Posts Tagged ‘Rental property’

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.

BC Landlords Question – How Much Can I Raise the Rent in 2013?

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

January 1st, 2013

How Much Can I Raise the Rent in 2013

It’s the New Year and Landlords Can Raise the Rent 3.8% in 2013

British Columbia has rent control. This means the government dictates how much you can raise the rent every year for current tenants.

A BC landlord can raise the rent 3.8% in 2013.

(In 2012, the allowable rent increase was 4.3%)

Many landlords have emailed in asking how the government comes up with this number. It is the inflation rate, with an additional 2% added on.

How Does This Compare With Other Provinces?

In Ontario the 2013 allowable rent increase is capped at 2.5%

In Manitoba the allowable rent increase is only 1%

In Alberta? The government keeps their hands off.

So how do you calculate the 3.8% rent increase?

Here is an example:

If your tenants currently paid rent of $500/month, you can increase their rent by $21.50 in 2013.

This means the tenants will have to pay $521.50/month.

What if you want to charge your tenants more?

To do this you will have to either get your tenants to agree with it (and have this written down) or serve your tenants with a dispute resolution officer’s order which approves of the higher rent increase.

How can a landlord inform their tenants about the new rent price?

According to the law in British Columbia, the landlord must serve the tenants notice of the rent increase at least 3 months before the new rent price is charged.

Make sure you give at least 3 months notice or the tenants can legally refuse to pay the rent increase.

Should a landlord give their tenants a rent increase?

Yes. Use the rent increase to improve your property. Good tenants will understand. Remember, the key is finding Good Tenants!


BC Landlords You Can Raise the Rent by 3.8% in 2013. Use This Opportunity To Generate More Cash-flow and Use This Extra Money To Improve Your Rental Property Making It Better Than Ever

Prince Rupert LandLord – Let My Tenant Nightmare Be a Warning to Other Landlords

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

December 1st, 2012


 A Prince Rupert Landlord Has A Warning For All British Columbia Landlords After Her Rental Property Has Been Left In a Shambles

This is a a story all BC landlords should read. It’s a ‘wake-up’ to make sure you conduct proper tenant screening.

Okay, Tell Me What Happened

A Prince Rupert landlord is facing thousands of dollars in losses due to bad tenants. The landlord is issuing a warning to others to make sure they do thorough tenant screening before handing over the key to their property.

The landlord says:

“I think a lot of people have had a similar situation happen, but haven’t wanted to speak about it.”

She continued by saying:

“If you have new tenants, you could be in for a surprise.”

It’s a warning this landlord hopes other landlords listen to. She says “be careful of who you rent to.” We’ve seen this warning before.

What Type of Shape Was the Property In Before the Tenants Moved In?

The 2-story rental house was renovated before being rented out. It was in terrific condition. It even had all new appliances.

What Did The Tenants Do?

After two years of living there, the tenants left the place in a shambles. This is why the landlord wants to warn others.

What Were the Damages?

The damages to the rental property were extensive. They include:

1. The Appliances

All the new appliances were destroyed. Totally unsalvageable. The dishwasher leaks water. The two year old stove has had all the wires ripped out. The refrigerator won’t keep anything cool.

2.  The Walls

Paint is chipped off everywhere. There are holes in the drywall. Even the light switches have been torn off.

3. Mould

The fan in the bathroom was ripped down and now mould is growing all over.

4. Electricity and Wiring

With wires being torn out, only half of the house has working electricity. It could have been caused by the tenants having a grow op.

5. Odours

Despite the lease saying the house was a ‘no smoking’ rental, the tenants smoked inside. The whole house now reeks of old cigarette smoke.

And added with all these damages, the tenants left owing $1,300 of rent.

It’s Horrendous!

Yes. The landlord says it’s terrible what they did.

What Does the Landlord Want to Say to Other BC Landlords?

The landlord want to tell other landlords to make sure they do proper tenant screening, including credit checks. If someone wants to rent your house, vet them thoroughly.

And if you are a landlord you have to know the laws and the rules and make sure you keep tabs on your tenants and make sure they aren’t destroying your home. If you don’t have the time to do this make sure you hire a terrific property management company.


The Warning Is Loud and Clear. Avoid Your Own Tenant Nightmare By Doing Proper Tenant Screening and Seek the Advice From Professionals If You Need Help. Discuss This And Other Landlord Issues On the BC Landlords Forum.


Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

November 1st, 2012

Why Should You Check a Tenants Credit:

A credit check helps you truly evaluate a tenant’s ability to meet their rental obligations.

When you own a rental property, the selection of an appropriate tenant is critical to the success of the landlord-tenant relationship.

As a landlord, you need to verify that all the information on a tenant’s application is legitimate and that the tenant has a history of reliability and promptness in meeting their financial obligations.

Unfortunately, tenants can provide misleading or fraudulent information on their applications. Protect yourself as much as possible from dishonest tenants.

A Credit Check is an invaluable and inexpensive tool to assist landlords in the tenant screening process. Credit reports cannot be directly obtained from credit agencies.

Screening of a tenant must go beyond a phone call to a former landlord or contacting a “character reference”.

TENANTCHECK provides landlords with a convenient opportunity to access a tenant’s credit history BEFORE entering into a tenancy agreement.

ONLY $10/check for BCLA members!

Tenant Activists Say “Stop Discrimination Against Pets!”

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

October 9th, 2012


BC Activists Want to Follow the Failed Ontario System

According to Sharon Isaak British Columbia landlords need to follow the same system Ontario landlords do when it comes to pets and rental units.

What’s the Issue?

Isaak says over half of all people in Vancouver are renters.  In fact, in some areas the numbers are up to 80%.

She wants to change the laws to make it easier for renters to have pets in their rental property.

Weren’t the Laws Already Changed?

In 2003, the Residential Tenancy Act was adjusted to help those with pets find a home.

Here’s what Isaak says: about the laws which, “were changed to allow landlords to ask for a pet deposit to encourage them to allow pets, but what we’ve seen over the years, there’s been no more changes to encourage landlords to allow pets and that needs to change.”

Why Are More Changed Needed?

Isaak says she’s seen several older tenants even forced to euthanize their pets in order to keep renting in their building.

What’s Her Proposed Solution?

However if you head out east, it’s illegal in Toronto to discriminate against a renter because they have a pet

Is that Working In Ontario?

No. The policy in Ontario has been a disaster.


In Ontario it’s legal for landlords to advertise “NO PETS” but it’s illegal to then enforce it!

Ontario Landlords Have to Put Up With These Rules?

Yes. Ontario landlords are often faced with neighboring tenants being allergic or not wanting dogs and cats in other rental units close to them. However, even though the new tenants claims “no pets” to the landlord, they bring them in after signing the lease.

That Isn’t What We Need In British Columbia

Exactly. The Ontario system for landlords and tenants is seriously broken.

What’s the Solution?


If there is an actual problem, following a system where Ontario landlords are taking to the social media Warning People Not To Become Landlords in Ontario will lead to fewer rental properties and less housing options for BC tenants.

Education, Advocacy and Services For B.C. Landlords!

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

BC landlords advice and help

Small residential landlords play an important role in providing high quality affordable housing in our province.

Small residential landlords play an important role in providing high quality affordable housing in our British Columbia.  Small landlords need to be listened to, our concerns heard, and actions taken to ensure we have the ability to continue to operate, make a profit, and continue to provide a high quality housing choice for tenants.

For too many years BC Landlords have lacked a voice and had no access to real help and real tools and services for success.  This website exists to help residential landlords succeed! Join our landlord community for a low one-time registration fee  (no annual fees).  We know small residential landlords are on tight budgets and we are here to help you. We offer you terrific services for only a one time fee…because we are small private landlords just like you!

Infrared technology can help B.C. landlords spot grow-ops

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

July 2011

VANCOUVER — Law-breaking tenants beware: B.C. landlords now have access to infrared technology to keep an eye on you.

A Chilliwack, B.C.-based security firm is offering monthly surveillance of properties using a FLIR infrared camera. The technology can detect excess heat from homes — a key signature of a grow-operation.

“Out in the (Fraser) Valley especially, the landlords are having a heck of a time with grow-ops,” said Brian Goldstone, a retired RCMP officer who is now the CEO of Griffin Investigation and Security Services Inc. “Grow-ops destroy the house, causing black mould, and the insurance won’t cover them.”

FLIR cameras, like their car-mounted $14,000 Owl Vision model, “take a thermal image of the property and from that, we can tell whether or not there is an anomaly, which could be a grow-op,” he said. “Because of the amount of lamps they are using, the house is hotter than the norm.”

After spotting such an anomaly, a landlord would then have cause to do a home inspection.

Goldstone said that Griffin’s FLIR unit is similar to that used on police helicopters, but much smaller, so it can’t see through windows, giving it the advantage of maintaining some of the tenant’s privacy.

“It gives us the heat signature of a house, but it can’t show you people walking around in the house. That’s very important. We don’t want to get into privacy issues.”

Increasingly, Lower Mainland municipalities are holding landlords responsible for cleanup costs incurred during grow-op busts in their properties.

Chilliwack’s Nuisance, Noxious or Offensive Trades, Health and Safety Bylaw, for example, has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and fees. Under the bylaw, landlords must inspect their properties for illegal activities every three months.

“Because of the ways cities are going after them now, landlords have to show they’ve done due diligence,” Goldstone said. “This is a quick and easy way to do it.”

Goldstone said the service also acts as a preventive measure: If tenants are aware a landlord is doing infrared scans, they are less likely to set up shop.

“It really is a deterrent,” Goldstone said.

Last year, RCMP report there were 32 grow-ops dismantled in Chilliwack, with 20 trafficking charges, 11 arrests for hydro theft and 22 arrests for production.

“There are a lot more tips coming in from the public than we’ve had in the past. I think the awareness has grown,” said Const. Tracy Wolbeck of the RCMP’s Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment.

In April, Chilliwack RCMP made their second-largest grow-op bust ever, seizing 5,000 plants at a residence. In May, a residence was busted and seven people arrested. That residence was rented out and had been busted for a previous grow-op on site in 2004.

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Is there a Grow-Op in your Rental Property?

Because the government can take your property if there is

The Crown can seize a King Township home used to grow marijuana, even though no criminal charges were ever filed in the case, Ontario’s highest court has ruled.  But, the government shouldn’t be able to take property without involving its owner in an investigation, the spokesperson for a landlord organization said in the aftermath of the ruling. (more…)

Damage Deposits – Bill 145 DEFEATED today at Queens Park!

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Damage Deposits – Bill 145 –  Conservative Joyce Savoline introduced a bill in the Ontario Legislature that would permit landlords to collect a damage deposit equal to 1/4 of the monthly rent.  Today the Bill was defeated by votes by the Dalton McGuinty Ontario Liberals with help from the NDP.

Highlights of Our Meeting with the Ministry of Housing!!

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Highlights of Our Meeting with the Ministry of Housing

February 2011 – Landlord Justice, LTB

On Thursday, February 17, 2011, Senior Members of the Ontario Landlords Association met with three Senior Members of Minister Bartolucci’s staff at the Ministry of Housing Offices, 777 Bay Street, Toronto. Also in attendance was the Honourable MPP Mike Colle, who really engaged with us and shared a number of troubling stories from his own constituents.