What to do if your landlord isn't fixing a problem

So what can you do if your landlord isn't addressing problems in your apartment building?

Problems, involving heat, water and pests have to be fixed within days

If you've told your landlord countless times about bed bugs in your apartment or a leaky faucet that needs to be fixed, and no action was taken, there's something you can do.

You can talk with your landlord directly. If that doesn't work, write the landlord a letter setting out what the issues are and allow a reasonable amount of time for the the problems to be fixed.

If the issues aren't resolved, you can file a complaint with the Saskatchewan Office of Residential Tenancies. 

Hearing officers have the power to order landlords to make repairs and award damages up to $20,000. 

Most complaints are dealt within six to eight weeks. Serious problems — involving heat, water and pests — must be fixed by the landlord within days. 

"Section 49 of the act requires that a landlord maintain the rental unit in good repair, fit for habitation, use and enjoyment," said Andrea Jorde, senior deputy director of the Office of Residential Tenancies. "So if they aren't doing that, then they're certainly entitled to come here and file an application."

The Office of Residential Tenancies said tenants can't be evicted for trying to enforce their rights. 

It costs $50 to file a claim, but if you're receiving social assistance the fee is waived. 

Tenants can also call public health officials to investigate pest infestations. Those officials can also order landlords to fix the problem.

"If you're not getting what you're paying for — stand up for your rights," she said.