Canada Landlords Association


Welcome to the Website for BC Landlords

The Canada Landlords Association is a leading organization for small residential landlords across Canada. We provide a unified voice for private landlords and promote and protect residential landlord interests to national and local government. We provide a unified voice for private landlords and promote and protect landlord interests to national and local government.

  • Network with top professionals
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  • Take part in landlord activities, social events.
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B.C. Landlords Ask: How Much Can I Raise the Rent in 2014?

October 13, 2013

How much can i raise the rent in 2014

B.C. Landlords Can Raise the Rent 2.2% in 2014

More and more B.C. homeowners are creating secondary suites in their homes and becoming landlords.

There are lots of things new landlords need to learn to become successful. One of these is making sure you keep your rental property maintained. 

Maintaining Your Rental Property Is Important

Keep your property up can be costly. Some repairs are urgent and obvious. A water pipe might break. A toilet might need to be replaced.

Others might be upgrades to keep your current tenants happy or to make the property attractive to new prospective renters.

How Much Can I Raise The Rent In 2014?

Rent increases are an important part of being a landlord. In 2013 B.C. landlords are allowed to raise the rent 3.8 percent.

In 2014 B.C. landlords can raise the rent by only 2.2 percent.

Why only 2.2%?

In British Columbia the allowable rent increase is based on inflation plus 2 percent.

According to the BC Residential Tenancy Act website:

Annual rent increase

22 (1)  In this section, “inflation rate” means the 12 month average percent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index for British Columbia ending in the July that is most recently available for the calendar year for which a rent increase takes effect.

(2)  For the purposes of section 43 (1) (a) of the Act [amount of rent increase], a landlord may impose a rent increase that is no greater than the percentage amount calculated as follows:

percentage amount = inflation rate + 2%

How Does The B.C. Rent Increase Compare to Other Provinces?

While the rate is low compared to past Rent Increase Guidelines, we are actually getting a pretty good deal in B.C. compared to some other provinces.

Many B.C. landlords aren’t aware that while our Rent Increase Guideline is inflation plus 2 percent most other provinces are only based on the inflation rate.

For example in Ontario landlords can only raise the rent 0.8% in 2014.

In Manitoba landlords can only raise the rent by 2.0% in 2014.

For Landlords From Vancouver to Surrey, To Discuss the 2014 Rent Increase Guideline and Other Landlord Issues Take a Look at the B.C. Landlords Forum

Latest Craiglist Scam has BC Landlords and Tenants Angry

 October 6th, 2013

Craigslist and Kijiji rental scam

Landlords are looking for good tenants.

Tenants are looking for good landlords.

(Of course there are some bad landlords and some bad tenants out there so let them have fun dealing with each other.)

So how can landlords and tenants who both want to meet, rent out a property, and create a mutually beneficial, respectful and lawful relationship meet?

Some people use the local newspaper. More and more landlords and tenants are using Kijiji. Others are using Craigslist.

Craiglist Scam (and Kijiji too!)

This is what makes the latest Craigslist scam even more annoying and making many good landlords upset. Landlords and tenants rely on sites like Craigslist and Kijiji to meet.

We’ve seen these types of scams all over Canada. 

In fact this scam is very similar to what happened to a tenant in Newmarket and hurt a lot of people who wanted rent cottages last summer.

According to CBC News a Kamloops, B.C. landlord  says she is the victim of a fraudster on the internet.

Landlord Nicky Plato says she found out this past summer someone took information from her personal online rental listing on Kijiji.ca

What Did They Do With The Information?

Wait for it…they took the information from the Kijiji ad and created a fake ad with it on Craigslist!

What a Scam!

Yes. On a regular Sunday night Plato answered her door and met a woman who showed up at her door. It was a pizza delivery man, it was a tenant expecting to move in to her property.

According to landlord Plato this ‘tenant’ believed that it was her house and she would begin renting on September 1st.

More Details Please

The woman pointed her to the Craigslist ad.

In the ad tenants were asked for a $450 deposit to be wired to, ahem, secure the lease.

Landlord Plato Fights Back

Plato decided to fight back. She contacted the scammer. She did this by posing as a renter interested in the property.

She was absolutely astonished when the scammer sent her copies of photos of the place. The photos even included one of her in her home.

Plato said: “Literally, the hair on my arms stood up. I really didn’t think that my information would be that vulnerable when I am renting online to local people in Kamloops on Kijiji. I never thought it would be that vulnerable.”

She added “He has my address, my licence plate number, my name, my picture….everything!”

She repeated ‘flagged’ the ad according to Craiglists’ policies for this type of fraud.

It hasn’t worked and the fake landlord keeps posting it.

She even called the fake landlord and demanded he stop it. He won’t.

The RCMP said there isn’t much the force can do because it appears the scammers really are in Africa.

Plato says she just wants it to stop.

To Discuss This And Other Landlord and Tenant Issues Go To the B.C. Landlord Forum

Big Landlord and Tenant Dispute at a Downtown Eastside building

September 2nd, 2013

 BC landlord and tenant dispute

Vancouver readers we have a big dispute between a landlord and tenants (and tenants and poverty activists).

The issue is over rooms at 259 Powell.

What Is the Problem?

According to the Province the Downtown Eastside activists says the landlord has evicted a couple of people without following the rules.

They also claim the landlord has ‘bribed’ some tenants to move and speak well of the landlord to counter what the tenants say.

What’s Happening?

We have posts about bad landlords and bad tenants.

This time the issue is a little different. The conflict is about the debate over gentrification of the Downtown Eastside.

What Does the Landlord Say?

Geoffrey Howes, of Living Balance, said the company recently succeeded in legally evicting a tenant who was a “major drug dealer.”

Howes said there have been two legal evictions in the building, adding: “We have had ongoing problems with rampant drug dealing in the building.”

Howes said dealers would leave the alleyway door propped open, and threaten caretakers and other tenants. “We had strangers lining up in the hallway at all hours, needles everywhere.”

“We got support from the tenancy branch to evict the primary dealer,” he said, offering documentation from the branch.

“The fact is, the only people we evict from any properties are for nonpayment of rent or illegal activities.”

Howes said seven other tenants have left the building for other reasons.

What Do the Tenants and their Representatives Say?

At a press conference called by Pivot Legal Society on Thursday, anti-poverty activist Wendy Pederson blinked back tears and accused Living Balance owner Steven Lippman of “harassment and intimidation.”

Pivot housing lawyer DJ Larkin said: “What is happening to the residents of the York Rooms is a violation of human rights.”

Larkin added: “It is a crisis and something needs to be done now.”

To discuss this and other Vancouver landlord and tenant issues go to the BC landlord forum.

Landlords Make Sure Your Tenants Realize The Importance (and low cost) of Tenant Insurance

August 4, 2013

 Tenant Insurance

Be a Pro-Active Landlord And Protect Your Tenants and Your Properties

With summer half over and many tenancies beginning in September it’s a great time for B.C. Landlords to remind their new tenants and current tenants the importance of getting Tenant Insurance and check on the fire safety of your rental properties.

Let’s go back to April when there was a horrible fire at a Langley, B.C. housing complex that led to tragedy.

Twelve people were taken to hospital and three were in critical condition.Sadly, one person died. 

More than one hundred seniors faced loss and an uncertain future that still is ongoing.

The housing complex was at 203 Street and 54 Avenue. The fire broke out in the 2nd floor.

Tenant Margaret Mitcham was one of the ‘lucky’ ones.

When the fire broke out she saw the smoke and managed to grab her purse and escape without any injuries.

Investigators still don’t know how the fire started, but fire officials have confirmed there was no sprinkler system in the 30-year-old building, which was constructed before sprinklers were a safety requirement.

The president of the B.C. Seniors Living Association is Dave Sinclair.  Mr. Sinclair stated he thinks the government should upgrade the buildings with sprinkler systems.

Tenant / Content Insurance

Margaret Mitcham also has tenant insurance. This means she will be compensated for anything damaged not only by the fire but by the water used to battle it.

She says it is pure luck she has content insurance.

Mitcham says many of those who lived in the building don’t have insurance.

“It’s low rental here, you know, and some of them don’t have content insurance.”

Insurance Bureau of Canada spokesman Serge Corbeil says many renters routinely ignore advice to get rental insurance because they falsely believe they don’t have anything worth insuring.

“Sadly, it’s when you lose everything you realize how much you had. That type of insurance will allow you replace that,” said Corbeil.

He said policies run for as low as $20 a month. The policy will cover living expenses if your home is destroyed by a fire.

“It will also help you pay for those additional living expenses, so if you can’t live in the building you occupy before for awhile, your insurance will help you cover the cost of putting you in a hotel for some time.”

He estimates up to half of all renters don’t carry fire insurance.

B.C. Landlords Make Sure Your Tenants Are Aware of the Importance of Tenant Insurance

B.C. Activists Want to Copy The Ontario Landlord and Tenant System

July 2nd, 2013

B.C. landlord and tenant rules Ontario 

Do B.C. Landlords and Tenants Really Want To Follow the Failed Ontario Landlord and Tenant System?

According to an article in the Vancouver Sun  a coalition of legal and tenant’s rights groups want to change the rules for landlords and tenants in British Columbia.

They want to put emphasis on the need to enhance the provincial laws protecting renters.

Because B.C. landlords have it so easy, right?

Not quite

Several groups recommend to make modifications to the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act that governs the renters and landlords relations.

It was pointed out that the B.C. law hasn’t been changed for years and the tenant’s protection has plunged after other provinces like Ontario.

Yes, Ontario.

Where small landlords are struggling to keep afloat and losing thousands of dollars is common.

Where landlords don’t have the tools to deal with serious problems.

Proposed changed to B.C.’s residential tenancy system are as follows:

1.      Putting Off Landlord Retaliation

Supposedly tenants have no defense against their landlord’s retaliation for exercising their rights, like getting their landlord to the Residential Tenancy Branch.

2.      The Right of First Refusal

When tenants are removed from their units for renovation, they should be permitted to return to their units at the previous rental rate. This is the case in other provinces like in Ontario.

3.      Increased Amount of Compensation

When the unit is under repair, the amount of compensation for eviction should be higher from the present one month’s rent to three months, just like in Ontario.

4.      Reinforce Rent Controls

The most permissible rental increase is base on the annual rate of inflation with additional 2%. According to the coalition, the permissible increase is either the inflation rate or a maximum of 2.5%, if the inflation rate is lesser.

5.      Increased Grace Period for Delayed Rent

The eviction notice for nonpayment can be cancelled if the tenants are able to pay their rent and utilities in 5 days. The coalition proposed giving tenants 10 days instead.

Fortunately the NDP lost the recent election. We are calling on the government to start focusing on helping small landlords succeed.

Successful small landlords means more high quality, affordable housing for good tenants. If this is the goal of our provincial government, Ontario is the last place to look for true solutions.

To discuss this and other B.C. landlord and tenant rules and issues go to the B.C. landlord forum

B.C. Supreme Court Favours Landlord in Email Dispute with Renter

June 1st, 2013

 Bc landlords tenant email

 

Tenants thinking of using email to harass their landlords should think again

We thought we had heard all the issues BC landlords face before. And if we haven’t heard it in British Columbia, we thought it must have happened before in the rest of Canada.

This is a new one: email harassment.

According to a report in Straight.com, a B.C. Supreme Court ruling sends a very clear message for tenants who bombard their landlords with emails.

The tenant filed an application for a judicial review of a Residential Tenancy Branch decision ending their tenancy.

In February of 2012, one tenant put up an advertisement for a roommate to help pay the rent for the unit they were living in.

A potential tenant saw the ad, replied and paid two months of rent plus a security deposit. On April 19th, 2012 the first and this new roommate got into an argument.

The landlord is Commonwealth Holding Co. Ltd. They issued an eviction notice.

A Residential Tenancy Branch dispute-resolution officer upheld the order in part because the first tenant “had unreasonably disturbed the landlord with a large volume of emails”.

Also included as grounds were “Subletting the unit and interfering with other tenants’ enjoyment of the building.”

Justice Miriam Gropper dismissed the first tenants application for a judicial review of a Residential Tenancy Branch decision ending their tenancy.

In dismissing her appeal, Gropper wrote, “I find the DRO’s conclusion that the volume and tone of the tenants e-mails to the landlord constituted an unreasonable disturbance of the landlord reasonable.”

To discuss this and other landlord and tenant issues go the the British Columbia landlord forum

Thinking of Becoming a Landlord? Secondary Suites May Be The Answer

May 1st, 2013

BC landlord secondary suite

Living on the North Shore may be desirable, but it is incredibly expensive. For this very reason, many people are looking into becoming a landlord by incorporating a secondary suite into their home in order to cover a little bit of mortgage, while also providing a small bit of profit.

Being a landlord can be challenging and there are potential challenges ahead, the rules and laws in British Columbia are very fair for landlords compared to other provinces such as Ontario, as this Barrie, Ontario landlord story shows.

The definition of a secondary suite in a building is a dwelling which is completely separate from the main dwelling. For example, this could mean a basement suite, which is perhaps the most popular on the North Shore.

If you are planning to incorporate a secondary suite into your home then it is important that you follow a few rules and regulations to ensure that you are not only acting legally, but also to ensure that you will not be putting anybodys life in danger. Follow these rules, and you should be fairly fine, and may be able to even turn a profit if you have a bit of space to rent out.

1.     It doesn’t matter how much space you have in your property, the law currently states that you can only have one secondary suite in a single-family building. You are also unable to divide this and sell it out. You can only rent it.

2.     The owner of the property must live in the property. They are either allowed to occupy the primary dwelling or the secondary suite.

3.     The secondary suite cannot cover an area more than 40 per cent of the entire area of the property. However, it can only be a maximum of 969 square feet.

4.     The secondary suite must have its own exit to the exterior of the property. You cannot exit through the primary dwelling.

5.     There must be an off-street space to park a car for those that will be residing in the secondary suite.

6.     All of the floors and walls within the suites and any corridors need to be fire rated to ensure they are not a hazard to the residents in the event of a fire.

7.     There must be an electrical sub-panel especially for the use of those that live within the secondary suite.

8.    The minimum height of the ceiling has to be six feet and eight inches. This needs to be everywhere within the secondary unit.

9.     Both the primary and the secondary suite should have their own separate heating and ventilation system.

If you want to get the most value out of your property then it does make sense financially to add a secondary suite to the building, even if you do have to carry out a couple of modifications. You may want to get in touch with the local building inspectors to check if you are doing it right, after all, this will help avoid fines and any other penalties in the future.

To discuss this and other landlord issues and opportunities for people in British Columbia go to the free BC Landlord Forum , the #1 landlord forum in BC.

BC Landlords – Should the Residential Tenancy Act be Changed To Allow Pets?

April 1st, 2013

 DJ-2502-Pets

 

According to a report in the Vancouver Observer, when Renée Stephen and her cat moved from Ontario to Vancouver in 2010 she came with huge aspirations.

However, she explained when she started rooting through the house listings on Craigslist she hit a problem. She found BC landlords didn’t seem to accept pets. There was next to nothing which was ‘cat friendly’ and those that were ‘cat friendly’ were of an incredibly poor quality. This was a stark difference to Ontario landlords where almost everything listed was able to accept cats.

Tenant Anthony Incardona suffered the same problem except he face it with his three year old dog. He found that only around 5% of the accommodation available in Vancouver was able to accept dogs.  He also found those places which did accept them were of a very poor quality.

So why is this?

Well, Vancouver has one of the lowest amount of vacancies available in Canada, which means that landlords can pretty much pick and choose who they want in their accommodation. It is bad enough for a normal renter to find accommodation, but when you throw pets into the mix it gets a great deal harder. Tenants complain the can scroll rental ads for hours every single day and still not come anywhere close to finding the right accommodation if you have a pet.

There may be a solution in the near future however, and that involves the BC Residential Tenancy Act Section 18 changing. This is the section of the legislation which allows Landlords in the area to exclude pets if they wish. A couple of years ago there was an attempt to change the legislation, but sadly there was too much support on the landlord front.

The problem is, many owners are actually finding accommodation that is completely pet free. Nowadays, one of the top reasons as to why pets are brought into shelters is because they can’t find the right accommodation, so they need to give up their pets. As a result, these animal shelters are pushed to overflow.

One of the main reasons as to why landlords exclude pets is to protect their properties, and nobody is disputing that they have the right to do that. This is why the SPCA has developed a toolkit which includes a pet policy so that the owner’s responsibility with their pets around is set in stone, which means there can be no arguments.

It was back in 2009 that Hollyburn Properties attempted to evict all of the pet owners after their latest rental acquisition. The main reason behind this was potential health risks that could be a result of animals in the building. Their policy still hasn’t changed since that time.

What many landlords need to realize is that families are looking to rent, who some see as the best tenants, and yet nowadays, the majority of families include pets.

Pet-friendly housing remains an issue here, but it isn’t in Ontario. In fact, tenants have a right to pets and there is nothing that landlords can do to prohibit them. All tenants are responsible for any damage caused to their unit by a pet.

The people in this story eventually managed to find accommodation for them and their pet, but it wasn’t plain sailing, and they certainly did not end up with the accommodation that they wanted.

 

BC Landlords What Do You Think? To Discuss This And Other Landlord Tenant Issues Welcome to the BC Landlord Forum

Vancouver Tenants Celebrate! Vacancy Rates Edge Up, Landlords Offering Incentives

February 21st, 2013
BC landlords vancouver vancancy rates tenant competition

Increase in vacancy rate in Vancouver Leads To Competition Among Landlords

Hollyburn representative Allen Wasel says their incentives are designed to get good tenants to come and view their apartments.

Spencer says she thinks it clearly a good time to be a tenant looking for a rental property.

Joy Pecknold is one of these renters. She feels it’s about time tenants received some good news as a lot of renters feel they have been given the “shaft” in 2012.

Vancouver Landlords, As Vacancy Rates Rise What Type of Incentives Are you Going to Offer in 2013? To Discuss this and other issues British Columbia landlords are talking about, go to the BC Landlord Forum.

Ontario Landlords Association – Congratulations As the OLA Landlord Forum Reaches 75,000 Posts!

February 13th, 2013

Ontario_Landlords_Association-1

We want to offer congratulations to the Ontario Landlords Association and their landlord forum for reaching 75,000 posts in February 2013.

Small landlords in British Columbia have challenges. And our challenges are growing each year. You only need to read about the recent Human Rights Commission ruling saying a landlord must pay their tenant $15,000 over a ramp!

Things also haven’t been easy in Alberta recently.

If we think landlords have it bad in British Columbia and Alberta, (and we do) have to take a look at the Ontario Landlords Association website. Now that is a tough system to be in as small landlord.

Here is a brief overview of some the Ontario rules:

1. No damage deposits

That’s right. No legal deposits are allowed. If the tenants leave garbage or damages behind you have to chase them, find them, and sue them. Good luck with that!

2. No pet deposits

Tenants have pets? Of course pets can cause some damages. Except in Ontario you can’t collect a cent as a pet deposit.

3. No pet clauses are illegal

Tenants says they don’t have pets. Then, after moving in they brings lots of dogs and cats. In Ontario there’s nothing you can do about it.

4. All tenants get free government paid for legal representation (even if they are rich)

Facing your tenant at the Landlord and Tenant Board? Tenants get free government paid for lawyers with no income checks.

5. Tenants can file claims (true or not) against landlords for free

Is your tenant angry at you?  Or wants an excuse not to pay rent? They can file against you at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board free of charge. And if they lose there are no consequences.

These points are only the start of the problems Ontario Landlords face.

We are happy our sister site is helping landlords in Ontario after years of landlord there being voiceless.

They even are approved by the Ontario government!

“The Ministry greatly values the role the Ontario Landlords Association and its members play in providing quality, affordable rental housing in Ontario and recognizes the OLA provides an important voice for small private residential landlords.”

Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Excellent work by the Ontario Landlords Association and your Ontario Landlord Forum

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