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Fixtures and Alterations in a Rental Property

There may be a time when your tenants request to make alterations or additions to the property they’re renting to make it more “livable” for them. However, they cannot make these alterations unless the landlord gives them permission to do so.

Are tenants allowed to make alterations?

Before giving the tenant your approval, ensure you have given careful considerations regarding the long-term effect of the alteration to the value of your property.

Ideally, tenants may be allowed to install a fixture or make minor structural changes as long as the landlord agrees to it. Before any alteration or addition of fixtures are carried out, the following should be established first:

  • Request should be put in writing
  • The nature of the fixture or alterations should be described
  • Include information as to how the fixture can be removed or how the property can be restored back to its former state if need be

It is a necessary step for the landlord and tenant to discuss the matter firsthand and come up with a mutual decision that is convenient for both parties. As a landlord, it is worth considering your tenant’s needs and understand the fact that sometimes there is a need to add fixtures or alter some parts of the premise in order to provide your client more comfort. On the other hand, tenants must also keep in mind that the property they’re living in is owned by the landlord and that any changes made to it could affect the property’s value in the long-term.

Can the landlord deny the tenant’s request for alterations or installation of fixtures?

Landlords can only refuse installations or alterations. In the event that the tenant feels like the landlord is being unreasonable for withholding consent, they may apply to the Tribunal for an order allowing alteration or installation of fixture to the property.

What if the landlord did not consent to the alteration?

The landlord can do either one of two things:

Apply to the Tribunal

The landlord can opt to take legal action by applying to the Tribunal. If their appeal is successful, the fixture may be removed and they may receive a compensation.

Renounce the Breach

Instead of treating it as a breach, the landlord can waive the change or the fixture installation and treat it as a property improvement instead.