose other than residential or demolish your unit and legally evict you. They must provide the eviction notice on Form 4 – Notice of Termination by Lessor of Rental Agreement. Your landlord must give you at least 60 days to move out after they give you an eviction notice.
If you do not agree with an eviction notice, you can submit to the Rental Office a Form 6 – Application by Lessee to Set Aside Notice of Termination within 10 days of receiving an eviction notice. The Rental Office will schedule a hearing where both you and your landlord can present evidence and make your case.
PEI Rental FAQs
What happens if my landlord refuses to repair something in my unit?
Can a landlord say no to pets in PEI?
What happens if my landlord tries to keep my security deposit?
You have both responsibilities and rights as a tenant in PEI. For example, you have the right to reasonably enjoy the unit you’re renting without interference, and you have a responsibility to keep your unit clean. The rental lease agreement you sign with your landlord serves as the basis for your tenancy, and includes the terms and expectations of your tenancy. If you follow the terms of your rental lease agreement, you should have no problems with your tenancy or with your landlord, but if you do, you can reach out to the Rental Office. The Rental Office is there to protect both you and your landlord.