Posts Tagged ‘residential tenancy act’

Tenant Independence Day?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

July 18th, 2012

 

 ACORN Wants to Amend the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act!

What’s Happening?

A US based group now in Canada has started a new campaign called “Healthy Homes”

Healthy Homes?  That Sounds Like a Good Thing

The group is called ACORN.  Their campaign is to get the province to amend the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act.

How Would that Create “Healthy Homes”?

ACORN’s Susan Collard claims to hear stories from tenants that are horrendous “all the time.”  She says one of the most important issues tenants face is trying to get repairs completed.

According to Collard, some tenants have fought their landlords for two and half years trying to get repairs done.

I’m a Landlord and I Do Repairs on my Properties ASAP!

Collard continued: “[They've] been battling landlords for two and a half years.  It has gone to Supreme Court and so far all [they've] gotten out of it is an eviction notice and the repairs still haven’t been done.”

So What is Her Proposed Solution?

She says one solution is proper enforcement.  Collard explains explains too often complaints won’t be taken seriously.  “To use what laws we currently have to the full extent.  You need reforms around the amount of time it takes to get repairs done.”

What Reforms are Proposed?

Collard adds the structure of the  Residential Tenancy Branch also needs to be re-jigged to ensure it  has both sides of the story.  Currently, Collard says the branch will only speak with the landlords.

Is The Government Going Along With Their Proposals?

The NDP has responded.

Let Me Guess, the NDP Wants more “Tenant Rights”

The British Columbia NDP housing critic Shane Simpson remembers visiting a rental property in his Vancouver riding.

Simpson recalls: “It had been left in disrepair for years and years,” he said. “The roof of the building collapsed.”

Does Simpson Want to Change the Residential Tenancy Act?

He believes the Act lacks tools for tenants to “push back” and battle “bad landlords.”

Simpson believes that after substantial renovations tenants should have the right to return to the rental at “fair rates.”  He also wants the province to be able to intervene in situations where municipalities are not taking action.

According to Simpson there is no doubt the Act needs to be reviewed, and changed.

So the NDP Agrees With ACORN?

It looks that way.  Which means the next provincial election is very important for BC landlords and investors.

 

More “Rights” Coming for BC Tenants?

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

May 22, 2012

 

Fight, Fight, Fight or a Search for Social Justice?

According to a story in the Peacearch News, BC tenants with may soon find it easier to fight their landlords.

The Surrey government has asked the Lower Mainland Local Government Association to lobby the province to amend the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act.

Amend the BC RTA?

Surry councilor Judy Villeneuve received unanimous council support for a resolution calling for a change in Part 5 of the Residential Tenancy Act.

What is Part 5 of the Residential Tenancy Act about?

Part 5 of the RTA states how tenants can enforce their ‘tenant rights’ against landlords.  Tenants who have issues with their landlords must now go to court and present and prove their case.

So What’s Wrong With That?

According to Villeneuve having to make and defend your case is too difficult and too bureaucratic for tenants.

The Surrey resolution states:  “Tenants who wish to enforce their rights under the RTA must navigate a complex bureaucratic and legal process and be prepared to spend significant amounts of time and money to engage the process.”  It goes on to say “Creating barriers for tenants to access the RTA, especially tenants with low incomes of vulnerabilities.”

Villeneuve goes on to voice her concern that many rental properties in British Columbia were built 25 to 30 years ago.  She says “Tenants are living in untenable situations.”

Wait a Minute.  To Create More Private Rentals You Increase Government Interference in the Market?

Villeneuve and Surrey Council seem to think so.  Which is strange because even the former Ontario NDP government under Premier Bob Rae found out otherwise.  Our friends at the Ontario Landlords Association explain the NDP 1991 rent increase exemption here.

Let’s hope Villeneuve and Surrey Councilors come together and rent out their basements and invest in some private multiplexes to help create more high quality, new rental stock in the province.

Don’t hold your breath.

NEWS RELEASE

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

NEWS RELEASE

JOYCE SAVOLINE, MPP
Burlington

For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2011

MINISTER BARTOLUCCI OUT OF TOUCH WITH LANDLORDS AND TENANTS

(Queen’s Park) – Today in Question Period Municipal Affairs and Housing Critic, Joyce Savoline, questioned Minister Bartolucci as to why the McGuinty Liberals have done nothing to modernize the rent dispute process in Ontario. The Minister refused to answer the question, showing how out of touch he is with Ontario landlords and tenants.

“It typically takes 90 days for a dispute to be resolved, costing landlords about $5, 200,” says Savoline. “This puts a tremendous strain on the rental housing sector and there is a great risk that they will get out of the industry all together, creating uncertainty for 1.3 million rental households.”

The Minister claims that the McGuinty Liberals have “struck the balance that is good for landlords and good for tenants.” A recent study released by the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) shows otherwise. According to the report, the majority of tenants, 69 per cent, are in favour of making it easier to evict tenants who are not paying their rent, and 86 per cent of tenants favour a quicker eviction process for tenants causing damage. (more…)

Tenant Screening: The Previous Landlord Reference!

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Information posted on one of Canada’s most popular websites:

A: Help!  I’m breaking my lease, but the new landlord needs a reference from my previous landlord! 

B:  In case you havent figured out – most tenants put on a cell number of a friend for the reference, then claim that person was the landlord for either your present place, or a previous place. Same for work reference for tenant applications.  Think about it for a second – most places you rent are private residential properties.   The owners aren’t too thorough!    I trust you know what do, something that is already done by probably 70% of the other applicants!