Under Saskatchewan tenancy law, both landlords and tenants have certain rights and obligations under the rental contract. These rights and obligations are highlighted under both the Residential Tenancies Act of 2006 and the Residential Tenancies Regulations of 2007.
It goes without saying that, as a landlord, understanding this law is key to running a successful investment property. Among other things, it’ll help you avoid issues with your tenant as well as run-ins with the office of residential tenancies.
What are some of the basic Saskatchewan Rental Laws?
Is your rent contract fixed term or short term? If it’s the former and runs for at least 3 months, then a written lease is a must. However, the opposite is true for any rental agreement running less than 3 months.
But regardless of whether you have a short- or long-term lease, your Saskatchewan tenancy agreement must adhere to the law. If it contradicts or changes a provision in the Residential Tenancies Act, it’ll become illegal.
A rental contract should include the following:
• Legal names of both the landlord and tenant.
• The address of the rental property.
• The date that rent falls due.
• Payment responsibility in regard to utilities.
• The facilities and services are included.
• Any deposit amounts and when they are to be paid.
• A copy of the Standard Conditions.
• The rent amount and whether it varies depending on the number of occupants.
• The periodic rent term (whether it’s weekly, monthly or otherwise).
• Commencement date of the tenancy. If it’s a fixed-term contract, then the agreement must also include the date it’ll end. If the end date is missing, then the contract shall be monthly.
• The telephone number and service address of the landlord or the agent acting on their behalf.
• The emergency contacts.
Once both parties sign the lease, no standard condition can be changed or removed. The only exception is if both parties agree to that change.
As a landlord, you have the right to make reasonable rules in regard to various aspects of the tenancy. Including, maintenance of the unit, and tenant’s use of the facilities and services available to them.
The rules must be written and must be brought to the attention of the tenant.
What are the different tenancy types that exist in Saskatchewan?
As a landlord, you can use any one of the following tenancy agreements:
• Month-to-Month: This is a contract that runs every 30 days.
• Week-to-Week: This runs week to week and renews every time a tenant pays their rent.
• Fixed Term Lease: This one runs for at least 3 months.
You must make sure the tenancy agreement is as clear and detailed as can be. After all, rental agreements are legally binding.
In addition, you must make sure that all terms adhere to the Residential Tenancies Act.
Are Saskatchewan tenants required to pay a Security Deposit?
Yes, most landlords require their tenants to pay a security deposit prior to moving into a rental unit or property. The deposit helps cushion a landlord against financial ruin arising from a tenant’s negligent actions.
Basic rules regarding deposits in Saskatchewan:
• Security Deposit Limit: It must be equivalent to the rent of one month. Tenants can pay it in two installments. That is, 50% when they are just moving into the rental unit, and the other 50% within two months of moving in.
• Pet- and Key Deposit: As a landlord, you can charge your tenants both a pet fee and a key deposit.
• Security Deposit Storage: You must store a tenant’s deposit in a trust account. You must also pay any interest accrued to the tenant if the Saskatchewan tenancy has lasted for at least 5 years.
• Security Deposit Return: You must return the deposit 7 days after the tenant moves out.
Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
What are some of the basic Rights and Responsibilities tenants have in Saskatchewan?
As already mentioned, tenants have certain rights and obligations under the Residential Tenancy Act regulations.
Tenants have a right to:
• A right to enjoy their properties in peace and quiet.
• A right to live in a habitable rental property that adheres to Saskatchewan safety, health and building codes.
• Right to access their units without restrictions from the landlord or their agent.
• Right to display election advertising during the electioneering period.
Tenants are responsible for:
• Ensuring they pay rent on time.
• Respecting all terms of the lease agreement.
• Reporting all maintenance issues as soon as they spot them.
• Keeping the premises in a clean and sanitary condition.
• Notifying the landlord when they are looking to move out.
• Repairing damages they cause.
What basic rights do landlords in Saskatchewan have?
Landlords have a right to:
• Impose rules. As a landlord, you have a right to impose additional rules besides those set out in the Saskatchewan tenancy agreement. Just make sure they are reasonable, written and legally binding.
• Enter rented premises. As a landlord, you have a right to enter a tenant’s unit to perform your responsibilities. For instance, to do repairs, respond to an emergency, in response to a court order, or in case the tenant abandons the unit with proper notice.
• Increase rent. You can increase rent in a periodic tenancy. Prior to this, though, you must serve the tenant with a 12 months’ notice if you intend to increase the rent amount.
• Charge a late fee if included in the lease agreement. Please note that the fee will only be lawful if it’s a “reasonable pre-estimate of damages” and not a penalty.
As a landlord, you have a responsibility to:
• Notify the tenant when looking to make changes to the rental agreement.
• Ensure the rental premises are habitable.
• Repair and maintain the rental unit.
• Provide all facilities and services promised in the lease agreement.
• Notify your tenant when their lease ends with a notice to vacate.
• The Residential Tenancies Act Saskatchewan, 2006
• The Residential Tenancies Regulations Saskatchewan, 2007
Disclaimer: The information herein is only intended to be informational and not a substitute for professional legal advice.
While there might be a lot to consider regarding Saskatchewan landlord-tenant laws, a professional property management company can help you draft excellent leases and take over the day-to-day aspects of management. If you have more questions, please get in touch with us via our contact form.