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3.4 Emergency Repairs

For a repair to be considered an “emergency”, it must be all three of the following things:

  1. Urgent
  2. Necessary for health or safety of people or property
  3. Made for the purpose of repairing one of the following:
    1. major leaks in pipes or the roof
    2. damaged or blocked water or sewer pipes or plumbing fixtures
    3. the primary heating system
    4. damaged or defective locks that give access to a rental unit
    5. the electrical systems

Yes, but you must follow the proper steps. If your situation meets the definition of an emergency, you should try to contact your landlord’s emergency contact number at least twice. Your landlord is required to give you this emergency contact number in writing, or post it in a common area of your rental building.

If you are unable to reach the emergency contact person you can pay to have the repairs completed, and then ask your landlord to pay you back. However, you must make a reasonable effort to find a fair price.  This means that you should be prepared to provide your landlord with a list of prices from a number of companies. Make sure to keep all of the original receipts, as well as copies of all communication with your landlord.

Taking on emergency repairs yourself can be complicated and expensive!  If you don’t have the money to pay for the repairs, don’t have the time to deal with them, or are worried that you may not follow the proper steps, you can always apply for dispute resolution to request an emergency repair order.

Emergency repairs can be somewhat tricky to understand. Complete the activity on the next page to practice your skills at identifying emergency repairs.