The Ontario Residential Tenancies Act requires landlords to be responsible for the maintenance of the rental unit.

It also requires landlords to allow their tenants to have a reasonable level of enjoyment in the property.

What if these two aspects of the law clash?

This is yet another challenge Ontario Landlords face.

We can this this type of class going on in three buildings near Metcalfe and Somerset Streets in Ottawa.

According to CBC News tenants in the buildings claim the construction work going on by Taggart Realty Management is harming their reasonable enjoyment of their rental units.

According to the tenants, the loudest repair work is done in the evening when tenants come home from work.

Tenant Lisa Blais says the constant loud noise has been going on since May of this year.

In response Blais and her partner have created the Centretown Tenants Association.

The goal of the association is to demand Taggart Realty Management takes their concerns seriously and address them.

According to Blais, “The way that Taggart is doing this, by doing it in the evening hours and by using the tools and the drills and the jackhammers the way they are, incessantly, is unfair.

They are demanding:

  1. A 25% rent reduction (to be retroactive to when the repairs began)
  2. Fines against the landlord

She said 70 people have joined the association, including tenants from two nearby buildings who are also affected by construction.

When a tenant complained about a foul odour was giving her headaches, the landlord offered to provide temporary housing for until the smell went away.

Taggart and the tenants association met a couple of weeks ago to attempt to mediate the issue. So far it has been unsuccessful.

Are Tenant Complaints Above the Law that Non-Tenants Follow? Do Tenants Have Special Rights?

It’s a common tenant complaint that landlords don’t make repairs or improvements on their rental buildings. The Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board even have a special ‘Tenants Rights’ form (T6) to force landlords to do repairs.

We’ve heard numerous times from landlords that, like in this case, tenants also complain when landlords do repairs or make improvements to their rental properties.

We ask: Has Taggert Realty Management broken any bylaws?

You don’t have to be a renter to be inconvenienced by a neighbor doing repairs to their house.

Or the City doing roadwork near you.

We have noise bylaws for a reason.

It’s common for construction companies to do work in the evening…until the bylaws say it’s time to shut down.

Doesn’t complaining work is being done in the evening discriminate against those who work at night and people who stay at home during the day?

Does the Residential Tenancies Act trump the laws non-tenants have to follow?

We are going to follow this case carefully.

To Discuss this and Other Ottawa Landlord and Tenant Issues go to the Ontario Landlord Forum.