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8 years ago, Tenant commenced tenancy at a brand new condo, with brand new appliances. Tenant is responsible to clean surfaces, and the outside of appliances (like air vents), which Tenant can reach.

But Landlord has never cleaned — or serviced — the innards of the appliances, like

  • Refrigerator, or its coils,

  • Range hood duct,

  • HVAC air ducts,

  • Bathroom exhaust ducts,

  • Washer and dryer, or its ducts.

Landlord alleges that as these appliances have not failed, Landlord isn't liable to clean or service them. But Landlord and Tenant Board's ("LTB") Brochure: Maintenance and Repairs published that

A landlord must keep a rental property in a good state of repair. All things that the landlord provides to the tenant must be kept in working order. This could include:

  • Electrical, plumbing or heating systems
  • Appliances
  • Carpets in the unit or common areas
  • Walls, roofs, ceilings
  • Windows, doors, locks, lighting
  • Garages, laundry rooms, patios, walkways or pools

If something no longer works due to normal wear and tear or because it breaks or wears out, the landlord must repair it so that it works properly, or replace it. When something is replaced, however, the landlord does not have to supply a new or better model.

Your landlord must repair and maintain things that come with your place, such as appliances like a fridge or stove.

What law(s) (Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 ?) require(s) Landlords to clean — and service — the unattainable internals of a residence or appliances that are working, but sub-standardly? What frequency?

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    I suppose the tenant has cleaned or changed the accessible filters in the dryer, the bathroom extractor and the range hood? If they haven't, why would the landlord be responsible for deeper soiling? And why would the landlord be expected to clean inside the washer or the frig? All these are "user serviceable". Aug 21 at 17:53
  • @WeatherVane See my edits.
    – Scexit
    Aug 21 at 23:35
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    "Sub-standardly" is vague. Is there a specific applicable standard that the appliance is failing to meet? Aug 22 at 13:27
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    Have you reported to your landlord that some specific appliance is operating "sub-standardly" and the specific way in which that appliance is operating in a "sub-standard" manner? What were these specific reports? In other words, just from your question, the landlord doesn't appear to have a duty to perform preventive maintenance, but does have a duty to repair or replace, if something becomes non-functional. Preventive maintenance makes things last longer, but isn't "repair or replace". However, where the line is between degraded performance and non-functional can be blurry.
    – Makyen
    Aug 22 at 15:45

1 Answer 1

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See the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (henceforth RTA) section 20.

20 (1) A landlord is responsible for providing and maintaining a residential complex, including the rental units in it, in a good state of repair and fit for habitation and for complying with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards. 2006, c. 17, s. 20 (1).

The Landlord & Tenant Board (henceforward LTB), and the courts, have construed the "residential complex, including the rental units" to include fixtures and appliances included with the tenancy, or provided for the tenants' use.

No specific statute obligate landlords to schedule repairs on a particular cadence, or specific service standards. But landlords must at least take notice of an appliance working in a degraded fashion that they are obligated to repair, if it lessens the usefulness or availability of the appliance to the tenant.

Landlords are not required to clean appliances regularly, even if such cleaning is needed to keep appliances functional. Preventative maintenance is discretionary. See the LTB's Breach of Maintenance Obligations Interpretation Guideline 5.

What is Not Required by This Landlord Obligation

Landlords may choose to undertake programs of preventative maintenance. However, a tenant cannot insist that their landlord undertake specific preventative maintenance work as a necessary repair.

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