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Off-Campus Housing Services
Logo: Housing at Western University
F.A.Q.

Roommates

  • My roommate and I are on the same lease. If he leaves, do I have to cover his/her rent?
     
     
    YES. When you are on the same lease with your roommate, you are liable for his/her debts to the landlord. Your options are to seek restitution either through mediation or legal options.
  • My roommate has visitors over all the time and I can't get any studying done.
     
     
    Since your roommate is entitled to have visitors, as long as they are not causing a major disturbance, your only option is to negotiate an agreement over when visitors can be on the premises.
  • My roommate won't pay his/her portion of the phone bill. How can I make them pay?
     
     
    Short of going to court, the only way to have them pay is to set up a system whereby one roommate is responsible for certain bills and other roommate(s) are responsible for other bills. This will even out the load. It is also recommended that you have a system where all bills are paid within a certain time period of receiving the bill ... and thus noone is caught short.
  • My roommate never cleans the dishes or the bathroom.
     
     
    This could be handled by a couple of methods ... sharing the workload so that each roommate does more then their share of a particular chore that they don't mind doing ... or have the chores be given a specific monetary value and whoever does them has their rent reduced by that amount ... or agreeing to hire outside help and have the non participating roommate pay ... recognize that some roommates are going to have differing levels of acceptance and negotiate the minimum level.
  • My roommates are always using my personal items and letting me know after the fact.
     
     
    This is always a difficult issue but is usually best solved by laying down rules about which items are non "touchable" and which items are "shareable".
  • Note: Most roommate concerns are best solved when roommates discuss an agreement at the beginning of their tenancy rather then when a stressful time hits... like during mid-terms.

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Landlord / Tenant

  • My landlord promised to fix the shower four weeks ago and it has still not been fixed.
     
     
    Getting the landlord to fix any item is best done in the following manner. It is best to send a letter outlining the history of the concern. Put a date when you expect the landlord to have things corrected or at least hear from them what their timetable is for the repair. If it is not fixed and it is not a "cosmetic" issue, you can consider one or all of the following - mediation, city inspector, Landlord and Tenant Board.
  • My landlord enters my apartment without notice.
     
     
    It is a violation of the Residential Tenancies Act for the landlord to enter without notice except for some crcumstances. It is advised that you ask the landlord for notice and if the problem continues to inform the landlord of the Act.
  • My landlord has asked me to renew my lease for next year. Do I have to do this?
     
     
    No ... the law allows your lease to go month-to-month when it is over and thus you could be a continuing tenant for several years on the original lease.
  • My landlord says that I did not give written notice and that I now owe two months rent even though my lease is over.
     
     
    This is quite possible for the landlord to do as the same law that allows a tenant to go month-to-month when the lease is over also requires the tenant to give 60 days WRITTEN notice to vacate ... even if the tenant is vacating at the end of their lease. If the tenant has failed to do so, the only option they can try is to negotiate a smaller sum with the landlord.
  • I changed the locks and now the landlord says I must give them a key.
     
     
    The Residential Tenancies Act says that you can not change the lock without the landlord's permission ... and thus they would be entitled to a key.
  • Note: The answers here are noted by scenarios that are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. If you share a bathroom and/or kitchen with the owner or owner's family, the laws do not apply to your situation and you would have significantly less protection.

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Lifestyle

  • I was playing my stereo when the Police showed up at my door at 10 am and gave us a ticket for over a $200. Why did this Happen?
     
     
    London, as do some other municipalities, have a 24/7 Noise Bylaw. This do to the changing nature of work as many people have shift work, etc. Thus if your stereo or TV can be heard outside your rental unit, you could face a charge and escalating fines if the problem continues. It is probably a good idea to do a test to see how loud your stereo can be before neighbours can hear it.
  • My landlord called me and was very upset because he had a letter from the City regarding how our garbage was being put out at night. Can the landlord take action against us about this?
     
     
    Yes ... the City has an 8 day schedule so your collection day changes every week. There are also some strict guidelines about what can and cannot be put out and what type of bag/container must be used. If the landlord faces an action being taken by the City, he can pass along that action to the tenants.
  • I was drinking a beer on the sidewalk in front of my house and the police gave me a ticket. Can I not drink on my area of the street?
     
     
    Once you are off the property with alcohol, the police can charge you ... in fact most front yards have a "Road Allowance" which is technically public property and thus you could potential be charged for drinking on a portion of your front lawn. Also, be aware that any party you host, all tenants in the unit will be liable for anyone who has been drinking at their party. There is no way to legally disguise the liability for hosting a party or the sale of alcohol.
  • The Bylaw Enforcement officer came by and told us that we had to remove our car from our front yard. Can they do this?
     
     
    In London, it is illegal to park a car on the grassy portion of your front yard and driveways can only be made of a certain substance and size. Also, you can't park on the street between 3 am and 5 am. Thus it is really important to ensure you have enough parking before you rent a place... or make some arrangements to park elsewhere.
  • I am concerned about the fire safety of my apartment. Can I do anything about this?
     
     
    It is recommended that you first talk to your landlord about this. However, if you are not satisfied, you can ask for either a building or fire inspector to take a look at your place.

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