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Do rental agreements need to be in writing?
No, a verbal agreement is still valid. The standard rules apply to all rental agreements, written or verbal.
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 rental agreement remains the same with the new owner as landlord. A new owner cannot demand that an existing tenant sign a written rental agreement or agree to new terms.
How often can a landlord increase rent?
Once every 12 months, and only after giving their tenant at least 3 months’ notice.
Can a landlord increase the rent between tenants or if the rental unit is vacant?
Can a landlord charge more rent if a new roommate moves in?
How do I find out what the last tenant paid?
Ask the landlord.
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 set by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) without an Order from the Rental Office.
What are my options if a landlord has improperly increased the rent?
File a Form 2 for Return of Rent claim.
Can a landlord be forced to return rent they have collected improperly?
Can a landlord ever increase my rent over the allowable?
Yes – with a Form 12 application.
Is a verbal eviction notice valid?
No, the only valid eviction notice is a Notice of Eviction Form 4.
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 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.
Can a tenant be evicted for having a pet?
If a landlord and tenant agreed 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.
Can a tenant be evicted for smoking in the unit?
If a landlord has clearly told a tenant that the premises are non-smoking, then the tenant may risk being evicted if they smoke on the premises.
Is there a grace period for late rent payments?
No. A landlord may serve a tenant with a Notice of Eviction Form 4 for non-payment of rent the day after rent was due. However, if the tenant pays all of the rent that is due within ten days, the Form 4 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 Form 4 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 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
What can a tenant do if the landlord refuses to complete necessary repairs?
If there are maintenance problems, a tenant should notify the landlord in writing. If the landlord does not complete the repairs with a reasonable amount of time, the tenant may request an Order for repairs from the Rental Office using an Application for an Order Form 2.
Who is responsible for damage to the rental unit?
A tenant is responsible for the repair costs for damage that they, or their guests, caused. The landlord is responsible for normal wear and tear. For example – a tenant would be responsible for a stain on the carpet caused by spilling a glass of juice, while a landlord would be responsible for wear to the carpet caused by several years of people walking on it.
What does a landlord have to do to stop providing a service, such as heat?
If a landlord wants to stop providing a service to a tenant, the landlord must first apply to the Rental Office using an Application for an Order Form 2 and receive an Order permitting the discontinuance.
Whose responsibility is it to sort the waste materials?
Tenants are responsible for placing their materials into the appropriate bin or recycling container.
What is the minimum temperature a landlord must keep a rental unit at?
If heat is included in rent, the landlord must keep the rental unit at not less than 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3°C).
Entering a Rental Unit
Can a landlord enter a tenant’s rental unit?
If there is an emergency, or 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 hours notice in writing, and the entry must be between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. 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.
Example: a Notice of Eviction (Form 4) is given to a tenant by a landlord. In response, that tenant may file an Application by Tenant to Dispute Eviction (Form 6) with the Rental Office to dispute the eviction.
A landlord or tenant disagrees with an order issued by the Rental Office, what can they do?
Any party (landlord or tenant), who participated in a hearing at the Rental Office, may appeal the Order issued by the Rental Office to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission within 20 days of receiving the Rental Office’s Order. This is done by filing an Application to Appeal an Order to IRAC.