Archive for the ‘British Columbia Tenants’ Category

BC Tenants Speak Out: “Close the Fixed Term Lease Loophole”

Monday, October 16th, 2017

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Tenants Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry

As part of our “Let’s Improve the British Columbia Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the BC Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the BC rental industry. Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com

BC Tenants Speak Out:  We Need To End This Ridiculous Loophole That Allows Landlords To Jack Up Rents Now!

This is just my opinion and hopefully others will agree with me.  It’s about time landlords actually invited BC tenants to speak about our how stressful it is to even find a half decent, affordable apartment these days. It’s hard for us hard working tenants to even begin to understand how landlords think.

After all, the reality is you need us to pay your mortgages and with the high rents you charge you are probably not only paying off your mortgage but also raking in lots of extra cash for the next Ferrari or Porche SUV for your teenage son.

I think one of the first things we need to do to improve the rental industry is quickly close the ridiculous loophole that gives free reign for bad landlords to jack up rents on hard working tenants who are struggling already just to make ends meet.

From my own experience this is how bad landlords use the loophole to rip off tenants. When I was looking for my last apartment the landlord only offered me a what is called a fixed term lease for one year only.

In the lease they demanded I sign a tiny weird little box they said to “check”.

The little box seemed so insignificant at the time and the landlord never even tried to explain what it really meant. So I checked off that tiny little box without even thinking about it. Only later did I find out how that tiny little box could influence my life and hurt me financially as well as giving me unneeded stress that led to migrains and physical ailments.

By checking off on the “little box” I found that even though I told the landlord I was going to stay at least a couple of years I would have to vacate the apartment at the end of one year or sign a new lease, kind of like starting over like I was a new applicant, like I didn’t just spend a year of my life there and pay 12 months of hard earned, too high rent money.

After one year was over I thought what the landlord and I agreed to the year before would apply. We agreed for me to stay two years but would sign an annual lease because that was their policy. “Sure, fine, at least it’s a home for me and my five year old and close to work” I thought at the time.

Let’s face it,  if you are a Tenant in British Columbia these days you don’t have a lot of choices and need to get what you can just to survive.

At the end of the lease the landlord told me for me to stay I would have to sign a brand new lease instead of just changing the date on the current one. I thought at least the lease would go month by month on the same terms. 

“Shouldn’t the landlord work to keep a good paying client like me in their rental unit for as long as possible?” I thought.

When the landlords presented the new lease for me saying “if you want to continue living in MY apartment” everything was the same except for the date and…a much higher rent!

In British Columbia we have a rent increase guideline so landlords can’t gouge tenants with huge rent increases. 

Or so I thought. After challenging the landlord on the much higher rent she explained because this was a new fixed term lease, the terms can change…because I checked that little tiny, apparently insignificant at the time, little box.

The little box impacted my life in a negative way. I never expected to pay so much higher, and with my already tight budget for healthy food, extra classes I was taking, and some clothes and recreational activities for my child, it meant big changes in my life just to keep living in my home.

I’m no fool and learned an important lesson.

The system allows unscrupulous landlords to gouge hard working BC Tenants by allowing them to bypass the annual rent increase guideline.

After doing some research it looks like a landlord group called ROMS BC lobbied to get this “little box” added to leases.

I don’t know if it’s true, but if this is so it makes the situation even worse because if landlords specifically made this happen it’s not fair because tenants didn’t have a say in the process.. It’s really shocking and every BC landlord and BC tenant should read it, if that’s how things really happened. The weird thing they say the fixed term lease box actually helps tenants.

Maybe the “box” makers had good intentions, but at least in my honest opinion and experience it’s being abused.

The problem is landlords network and they are kind of ‘unified’ in all making us check that little box. That little, nasty, life-altering box that is playing a key role in destroying the entire social fabric of our province is becoming less fair every day. 

Fixed term leases with that little box are creating leases that are weaponized to create harm and grief for thousands of people. It’s time to end this loophole, now! This way we can make things more fair for landlords and all the tenants here in need of housing stability to build our lives and help our children be successful for the future of our province.

It’s time to end this loophole now! This way we can make things more fair for good landlords and tenants who need housing stability to protect our families. This is just my opinion but hopefully others will read it and agree and it will lead to positive change.

Thank you for your time reading this.

 

BC Landlords Want To Hear From BC Tenants – How Can We Improve The British Columbia Rental Industry?

Friday, October 6th, 2017

BC Landlords BC Tenants Win Win Campaign

Landlords and Tenants: Let’s Work Together To Improve the British Columbia Rental Industry

There has been a lot debate on the state of the BC rental industry recently. Everything from landlords dealing with serious damages to their rental properties and tenants who don’t pay rent and rent increases that are too low to tenants complaining about ‘renovictions‘ and the high cost of rent.

Because this our landlord members have come together to try to get past all the confusion and want to work with BC tenants to form solutions. The reality is good landlords are looking for good tenants and good tenants are looking for good landlords and high quality, affordable rental housing. So let’s make this happen! 

BC Tenants Let Your Voices Be Heard By Small BC Landlords

Many of the rental properties in our province are due to the investment of small investors who become small landlords. Some people call us “mom and pop” landlords but whatever you call us we are the stake holders who have invested our hard earned money into BC rental properties.

Many Small Landlords Were Renters Not That Long Ago

You won’t usually see this in the media, but the reality is many small landlords were renting ourselves not that long ago. We rented while studying at university or while looking for a job. So we know how important it is for landlords to offer high quality, afford housing from our first hand, personal experiences.

A Vancouver landlord wrote in:

“I invested in my condo and made sure it was exactly the type of place I always wanted to rent. I also want to make sure I’m the ideal landlord who is service oriented and caring. Did anyone see that silly movie a few years ago called “Hot Tub Time Machine”? Well if I could go back in time I would want to rent from me now.”

Let’s Get More People Investing and Creating High Quality Rentals

Good landlords know it’s important for us to have high quality, well-maintained properties that will attract good paying tenants. We also need to make sure we have fair rules that will lead more good people to invest.

A Surrey landlord explained her goals and why she became a landlord:

“As a small business owner I don’t have a pension. My rental property is to protect me and help me when I’m retired. Nothing nefarious here, only my investment property and my hope to keep finding good renters who appreciate me and respect the rental property.”

In What Ways Do BC Tenants Want to Improve the BC Rental Industry?

Help us help you by providing your thoughts and opinions on how we can improve the BC rental industry.

1. What are you looking for when choosing a rental property?

2. How important is it for you to be near public transportation?

3. Where is your “go to” place to look for a rental?

4. What qualities are you looking for in a landlord?

5. Do you have any thoughts or opinions on improving the BC rental industry?

Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com and let us know your answers to these questions or about anything else to improve the BC rental industry. We won’t edit or censor anything and are looking for your side of things.

British Columbia Landlords and Tenants Working Together For Success

Both landlords and tenants play an important role in the success of our province. Let’s work together to make things better and improve the BC rental industry for years to come.

The Vancouver Tenant Rent Bank Is Starting to Help BC Tenants

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

November 1st, 2012

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 A Project Aimed to Assist People in Bad Financial Situations Pay Rent Is Beginning For Vancouver Tenants

What is the Rent Bank?

Thanks to the Streettohome Foundation and the Radcliffe Foundation, tenants in Vancouver who are in danger of becoming homeless will get a life-line.

What’s the Life-Line?

The Radcliffe Foundation has contributed over $350,000 to Streettohome’s Rent Bank which will allow renters to apply for loans to help pay rent.

Can You Provide More Details?

According to the CEO of the Streetohome Foundation, this seed money for tenants in need will assist people who need money to pay their rent and keep a roof over their heads.

What Are the Details About the Loans?

The loans are for emergencies only.

They are interest free and made only a one time basis to help cover rent, a rent deposit or utility fees.

How Are the Funds Delivered?

The funds are sent directly to the landlord.  This is very different than in provinces such as Ontario where payments are sent to tenants and not landlords, often leading to landlord/tenant problems.

The tenant has up to two years to pay it back. This is a good example of a way to help tenants who need a hand.

How Many People Will This Help?

This will help at least 1,600 renters avoid eviction in Vancouver per year.

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Instead of Blaming Landlords, Vancouver Tenants Have a  Way to Avoid Eviction When Times Are Tough.