Do rental agreements need to be in writing?
NEW: Yes. Under the new Residential Tenancy Act, rental agreements must be in writing and must include the required information from Section 11(2) of the Act. The landlord must provide a copy of the tenancy agreement to the tenant within 10 days of entering the agreement.
Does a unit need to be inspected before move-in?
NEW: Yes. Under the new Act, a landlord and tenant must inspect the unit together and the landlord must complete an inspection report (Form 5- Landlord Condition Inspection Report). Once the inspection report is filled out, both the landlord and tenant must sign it and the tenant must receive a copy of the report.
What if a tenant doesn’t show up for the inspection?
Both the landlord and tenant should be at the inspection and a landlord must offer a tenant at least two reasonable opportunities to complete the inspection together. If the tenant does not show up for the inspection on either occasion, the landlord must inspect the unit alone, complete and sign the report and provide the tenant a copy.
Can a rental agreement be changed after the tenant has moved in?
A rental agreement can only be changed after the tenant has moved in if both parties agree to the changes or with an Order from the Rental Office. Any changes must be consistent with PEI’s rental rules.
How does a change in landlords affect a rental agreement?
The new landlord must provide the correct name/s of the landlord and/or their agent, as well as an address and phone number to the tenant. They must also provide written notice to the tenant stating the amount being held as a security deposit and the interest on that amount.
Rent and Rent Increases
How often can a landlord increase rent?
A landlord may increase the rent once every 12 months. The landlord must give the tenant at least 3 months’ notice for the annual allowable rent increase.
How much can a landlord increase rent?
In 2023, the maximum allowable rent increase is 0% on all units for the period between January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023.
The Director of Residential Tenancy has set the 2024 maximum annual allowable rent increase at 3% on all units, effective January 1, 2024.
Can a landlord increase the rent between tenants or if the rental unit is vacant?
The general rule is no, however under the new legislation, there are limited exceptions.
Can a landlord charge more rent if a new roommate moves in?
How do I find out what the last tenant paid?
You can ask the landlord. The rent paid by the last tenant must also be provided in the new written Tenancy Agreement.
Can a tenant agree to pay rent that has been improperly increased?
No. Even if the tenant agrees, a landlord cannot increase the rent above the allowable amount without an Order from the Rental Office.
What are my options if a landlord has improperly increased the rent?
File a Form 2(A)- Tenant Application to Determine Dispute. The relevant section of the form is (b) to request a return of rent due to an unlawful rent increase.
Does a landlord have to return rent they have collected improperly?
Yes, with an Order from the Rental Office.
Can a landlord ever increase my rent over the allowable?
Yes. A landlord can file an application to request an additional rent increase by filing a Form 9 – Landlord Application to Request Additional Rent Increase with the Rental Office. The Rental Office must hold a hearing and issue an Order that approves, denies, or partially approves an increase before the increase can be charged.
Important: If a landlord filed an application for a greater than allowable rent increase before the new Residential Tenancy Act came into effect, the application will be processed under the old legislation (Rental of Residential Property Act) and there is no limit on the increase that a landlord may request. If a landlord filed an application after the Residential Tenancy Act came into effect, the application will be processed under the new legislation, which limits any rent increase to 3% above the allowed amount.
Is a verbal eviction notice valid?
No, the only valid eviction notice is a Form 4(A) – Eviction Notice- Tenant has 10 Days to Dispute or a Form 4(B) – Eviction Notice- Tenant has 1 Month to Dispute.
Can a tenant dispute a Notice of Eviction?
Yes, a tenant can dispute a Notice of Eviction. The tenant must file a Form 2(A)- Tenant Application to Determine Dispute within either 10 days or one month of receiving an Eviction Notice, depending on the reason for eviction. If you have received a Form 4(A), you have 10 days to dispute the eviction and/or pay the outstanding rent owing. If you have received a Form 4(B), you have one month to dispute the eviction. When completing your application, you should select (a) To dispute a Notice of Termination (Form 4) on the Form 2(A).
Can a landlord evict a tenant because the rental unit has been put up for sale?
No. Selling the rental unit is only grounds for eviction if the rental property has less than 3 units, there is a signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale and the purchaser, or their close family member, intends to live in the rental unit.
Can a tenant be evicted if the landlord wants to move into the rental unit?
Yes, a tenant can be evicted where a landlord or their close family member, in good faith, will be moving into the rental unit. Where this happens, the landlord is required to offer the tenant another rental unit acceptable to the tenant or compensate the tenant one month’s rent plus reasonable moving expenses.
Can a tenant be evicted for having a pet?
If a landlord and tenant agreed that there would be no pets, breaking that agreement by having a pet can be grounds for eviction. Even if pets are allowed, if the pet is disturbing other tenants, or causing damage, this can also be grounds for eviction. Service animals are always permitted.
Can a tenant be evicted for smoking in the unit?
Is there a grace period for late rent payments?
No. A landlord may serve a tenant the day after rent was due with a Form 4A- Notice of Eviction- Tenant has 10 days to Dispute for non-payment of rent. However, if the tenant pays all of the rent that is due within 10 days, the Notice of Eviction becomes void.
Can a tenant be evicted during the winter months?
Yes, the eviction rules are the same year-round.
A tenant has received a Notice of Eviction Form 4, does the tenant still need to pay rent?
Yes. A tenant who has received a Notice of Eviction is still responsible for rent up to the date the tenant moves out.
Repairs and Maintenance
Can a tenant withhold rent because there are problems with the rental unit?
No, a tenant who withholds rent for any reason may be issued a Form 4(A)- Eviction Notice – Tenant has 10 Days to Dispute and may be evicted.
Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance to the rental unit?
The landlord is responsible for keeping the rental unit in a good state of repair, regardless of the rental unit’s condition when the tenant moved in. The landlord should ensure that the unit complies with the health, safety, and housing standards required by law.
A tenant is responsible for keeping the unit clean, unless the tenancy agreement includes that the landlord will clean it. The tenant is also responsible for proper sorting and disposal of garbage, compost, and recycling.
What can a tenant do if the landlord refuses to complete necessary repairs?
If a landlord refuses to complete necessary repairs, the tenant can file a Form 2(A)- Tenant Application to Determine Dispute with the Rental Office. The relevant section is (i) To request a determination that my landlord contravened my right to quiet enjoyment, entered the rental unit unlawfully, prohibited and/or restricted access to the rental unit, changed the locks or failed to secure the rental unit, failed to repair or maintain the rental unit, or any other material term of the tenancy agreement.
Who is responsible for damage to the rental unit?
A tenant is responsible for any damage that is above and beyond normal and reasonable wear and tear. The tenant must either perform repairs or have repairs done to the unit for damage that is caused by the actions or neglect of the tenant or a person allowed to be in the unit.
Tenants are not responsible for reasonable wear and tear to the rental unit or common areas of the property.
Whose responsibility is it to sort the waste materials?
The tenant is responsible for sorting and disposing of garbage, compost, and recycling.
Entering a Rental Unit
Can a landlord enter a tenant’s rental unit?
If there is an emergency, or if the tenant agrees, the landlord can enter a tenant’s rental unit immediately. In all other cases, a landlord can enter a tenant’s rental unit only after providing 24-hour notice in writing, and the entry must be between 9:00AM and 9:00PM. The same rules apply to people acting on behalf of the landlord (examples: property managers, repair people, real estate agents).
Can a tenant object if the landlord wants to enter the tenant’s rental unit?
The landlord is entitled to enter the rental unit in accordance with the rules mentioned above. The tenant may choose to be present, but the landlord does not have to wait until the tenant is home to enter the rental unit. The landlord also cannot require the tenant to be absent or present during the entry.
The Rental Office
What is the difference between a notice and an application?
A notice is a document given by one party (a landlord or a tenant) to the other party.
An application is submitted to the Rental Office to request an Order.
A landlord or tenant disagrees with an order issued by the Rental Office, what can they do?
Any party dissatisfied with an Order received from the Rental Office may appeal the Order to the Commission. This is done by filing a Notice of Appeal. For more information about rental appeals, please visit the Rental Appeals section of the Commission website.