Department of Community Services

Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

Consumer Services

Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

The new Residential Landlord and Tenant Act was developed through public consultation and is based on the recommendations of the Select Committee on the Landlord and Tenant Act. This has led to modern, clear and effective legislation that benefits landlords and tenants and promotes a healthy private rental market. This legislation is not yet in force.

View the news release


Landlord and tenant legislation governs the renting of land, housing, apartments and so on. To most people, the legislation dealing with residential premises - houses or apartments - is most important. Provisions on residential tenancies is located in Part 4 of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Residential premises are dwellings in which people live. This also includes land which is leased for a mobile home if the mobile home is used as a residence. Residential premises do not include business premises rented for business purposes with your living accommodations attached.

To interpret or apply the legislation, the Yukon Landlord and Tenant Act itself should be consulted.


Tip Sheets

These Tip Sheets provide overview information and some recommendations for resolving conflicts you may be experiencing. If you require additional information or greater detail on a particular issue, please contact us at 667-5111.

Sample Tenancy Forms


Landlord and Tenant Act Handbook


Handbooks are also available at:
307 Black Street, 1st floor
Whitehorse, YT

Contents:

Where to go if you have a problem

Entering into a Tenancy Agreement
Reasonable Terms; Condition of Premises Report

The Tenant: Your Rights
Privacy; Services and Repairs; Access; Visitors; Rent Increases

The Tenant: Your Responsibilities
Paying your Rent; Being a Good Tenant; Moving Out

The Landlord: Your Rights
Protecting Your Property; Receiving the Rent; Use of Premises

The Landlord: Your Responsibilities
Maintaining the Property; Subletting; Security Deposits; Interest Rates

Ending the Tenancy
Legal Remedies of Landlords; Serving Notice; Physical Eviction; Mobile Home Parks; Rentals Officer; General Claims Before the Small Claims Court


Where to go if you have a problem

Landlords and tenants wishing information or assistance on landlord and tenant matters, may call or visit:

In Person:
1st floor
307 Black Street
Whitehorse, Yukon

By Mail:
Government of Yukon (C-5)
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon
Y1A 2C6

Telephone: (867) 667-5111
Toll Free (In Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, Extension 5111

There is no charge for these services and both landlords and tenants are treated equally and impartially.


Entering into a Tenancy Agreement

The Tenancy Agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant. It should be in writing, but it may also be spoken.

  • Sample Tenancy Agreement English [92KB ]   French [114KB ]
  • EVERY Tenancy Agreement should include:

  • name, address and phone number of landlord
  • address to be rented
  • name of tenant
  • amount of rent to be paid and the due date for payment
  • date the tenancy begins
  • amount of security deposit held, if any
  • services and facilities to be provided by landlord
  • any "reasonable terms" agreed to by both landlord and tenant.
  • Reasonable Terms

    Many of the basic rights and obligations of the tenant and landlord do not have to be included in the Agreement because they are covered in the Landlord and Tenant Act. For example: the tenant has a right to privacy, the landlord must make reasonable repairs, the tenant must keep the premises reasonably clean and not damage the premises.

    If you both agree to special terms not covered by the Act, these should be written into the Agreement. Some examples include:

  • special services to be supplied by the landlord
  • length of lease, if other than month-to-month
  • miscellaneous rules, such as no barbecues on balcony, no pets allowed
  • items the landlord promises to repair
  • agreements about redecorating.
  • Both the tenant and the landlord are expected to keep the terms of the Tenancy Agreement, but these terms must be "reasonable". For example: a landlord's rule of limiting the number of guests may not be enforceable.

    Conditions of Premises Report

    Before the tenant moves in, it is recommended that the landlord and tenant inspect the premises together and fill out a "Condition of Residential Premises Report". This can be helpful if there are any future disputes about damages.

  • Sample Condition of Premises Checklist  [93KB ]

  • The Tenant: Your Rights

    Privacy

    It's your home, and you're entitled to privacy. Your landlord may, however, enter your home under the following conditions:

  • in an emergency
  • if you allow entry (cooperation is encouraged)
  • if it appears you have abandoned the premises
  • if the landlord is showing premises to prospective tenants after notice of termination has been given.
  • Otherwise the landlord must give 24 hours written notice and the hours of entry can only be between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

    Services and Repairs

    You have the right to expect reasonable standards of service and upkeep.

    Access

    Neither a landlord nor a tenant may change the locks or access without the other person's permission.

    Visitors

    Your landlord may not stop you from having guests, or unreasonably limit the time they may stay, or prevent you from meeting with any political candidates or their representatives.

    Remember that you are responsible for any noise, or other problems caused by your guests.

    Rent lncreases

    No landlord shall increase the rent for a residential premise, and no tenancy agreement shall provide for a rent increase during the first year of a tenancy agreement. After the first one year period a landlord who wants to increase the rent must give the tenant WRITTEN NOTICE of the rent increase. The notice must be given at least three months prior to the day on which the increase is to take effect.


    The Tenant: Your Responsibilities

    Paying your Rent

    Naturally, you must pay your rent when it is due. If you don't, your landlord may have "just cause" to give you a Notice of Termination. Some landlords may tolerate late payment once or twice but few landlords will tolerate repeated late rent payments. If circumstances cause you to be late with your rent, discuss it in advance with your landlord.

    Being a Good Tenant

    It is up to you to keep the premises clean, repair any damage you or your guests have caused, and keep the terms of the Tenancy Agreement. You must also avoid disturbing the other tenants in the building.

    Moving Out

    You must notify your landlord at least one rental month before you leave. The notice should be given to your landlord on the day before the rent is due or earlier. Your last day of tenancy is the last day of your rental period.

    For example: if you pay rent on the 1st of January, notice must be given to the landlord prior to the 1st of January for you to vacate by midnight on January 31st.

    NOTE: There is no restriction on winter termination except under some conditions regarding mobile homes.

    A notice to the landlord from the tenant should be delivered personally or sent by registered mail. Copies of all notices and correspondence between a landlord and tenant should be retained.


    The Landlord: Your Rights

    Protecting Your Property

    You have the right to expect that your tenant will keep the premises reasonably clean, repair any damage exceeding wear and tear caused by the tenant or guests, and abide by all "reasonable" terms of the Tenancy Agreement.

    Receiving the Rent

    You have the right to expect the rent to be paid by your tenant on time.

    Use of Premises

    The use of the premises should be for residential purposes only unless you otherwise consent. Your consent should not be unreasonably withheld.


    The Landlord: Your Responsibilities

    It is advisable to put the terms of the Tenancy Agreement in writing. When there is a written Tenancy Agreement, you must give the tenant a copy within 21 calendar days of entering into the Agreement.

    Maintaining the Property

    The premises should meet health, safety and occupancy standards as required by law.

    Subletting

    A tenant may not sublet (turn the premises over to someone else to rent) without your consent. However, you may not unreasonably refuse to give consent if your tenant has a lease of 6 months or longer.

    Security Deposits

    A security deposit means money that is paid by the tenant to the landlord as security for:

    1. payment of the last month's rent;>
      or under certain circumstances
    2. payment for repair of damages.

    If a written report on the condition of the rental premises upon move-in and move-out has not been jointly completed by the landlord and tenant, either party to the tenancy agreement has the right to use this deposit for payment of rent for the last rent period.

    or

    If a written report on the condition of the rental premises upon move-in and move-out has been jointly completed by the landlord and tenant, the landlord can make a proposal to the tenant to apply part or all of the security deposit towards repair of damages. The landlord must obtain the tenant's written consent to withhold any amount of the deposit for this purpose.

    The landlord must pay interest on the security deposit to the tenant yearly, or within 15 days after the tenancy has ended. This interest rate is 2% below the bank's prime rate as of January 1 and July 1 of each year.

    SECURITY DEPOSITS

    Landlords may ask tenants for a security deposit. A security deposit cannot be more than the equivalent of the first month’s rent at the time the tenancy begins. 

  • Security Deposits [78KB ]
    This tip sheet is provided for assistance only and is not a statement of law. To interpret or apply the legislation, the Landlord and Tenant Act, Part 4, should be consulted. Sections 63 and 64 refer to security deposits.
  • There are specific rules about how the security deposit may be used. They are detailed in the Landlord and Tenant Act. Please contact Consumer Services at (867) 667-5111 to determine whether you are eligible to use the security deposit for the last month's rent.

    INTEREST ON SECURITY DEPOSITS  Printable version 

    The landlord must pay interest to the tenant annually (at the end of each tenancy year) or 15 days after the date the tenant moves out (the earlier date applies). The interest rate is payable at 2% lower than the bank prime rate as of January 1 and July 1 of each year.

    The table below shows the interest to be paid on the security deposit for each time period. The interest is not compounded; it is calculated for each time period.

    Calculating the Interest:

    Formula for calculating the interest owed: (Amount) x (% Rate) ÷  365 x (No. of days)

    Example of an interest calculation:
    Mary rented an apartment on July 1, 1999. Her security deposit was $500.00.
    On May 31, 2000, Mary moved out of the rental suite.

    July 1, 1999 to Dec. 31, 1999 = 184 days; listed interest rate is 4.25%
    $500.00 x 4.25%    ÷  365 days x 184 days = $ 10.71
          
    Jan. 1, 2000 to May 31, 2000 = 152 days; listed interest rate is 4.5%
    $500.00 x 4.5%    ÷  365 days x 152 days = $ 9.37

    The landlord owes Mary $ 20.08 ($10.71+ $9.37) in interest on her security deposit.


    SECURITY DEPOSIT INTEREST RATES:

    2% below prime rate (Calculated on January 1 and July 1 annually)

    Formula to calculate the interest:(Amount) x (%Rate) ÷ (365) x (No. of Days)

    Period Interest Rate Period Interest Rate
    Up to Sept. 30, 1994 10% Jan. 1, 2005 to June 30, 2005 2.25%
    Oct. 1, 1994 to Dec. 31, 1994 6% July 1, 2005 to Dec. 31, 2005 2.25%
    Jan. 1, 1995 to June 30, 1995 6% Jan. 1, 2006 to June 30, 2006 3%
    July 1, 1995 to Dec. 31, 1995 6.75% July 1, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2006 4%
    Jan. 1, 1996 to June 30, 1996 5.5% Jan. 1, 2007 to June 30, 2007 4%
    July 1, 1996 to Dec. 31, 1996 4.5% July 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2007 4%
    Jan. 1, 1997 to June 30, 1997 2.75% Jan. 1, 2008 to June 30, 2008 4%
    July 1, 1997 to Dec. 31, 1997 2.75% July 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2008 2.75%
    Jan. 1, 1998 to June 30, 1998 4% Jan. 1, 2009 to June 30, 2009 1.5%
    July 1, 1998 to Dec. 31, 1998 4.5% July 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2009 0.25%
    Jan. 1, 1999 to June 30, 1999 4.75% Jan. 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010 0.25.%
    July 1, 1999 to Dec. 31, 1999 4.25% July 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2010 0.5%
    Jan. 1, 2000 to June 30, 2000 4.5% Jan. 1, 2011 to June 30, 2011 1%
    July 1, 2000 to Dec. 31, 2000 5.5% July 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2011 1%
    Jan. 1, 2001 to June 30, 2001 5.5% Jan. 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012  1%
    July 1, 2001 to Dec. 31, 2001 4.25% July 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2012  1%
    Jan. 1, 2002 to June 30, 2002 2.00% Jan. 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013  1%
    July 1, 2002 to Dec. 31, 2002 2.25% July 1, 2013 to Dec. 30, 2013  1%
    Jan. 1, 2003 to June 30, 2003 2.5%    
    July 1, 2003 to Dec. 31, 2003 1.5%    
    Jan. 1, 2004 to June 30, 2004 2.5%    
    July 1, 2004 to Dec. 31, 2004 1.75%    


    Ending the Tenancy

    To be enforceable a notice from a landlord to a tenant must be in writing. It must include the following information:

  • identify the premises
  • give the date the tenancy ends
  • be signed by the person giving the notice.
  • The amount of notice needed to end a Tenancy Agreement varies with the "tenancy period". A tenancy period begins on the day rent is due and ends the day before the next rent is due. This need not be a calendar week, month or year.

    For example: if rent is paid on the 1st of January, notice must be given by the landlord prior to the 1st of January for the tenant to vacate by midnight on January 31st.

    There is no restriction on winter termination except under some conditions regarding mobile homes. A notice to a tenant by a landlord should be delivered personally or sent by Certified Mail.

    Legal Remedies of Landlords

    If a tenant commits a substantial breach of a Tenancy Agreement, the landlord may apply to the court for rent arrears and damages. When a tenant fails to move out, the landlord may apply to the court for possession of the premises and compensation from the tenant. Where there has been a substantial breach, the tenant may be given 14 clear days notice to vacate. The notice MUST:

  • BE IN WRITING
  • provide details of the alleged breach
  • state the termination date
  • identify the premises.
  • Serving Notice

    The delivery of a notice of termination is very important. It must be served personally, or by certified mail. If mailed, a landlord sends the notice to the address of the premises rented by the tenant, and it is considered delivered by mail on the 5th day after the date of mailing.

    Recovery of Possession

    When a tenancy has been properly terminated, a tenant will usually leave as required. If a tenant does not move, the landlord can apply to the courts for a declaratory order authorizing the Sheriff to remove the tenant and his or her belongings. The landlord may apply to the courts to recover any cost incurred by the landlord in enforcing the possession order.

    Mobile Home Parks

    The following provisions apply to mobile home park owners (landlords) and renters of mobile home sites (tenants).

    The notice period for termination of a monthly tenancy of a mobile home site by a landlord is twelve months. Notice cannot be given by the landlord to vacate in December, January or February.

    The notice period for termination of a monthly tenancy of a mobile home site by a tenant is a full month. Notice must be given on or before the last day of the month to be effective on the last day of the next month.

    When obstacles are placed by the landlord that impede the removal of the mobile home from the site to the roadway, the tenant can seek compensation for any damages incurred.

    Rentals Officer

    The Rentals Officer is appointed by the Government to help tenants and landlords to understand their rights and responsibilities and to settle disputes when necessary. A Rentals Officer may investigate an alleged contravention of the Act, or the Tenancy Agreement, but may refuse to investigate a dispute where, in the Rentals Officer's opinion, the matter is frivolous, vexatious, trivial or should be dealt with only by a court.

    A Rentals Officer can only arbitrate a dispute upon the written request of the landlord and tenant. If the landlord and tenant agree to binding arbitration they may not withdraw the dispute from arbitration and the decision of the Rentals Officer is final and binding on both of them.

    For more information:

    Contact a Residential Tenancy Officer at 867-667-5111.

    General Claims Before the Small Claims Court

    Either a landlord or a tenant may file a claim for a debt or damages against the other arising out of a Tenancy Agreement or a breach of the Act. The limit in small claims court is $25,000.00.

    For information on filing in small claims court, contact: 667-5619 or toll free 1-800-661-0408, extension 5619.


    Remember

    It is to your advantage to try to resolve any problems by talking things over with your landlord or tenant before calling Consumer Services. That way, there is a better chance that both of you will be happy with the outcome, and will have a better ongoing relationship.