Posts Tagged ‘rental bylaws’

B.C. Landlord Fined for Renting Her Garden Shed

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

December 26th, 2012


A B.C. landlord has been fined $500 for renting out a garden shed to a homeless couple and their 3 dogs

Renting Out Their Shed?

It sounds unbelievable but it actually happened. It’s like a strange story you would see on television.

Where Did This Happen in B.C.?

It happened in Kelowna. A woman rented out her shed to a homeless family with three dogs.

Was She Actually Charging For It?

Yes. Rent was set at $200/month. The unit was supplied with electricity via a power cord to the landlord’s house.

How Long Was the Family Living There?

Bylaw officers are not sure. However they warned the landlord renting her shed out was not legal accommodation and the arrangement would have to end.

Did the Landlord Comply?

No. The landlord ignored the warning according to city of Kelowna spokesperson Stephen Fleming.

What Type of Shed Was It?

The spokesperson described it as a typical shed you would put out in your garden. It was metal. He made clear it was not a suitable place for a family to be living in.Not only is it a huge fire hazard, it’s also not winterized to handle the rapidly falling temperatures we are facing. No insulation, no central heating, nothing.

What’s Going To Happen to the Renters?

Fleming said the renters won’t be blamed. And he said the landlord could easily rent the family a room in her own house. Or they would help the family find a shelter that accepts pets. There are also rent banks available in British Columbia.

What’s Going to Happen to the Landlord?

The landlord was fined. We recommend is she wants to be a landlord she needs to seriously consider either renting out rooms in her house or buying an investment property. She can hire professional property managers to avoid issues with bylaw officials.

Rental bylaw confusion

Sunday, December 11th, 2011


Dear Condo Smarts: I purchased a unit for investment purposes in 2007 with the intent that someday my wife and l would retire to Victoria.

Since our purchase, our daughter has resided in the unit as a family member with no incident. She has also served on council for one term, with the thanks of the owners in the building.

The newly elected strata council sent us a notice that we have to provide a Form K under the rental bylaw, and if we fail to provide the Form K, we are subject to the $500 fine of the rental bylaw.

We responded to the council that she has been a resident for more than four years, we are not in violation of the rental bylaw and have no intention of completing a form. The council has now imposed a $500 fine on us for failing to provide the form.

How can a strata council impose a fine for a bylaw that we are exempt from?

Evan Dyer

Dear Evan: The Form K (notice of tenant’s responsibilities) is a requirement

under the Strata Property Act for any landlord-tenant relationship in a strata.

There is no exemption from a Form K requirement.

The real impact and risks of not providing the Form K, however, rest with the landlord, not the strata corporation or the tenant.

The landlord must give the prospective tenant the current bylaws and rules, and a copy of the Form K. Within two weeks of renting, the landlord then has to provide a copy of the signed notice to the strata corporation.

If the landlord fails to comply, the tenant is still bound by the bylaws and rules, and may within 90 days of learning of the landlord’s failure to comply, end the tenancy without penalty by giving notice to the landlord.

Under these terms, the landlord must also pay the tenant’s reasonable moving expenses to a maximum of one month’s rent.

Here’s where a bylaw for a Form K is a bit tricky.

If the rules and bylaws still apply, and the landlord is subject to incurred penalties by the tenant, why would the strata corporation care about the tenant?

Under Section 35 of the act, the strata must maintain a list of names of owners and tenants. The recordkeeping is also essential for emergency and safety purposes.

As a result, many strata corporations include the providing of a Form K as part of the bylaws, but what fine is the strata permitted to impose, and at what frequency?

The strata corporation may only restrict the rental of a strata lot by a bylaw that limits the number or percentage of units that may be rented, or the period of time units may be rented. The limitation in the act does not include a Form K as part of a rental bylaw.

The only provision for a $500 fine is if the landlord is renting in contravention of a bylaw that limits or prohibits rentals.

As a family member, your daughter is exempt from the rental restriction bylaw, but you must still provide a Form K.

The maximum amount for any fine permitted by the regulations, for bylaws other than rentals, is $200, and it’s arguable as to whether this particular fine is permissible at all.

We know one recurring problem about bylaws in strata corporations that many strata councils and owners forget. You can adopt almost any type of bylaw, but is it enforceable? And if not, what will be the cost to the strata corporation?

Disputing the enforceability of bylaws after the fact is a costly venture for strata corporations and owners. Before you adopt a new bylaw, legal advice is necessary to ensure your new bylaws comply with the Strata Property Act, the regulations, the B.C.

Human Rights Code and any other enactment of law.

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