Archive for the ‘Victoria landlords’ Category

BC Landlords Pet-Friendly Rental Housing Campaign

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

British Columbia Landlords pet campaign

BC Landlords Pet Campaign – Let’s Get Good Landlords and Good Tenants Working Together To Create Safe and Successful Pet Friendly Rental Properties in British Columbia!

We receive a lot of forum messages and emails from BC Landlords and Tenants. One of the most common topics is about pets.

On the one hand tenants says they are having hard times finding rental properties because they have a pet. They find many landlords get wary when they find out they will have their pet living with them. Some landlords will even refuse the tenant applicant outright.

On the other hand we also get tonnes of messages from BC landlords and their side of the issue. Many landlords say they are animal lovers and understand the importance of having pets. After all, many landlords have dogs, cats, fish, birds, etc. themselves.

The problem they face is they are small, residential landlords and not corporate landlords. This means they have limited budgets and worry about the costs involved in cleaning up after tenants who were irresponsible owners move out.

What’s the Solution for BC Landlords and Tenants with Pets?

The key is for all parties to work together with the shared goal of creating a great situation for everyone involved. In order to help do this it’s important to take a fact based approach that serves all members of the community.

In order to get these facts we contacted the BC SPCA. Their very helpful and informative Outreach Team provided some very useful information:

Question 1: Are companion animals often surrendered to the BC SPCA for housing related reason?

Unfortunately yes, we see a high number of animals surrendered every year because people cannot find a place to live with their companion animals.

Question 2: What type of numbers are we talking about?

The numbers fluctuate year to year, but on average 20% of our surrenders province wide cite problems relating to housing as the reason for surrendering. In 2015 we adopted out 15,811 animals, meaning approximately 3,100 of those animals were surrendered by their original guardians because they could not find a place to live that would take animals.

These situations are always heart breaking- no one should have to give up a family member because they cannot find pet-friendly living space.

Question 3: Can you share some general tips on what types of fair questions might be helpful for small landlords to ask when a potential pet owning tenant wants to rent from them?

Aside from general questions about the type of animal, age, and spay/ neuter status it is often good to ask about what kind of care plan they have in place for their animal.

-Does their dog go to daycare or do they have a dog walker that takes them out while the guardian is at work?

-What kind of exercise plan do they have for their animal?

-How regularly do they visit a veterinarian?

-Does their dog go to daycare or do they have a dog walker that takes them out while the guardian is at work?

-What kind of exercise plan do they have for their animal?

-What kind of enrichment items or activities do you have at home to keep their animal occupied while they are out?

Getting answers to these kinds of questions can give the landlord a better idea of how responsible the guardian is, and what type of behaviour they can expect from the animal.

A well socialized, entertained, exercised animal will usually express less troublesome behaviour than one who is not.

Question 4: Landlords are often worried about responsible grooming habits for pets.  What are some fair and helpful questions a landlord might ask that could help them feel more comfortable with this worry?

Questions about nail trimming for cats & dogs is a good to ask as there is sometimes a concern about scratching floors or furniture.

Having regular nail trimmings, and scratching toys can reduce the risk of that kind of damage- however it is fair to note that scratched floors can happen by pushing a chair back from a table, or wearing shoes indoors just as easily.

A FIREPAW study found that “there is no statistically significant damage between tenants with pets and tenants without pets”.

On average FIREPAW found that “tenants with pets in pet-friendly housing stay an average for 46 months compared to 18 months for tenants residing in rentals prohibiting pets”.

For a landlord this means less lost income looking for tenants, and less hassle arranging for move outs/ins, cleaning, advertising, and interviewing new tenants.

Question 5: We read about the idea of pet resume.  Could you tell us how that works and how it can be helpful for both small landlords and tenants?

The BC SPCA has a sample pet resume available online that we encourage potential tenants to use when looking for housing.

We find that many landlords are hesitant renting to tenants with animals simply because they do not know what the animal will be like; a pet resume that clearly outlines the personality of the animal, any training and experience the animal has had, and what kind of health and grooming considerations he/she may have can alleviate the fear of the unknown.

It gives a great snapshot of what to expect from the animal- just like an interview assists a landlord in knowing what to expect of the tenant.

Question 6: Do you have any general tips to help pet loving landlords encourage other landlords to be open about renting to tenants with pets?

Focus on the benefits of having pet friendly rentals: longer tenancy, alleviating the problem of homeless animals and potential for higher rental income (pet guardians tend to be willing to pay more for a pet-friendly space).

The greatest impact for changing someone’s mind is to focus on the positive results of a choice, instead of just trying to dispel myths.

Question 7: Does the BC SPCA have any workshops or events to help landlords learn to be good ‘pet friendly’ landlords?

We do not have anything at the moment, however please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions and we will be happy to accommodate.

BC Landlords and Pets

We again want to thank the very helpful BC SPCA Outreach team for their advice and information.

The reality is there are a lot of tenants out there who have pets and it’s a terrific market for small residential landlords.

Tenants should know the financial concerns that small, residential landlords face.

By understanding each other, both landlords and tenants (and their pets) can find nice, safe homes.

Victoria Council: B.C. Must Have More Control and Checks on Housing Assistance

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

July 1st, 2012


What is the Latest News from the Victoria, B.C. Council?

This real issue is whether or not Victoria landlords are benefiting from B.C.  government money (directly or indirectly) by illegally housing tenants who receive government rental or income assistance.

What does this Mean?

It’s a serious situation.  It leaves the City of Victoria in the unenviable position of having to evict weak tenants out of their rental properties.

What is the Victoria City Council Going to Do?

The City of Victoria  council voted unanimously to, wait for it, write a letter to the province.  The letter included (1) a  request that it take more precautions to ensure recipients of rental assistance or other income assistance are living housing that is properly zoned and permitted.

Councillor Madoff said: “A property will come forward, where the city has become aware, via a complaint, that there may be illegal occupancy or work done without a permit.”

She continued by stating: “What happens is we’re the ones that are put into an enforcement role. (That) can result in people being displaced from their accommodation, when many of them are actually having their rent paid or subsidized through the provincial government.”

Furthermore: “It’s happened several times in the last few months” Madoff complained.

What are Some Examples?

For instance, this spring bylaw officers discovered an totally illegal rooming house at 830-832 Queens Ave. The rooming house contained 10 to 12 unrelated adults. The landlord was even living in an illegal suite located inside the duplex!

“We feel that there should be some due diligence on the part of the provincial government to make sure that when they are putting folks in accommodation, that the accommodation is legal for the use,” Madoff said. “It’s just been really difficult for us on the planning committee, because we feel like we’re the ones displacing folks.”

What Does the Ministry of Social Development Say?

A spokesperson with the Ministry of Social Development, which is responsible for housing, said responsibility lies with the landlord and the municipality.

“Under the Residential Tenancy Act, landlords must comply with health, safety and housing standards required by law,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to the News. “This includes local government bylaws.

The spokesperson continued by stating: “If the city is having zoning issues with privately owned landlord buildings, then that is a municipal responsibility; B.C.  has no jurisdiction. Local government has the responsibility and the authority to enforce their own bylaws.”