Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver landlords’

BC Landlords Want To Hear From BC Tenants – How Can We Improve The British Columbia Rental Industry?

Friday, October 6th, 2017

BC Landlords BC Tenants Win Win Campaign

Landlords and Tenants: Let’s Work Together To Improve the British Columbia Rental Industry

There has been a lot debate on the state of the BC rental industry recently. Everything from landlords dealing with serious damages to their rental properties and tenants who don’t pay rent and rent increases that are too low to tenants complaining about ‘renovictions‘ and the high cost of rent.

Because this our landlord members have come together to try to get past all the confusion and want to work with BC tenants to form solutions. The reality is good landlords are looking for good tenants and good tenants are looking for good landlords and high quality, affordable rental housing. So let’s make this happen! 

BC Tenants Let Your Voices Be Heard By Small BC Landlords

Many of the rental properties in our province are due to the investment of small investors who become small landlords. Some people call us “mom and pop” landlords but whatever you call us we are the stake holders who have invested our hard earned money into BC rental properties.

Many Small Landlords Were Renters Not That Long Ago

You won’t usually see this in the media, but the reality is many small landlords were renting ourselves not that long ago. We rented while studying at university or while looking for a job. So we know how important it is for landlords to offer high quality, afford housing from our first hand, personal experiences.

A Vancouver landlord wrote in:

“I invested in my condo and made sure it was exactly the type of place I always wanted to rent. I also want to make sure I’m the ideal landlord who is service oriented and caring. Did anyone see that silly movie a few years ago called “Hot Tub Time Machine”? Well if I could go back in time I would want to rent from me now.”

Let’s Get More People Investing and Creating High Quality Rentals

Good landlords know it’s important for us to have high quality, well-maintained properties that will attract good paying tenants. We also need to make sure we have fair rules that will lead more good people to invest.

A Surrey landlord explained her goals and why she became a landlord:

“As a small business owner I don’t have a pension. My rental property is to protect me and help me when I’m retired. Nothing nefarious here, only my investment property and my hope to keep finding good renters who appreciate me and respect the rental property.”

In What Ways Do BC Tenants Want to Improve the BC Rental Industry?

Help us help you by providing your thoughts and opinions on how we can improve the BC rental industry.

1. What are you looking for when choosing a rental property?

2. How important is it for you to be near public transportation?

3. Where is your “go to” place to look for a rental?

4. What qualities are you looking for in a landlord?

5. Do you have any thoughts or opinions on improving the BC rental industry?

Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com and let us know your answers to these questions or about anything else to improve the BC rental industry. We won’t edit or censor anything and are looking for your side of things.

British Columbia Landlords and Tenants Working Together For Success

Both landlords and tenants play an important role in the success of our province. Let’s work together to make things better and improve the BC rental industry for years to come.

British Columbia Landlords Can Raise the Rent 3.7% in 2017

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

British Columbia B.C. landlords rent increase guideline 2017 is 3.7 percent

B.C. Landlords – The 2017 Rent Increase Guideline is 3.7%

Are you going to raise the rent in 2017?

With costs rising, and the risk of damages to your rental property it’s important to keep your rents high enough to cover your expenses.

In 2017 B.C. landlords can raise the rent a maximum of 3.7% for current tenants.

In 2016 residential landlords can raise the rent by only 2.9%.

If you are planning on raising the rent remember you can only do so once a year by the legal permitted amount. You also need to provide proper notice and use the proper forms.

For more information on how to raise the rent in 2017 go to the residential tenancies website.

B.C. Landlords Are You Going To Raise the Rent in 2017?

Remember to follow the rules for rent increases carefully and let 2017 be a successful year for your rental business!

Fire Safety Campaign To Help BC Landlords!

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

fire safety campaign

We Want Every Private Residential Landlord in BC To Make Sure Your Rental Property is “Fire Safe” to Protect Your Tenants!

BC landlords know the importance of renting out nice rental units. After all, if you were a tenant you would want to rent a nice and clean property. There are lots of great tenants out there and they are seeking professional landlords who make sure their rental property looks to be in top notch condition.

Experienced BC landlords know that beauty is only step one when you rent out your property.  You also need to make sure your rental property is safe and you know the rules for safety!

These landlords know how to avoid the ‘bad tenants’ out there as you can see from Landlords in BC – Top 5 Tenant Screening Mistakes, and know good landlords who find good tenants take the time to educate ourselves on the laws of the province and provide safe housing to tenants.

Fire safety is a huge issue. It’s vitally important small residential landlords make sure their rental property is safe and legal.

In order to help BC residential landlords we contacted the very helpful Stephen Watt. He’s the Codes and Standards Coordinator for the Office of the Fire Commissioner, Emergency Management B.C.

We truly appreciate the time Officer Watt spent to help us educate residential BC landlords.

1. What are the responsibilities of private residential landlords when it comes to fire safety?

The owner or owners authorized agent is required to carry out the provisions of the BCFC.

2. What are the rules for rental properties regarding making their property fire safe? Are there general guidelines or specific rules? Where can these be found for landlords to learn to make their rentals safe for tenants?

The requirement is to maintain the existing life safety systems installed in the building in working condition as per the original approved (by local building official) design.

Smoke alarms are required (as per Bulletin Smoke Alarm Bulletin – 2012 07 16 (Revised 2013 12 13)

3. Are these rules the same in all of the province?

Yes, in all areas under provincial jurisdiction. The City of Vancouver has similar requirements.

4. What are the rules for landlords when it comes to smoke alarms?

See Smoke Alarm Bulletin – 2012 07 16 (Revised 2013 12 13)

5. What are the rules for landlords when it comes to carbon monoxide alarms?

If they are installed they are to be maintained in working condition as per manufacturer’s instructions.

6. Regarding enforcement of the laws, what type of fines can landlords face if they are not following the laws?

See http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/96144_01#section45

Offence by owner or occupier

45 (1) An owner or occupier of a building or premises who fails to comply with an order made under this Act commits an offence.

(2) A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on conviction to the penalties provided in the Offence Act.

(3) In the case of a continuing offence, a person who commits the offence is liable to a further penalty of not more than $50 for each day during which the offence continues.

7. What can tenants do if they worry their rental home isn’t fire safe?

The OFC can be called at 1-888-988-9488

The local fire department can also be called

8. What happens if a tenant disables a smoke alarm? Can they be fined?

No the tenant cannot be fined; however, a compliance Order can be written against the owner to install a working smoke alarm.

9. Are there any great resources you recommend for residential landlords to learn more about their responsibilities when it comes to fire safety?

The OFC Bulletins, the Fire Services Act, and the BCFC

• Public Education Bulletins – http://www.embc.gov.bc.ca/ofc/public-ed/index.htm

Houses used for Boarders, Lodgers and Roomers – 2005 12 20
Smoke Alarm Bulletin – 2012 07 16 (Revised 2013 12 13)
Consent to Enter a Private Dwelling – 2014 05 15

• Fire Safety Legislation

The Office of the Fire Commissioner administers the Fire Services Act and the BC Fire Code. Under this legislative authority, the Office appoints and trains local assistants to the fire commissioner (LAFC), implements fire safety regulations, processes technical code changes and resolves appeals.

Fire Services Act
2012 BC Building Code and 2012 BC Fire Code

10. How can small private residential landlords go the extra mile to make their rental property ultra safe for their tenants.

• Owners must maintain the existing life safety systems as per original approved building design.

• Provide additional battery operated smoke alarms in bedrooms , as smoke alarms in bedrooms are now required in all new dwellings unit built/constructed under the 2012 BC Building Code

• Provide tenants with OFC Bulletins and familiarization with the life safety system installed in the building, as part of fire safety planning.

BC Landlords make the extra effort to make sure your BC rental property is safe for your tenants.

BC Landlords: Premium Tenant Credit Checks for $12/check!

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

March 3rd, 2014

BC Landlords Landlords Are Helpless Against Bad Tenants No Now With Tenant Credit Checks

Are Landlords Helpless Against Bad Tenants? Not Anymore! This Deal Can’t Be Beat!

Landlords across British Columbia are becoming aware of the need to protect ourselves against bad tenants.

We’ve seen too many cases of small business landlords not getting paid rent for six months or seeing their rental property turned into a crack shack.

With an increasing pool of good tenants out there, make sure you take the necessary steps to find them (and shut out the professional tenants who want to rent from you).

How Can I Make Sure I Rent To Good Tenants?

Good tenant screening is the key.

This includes a tenant credit check which will go beyond a tenant telling you a ‘story’ and show you the real numbers and verify if they are telling you the truth.

BC Landlords Can Now Do Premium Credit Checks For Only $12 Per Check (with no hidden or annual fees!)

Many landlords don’t make tenant credit checks part of their screening process.

Why?

Many of the credit check companies out there are confusing in how they bill you.

It’s nearly impossible to know how much it will cost you with all the ‘additional fees’ they charge.

And they want an annual fee for any type discount, if they offer any at all. 

Small landlords are on a budget and paying $25 or $30 or $40 for a tenant credit is simply out of reach for most landlords.

The Problem With Asking a Friend To Do A Tenant Credit Check For You

We live in an increasingly legalistic society. 

This means it important small landlords know the rules and follow them.

Some landlords will ask a friend who is a real estate agent, works at a bank, sells mortgages or works at a car dealership to check their tenants for them.

This can lead to big problems for you and your friend and if reported to Equifax will get your friend (and their company) cut off from Equifax services.

It can also lead to a Privacy Complaint against you with the provincial government.

Getting a friend or relative to do a tenant credit check for you is simply not worth the risk when you now have safe, legal, and affordable options!

Now BC landlords can do safe, legal credit checks for an incredibly low price per check

We have partnered with GARDA a world leader in background screening.

How Long Does It Take Me To Get Set Up For Tenant Credit Checks With GARDA?

No time at all.

GARDA doesn’t require you to get ‘set up’ taking days, or weeks or months before you can do a tenant credit check.

You get a form your tenants sign and you then can get your tenant credit check done. This means:

1. No hassles

2. No delays

3. No need for copies of your passport, drivers license, etc.

You can start doing checks immediately.

What Does A GARDA Tenant Credit Check Show Me?

A GARDA credit check provides you with some of the most important information you need to make an educated decision on choosing tenants.

You get to view into the financial past and present of your potential tenant to make sure they are the right tenants for you!

– GARDA tenant credit checks confirm the tenant’s identity

– GARDA tenant credit checks verify the tenant’s employment

– GARDA tenant credit check confirms previous employment

– GARDA checks show if they have any court judgments against them

– GARDA tenant checks show you the tenant applicant’s credit score

All this information for a low cost per check.

With no annual fees

With no hidden additional costs.

Become a Member of the BC Landlords Association

While other groups offer very little to help small British Columbia landlords succeed, we offer real value to help you and your rental business!

For Only $12 per Check For Members You Can Make Sure You Rent to Good Tenants!

Are you willing to invest $12 to make sure you rent to good, paying tenants (and avoid the pros)?

Investing In British Columbia: Landlords Can Take Advantage of a Growing Tenant Pool

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Converting Prospects to Customers - Sales Doorway

As Home Prices Rise the Pool of Good Tenants Grows for BC Landlords

In our last blog post we discussed how BC landlords can enhance our chances to rent to good tenants with proper tenant screening techniques.

With proper tenant screening, including credit checks, you improve your chances of renting to good tenants who respect you, respect your rental property, and pay the rent on time.

Some potential investors have emailed us asking “are there any good tenants in BC?”

It’s a valid question considering the media attention on so many ‘tenants from hell.”

Opportunities for British Columbia Landlords

Let’s focus on the positives of investing and becoming a landlord in BC.

According to a report in Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine buying a home is becoming increasingly difficult.

Difficulties in getting a mortgage are only one obstacle for new buyers. Prices are rising.

You also have to service the home.  Utilities costs and taxes are rising.

An RBC report shows buying a house is simply not affordable for many renters.

The reports states that in 2013 a house owner will have to spend over 40% of household pre-tax income just to buy a small bungalow.

Owning Investment Properties Is a Business

A successful business has lots of good, paying customers and clients.

With the increasing costs of home ownership, it means many people who plan to buy a home will:

1. If they are currently renting they will hold and continue renting

2. Non-renters will decide to rent for a period of time before buying

The Pool Of Good Tenants Is Growing More people renting means the tenant pool grows.

This isn’t only happening in Vancouver.

Landlords in places like Surrey and Kelowna will also have more opportunities to rent to good tenants.

Reminder: There are Still Bad Tenants Out There

It’s important for landlords to use the proper tools and services to find good tenants.

Whenever you get the feeling of renting to tenants on your ‘gut feeling’ read this story about a Victoria landlord who is out more than $20,000 in lost rent, for fixing damages, and having to clean up the mess her tenants left.

Remember, lots of good tenants are looking for a good landlord…they are looking to rent from YOU

Make sure you screen your tenants carefully at all times.

Know what questions to ask.

Employment and tenant credit checks are a must.

Succeeding Is Now Up To You There are lots of good tenants out there.

Make sure you find them, and help them find you!

Tenant Screening British Columbia: Fast and Affordable Tenant Credit Checks

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-customer-service-satisfaction-survey-tick-placed-awesome-checkbox-form-image31167813

We’re heard about a lot about the challenges British Columbia landlords faced this year.

Most of them involved residential landlords renting to tenants who didn’t pay their rent.

Or tenants who moved in and left leaving thousands of dollars in damages. It also included tenants who harassed their landlords.

Some tenants brag they feel justified in taking these actions because they claim landlords are ‘greedy.’

Tenant Screening

It’s essential landlords conduct proper tenant screening on prospective tenants.

In this day and age renting to someone based on a good conversation or a call to a previous landlord usually isn’t enough.

We’ve heard the stories.

Some of the worst “tenants from hell” were very charming when the landlord first met them.

Some had lots of personal references.This included glowing letters from ‘former landlords’ and ’employers’ and filled with promises to treat your rental property ‘as if it was their own.’

It is easy for landlords to find any kind of tenant for their rental property.  It is much more difficult to find the right tenant who will not pose a risk to your investment. 

There are lots of great tenants out there and you want to make sure you rent to them.

Garda Logo

How Can I Find Good Tenants?

Garda Background Screening Services is proud to partner with the the CLA to help owners screen prospective tenants using our secure online technology – available in French and English – with results available in as little as 24 hours.

Gardas customized suite of services includes a tenant credit check can help provide a snapshot of a renter’s financial history.

Fast and Efficient Tool For BC Landlords

Time-pressed landlords need a tenant screening process that is simple and easy to use. 

Potential renters need only to complete a  consent form. 

The consent form and two pieces of identification are faxed in toll free or emailed into a designated mailbox. 

Get our services and receive special rates.

Should you have any questions, our dedicated account representatives are here to help.

Payment is quick and easy.  Landlords can use a credit card.There are no account set up fees and no contracts to sign. 

British Columbia Landlords only pay for the services they use. 

Results of the checks are emailed to the landlord’s inbox in as little as one business day.

Let Garda help protect your investment and help ensure you find the right tenant.   

Garda is are the country’s largest Canadian-owned background screening company. Garda clients count on us to provide them with the tools to manage risk, reduce losses, and enhance security in a cost effective and timely manner.

Protect Your Investment

Landlords all over British Columbia are being careful who they rent to.

Join the our group and start doing premium credit checks with Canada’s leading background screening company.

The jury speaks: Allow inspectors to issue fines to property owners

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

November 29th, 2011

A terrible tragedy.   A rooming house fire resulting in the death of three men.

The fire happened at 2862 Pandora St. last December 22nd.  The rooming house was described by Vancouver official as “illegal.”

Nearly a year later, the jury recommended to the B.C. Attorney-General’s office that provincial inspection units should have the authority to issue immediate penalties to landlords through fines or tickets.  The jury also recommended it be easier for the government to shut down dangerous rental properties.

The Pandora Street house had been the subject of numerous city inspections after complaints from neighbours that males were urinating in the backyard. It contained broken plumbing, non-working toilets and illegal construction, according to evidence during two days of testimony.

The men’s deaths led to suggestions that the city and owner Choi Leong should be held responsible, as between them they had allowed the house to remain essentially in the same condition as when inspectors swarmed over it in the summer of 2010 looking for anything dangerous enough to get the power cut off.

There were many problems, including unsafe wiring, but inspectors failed to find anything in the electrical system dangerous enough to justify having the premises deemed an imminent risk to safety.

So instead of cutting off power and essentially putting the residents out on the street, the city’s inspection department began the protracted process of seeking a court order to have the rooming home closed, a process that would have likely taken two years.

Leong was ordered by the city to close down the rooming house by Oct. 31st – an empty threat that officials hoped she might accede to. Leong said she gave notice to her tenants, who agreed to leave in the new year.

Someone brought an artificial Christmas tree into the home and placed a set of incandescent bulbs on it (not LED bulbs as formerly reported) using an extension cord to bring power from a wall socket.

However, it became clear any reason to blame either Leong or the city directly for the fire disappeared with the testimony of Vancouver’s chief fire investigator Capt. Ray Bryant.

Bryant said an investigation found no fault with the house wiring in relation to the fire and that an electrical fault had developed either in the extension cord or the lights themselves, causing the tree to ignite and set fire to a nearby mattress.

The three victims had been drinking heavily in the hours before the fire and were not aroused by the smoke and flames. They died of smoke inhalation after being pulled from the home by firefighters who were on the scene within minutes of the alarm.

The inquest also heard that none of the residents had ever complained about their living conditions and city staff said the home – though in poor condition and squalid – was by no means the worst example of such housing in Vancouver. The only time any emotion entered the proceedings was at the end of the testimony of city inspector Pamela Kiselbach, who had dealt extensively with the residents and had recommended court action against Leong.

Asked by coroner Owen Court how she felt upon hearing of the fire and the mens deaths, Kiselbach said she was devastated. “I never thought there would be a fire there. I knew these people. I was their little inspector from city hall,” she said with self-mockery.

“But you’re the first one to ask me about it.”

To read the original story please click here.

Message to BC Landlords – When kindness doesn’t pay (Part 3)

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

How could they do this to my property?

August 29, 2011

This is a warning to all landlords in Vancouver and the Rest of British Columbia.  Although I’m in Ontario, I hope what happened to me helps others all over the country.

I was very happy to have hired property manager John Schutten.  John spoke with the tenants and managed to get Teddy and Nancy to sign a form called an N11 (“Agreement to End a Tenancy”) from the Landlord and Tenant Board.  John told me in Ontario even if the tenants sign a form saying they will leave, we needed to take it with a grain of salt because they could ignore it and continue to stay.  Both John and I thought it was likely I’d have to order the Sheriff to physically evict them from my rental property.

I knew we needed to get an eviction order through the Landlord and Tenant Board.  John attended the hearing at the LTB on May 17.  The tenants didn’t even bother to show up!  This was actually a good thing because many tenants will show up with fake maintenance claims in order to stall the whole process  and live rent free.  We were granted the eviction but couldn’t get the Order right there and then.  In Ontario you have to wait to receive the order via snail mail.

Finally May 31st arrived!  This was the day the tenants were supposed to vacate the property according the LTB Order.  My fingers were crossed they would obey the law and leave when the LTB said they had to get out!  John did an inspection and these tenants had not packed a single box!  We couldn’t consider the property abandoned so we had to take an expensive next step…ordering the Sheriff.  Off to the Sheriff’s office John went with the LTB Order in hand to book the Sheriff.  Cost?  $320!

In some places, you can wait weeks before the Sheriff’s office has time to come to your property.  Fortunately, Hamilton is a large city and they work every day of the week.  The Sheriff came and posted a letter on the door stating the tenants had 72 hours to leave and take all their belongings.  The tenants had until June 7 at 10 am to vacate.

I felt relieved this whole ordeal was about to end.  My happiness and relief ended when I thought how much money I was out dealing with the eviction process in Ontario.  The Sheriff cost over $300.  Plus the LTB cost me $170.  I had to pay John for his professional and experienced help.  I also didn’t receive April or May rent.  Now it was June and another month of no rent.  My tax bill and mortgage still had to be paid!

On the evening of June 6 (hours away from D-Day, or E-Day for eviction) I drove by my little property after work to see what might be happening.  Good news!  I saw a U-Haul truck pull up in the driveway.  It looked like they actually started moving furniture out of the house.  I saw their things all over the front yard and sidewalk.  My Lord, they were even having a garage sale!

The next day the Sheriff came.  At long last my property was ‘mine’ again.  These rotten tenants were finally gone!  I was beaming.  The smile on my face was only matched by the spring in my stride as I walked to the front door to take a look and then change the locks.

Then I went inside.  No. This was just too much….. They couldn’t have done this to me…..

Discuss this in the landlord forums here