Getting to know the rights of renting a place

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X

The season of finding places to rent is knocking on our doors and that means it’s important for you to know your rights so you don’t find yourself in a pickle later on. Housing Meditation Officer for Western and Fanshawe, Glenn Matthews says it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

“Whether you’re covered by the provincial legislation call the Residential Residencies Act. If you share a bathroom or kitchen with the owner or the owner’s family, you almost have no rights to tenancy. If you’re are covered in the lease, basically in anything in the lease can be over written.”

Subletting is a very popular option for students as well. It helps to rent for a shorter period of time instead of the traditional one year. If you think subletting your place will help you, Matthews says you should reconsider.

“There’re 30,000 Western and Fanshawe Students who live off campus. About 25,000 of them go home. It’s very competitive. If you have to think about if subletting is worth the extra money. Typically, student would get half of their rent for the summer from subletting. Although, you have to recognize that you’re liable if the person subletting screws up including burning the house down or whatever.”

Matthews says if you’re subletting, make sure you get all of the information you need.

“It’s a good idea to get information from the people who are staying there. So if there’s an issue in the future. That way you can track them down.”

Matthews also notes asking current tenants about the place can really help you as well.

“They’ll usually give you a good heads up about what’s wrong with the place. Also, if you’re touring a place it’s always to look out for things like fire safety exits, how the windows are and the condition of the home and see if you notice damage right away. ”

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When heading off campus, there are other bylaws that you have to follow as well. Chief Municipal Law Enforcement Officer for the City of London, Orest Katolyk, says the Residential Rental Units Licensing Bylaw is an item you should keep in mind.

“One of the things the bylaw does, it ensure that everything is done in compliance. With zoning, fire code and property standards. So a licensed property should be a safe property. It should kept up to a standard with high quality of life in the dwelling. It should have high quality on the property outside of the dwelling.”

Other bylaws you should keep in mind is the noise bylaw.

“Many people have the idea that you can be as loud as you want until 11:00 p.m. and then you need to keep the noise down a minimum. This bylaw helps address problems of nuisance between neighbours.”

One other bylaw is one has to deal with the maintenance of the property.

“So we’re asking all citizens city wide to keep all garbage and recycling contained in the boxes. All ensure it will be secure and ready for pickup on your garage day.”

One final not from Glenn Matthews, he wants you to keep in mind once you’re in a lease, you’re in the lease.

“There’s not a 48 hour back out in these like a contract. We just want to make sure all of the students do their research and feel confident about the place they choose.”

Renting out your first place is a milestone to many. It’s important to follow all the steps and procedures to ensure you can open the door to a stress free home that you can sit back and relax in.

You can find resources you may need on Fanshawe’s Housing Mediation website.

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