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Residential Tenancy Disputes

In Saskatchewan, residential tenancy disputes, as defined by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, (“the Act”) and it's regulations, are, often, dealt with through the Office of Residential Tenancies (“the Office”) and the procedure is governed through the Office of the Residential Tenancies Rules of Procedure (“the Rules of Procedure”).   The Office is a quasi-judicial decision maker, similar to a court, that hears and decides cases under it's jurisdiction.    Often, hearings will be held in a less formal setting and with less formal procedure than a court would, parties should still do their best to comply with any formalities.  It is important that disputes brought before the Office fit within the confines of what the Act and regulations establish as falling within it's jurisdiction.

Residential Tenancies Disputes: About

More about the Office of Residential Tenancies

When a party to a residential tenancy agreement does not comply with the Act, regulations, common law, standard tenancy agreement conditions, and/or other proper tenancy agreement terms, remedies for loss or damages may be attainable through the Office.  It is important that any party who experiences loss or damages takes reasonable steps to mitigate, or lessen, the loss or damages. As a general rule, applications under the Act are expected to be commenced within 1 year after the date of the act or omission giving rise to the claim if the act or omission occurred on or after September 15, 2021, unless otherwise specified.  If the act or omission happened before September 15, 2021 it must be commenced within 2 years, unless otherwise specified.  The maximum monetary limit on an application at the Office is tied to the monetary limitation of claims under the Small Claims Act, which is $30,000 for a principal amount, as of this writing.  Fixed term and periodic tenancies have different obligations.  Some obligations are different for a landlord that is a member in good standing of a prescribed association, or for certain public housing authorities or housing programs.

Residential Tenancies Disputes: Text

Tenant Rights and Obligations

A tenant has a right to quiet enjoyment of the rental unit and its property, which generally includes allowing access to the tenant, and individuals permitted by them, to the rental unit.  In most situations, a tenant is entitled to proper notice before a landlord can enter the unit.  Generally, a tenant is entitled to a maintained residential property in a good state of repair and fit for habitation, including all services and facilities supplied by the landlord.  A tenant is responsible for the ordinary cleanliness of the exterior of the rental unit and residential property as well as the reasonable health, cleanliness, and sanitary standards throughout the unit, and to repair any damage that is a result of their actions or neglect, or the actions or neglect of someone who they permitted on the residential property.  General wear and tear is usually the responsibility of the landlord.

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Terminating a tenancy

The Act governs how and when a tenancy can be terminated by both a landlord and a tenant, and when possession of a unit can be regained by a landlord.  Usually, a notice is required to be provided in accordance with the proper timelines to end a tenancy.  Some situations require a landlord to apply to the Office to terminate a tenancy, sometimes a tenant has to dispute the notice in a designated time otherwise the termination is deemed to be accepted.  Unless a tenant has vacated or abandoned the unit, a landlord must apply to the Office for an order to regain possession of the unit and properly enforce the order.   Improper termination of a tenancy or improperly retaking possession of a unit may open a person up to liabilities.

Case Analysis

Rent Increase

Any rent increase must be in accordance with the Act which outlines when rent can be increased and how notice must be given.  Generally, under a fixed term tenancy a landlord can only increase rent if it was agreed to by both parties at the time that the fixed term tenancy was entered into.  If the tenancy is a periodic tenancy, the landlord can generally only increase rent with 12 months notice and the increase's effective date must be at least 18 months from the commencement of the tenancy or at least 12 months from the previous rent increase, whichever is later.  A landlord in good standing of a prescribed association has different timelines to adhere to.  A landlord for a mobile home site has similar requirements to a non-mobile home site with differences for a landlord who is a member of a prescribed association.  The law applies differently to tenancies where the increase is tied to a tenants income under a housing program.

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Residential Tenancies Disputes: Services
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Disclaimer and Information about the Limited Licensing Pilot (Law Society of Saskatchewan)

Disclaimer: Phoning, emailing, messaging or otherwise contacting Joseph Gelinas, Gelinas Limited Scope Legal Services, and/or Gelinas Paralegal Services, does not establish a representative-client relationship. A representative-client relationship is only established if it has been agreed to by the representative and the client(s). Do not provide any confidential or sensitive information when contacting Joseph Gelinas, Gelinas Limited Scope Legal Services, and/or Gelinas Paralegal Services. Nothing written on this site is to be taken as legal advice. Laws and the interpretations of laws are constantly changing and may have changed since this website was published. The facts of each case are unique and the laws may apply differently.

Important information about my relationship with the Law Society of Saskatchewan: I am not a lawyer or member regulated by the Law Society of Saskatchewan and the Law Society of Saskatchewan does not supervise my education, training or qualifications, or, apply a Code of Conduct or ethical standards (e.g. solicitor client privilege does not apply), provide a complaints or discipline process, nor mandate professional liability insurance with respect to my services; a Consumer Review Form is available to help the Law Society of Saskatchewan understand consumer experiences when accessing legal services through the Pilot.

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