Discussion 1: A Fair and Balanced System



Discussion being led by Spencer Chandra Herbert, Chair, Rental Housing Task Force. 

Thank you for visiting B.C.’s Rental Housing Task Force online forum. The ideas and information you share here will help to improve the residential housing legislation for renters and rental housing providers, including mobile home park owners and mobile home owners.

Our laws haven’t kept up with the changing housing market and that has left both renters and rental housing providers vulnerable. This is the first full review in 16 years to improve B.C.’s rental housing laws and policies.

One-and-a-half million British Columbians rent. Reviewing tenancy legislation and the work of the Residential Tenancy Branch together will provide a stronger system for all involved. Together we can build greater understanding of everyone’s rights and responsibilities, helping us avoid conflicts in the renter/rental housing provider relationship.

With rental vacancy so low across the province (1.3%), we need to make sure renters have secure housing and rental housing providers have the confidence to make their properties available as rentals helping to increase affordability through availability.

Our government is working hard to make improvements for both renters and rental housing providers to make it more fair and secure. We’ve made some significant improvements in protections for renters and rental housing providers in the past eight months – now it’s time to ask British Columbians about the issues they are still facing and the solutions they propose.

Modernizing B.C.’s tenancy laws will provide more fairness for everyone and help to ensure that rental housing providers and renters are able to plan for the future.

I encourage you to participate and share your ideas with the task force by joining the online conversation or attending a regional community meeting. The information we hear from renters, rental housing providers, organizations and stakeholders will inform the recommendations I take back to Premier Horgan and Minister Robinson.

I would love your feedback on a series of questions that will be presented over the next weeks.

Discussion 1: While most renter-rental housing provider relationships are working well, at times difficult and complex situations can arise between parties to the rental contract. What suggestions do you have, as either a rental housing provider or renter, for how government should build a more fair and balanced system for both parties?

 

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1,097 responses to “Discussion 1: A Fair and Balanced System

    User avatar
    [-] Elizabeth

    Currently, there are no enforcement mechanisms except for disputing something at the end of an agreement. I currently rent from a company with multiple buildings and have confirmed with the RTB that several things they are doing are illegal. However, since there is no way for me to report them, I can only dispute their illegal practices personally at the RTB but that doesn’t help any of my landlord’s other tenants, and puts me in the position of compromising my relationship with my landlord. Similarly, some things are so minor that they are not worth aggravating the landlord or pursuing dispute resolution for an individual tenant, but lead to significant profits for the landlord when applied to all tenants. I plan to dispute these issues upon move out but that will hopefully not be for a few years. There should be a mechanism to report and enforce besides the RTB, as there is no incentive currently for my landlord to stop acting illegally.

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    [-] Justine

    Renters in this market are incredibly vulnerable and are at a massive disadvantage in any type of conflict or issue with a landlord. Despite having a great relationship as tenants with our landlords of 7 years, I am still anxious and insecure every time I have to reach out to them, for any reason at all. I’m seriously paranoid that they are going to decide to sell the property and I will end up homeless, as I have pets and am self-employed. No matter my income and impeccable references as a tenant, most places will not even consider renting to me. Renters need protection.

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    [-] Robert

    Having a pet can be a huge source of stress now. It has become much more difficult to find pet friendly places compared to what it was 5-10 years ago.

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    [-] Claire

    I totally agree. I am at my wit’s end trying to find an affordable apartment in Langley that will accept pets. My cats both have extensive references and proof of positive behaviour in all of the last places I’ve rented.

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    [-] Ariane

    Most Landlords are fair and responsible. Communication is key. If a landlord puts up their property for sale it may just be because they need to move on or shift their money in different portfolios. A good tenant takes care of a property like it was their own. An aggravating tenant is the one that demands the landlord for every little thing. Those are also the same kind of tenants that abuse our system making it so that a landlord does not want to be a landlord anymore. When renting a property you are at risk of having to move, its just how the cookie crumbles. You sound like a very fair tenant.

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    [-] Sheila

    I agree but it should be fair. I wouldn’t think you should worry. People usually want to hang onto good tenants. I would rent to you if I had a place available.

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    [-] Yushen

    Immediately close the loophole of Any private renting for tax evasion purpose, such as Not reporting or partially reporting rental incoming should be penalized. Laws must be strictly enforced.

    Landlord should be responsible for paying the insurance for the property.

    Short term rent must be disallowed in metro vancouver. However I believe interior should be exempt from that.

    Reduce current rental increase, there should be a cap for the rental amount and it must be tied to the city’s average household income.

    Foreigners must be disallowed to rent the property out, they should be forced to pay speculation tax.

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    [-] Alan

    There is a fair cap in place. It is 2% + CPI. Lowering this limit will reduce the incentive and ability of a landlord to invest in his property.

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    [-] Reinhard

    Thanks for organizing these community meetings. I am disappointed not to see Burnaby (Metrotown) on the list . Metrotown is the epicenter of displacement in British Columbia. 6,000 renters in Metrotown’s purpose-built rental buildings face demoviction to make space for high-end condo towers. Both the political situation and the housing strategy of Burnaby is unique, and I believe, you should hear about it in a separate meeting.

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    [-] KR

    I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but they have now added a Burnaby meeting. Unfortunately, it’s in the middle of a working day, but at least it’s something.

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    [-] Reinhard

    No, I didn’t. Thanks for letting me know. The rental situation in Burnaby, and in particular in Metrotown, is getting completely out of control. A member of BC ACORN assembled a list of 27 buildings with 956 affordable market rental units – just in Metrotown – that the city council of Burnaby moved into the rezoning process just over the past year, without any consideration of the affected demographic of people. Several of these buildings are less then 50 years old, one with 65 units even 41 years old. It’s gentrification par excellence.

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    [-] Reinhard

    Too bad you are not coming to Metrotown. The question is about “how government should build a more fair and balanced system for both parties?” One dimension of fairness concerns the housing supply that municipalities allow to be built through their rezoning practices. In this view, let me add a few comments about what is happening in Burnaby, and in particular in Metrotown.

    The housing strategy of Burnaby is all about condos. In Metrotown, of the 46 residential redevelopment sites under rezoning, under construction, or already redeveloped since the turn of the century, 43 buildings are condo buildings, with only two of them planned to include a non-market housing component. Only three are planned as purpose-built rental buildings. Judging by an average of beyond 250 apartment units in Metrotown’s new condo towers, the ratio of condo units to purpose-built rental units that Burnaby has provided or has planned for Metrotown since 2000 is about 19 to 1. It shall also be noted that none of those 46 buildings was constructed or is being planned as what B.C.’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing describes in her housing strategy Homes for B.C. as “rental units for the missing middle.” Worse, the City of Burnaby takes out exactly those units from Metrotown’s spectrum of housing options. 700 affordable rental units were demolished just over the past several years and 700 more are on their chopping block. 211 units in four buildings were the subject of a single public hearing on May 29. The next is already scheduled for June. Suffice it to say that many long-term viable rental buildings were demolished in their late 40’s to make space for condo towers.

    Reality is the city council of Burnaby throws a whole demographic of lower-income people that has populated the lands of Metrotown since the mid-20th century to the curb – some literally. What is happening in Metrotown is planned gentrification, a systematic cleansing of all affordable rental housing stock.

    Governments at all levels like to blame international speculation for the housing crisis. Housing speculation is certainly a huge problem, I would not doubt that, but it is not the cause of the rental housing crisis in Metro Vancouver. The cause rests with city councils like Burnaby’s who have served housing speculators, developers, and investors with their reckless condo-centric housing strategies.

    I am asking the provincial government to stop municipalities’ reckless pandering to housing developers with their condo-centric housing strategies. We need a development approach that balances the supply of condos and purpose-built rentals. We need a moratorium on the rezoning of viable purpose-built rental buildings, as determined by an independent structural assessment. In Metrotown, we need to stop this condo tower madness with a declaration of the remaining purpose-built rental areas for rental only, to re-establish the ratio of condos versus rentals that we enjoyed at the turn of the century when rental vacancies were at a healthy 3%.

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    Admin avatar
    [-] Moderator Moderator Lisa

    Thank you for contributing to the online discussion and raising this concern. We’ve heard from people in many communities who would like us to visit, regrettably we can’t get to every community. Due to budget limitations and time constraints it was only feasible for the task force to travel to 10 locations in the month of June. Analysis was conducted by the Residential Tenancy Branch to determine the 10 locations in the province to host the community meetings. The analysis included a review of the number of rental units in a community, the number of applications for dispute resolution, a mix of rural and urban locations and ensuring the task force was going to all regions of the province. As such regrettably the community workshops are being held in the Lower Mainland will be held in Maple Ridge, Surrey and Vancouver.

    Everyone’s comments and ideas are welcome. For those outside of the 10 communities or unable to attend a nearby session, we encourage providing feedback online in this discussion forum.

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    [-] TS

    I am really confused as to how the govt felt holding a meeting on bowen island was going to accomplish anything.

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    [-] David

    The elimination of fixed term leases was a huge positive step. Here in whistler there are 100’s of condos that are rented out in the summer with fixed terms and then the tenants are thrown out in the fall for Airb&b or the rent is doubled. making this illegal was a major positive step.
    Next you should include Whistler in the Speculative Property Tax. Again there are several 100 properties with empty suites or suites that have been incorporated into the main house. With a requirement of one principal resident to avoid the tax these owners would be financially encouraged to rent the suites to avoid the tax. The Westin Hotel currently charges $700/month to share a bedroom. That’s the going rate. I was quoted $2350 for a one bedroom suite, year round. That’s insane. Whistler will die from lack of staff if this isn’t fixed.. I’m moving after 25yrs here. I can’t afford to work here

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    [-] Feng

    Hi,
    I am a resident of BC. I have been a tenant, and now a landlord.
    I know the government is going to act on resolve the housing crisis in BC, and hope the government is going the right route.

    There are too many terrible story about bad landlord and nightmare tenants.
    Bad landlord:
    https://bc.ctvnews.ca/i-have-absolutely-nothing-single-father-alleges-surrey-landlord-forced-him-out-illegally-1.3875100

    Nightmare tenant:
    https://globalnews.ca/news/4153633/nightmare-tenant-landlord-rights/

    The ineffectiveness of our legal system, the legal cost, cost to collect the loss is what stops landlord to rent out properties.

    Above links shows two stories from both side. I can predict the result for the bad landlord would end up paying the tenant’s loss.
    On the contrary, the bad tenant would mostly just walk away as it’s not possible to find him without authority’s help.

    The landlord’s financial loss is huge compare to the innocent tenant’s loss. One year’s rent, plus the cost to repair the unit, could easily be 20K-30K depend on the repair they need. The tenant 1 month’s rent, and his stuff that I see will eventually goes back to him. Both of them will have stress, anxiety issue over the year and month, respectively.

    There is no viable solution for the landlord to get compensated on the loss. Guess what would be result? Either the landlord withdraw the unit from market so one less rental unit, or they would increase the price to make up the loss, so the rental gets up. When the story spreads, larger number of units are off market.

    Renting out a property in lower mainland means tens of thousands of income a year. This is not a small figure. But what makes landlord to ignore that kind of income and choose to leave property empty? In my opinion is the fear of a bad tenant and result of huge financial loss.

    As there is no private insurance to cover this kind of loss, government should come up with insurance coverage to cover such loss caused by bad tenant (rent loss, legal cost, repair cost, eviction cost). The premium should be affordable as the cost will eventually be passed to tenant.

    I believe the majority of tenants just want to have a home. But there are ones that knows the system and abuse the system to live freely for months, even years. Don’t let the fear of the bad ones prevail. Protect landlord asset and without fear of bad tenants, there will be more properties on market, and therefore reduce the price.

    If the insurance lose money at the end, it means the law is leaning towards tenant too much and need have better system to make the bad tenants to pay. If the insurance ends up with making a profit, great, more money for social housing! And hopefully, knowing government authority will go after the bad tenants would make the bad tenants behave well, eventually there is no bad tenants.

    Regards

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    User avatar
    [-] Gary

    I totally agree! The RTB has a very heavy lean in favour of the tenants. The rules need to protect the landlord(s) as well, not just the tenant(s). Currently, I have a tenant that has not pay his full May rent posted a 10 day notice of eviction but he filed for dispute hearing. The reasons he gave are not the reasons that the RTB says are ok for dispute. Why didn’t someone at the RTB catch this and say those are not the reasons that The hearing is not until July 9 which means he probably won’t pay for June or July. On July 9th I’ll win the dispute and then have to file in small claims court and so on and so on, I still won’t get the rent from him and he’ll still be in my place living rent free.

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    [-] monica

    I agree!

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    [-] Moe

    Do not expect any of that to change property owners are the scapegoats and cash cattle in all this, no government is going to look after the interests of property owners, we are far too small a group.

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    [-] Amy

    I totally agree Feng. Used to be a landlord to a relative. Once she decided to move on, my husband and I looked at the rules, all the tenant horror stories, and decided it was too risky to be landlords to strangers. We bailed.

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    [-] Carol

    I agree with you, Amy. I am a residential property manager and one of my concerns is that we are going to end up legislating the industry to it’s death. The penalties for landlords are far more stringent and enforceable against landlords than they are tenants. These parties do not share equal standing in the eyes of residential tenancy law. While we are engaged in determining how best to penalize “bad” landlords, we don’t see an effort towards mitigating “bad” tenants and the harm they can inflict. I fear we are going to reduce the number of people who are willing to invest in rental properties and this in turn, will achieve the opposite of what the current government is trying to achieve. On a totally different note, I would like to respond to a previous contributor’s comment regarding rental increases. The reality is that tenants and landlords are engaged in an industry. The landlord must turn a fair – and I emphasize the word “fair” – profit for the industry to thrive. And the Task Force as well as tenants everywhere need to consider that rental increases based on current residential tenancy office practices are not unfair. If the cost of living goes up, then why would property owners not be allowed to increase rents in keeping with everything and everyone else? Again, rental increases are based on an enforceable formula which does not allow landlords to increase rents to whatever they want.

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    [-] Ed

    Life circumstances can turn anyone into a bad tenant or landlord.

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    [-] Zac

    I’d like to see rent control applied to apartments (instead if renters) which would prohibit landlords from jacking up prices at the end of a tenancy.

    I’d like to see a landlord registry where tenants could (like with doctors or teachers) rate their landlord in predefined categories.

    I’d like to see a beefed up tenants rights structure, with legal advocates working to settle disputes and ensure rights are being observed, and to log complaints against landlords. Evidence from this could be used to prosecute landlords who frequently flaunt legal loopholes (ie: evicting tenants so family could move in, with no intention of doing so).

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    [-] Shelli

    Best idea I’ve heard so far. A blacklist of bad landlords. A place to publicly have a register of their previous transgressions easily accessible to all.

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    [-] RLS

    I would like to be able to post pictures of how tenants leave a suite and the mess they leave behind for Landlords to clean up and create a tenant DO NOT RENT list.

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    [-] ca

    landlords have a right to regular inspections, yet fail to do so, then they complain about messes etc. I have begged landlords to do regular inspections so we can keep the place up to their standards, yet they won’t.

    landlords should not get damages for things they could have prevented via regular inspection.

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    [-] Deryk

    There is such a list of bad tenants. Landlords pay a fee to register and have access to the bad tenants.The landlord also gets advice and other benefits as well by registering. I’m afraid that I don;t have the contact number but you could google it and find it I’m sure. (For BC at least)

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    [-] Bonnie

    I don’t understand why a landlord should be guaranteed the 2% over and above the cost of living each year. I am not guaranteed 2% on any of my investments. Our landlord collects 1/4 million dollars each year and puts nothing into improving the park that I live in. He has disregarded Orders from the Tenancy Branch and we have had to go for dispute resolution 7 times. He continually ignores these Orders…..if I am negligent with my pad rent, he can give me a 10 day notice of eviction, even though I own my house but rent the pad from him. On the other hand, I cannot do anything else but continually take him to arbitration, where the Tenancy Branch has NO authority to enforce any of the Orders that they issue…..doesn’t seem to me to be any fairness to this game…

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    [-] Bill

    “rent control applied to apartments (instead if renters)” Thats utterly ridiculous! We would then need to put a stop to Tax increases, Insurance increases,Utility increases, not to mention increases in building supplies eg: new carpets doors and all the rest of the material needed to repair rentals after bad tenants. Put a stop to labour increases for trades to do this work, How about freezing gas prices these costs all enter into managing rental property!

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    [-] Ariane

    I’d like to see a DO NOT RENT TO list published for tenants who left a property dirty. Or preformed a midnight move. Or destroyed a property with thousands of dollars in repairs. Or how about the ones that abuse the system and do not pay rents, and they know they can float and squat in a property because the RTB is so backed up its 6-12 weeks before you can obtain an order of possession.
    Renting someone else property is a privilege not an entitlement.
    Bad tenants should be reported but bad tenants also know that the privacy act protects them.

    Greedy landlords should also be stopped, but how do you control this? After all they own the property and should be able to do what ever they wish to do with it.

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    [-] Deryk

    There is such a list if you register. I’m not sure what the company was called but if you google it you could find it. There were all sorts of other benefits by registering.

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    [-] G

    The recent change to effectively terminate fixed term leases is incredibly frustrating. As a homeowner with a growing family, this hand-cuffed my ability to use and have access to my home. Increasing the pay-out to tenants if you need to reclaim space, regardless of how much notice you give, is also extremely punitive. If I want to reclaim a bedroom in my home for my young, growing family, why should I have to pay my tenant thousands of dollars for this privilege? Even if I give them 6+ months notice? I appreciate there may be cases of inappropriate landlord behaviour, but the current rules are highly unfavourable to homeowners who are trying to earn some extra cash and are actually helping to fight the housing squeeze. The recent rule changes directly reduced supply, as we are no longer renting our two bedroom suite. It’s not worth the liability/hassle.

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    [-] Sasha

    We have taken our home in Vancouver out of the rental market. It is far too onerous and punitive in BC to be a small landlord. We should not have to pay a full month of rent to a tenant to reclaim the use of our home. There are better ways to earn extra income to pay the mortgage.

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    [-] Moe

    This is true throughout British Columbia, but no government will side with property owners.

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    [-] Lora

    I find this change to the regulation very concerning too. If I am renting a part of my home to someone, and they are not a good fit, it is major issue to lose the right to not renew the term of the lease. This impacts the well-being of my family. If you live on-site, the lease should be treated differently than an apartment building, condo or secondary property.

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    [-] bkaren

    I too am taking my 3 bedroom suite off the market as a result of the fixed term lease changes. Last summer my property manager convinced me to accept what turned out to be some very noisy and insensitive tenants for the suite that’s in top half of my house and home office. I’m a professional who works from home 100% of the time,. This was discussed many times before they were shown and then offered the unit. They were accepted because they committed to keeping disturbances to a minimum during working hours. But within 2 weeks they recanted. Since then it’s been like living in a drum with someone beating on it constantly. My health and well being have been affected but cases of getting tenants evicted for “disturbances” are rarely ruled in the landlord’s favour as “noise” is subjective and the arbitrators can’t live the experience. I have a fixed term lease which I would not have renewed had the rules not changed. As it stands I must now move into the suite to get rid of them. May as well not rent anymore because I’m not willing to take that chance again. Rules for suites in homes should be different than rules for apartments in multi unit apartment buildings. Berkeley California has different rules for different types of rentals. BC should follow their example. They also have some very punitive measures when landlords need a tenant to vacate because the landlord has to sell. BC should not follow that example. Sometimes life forces you to make decisions. I’m a small housing provider and I worked hard to get this house. I still have a huge mortgage despite being over 60 so I depend on the rental income to help me keep my house after my son moved on. I’ll likely sell when I retire in a couple of years instead of being able to stay in the home I love.

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    [-] Moe

    You expect far too much from our regulators, they will never improve the lot of property owners. Far better to sell off larger property with extra spaces and entirely avoid the Residential Tenancy business here in British Columbia altogether.

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    [-] Joan

    Is this correct??? I rent out a 2 bedroom ground floor suite, but thought I would be able to reclaim one of the bedrooms, with 2 or 3 months notice if one of my family moved it

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    [-] G

    If reclaiming one of the bedrooms requires a renovation (e.g. putting up a small wall to separate the space), not only do you have to give 4 months notice, but you also have to give proof to the tenant that you have all permits and approvals in place for the work (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/housing-and-tenancy/residential-tenancies/forms/rtb29.pdf). And regardless of how much notice you give them (for renovation or reclaiming for personal use), you still have to pay them one month’s rent for the privilege of taking back a bedroom in your own home. Under a fixed term tenancy agreement, this wasn’t an issue.

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    [-] Sarah

    Put the onus on the landlord/property manager to prove a case with the residential tenancy board rather than the renter, who has less resources and money to do so. Hire more staff to help with conflict resolution to help end landlord-tenant disputes before they escalate.

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    [-] Moe

    Small property owners actually have less resources than tenants, there are all sorts of advocates for tenants to utilize in their disputes with tenants

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    [-] Rob

    A lot of recent changes have put a huge amount of financial and other risks on small landlords / individual homeowners. For examples the recent changes to increase the notice period to 4 months and increase maximum penalties to 12 months rent.

    I purchased a house to redevelop for my family and while awaiting permits I rented the existing house to a family. They are aware it will not be a permanent home, but we’re happy to take it regardless. I was happy to do a little to help out the housing situation and it’s great to have people watching the property. However, with the new laws in place, I never would have done this. 4 months notice is too long on a tenancy that will be less than a year and as an inexperienced landlord the risk of being fined 12 months rent if I make a mistake don’t follow the rules is terrifying.

    After the new house is built I was planning to rent out a suite and LWH. I’m also rethinking this because I’m worried that it will be increasingly difficult to screen tenants and risky to get rid of bad ones. Most tenants are great, but landlords who share their family property with others need to have tools to effectively deal with the risk of a ‘bad’ tenant. If not, these landlords will not rent their properties or only offer them to friends and family.

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    [-] princess

    for landlords who share their home to renters, i think the rules should be different. Your life circumstances change.why cant you be given the free hand on what you want to do with your own home?taking out the fixed lease has turned off ALOT of people renting out. I for one have family that come a few times a year without a fixed lease, i cannot even have use for a bedroom in my own house. it doesnt help that property prices keep on going up, utilites are up, mortgage rates are up and yet i cannot increase rent when all the costs are up? this is punishment to the landlords, now wonder landlords dont want to put more rooms in the market. no one wants to deal with the mess of not being able to use your own home or have the ability to take renters who are not a good fit.bring back the fixed term lease!!

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    [-] Anita

    From a tenant’s point of view: I have rented rooms/basements from homeowners and have had both good and bad experiences. I’m a clean, quiet, single professional. Nonetheless if given the choice, I would never, ever rent from a homeowner again. Why? The uncertainty and vulnerability of being kicked out because the homeowner suddenly wants to be “able to use their own home” or deems their tenant “not a good fit.” A proper landlord in a rental building could never get away with this, and rightfully so. In case anyone has missed it, finding decent, affordable rental housing can be very stressful and time consuming. Homeowners renting spaces that they can take back whenever they want is NOT a solution – it merely adds to the problem of insecure housing. If you’re lucky enough to own a home and want/need help with your mortgage, perhaps you should consider renting to temporary homestay students. Fixed terms leases are not the answer.

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    [-] Chris

    I live in a very low vacancy area and have a very rentable basement suite, where I live upstairs. I am VERY SCARED to place this suite on the market. Too many rules allowing me not to change my mind or to live in an ‘awkward’ situation which could take months to correct. For example I feel I have the choice to say no pets allowed or no parking available or only up to 2 people allowed. These rules are not allowing for any leeway if the tenant and landlord are sharing a house.

    I do feel badly that I am not helping the rental situation but I would feel worse if I had to live with an undesired tenant.

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    [-] Cam

    I would only feel bad if you were sold the house with the idea of a “mortgage helper” space., I find it incredibly unwise and irresponsible to buy more house than you can afford. and I’m very angry at the real estate people who promote this idea. I want a landlord who has chosen this as his/her career and understands they are renting a HOME to someone.

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    [-] Simon

    All the more reason to pick your tenant carefully, instead of in a hurry or through a 3rd party like many landlords. Once a tenant has made a home in your rental unit you should not be able to remove them simply because they are “undesirable”; that’s called discrimination. If they are being unsafe or affecting the livability of neighboring units (including yours), then there are ways of getting proper eviction orders through the existing properties.

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    [-] Jolie

    Clear criteria on the rights of both landlords and tenants, to reduce the need for dispute resolution. Also formal & required training for landlords, educating them on the guidelines of running a rental business. Should be renewed every 5 years at minimum, along with the business license. Would love to see an online wizard or similar that helped walk both tenants and landlords through common disputes, and recommend follow up actions for both parties. Have to also mention pets… if the property/strata allows pets, the landlord should not be able to prohibit them. In a city where over 50% of dwellings have pets, and only 10-15% (approximate) rentals allow them, pets are privilege for the rich, and this isn’t right. It would also reduce much of the conflict around this issue.

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    [-] Ed

    Pets-what if the next renter is allergic? Or any future renters. Could be discrimination to allergic people?

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    [-] N

    All landlords seem to be allergic i went to my landlord covered in cat fur and she never got sick once and dog hair

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    [-] Cam

    Easy – alternate floors. Some floors are pet friendly or smoke friendly, while a floor or two is reserved for no smoking and no pets.

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    [-] Cat

    So does that mean you can say no peanut butter is to enter a rental or if you are a farm worker who hays or works with sod that you cannot rent or that no scents of any kind ever are allowed into the unit? These are all common allergens along with pets, if the unit is properly cleaned between tenants there is no issue as no contaminant would be left.

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    [-] Simon

    I’m a renter who has been issued a reno-viction notice, but have given the landlord the correct paperwork so that I have right of first refusal of the updated unit. However, there’s really nothing preventing them from asking for an inflated rental price so that I cannot rent the new unit. To be sure, they should be able to ask for more than the current rent because they’re investing in the property, but the increase must be tied to SOMETHING. Otherwise what will stop them from using the new rental price to prevent me from renting the unit, simply because the no longer want me as a tenant.

    We need rent control now! There should be an established regime for median rental pricing based on: location, unit-type, square footage and amenities. Landlords should not be able to charge more than a defined percentage above that specified median, unless they apply for an exception based on special circumstances. Please look at rent control models in San Francisco and New York, learn what you can, and bring us working citizens a fair model for rent control.

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    [-] Averill

    I agree. Such rent controls exist in many European countries including Austria, Germany and Sweden. There are already regulations in BC on rental increases for existing tenancies, but none for new tenancies. Regulations on increases for new tenancies in the same unit would discourage the exponential increases in market rental rates with minimal cost to the Province. Allowing moderate increases that are tied to inflation (read: carrying costs) still encourage landlords to keep units on the market and more significant increases are acceptable if proof of major renovations is available.

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    [-] Alan

    A landlord will only raise the rent for a new tenant to what the market will bear. Putting a cap on the increase will reduce the incentive and ability of a landlord to invest in his property.

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    [-] D

    “the market will bear” much more than the renter can actually afford to reasonably live with. The lack of housing means a person will rather pay much more than they should, because they need a roof over their head. I am a landlord, and do NOT believe in renting at market rates. I LIKE having the person working at the coffee shop be able to afford to live in the neighbourhood and keep my rents low.

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    [-] Amy

    I would like to see mandatory landlord education for anyone wanting to rent out a residential property. The only issues I have ever had with landlords are when they do know know what the can and cannot do under the Residential Tenancy Act (e.g. entering the unit without giving any kind of notice because they live upstairs and think it’s okay, trying to charge for utilities not contemplated in the original terms of the lease because they didn’t originally think of it).

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    [-] Averill

    I believe this is the training you’re looking for: http://www.readytorentbc.org/programs/
    Could we make it mandatory?
    As a past landlord and current renter, I’ve also had to educate my landlords on what is allowed… it’s very frustrating to be paying them AND doing their jobs for them.

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    [-] Bonnie

    I agree completely, however, our landlord claims that he cannot read or write English, and gets away with that every time we go to arbitration…..I think that there should be a data system where every time the landlord has been taken to arbitration and loses, it gets recorded. When there are a set amount of times (maybe 5 or 10) then the landlord’s licence to operate is suspended until they honor the Orders that were issued. That stops the landlord from cashing monthly cheques and would encourage them to complete the Orders as issued.

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    [-] Cat

    I agree, numerous times I have had to teach my current and past landlords the tenancy laws and rules and how to do their job. Yet I am paying them to do this job as well as for my living space.

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    [-] RLS

    The Sauder School of Business has the Rental Property Management course and requires ongoing education and annual licensing fees. All 3rd party property managers in BC must be currently licensed to be a property manager. This course is around $1000 and should be mandatory for anyone with a rental property (personal home, basement suite, multi residential housing).

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    [-] TS

    being licensed doesn’t make any difference. these property management companies are the worse and know all the tricks to screw tenants out of fair hearings should it end up in arbitration. my building is currently managed by a property management company and the agent is a real scumbag -only the RTB can punish these people and landlords when they violate the RTA currently they do not

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    [-] NC

    If something like this were mandatory it would deter a lot of would be landlords from renting their property or suites out. It’s already hard enough living in BC and rental units are sometimes a way for people to make it by with heavy property taxes. If a large added cost that requires consistent schooling is added to the everyday landlord they would just run away and rather not rent a property out. Would you want to consistently be taking courses your entire life to annually renew a license? Let alone one that costs $1000. Sure you could argue it’s small compared to the rent they incur, but its still a huge nuisance. This isn’t something like Food Safe.

    Perhaps making the sites and acts easier to understand would be helpful. I’d imagine some landlords may not fully understand the acts because they are not written in plain language.

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    [-] Angela

    I think that to start if a landlord is going to up the rent ,no mater the % rate, they should have to prove to a governing body and to the renter that it is needed. They should use slightly more detail than “oh it just cost more to maintain the building/lot”
    Next it shouldn’t cost money for a tenant to bring a complaint to the landlord tenants board. There are a lot of cases of abusing the system or just flat out ignoring it that don’t go reported because they are happening to the most vulnerable low income households who don’t have money saved to pay for $100 fee to file a complaint. If the landlord can prove they are in financial jeopardy they fee should be waved for them as well.
    I am unsure if this exists but there need to be a 24 hour call line or online way to file a complaint as some people do work odd hours and cant call or go in during a 9-5 week day.

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    [-] Lana

    Perhaps you should do the same next time you ask for a raise in your wages.

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    [-] nash

    according to what you said, I think if any business is going to up its product prices, like grocery ,no mater the % rate, they should have to prove to a governing body and to the consumers that it is needed. Any business doing that?????

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    [-] Ed

    Rent increase- you think they should make copies of their annual increase in property tax, insurance, etc. would a copy of their taxes be included too showing the tax bracket they are in due to rental income.

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    [-] M.

    1)It is far too costly and time-consuming to evict a tenant even though there are justifiable reasons for the eviction. This is why fixed term leases offer some safeguard for landlords. Many tenants know how to work the system so it can take months/years to evict them – the landlord will usually never recoup the lost rental revenue or the costs of any damage. Even without fixed term leases, the process of eviction needs to be more fair to the landlord than it is at present.
    2) A landlord should be able to collect first and last months rent as well as a full month’s damage deposit. The cost of repair from damage done by a tenant is usually never covered by the damage deposit – raising the damage deposit to a full month’s rent amount would help in this regard. Allowing a landlord to collect the last month’s rent at the beginning of the lease would help cover costs when a tenant simply decides to not give appropriate notice and skips out on the rent.
    3) The housing issue is not the responsibility of individual landlords/businesses. It is an issue that exists around the world and is a societal and economic problem that is an outcome of global economic policies. Penalizing one segment of society (landlords) will not solve the problem and is
    unfair. If a society believes more housing at lower costs is required, then the whole society needs to pay for it. Other businesses do not face the same controls (such as rent controls and taxes for not renting out a unit) and are not made responsible for the desires/needs of the general public.
    4)Landlords are not running charities – they are operating a business just like any other business – grocery stores, clothing stores, pharmacies, etc. etc.

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    [-] Bonnie

    To evict a tenant you need just cause, and if you have that, all you have to do is issue them a 10 day notice of eviction.

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    [-] Cat

    I just had the experience of being given a one month notice for cause, that cause was said to be putting the landlords property at significant risk and significantly interfering with the landlord. I got the 1 month notice on april 23 for may 15th. The hearing was may 18. If my landlord had won, which she didn’t it was cancelled due to no evidence – because I did not do the things she said and no damage was done and I had done nothing wrong, she would have been able to get an order for possession in 3 to 10 days and had a baliff remove me upon receipt of the order. I have heard this from so many people saying it is so hard to get bad tenants out…. I don’t understand how? If they are doing something wrong, you have cause and proof and they are out shortly after the month with no recourse. If they are breaking criminal laws or the tenancy laws all you need is proof and there is nothing they can do to fight it. Once you have an order of possession you have the criminal laws/system on your side.
    I had an advocate helping me and they straight up told me that if she has proof you did what she said she will win.
    So many landlords, unlike you have shown, do not treat it like a business they treat it like a trust fund. They don’t do regular checks to see how the unit is being maintained, they don’t do routine maintenance, they only fix the bare minimum needed at the least expense, nor do they put money aside for when big things get old and break. Then they complain they need to raise rent and kick people out to do renos on their old unit that they haven’t maintained. This is not how to treat a business or most kinds of investments. Unfortunately from what I see out there this is how many landlords treat their investment.

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    [-] Cam

    The last paragraph is key. Also, the definition of regular wear and tear should be well known to both parties. Scrapes and scratches and stains are to be expected. A hole through the wall, is not regular wear and tear and landlords should be compensated for wanton damage. My carpet is way overdue to be replaced, but it won’t until I move. I swear the carpet was put in in the 1970’s.

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    [-] D

    Agreed…but a full month’s rent STILL wouldn’t cover the cost of damage…

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    [-] Cam

    But again, there should be a clear distinction between wear and tear and wanton damage. Yes, a landlord should be able to sue for cost of wanton damage, but as a business it’s up to then to absorb the wear and tear costs.

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    [-] Steve

    Some rents are pushing $2-3k. You think a tenant should be required to pay $6-9k to sign a lease? I get that in some respects landlords can have a bad go, but think of the total cost to a tenant in your scenario. Its not like wages have kept up with rent inflation in BC.

    Rarely do the rents reflect actual value of the property in a highly inflated market so that crazy high damage deposit you propose to fix something that probably should have been replaced 10 years ago in a refresh isn’t realistic either. Ok, perhaps your rental unit isn’t way out of date and
    un-maintained, but there are tons of them that are and rental laws need to cover the whole gambit.

    I think part of the business of being a landlord is you take the risk of renting, and you get the reward of having part of your mortgage paid for, profit, etc. You have laws that other business sector don’t have, but there probably isn’t much that is more stressful in life than being worried about whether you have a home or not. We also make sector specific laws for other import things like education, telecom, aviation, food, etc. Always remember; you don’t have to be a landlord but many people DO have to rent.

    And if you’re having problems with bad tenants, do better reference checks to avoid the situation as best as you can in the future. Previous landlord(s), credit check, income verification.

    And stop jacking the rents every possible chance you get. Its mind boggling to see 4% increases to rental costs when the property was purchased with longterm debt at a fixed rate, and the property manager is very unlikely to be getting raises.

    Someone else mentioned this already in these comments, but even great tenants can lose jobs, get sick, etc. From a social perspective, albeit unfortunately for the landlord, you’re in a better position to foot the bill when someone falls on hard times than they would be living on the street. I do agree that society should help with this, just make sure not to complain about tax increases and ‘free rides’ if someone tries to solve the problem.

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    [-] Mel

    “From a social perspective, albeit unfortunately for the landlord, you’re in a better position to foot the bill when someone falls on hard times than they would be living on the street”. How do you know what position (I gather you’re assuming financial), any landlord is in?! I may be supplementing household income to help look after my parent suffering from Alzheimer’s. Landlords are not the Ministry of Social Services. Contact your MLA and MP for that. Neither are we a financial institution. Contact your bank for a Line of Credit or loans.

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    [-] MA

    “From a social perspective, albeit unfortunately for the landlord, you’re in a better position to foot the bill when someone falls on hard times than they would be living on the street” Absolutely not! It is ridiculous to make that assumption!!! House prices are so high right now, that in some situations the landlord is only able to make the mortgage payments by renting a secondary suite. By passing the financial burden of a tenant losing his job onto the landlord (your example) this means that both parties are in danger of being homeless. Please stop thinking that all landlords are rich. I know how much financial risk I took by purchasing a home and how much debt I am carrying as a result. This is my retirement plan and I have worked extremely hard to get to this point. One bad tenant, who causes excessive damage or refuses to pay rent, would create massive financial problems that would be difficult for me to recover from.

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    [-] Bonnie

    If you were relying on a renter to help pay for your house, then you shouldn’t have bought the house you did.

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    [-] NC

    This arguement doesn’t make sense when the rental housing is so expensive. If someone has worked tooth and nail to save up for a down payment on a home and has done their finances correctly why shouldn’t they reply partially on rental income to pay for a home? It doesn’t help that the new mortgage laws make it extremely hard to purchase a home. In some instances saying rent will supplement the mortgage payments is the only way to get approved despite the fact that you could probably pay it off through saving a little more each month.

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    [-] Stacey

    Thank you !! Finally someone says it ! As landlords we are totally getting the short end of the stick

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    [-] Ariane

    YES!!! Nailed it!
    I’d like to see Landlords able to collect more then one pet deposit for multiple pets. If a tenant has two dogs and one cat, the Landlord should be able to collect 3 pet deposits. This way a Landlord can at least cover costs for damages once the tenant moves out.

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    [-] Charlene

    Government has made it very scary to be a landlord because they are constantly dreaming up rule changes that could completely screw landlords over. They don’t even give proper notice of the rule changes knowing full well that doing so will mean many landlords charging below market rent / Not making money on their investment will have no legal means to ever make a profit on their investment since rent increases are set by government and will never allow a landlord who has been charging a low amount of rent to catch up to the increases in costs they face. I’m tired of the hyperbole from this government, pretending like what they are doing is both for landlords and tenants. How about this: as long as you’re going to make a bunch of laws that treat landlords like a government not for profit agency, maybe consider legislating a profit margin. If you’re going to say I can’t have a say in how much I charge for my own home, maybe think about tying that amount to a certain rate of return. The reason I will not be pursuing rentals as a means of income is because government doesn’t care if a landlord is losing money and providing an unpaid service and subjecting themselves to huge risk – as long as tenants are protected from big bad landlords. What a joke.

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    [-] Cat

    How so? If a landlord had a property and at some point stopped making money on it, wouldn’t they just sell? That takes it all off the landlord’s back. Also a landlord can raise rent at inflation very year whether incomes for tenants or minimum wages increase or not. The only landlords that have any reason to have a hard time making a profit are those who have bought in this high priced market and have high mortgages and why did they buy in this market in order to rent if they can’t make a profit without charging too much for rent? Some also talk about the idea that the purchase of a rental unit is meant to be viewed as a long term investment not a high profit short term investment.

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    [-] NC

    With the housing market being what it is, some people buy property to rent it out for a while as they save up money and stabilize. We need to get out of this idea that all landlords have money or made a bad purchase and the tenants are the only “victims” per say. I’ve said it before, if someone saved tooth and nail for a down payment, passed all the mortgage tests, got a mortgage approved and decided to purchase property, why shouldn’t they rent it out to help themselves become stabilized? Other times people share a mortgage and someone leaves, then things become unsustainable. Sure the landlord may have bought when it was high and made a bad purchase, but at the time they may have had double income to help pay it off. Now that someone has left, they need the extra help and renting out is the best way to go about it with out having to lose everything and become homeless.

    Tenants and landlords are equally vulnerable.

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    [-] bkaren

    Some people buy properties to live in them not to rent them out. I bought my house with my son and then he moved on forcing me to rent out his part of the house or sell. I went into the arrangement with the intention of retiring here and him assuming the mortgage payments once he was established, but his life plans changed and I made lemonade out of lemons. I rent his suite to be able to keep my home.

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    [-] Jimmy

    I am all for protecting good tenants from bad landlords. I rented longer than I rented out. So I think understand both sides. However, the recent rule change is scary to me as a landlord as it addressed bad landlords to a great extent while it did not address bad tenants at all. The greater risk as a landlord makes me wonder if it is time for me to get rid of my rental property. It has not been worth it. And it will be less so. There is virtually no tools available to address bad tenants while the onus is on landlords. The increased risk put upward pressure on rent, I am sure. Next time I put my unit up for rent I will certainly take the increased risk into consideration when setting the rent and finding tenants. One of the risk abatement actions can be increased security deposit to 2 months of rent.

    Another problem with current rules is that the rules encourage empty homes and property flipping. If there is a slight change of selling your rental property within a few years, I figured, not renting out and keeping the unit empty for a while makes it a mot more sense and profitable, in many cases, even with empty home tax. Selling rental property to another investors is costly as such situation give buyers leverage against sellers. And even very difficult as the sellers’ hands are completely tied and are at the mercy of the tenants. The rules should reflect the intention of the empty home tax , as I am one of the landlords who would rather pay 0.5% tax than rent out for a couple of years when I plan to sell, for personal reason.

    Lastly, after renting out a condo for 5 years, I realized it was a bad decision. I would have been much better off living in a larger house as principle residence which is capital gains tax free. Either charging capital gains tax on all properties or not charging at all will help small landlords like me keep the rental property as long as possible. Yes, I am planning on selling the rental property and move into a larger principle residence for tax efficiency purpose. If I had chose this route 5 years ago I am better off by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why do I feel that I am getting punish for losing sleep at night from time to time.

    Thank you for your consideration.

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    [-] Adrian

    I would like to see rental rate increases capped at a fixed relationship to inflation. When a landlord charges $x/month, their costs are not typically increasing on an annual basis and yet they can bump up rent well above inflation which strikes me as very unfair.

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    [-] Alan

    Rental rate increases are already capped at 2% + CPI. Many costs incurred by a landlord do increase every year. With recent interest rate hikes, mortgage costs have increased substantially more than allowable rental rate increases.

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    [-] Ed

    Yes there are Annual increase for insurance, property tax, supplies (repairs and maintenance), banking fees, higher tax bracket more due., etc.

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    [-] Leslie

    I would like to know how you think landlords costs are not increased every year
    1- property taxes in crease each year
    2- insurance increases each year
    3-strata fees in condos get a huge increase each year
    4-Morgage rates increase each year or two and have gone up a lot lately
    5-income tax paid on income is steadily increasing
    6-appliances need fixing or repairing especially if they are more than 2 years old
    7-renters skip on last months rent etc
    So do the homework and figure it out as I have, and have decided to sell my rentals

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    [-] William

    Tenants need financial relief from the constantly rising rents. Either the government needs to put a temporary moratorium on the annual rental increase percentage that landlords can charge, or the government needs to start providing some sort of direct assistance to renters. One idea I thought is that there should be minimum affordable rent amounts determined, for example, 800 dollars for a bachelor suit, 1000 for a one bedroom, etc. Based on the number of people living in the unit, and the reasonable rental amounts, there should be some sort of rebate or credit provided to renters. I will leave it up to your government to figure out – but know this: My rent increases by the maximum your government allows each and every year. My land lord is relentless. Meanwhile, my wage at work does not increase. I get maybe a 2% increase a year if I am lucky. At that rate, eventually I wont be able to afford to live in this province anymore.

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    [-] Kadri

    It is not fair to demand the small landlord to keep the same price while the costs of keeping the property are increasing. It’s the fault of the government that the minimum wage has been kept too low for too long while they allowed foreign investors to inflate the housing costs to insane prices. Don’t forget that the landlord has to invest money to the property first in order to make it available to rent. Rent controls will scare away the investors and make the situation even worse for renters (less availability).

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    [-] D

    I agree. I am a landlord and believe in offering fair and affordable accommodation. By have a “set fee” for particular suites, based on size and quality of suite considered, it would provide the BANKS with a decent idea of how much a person applying for a mortgage would be able to collect as rent.

    Currently, the BANKS are approving people for mortgages that in reality should NOT have a mortgage. They look at the local market, see what people are willing to pay for rent, and say..okay, we will use that figure. The reality is, people are paying that rent because they have no other choice…don’t want to have their kids sleeping on the street… People buying rental properties need to have higher downpayment so they can afford their mortgage and offer affordable rent to their tenant. Fewer people will be able to afford to purchase, and the prices will come down…hopefully. I don’t believe it is Foreign Investors driving up the housing prices as much as local people living in fear that if they don’t buy now, they never will be able to. The Banks have some control over that. We’ve seen that with the “stress test” for new mortgages..it has slowed the market somewhat.

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    [-] Ed

    Landlords need relief in the ever increasing expenses

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    [-] Kim

    There appears to be no regulation/guideline in regards to what a landlord can charge for a rental unit. So if a person/company can charge whatever they want and there are very little vacancies; the public would be forced to accept the payment terms. Overtime this creates an inflated market value that is not a true reflection of the affordable/reasonable cost of rental housing.
    I’d like to suggest that rental income is monitored for taxation, as well as regulations placed as to maximum allowable rental per square feet.
    Municipalities could require all secondary suites be licensed via a business license. The allowable amount that can be charged for rent would be based on square feet, and perhaps could also consider the market value of the property.

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    [-] Kim

    I believe that there is a bigger concern regarding affordable housing then dispute resolution.

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    [-] D

    Size and quality.

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    [-] Dee

    From a landlords perspective, there is very little one can do to deal with problem tenants. You can serve them with a 10-day notice for unpaid rent, a 30-day eviction notice etc but the enforcement remains a problem. Such tenants when and if they finally do leave, can leave the landlord in a financial mess. Unpaid rent, eviction-related expenses, cleanup/garbage removal, and other damages (from pets, broken windows, destroyed cabinets/floors., holes in walls etc) often go well beyond what the current allowable damage deposit will cover. Yes, you can file a claim with the RTB for this but again, there is little in the way of enforcement for judgement.

    The other issue is of pet-friendly rentals. Time and time again you see the push to make it illegal to have a ‘no pets’ policy. As a government, you need to consider the implications of a blanket ban to this policy. I have a ‘no pets’ policy for a suite in my home as well as for a four-plex unit however the policy doesn’t stem from a hatred of pets. Kids in my home have severe pet dander allergies and one of the long-term tenants in the four-plex has the same problem.

    Finally, there needs to be a better solution to rental increases. It is unfair to renters if there is no cap on increases (especially in markets where there are limited housing options). However, the current allowable rent increase of 4% (based on this year) is not in line with increasing inflation and expenses associated with owning a rental. For example, business licence fees in the last year alone have gone up $70 along with substantial increases in hydro, gas, insurance, and city taxes. Perhaps looking at different rental increases for housing that includes utilities versus housing that does not would be an important first step.
    As a landlord, I do my best to make sure the rent I charge is fair and that I keep the residence well-maintained. I don’t charge the ‘market-rate’ and try to charge my tenants $1200/month for a one bedroom because Bill down the street is charging that much. I understand how expensive life can be and don’t want to gouge tenants because the ‘market’ allows. In fact, one of my tenants has been living in the residence for 17 years and is paying the original rate of $550/month for a one bedroom suite, all utilities included and has not had a single rent increase.
    However, at the current rate of inflation and dealing with problem tenants it is becoming harder and harder to keep things afloat. I am sure I am not the only landlord dealing with these issues. That being said, at the current rate, I fear small time landlords like myself will be forced out of this field, giving up space to bigger companies, which will only increase problems for larger companies operate on a business model.

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    [-] Matt

    Our tenancy laws, by their very nature, set landlord and tenant as opposite sides in an adversarial relationship. Moreover, they presume far too narrow of a “typical” rental arrangement, namely those in urban areas living in multifamily rental-dominated housing stock, mostly decades old. This leaves short-term lease arrangements, luxury rentals, suite/laneway rentals and many other kinds trying to fit their unique qualities into legislation designed for a different kind of landlord and a different kind of tenant. There should be at a minimum two distinct types of rentals – for properties that are designated rentals and will always be rentals (for which tenants can expect very long-term availability at predictable prices) and for those properties that are temporarily going to be used as a rental (for which tenants are also expecting the tenancy to be temporary). The rules governing the two types of rentals should be vastly different.

    Treating some property owners and tenants as merely individuals who have reached a mutually beneficial relationship, should allow for more flexible terms that will result in more rental housing available.

    To provide a clear example, the limitation of a one half month’s damage deposit on a 60 year old rental suite makes sense. For the 5 BR luxury house with brand new walnut floors, it does not. An entire year’s worth of rent can be consumed with only damage to their floor. This limitation makes rental an absurdly risky option when an AirBnB might offer a lower revenue, but way less risk. This is not just a luxury problem, however. Supply constraints in this market will trickle down into the next lowest rung of the rental market – with the person that would have rented the luxury home now competing with a local family seeking a full house rental, pushing the price higher and the local family into a townhouse, which competes with a younger family and pushes that price higher, and so on down the line.

    It must be remembered that measures intended to help tenants afford renting will have consequences reaching beyond that, one of which is rental stock simply being removed because it is not an attractive proposition for landlords.

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    [-] Jenn

    Annual rent increases with little to no value added seems unfair to the renter. I currently rent a townhome from a property management company and our rent has increased every year with no value added to us – gutters are never cleaned, landscaping hasn’t changed, our garbage areas are still a mess, we don’t have compost etc etc. No improvements to the property have occurred but we now pay $150 more per month. The next increase will price us out and its back to a basement suite, or Alberta. I suggest providing renters proof of value added with the rent increase, if there is no value added an increase cannot be forced just for the sake of it.

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    [-] ML

    Value is subjective and for landlords-we often must pay increases on costs related to the property which are not seen by tenants- namely house insurance which for me increased each year, and property taxes. Additionally, many years, I included the cost of utilities and all of those rates went up each year – BC hydro, water/garbage, wi-fi and cable tv. Additionally, if you are a landlord who hires someone to do maintenance- that cost for me went from $35/Hr to $55 over 5 years. I would add to this landscaping costs. I did not increase rental rates for my tenants in that time period; however, if I had, the extra 4% would not have covered them anyway.

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    [-] Ross

    If you are paying $150 more per month, you must have been living there for over 13 years. You are getting a real deal if you are only paying $150 more per month after all that time. Take a look at the rental market outside you door.

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    [-] Cat

    At 1000/m it takes 4 years of yearly increase to be paying 169/no more than original rent. Many people pay much more than 1000 which would mean less time to increase to 150 more a month

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    [-] nash

    Our annual property tax increases with little to no services added seems unfair to all the people living here too. government, can you fix it?

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    [-] Aaron

    The housing market needs more rentals, plain and simple. It’s like any industry, supply and demand! The Provincial Government and local municipalities need to help expedite rent specific projects in order to help increase the supply of rental properties. Rent specific areas also help renters live with and among peers who are all renting. Some of the biggest issues we see is where renters and property owners live in a common building, owners feel they have more of a right to be there but don’t realize that renters signing a lease have the same rights as they do. We need to make renting easier and increase the supply of rentals for everyone who wants to rent, not everyone wants to own property and there’s nothing wrong with that!

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    [-] Ed

    alot of rentals have left the market due to unfairness in legislation. If you research tenant on RTB search engine it says rights, and landlord it says responsibilities and no rights.
    It’s becoming more of a socialist country and next will be communist country and the government will be the landlord. Should be interesting to see where that leads.

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    [-] Raemond

    The present system of one policy fits all is a very poor incentive to expand or even maintain the rental inventory . As a small live in landlord [ 3 units ] I find the maze of regulation , costs , poor time lines of mediation settlement , and after enduring all this getting an eviction enforced [ costs can be 5 to 10 thousand ] with repairs on top there isn’t enough return , in fact we are now down to 2 rentals and plan on leaving it that way . Small landlords as myself and most of the new rentals on the market require a much better and equil regulation the loss of fixed term contract has done the whole system damage as many border line applicants for vacancy as there is to much risk to give them a chance . The damage deposits are so low that repairs seem to always exceed them , A better system would be the tenant to buy a bond from an insurer that would guarantee the cost of repairs and losses caused by a poor tenant . With today’s costs of rentals it is a very poor investment . Having private business supply homes for people and then crippling them with regulation does nothing to attract new rentals as at present the supply is shrinking and it will continue .

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    [-] Barbara

    NO protection for mobile home tenants on reserve lands when future building development causes park closures?
    It is my understanding that one of the intentions of the renter protection legislation is to offer all BC citizens some renter protection and is to include those living in mobile home parks who may face eviction due to the land development of their park. A significant number of vulnerable BC residents, many of them seniors, are being unfairly excluded from these protections. There is discrimination against renters living in mobile homes located on reserve lands. When these parks are developed, there is no help to those affected.
    While I understand that any BC restrictions could not be placed upon the band “landlords” due to the Federal jurisdictions on reserve lands, this is not a good enough reason to deny renter assistance when land development occurs and the parks are closed. It is both unfair and unjust to grant help to some while refusing it to others, simply depending upon who “was” your landlord! All landlords have the ultimate right to the land, whether they be Federal, Provincial, private or on a reserve. It makes no difference to the tenant’s situation who is kicking them out. Eviction is eviction. Fair is fair.
    Please reconsider helping mobile home park dwellers on reserve lands who may also be threatened by future land development.

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    [-] Sheila

    I find the system very biased for the renters rights forgetting that landlord’s should have EQUAL rights. Same rules should apply to each, exactly the same time lines and every area involved. The current rules just scare people away from wanting to use their hard earned money to supply accommodation for others and enter into contracts. Many have stopped because of this biased environment therefore lessening the availability for many good people. One or so bad apples ruin it for the rest. You wouldn’t buy a car (take on the debt) and give up your rights to how you want it treated by others so why would you buy a home for so much more. One can do all the checks possible and still get a bad apple and then get biased rules to protect the bad apple against the well meaning provider who takes all the financial risks. I don’t have a problem with pets but if an owner doesn’t want someone to bring one into the home after they move in due to allergies, possible destruction or what ever reasons they may have, then they should have the right to say no. It is their place and should have the right to make rules. After all they are the ones who used their money to buy the place and are the ones responsible for it and upkeep. Not the temporary a resider that can move on and wash their hands of it leaving the landlords to deal with it. Can’t get blood from a stone. If they decide to have a pet then find a pet friendly place instead of forcing it upon the people who own the property and don’t want that in the place that they actually own and are responsible for. If a tenant has the right to give 1 month’s notice then the landlord should have the same right. If a tenant doesn’t pay the rent it is only them who has decided to renege and when breaking a contract give up their choice to stay instead of battling the L&T Board with the tenants. The result being the tenant staying as long as they can play the game and the owner loosing out financially. If a tenant decides they don’t like the landlord they can just leave but what if the landlord finds they don’t like the tenant. Not fair at all. It seems that the board doesn’t care about fairness only protecting the ones without the responsibilities of the owners. It seems that the L&T Board doesn’t realize that this is a business and no business that I know of would allow the same as the board forces upon the owners to abide by. People do not do this to loose money or have their property compromised as any other business. Who needs the head ache if it isn’t worth it. You want availability, affordability and more places accessible then ease up on the landlords. The supply and demand rule. Landlords deserve more rights instead of this bias for those not taking on the risk and cost. In turn you may find better and more reasonable landlords. It’s a never ending circle that can be a good one. I am happy to say that I have a happy relationship with my people but understand the unfairness in the current rules. This is just my opinion and have been doing this for many years.

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    [-] David

    The ultimate answer here is supply. It always has been and always will be. Anything else is pandering for votes. Tenants and landlords alike can see this.

    The solution to this problem is long-term which is why government can’t tackle it. They want votes and power and so create forums like this exact one.

    Unfortunately, to start the solution will be unpopular. To increase supply we need to make it enticing to investors, large and small. Instead of putting a tax on vacant homes, how about a tax incentive to people reno-ing to add a suite where one doesn’t exist? How about reducing property taxes if you prove dual occupancy, a double homeowner grant? Maybe use a zoning to create “rental only” homes and make them property tax free for 10 years?

    If there is a market and a profit to be made, landlords will fill the void. If the government doesn’t make it profitable for landlords then the landlord has to make it profitable by pushing pricing up.

    Eventually, if profits are there more homes get built, more suites are created and the price pressure will reduce.

    It’s supply and demand. If prices are too high you need to create supply. That’s it, that’s all.

    Unfortunately, the government will do its best to force lower prices and landlords will walk away, thus making housing harder to find… and more expensive.

    It’s unpopular, but the province needs to make being a landlord more accessible, easier, safer, and try to create interest for people considering being a landlord.

    I have had awful tenants and great. Unfortunately, the awful can do large amounts of harm and make the entire venture futile. The great ones, while nice, really only mean I don’t get my house beaten up. Bad people result in headaches and lost money, good people result in less frequent headaches. There is just less and less reason daily to make a big asset a big asset at risk.

    The government doesn’t need to build affordable or rent managed housing. Who gets to win that lottery and have that house? How does one decide? What’s fair?

    The government needs to give a reason for the market to supply these homes, then they will be supplied! Clearly there is demand, but the investors have deemed the risk too great. Sucks for us but maybe we should be better tenants for them or get the government to give them a reason to build/invest.

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    [-] Cam

    I believe there should be great incentives made to developers to develop rental housing. Big, multi-unit buildings. Secondary suites and condos as an investment, seem more more problematic than they are worth.

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    [-] M.N.

    Offer tax incentives for people to add AND MAINTAIN a rental suite. Provide resources and support for new landlords who might be nervous about bad tenants or unsure of their responsibilities.

    Increase regulation of rental units and provide better avenues for tenants to report issues. Lower the annual rent increase rate – it currently far outstripping the rate of wage increases. Put caps on rental costs based on region, housing type, size and amenities.

    For rent to be fair to both sides, tenants need to have AFFORDABLE (aka cheaper than a mortgage) rental options that are well maintained, and landlords need to be making enough income to make the cost of building and maintaining a rental unit worth their effort.

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    [-] A

    You need to do something to regulate rental costs. It isn’t the tenants duty to pay a whole mortgage for an owner, but a percentage of it. You need to control what can be charged for rent. We just moved into a place a month ago for 1800, less than a month later the same size suite in the same complex listed for 2200. Seems like price gouging. How do you expect to maintain a workforce when they cant afford to live near the city they work in.

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    [-] Alice

    I feel there needs to be better protection for renters when a landlord makes the decision to sell a property while the tenant is still living there. My family and I were renting a home and the landlord decided to sell the property. He did not even contact us himself to let us know. A realtor called me one day to tell me the house was being sold and that they would be there that afternoon to put the sign on the lawn. Suddenly there I was in shock, telling my kids that our home was being sold. The kids felt really betrayed and sad to see the for sale sign on our lawn. It made us all feel like it wasn’t our home anymore. I can understand that sometimes situations change and landlords need to sell their properties unexpectedly, but if that is the case they should not be allowed to physically alter the property that was rented with a for sale sign if the tenant is still living there. Also, when you rent a home you expect it to be your own. Should renters be forced to allow group after group of strangers to enter their home to view it if it’s been listed on the market? I feel that landlords should be obligated to take appropriate pictures or video prior to renting out their property and use that if they are selling.

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    [-] Andrea

    Hello,

    My husband and I own a home in Kelowna and rent out our legal, 2 bedroom basement suite. We are NDP supporters but have become worried about some of the changes this government is rushing through in regards to the Residents/tenancy Act as many of these changes seem to assume that as landlords, we are wealthy land owners, when in fact we are just an average family trying to make ends meet in an expensive housing market.
    Our main concerns are in regards to the safety of our children and the protection of our home and property. The way the act is set out now, it extensively protect the rights of the tenant at all costs and is geared more towards landlords with multi-family complexes but seem to negate the special needs of the many people who rent out their personal home or partial homes. There are many of us and more and more are deciding to sell their properties rather than rent because of tenants who cause damage or refuse to pay rent and abusing the current system to drag it out for often months and at great expense to the landlord.
    Don’t misunderstand me, I believe a system needs to be in place to protect tenants from those who wish to exploit or abuse situations, but I suspect that there are many more landlords who respect their tenants and treat them fairly and a better balance needs to be made.
    We need to know that our government understands that by providing a safe, clean rental to someone puts my property and family at risk and is willing to put policies in place to ensure we have options should something arise and we need to evict our tenant. We do as much due diligence as possible to ensure we’ve chosen the best tenant but we have no way to know for sure that things won’t go sideways. As it stands now, it is extremely challenging, time consuming and expensive to have someone removed from our basement should the worst happen. This would have a significant impact on our life and needs to change.
    Perhaps it’s a matter of drafting different acts for different rental situations, or simply a change in perspective of who a landlord is. Regardless, we need better balance so both Tenants and Landlords are protected, as we can’t have one without the other.

    I look forward to seeing what you and your committee come up with and hope that it can come to a mutually satisfying resolution.

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    [-] Corina

    Landlords should have the right to deny tenants who have pets. I know from having pets of my own, the extensive damage they can do to a home. From scratching on doors and walls (from both dogs and cats), peeing on carpets and floors (even my laminate floors have been damaged by urine when it has sat overnight), leaving claw marks on hardwood, digging up garden beds, damaging blinds in windows, and more. My pets are well-cared for much-loved animals who get lots of exercise and aren’t left home alone for long periods. And like many pets, they STILL do these things. The damage pets do cannot be covered by a typical damage deposit. The cost and time required to replace carpeting and underlays, replace blinds, repaint, pull out floorboards, etc. (plus the lost rent while you do all these repairs) would be too high. I love animals dearly and support the work of the SPCA and multiple animal welfare groups through both volunteering and donations, but back when I was a renter I deliberately did not adopt any animals. I waited until I had my own house. It is not fair for tenants to expect a landlord to deal with the damages their pets cause.

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    [-] Justin

    Stop Landlord from discriminating against people with pets. I am happy to pay a pet security deposit, but no landlords allow pets and if they do they charge 500 more a month

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    [-] Lynn

    A pet deposit is half a month’s rent. It is illegal to charge more. If you know the RTA you can let the landlord know this, and even quote the section.

    If you are charged $500, that means your monthly rent is $1000.

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    [-] Ca

    I agree that it should be illegal to prohibit pets for no reason. However, landlords should be compensated properly if there is damage done by a pet. Landlords are lazy, in my opinion, because they do not do inspections as often as they are legally allowed to, then they complain at the end of the tenants see that there is pet damage. landlords it should be put under an application to properly monitor the property. At the same time, they need to have access to better means to collect higher damages without facing a costly court problem

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    [-] Ross

    As the manager of a Manufactured Home Park and past manager of a RV Park, I can tell you that other peoples pets are by far the largest source of complaints from tenants. We took a survey of tenants in our community and the majority voted for a no pet policy. While I agree that a pet can be beneficial as an emotional support animal, especially for the elderly, unless the pet is a registered service animal there should be no law enforcing their acceptance.

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    [-] Mel

    I doubt if you’ve been a landlord who’s allowed pets. Everytime we’ve bent the no- pet policy, we’ve been burned. The pet deposit didn’t come close to repairing the damage.

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    [-] Anne

    Thank you for this opportunity. The gouging going on (just because they can) by every category of landlord is unbelievable. Renters need more protection.
    I think the 4% rental increase is too high under current market conditions. When most rents now start at $1,000/mo and that’s for a bachelor unit (Victoria) annual increases cause regular, stable tenants to have to move. last year I started paying $1125 for a small one-bedroom in a 1960’s building. I just received notice of the annual increase and now I pay $1170. Next year it will be $1216.80. I will most likely have to move because I won’t be able to afford that. I am self-employed.
    In current market conditions I think annual increases should be lowered to the standard inflation rate of 2% and/or have a ceiling on the annual increase 4% increase once a tenant reaches a certain maximum rent for the unit. In other words, putting a cap on how much a landlord can charge for a bachelor ($750?), one-bedroom ($900?), two-bedroom ($1100?), etc. depending on the age and condition of the building, and amenities provided and their condition (like fridges, stoves, washers and dryers).
    Landlords need more protection from bad renters. No doubt about that. People should not be allowed to trash a place and then skip town like it isn’t a crime.
    I’d like to see more co-op housing developments throughout the province. They are cost effective in the long run because the residents run the complex and it creates community.
    Small pets should be allowed with a pet deposit and regular inspections.
    BC Housing needs to review it’s income testing under current market conditions. I helped an immigrant couple, who have a little boy, find an apartment; they had been renno-victed. The husband earns $1000/month and the mother earns $2000/mo. ; total = $3000/mo. before taxes. The only apartment they could find was a 2-bedroom for $1750/month. I helped them apply to BC Housing for rental assistance. They were declined because their gross income was too high. Unbelievable. They are on the list for social housing but that can take a while.

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    [-] Shane

    Regarding your comment on the rent increases, a better system would allow for the percentage to be set based on the rental costs in your area. I understand that 4% might seem high – but my property tax for 2018 is going up 7.2%, hydro is up, garbage/utilities is up, insurance is up, and interest rates are up (though locked is so that doesn’t impact yet). NOTHING relating to housing costs when down. The only thing that has stayed constant in the last year is my internet/cable (thanks Telus!). So though I emphasize regarding your comments about it being too high, housing costs are rising faster than the allowable percentage increase.

    Or another alternative is to switch to a system similar to commercial properties. This is where you pay a base rent, plus a percentage (based on sq ft) of actual rental costs. So, if property taxes go up (as an example), then the portion you pay goes up accordingly. But, the base rent would be subject to a limited inflationary increase. I think that is a little fairer – though hard to implement. Just a thought.

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    [-] Susan

    I’d like to see protection for landlords from bad tenants. They can start out good, you do your due diligence in selecting a tenant but it can quickly go bad.

    I’ve been both a tenant and a landlord. I like to think that I was a good tenant: kept the place nice, paid my rent on time, gave plenty of notice when I was leaving etc. I had a good landlord and did not require the use of the RTB for any conflict resolution.

    Being a landlord to a suite was good for the first few years. We had great tenants. Our last set of tenants started out great as well and then failed to pay rent. We would start the eviction process and then they would pay. This went on for a few months until they failed to pay at all. We started the eviction process. They refused to leave. At the end of it all we were able to get them out but not before they caused tens of thousands in damage to the unit and we had missed months in rent. We decided we would rather take longer to pay off our mortgage than risk that situation again.

    My brother rented his house to a friend. There was a tenancy agreement in place. Friend stopped paying rent. Gave an eviction notice. She appealed to the RTB saying that she was entitled to be part owner of the property because they had an “agreement to share the property” of some sort (which friend couldn’t prove). RTB adjudicator basically said they couldn’t do anything and to take it to court. Friend still didn’t pay rent. There was a tenancy agreement in place that couldn’t/wouldn’t be enforced by the RTB. My brother was out thousands of dollars before the ‘friend’ gave up trying to lay claim to the house.

    These experiences made me feel like the tenant was protected more than the landlord. In both cases, money was lost, property was damaged and stress was caused while we waited for the RTB dispute resolution process to proceed. In the case of eviction because of not paying rent, landlords are exposed and renters know it.

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    [-] Rob

    Instead of legitimizing Air B&B, both the Province and Cities need to crack down on the illegal short term rentals that are eating into available rentals.

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    [-] Lori

    My husband and I have rented out our last house and two ground floor suites. We’ve had so many great tenants and no rental issues at all, until a couple of years ago. We rented a one bedroom suite to a woman in her mid-forties. Her references were good and in the first couple of weeks she seemed like great tenant. Then it all went to hell. She ended up terrorizing us. Possible serious mental health issues. We put a huge package of information against her and started the process of evicting her. We won our arbitration hearing but was told and reviewed documents online that just because you win doesn’t mean the tenant will move out. They could end up living at your residence for free. The next line of defence to get them out of your property is to file docs in Supreme Court, if you win then hire a bailiff possibly costing $1000-2000. How is this even possible. The fear of her possibly damaging our property or even the fear of our safety when talking to her, her threatening emails to us, at times we felt really backed into corner because of her right as a tenant. We were good landlords to her, but after she finally moved out, we debated whether to rent ever again.

    So the main thing to change is for an easier eviction process, plain language documents and step-by-step guide. It all seemed so confusing when reviewing processes etc.. being able to hire a bailiff as soon as you win the arbitration hearing. Thank you.

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    [-] Cody

    I would like to see a ban on rental prohibitions in all strata properties. At the same time, I would like to see increased accountability for landlords that do not enforce good behaviour by renters. Allowing stratas to ban rentals assumes that renters are hazardous, and supports vacant condos owned by speculators. Condos have become fundamental to the supply of rental housing and should not be allowed to be prohibited.

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    [-] Rhonda

    How do you enforce good behaviour by a tenant when the RTB doesn’t support it?

    However I agree stratas shouldn’t be able to control rentals.

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    [-] G

    I feel lost in a system that is entirely unregulated. I can not afford to rent anywhere in Surrey without finding creative ways for myself to live in housing such as sharing accommodations with complete strangers. I make almost $80, 000 a year and am not hopeful I will ever be able to afford my own space in the Lower Mainland. I work with a challenging demographic as my profession and would like to have a small private space to myself as my dwelling to come home to. In the current housing CRISIS, I am facing an eviction by a landlord who wants to flip my rental to double their income. I moved to the Lower Mainland three years ago and am now priced out of the rental market. in less than three years rent for my place had increased from $700 to $1400. Finding a rental on Craigslist had opened me up to potential fraud, theft, and abuse, as I do not often know what sort of situation I am walking into as I approach a house viewing.

    The rental market should have rent caps for the area, and should have a regulated place for people to post and find housing. Craigslist is not safe for young single women to find SAFE accommodations.

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    [-] Suzana

    Burnaby needs to allow Laneway Homes for large residential lots that have amble space for building more than one laneway home or rezone to allow duplex/triplex homes. The current zoning is outdated and needs to be in line with other areas of the city to allow density.

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    [-] James

    Protect landlords from renters who do not pay their rent or damage property. Allow the landlord meaningful measures to have the tenant evicted at a cost to the renter not the landlord. Current laws make the process completely unacceptable and unfair. If a tenant is acting in a way that is un-Nervi gnornunsettling the landlord should have recourse as well. I had a tenant who quit paying rent while bringing all kinds of unsavoury people into my property and home. Police came often to arrest this person. I have a young son in my home and the situation did not allow me to protect him like I would have liked from being around this individual. I ended up losing three months rent and had to pay a sheriff and moving company to remove his belongiings. It cost me about $3,000 to have this person extricated from my home.

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    [-] Shirley

    If renting in an earthquake zone, earthquake proofing should be REQUIRED. IE: door latches that won’t swing open, appliances tied down…

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    [-] nash

    if we make the rental suite earthquake proofing, i am sure you are going to complain more about rent being too high

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    [-] Katherine

    I have three suggestions: 1) I think every apartment building should try to have a group of tenants willing to act as advocates for other tenants. Ideally a group of three people so that responsibilities don’t fall to just one and so that, with a third party, there’s always a fair 2 out 3 judgement should there be situations requiring people’s opinions to proceed. I also think the 3 people need to feel very safe to act on the behalf of others without retribution (eviction, quality of life issues, from the landlord/management) . I really feel that a “union” of sorts in each apartment building would be valuable 2) The Rental Association needs to be more legally able to provide help. What’s the point of that association if you take their advice but they are legally wrong and you suffer repercussions? 3) Landlords need to be educated about the value of happy tenants, as well as long-term tenants. At this time, it’s to their benefit for people to move so that they can then rent the apartments at a higher cost. There’s no benefit to them to have tenants who stay more than a year. This results in a threatened group of residents.

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    [-] Katherine

    One more point I’d like to add: I think we need to loosen the pet laws. It leaves far too many people vulnerable and it’s unfair re: quality of life. I think most pet owners would be happy to pay a deposit so that their “loved ones” could live with them. This would protect homeowners. It’s appalling how strict our laws are concerning this.

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    [-] Leslie

    I’m a senior renting a basement suite in the Fraser Valley. I was born and raised in Vancouver and would very much like to move back to my hometown, but exorbitantly high rents prevent me from doing so. I moved to my current location to be close to my husband who was residing in a nursing home in Langley; he passed away last fall and there is now no reason for me to continue to live here. Aside from the fact that I feel socially isolated (my friends and family all live in the GVRD), my neighbourhood also contributes to this: I live in a subdivision without any bus service; stores and businesses are not within walking distance; most of the residents on my street work during the day; there are no nearby recreational facilities or seniors’ activities. Compounding the stress of living in this environment is the fact that the homeowner’s daughter and young family live upstairs and make unacceptable amounts of noise at all hours of the day and night (including between the hours of 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM). Upon addressing my concerns to the homeowner, I was told that she would “speak to” her daughter, but it either fell on deaf ears or didn’t even happen. There are many instances over the past couple of years that I have lived here of gross inconsideration and thoughtlessness on behalf of the upstairs family. I rented this suite because it was affordable and now I am forced to remain here for the same reason. I cannot find safe, affordable and convenient housing anywhere in the GVRD. The province must create much more affordable housing to accommodate the growing needs of its residents, especially for those most vulnerable – seniors, families and those at risk of homelessness.

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    [-] Shane

    We no longer have a rental suite in our basement because of the rules being in the favour of the tenants. We had great tenants for 3 years when we moved into our brand new house. When they left, our second set of tenants thought it was approprate to smoke weed in our basement. Though clearly prohibited in our rental agreement and being discussed with them multiple times, we were told by the Rental Tenancy Branch that we would have to catch them (and have proof – which smelling it was not considered proof) to evict them for it. After numerous discussions with the RTB, our only realistic option was to evict them to “take over the space for personal use”. So we did, and haven’t had a tenant since (about 5 years). Shame, we thought it was a nice suite. And I realize that it was my fault for selecting them as tenants. But since the tenants rights were greater than my rights as the home owner, we will never have a renter again.

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    [-] |Joyce

    I am a landlord with 5 units I manage personally. I have had great tenants, mostly long term leases. Due to job loss in the region, I have actually lowered rent over the years to reflect higher unemployment and vacancy rates – there are no guarantees in the housing market. Just because the landlord is legally allowed to raise rent does not mean they will be able to year after year. I also kept good tenants by keeping my rentals well maintained and by signing leases that protect the tenant from increases. Leases are a very important incentive for both parties. They provide stability for the tenant and landlord. I am very concerned about enforcing no smoking policies when Cannabis is legalized. How can I protect myself as a landlord from damage from the growth of legal plants in the rental? What about tenants smoking Cannabis for medical reasons? As you stated – catching them smoking in the act is next to impossible. I could not prove that a tenant had smoked in the garage from the smell – it was horrible. The neighbours even complained (a duplex with attached garage). I cleaned and cleaned. It took over a year to be completely odor free and made it hard to rent it again What rights will I have as a landlord to refuse to rent to Cannabis smokers? Can I collect extra damage deposits? Will tenants be required to fully disclose their useage? Will tenants be required to get specific written permission from a landlord to grow plants? What rights do I have to add a “no cannabis” clause to an addendum attached to the rental contract? I would like clear governmental policy for landlords and tenants before it is legalized.

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    [-] Kate

    As a non-BC resident, I find the conversations about landlord-tenant quite interesting. I live in Manitoba and have rented in apartments for all but 5 years of my adult life (ie a long time). I would expect that any province carrying out discussions such as these situations, that are not unique to one province, would communicate with the relevant similar body in other provinces. Manitoba has maximum rental increases annually, but exemptions are available for new and new-ish buildings. However, I have found that most landlords use the legislated amount. Leases are generally one year terms, with renewals automatically offered (unless an issue) 3 months prior to the end of the term, and which must be signed and returned 2 months prior, or it is assumed the tenant will be vacating. Some apartments have one year leases, but require only 30 days notice to leave – the rent amount would increase only once a year for the unit – it is not tied to the tenant. Damage deposits are 50% of the first month’s rent and is put in an interest bearing account returned to tenant within 2 weeks (I think) of vacating, subject to any reductions (eg at my last rental, I had my building manager clean my carpet after my departure, paid by landlord from my damage deposit, by agreement in advance). I did go to the Residential Tenancies Branch about 12 years ago http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/index.html when I had been sent my lease renewal for a condo, managed by a professional firm, but the owner had sold it and wanted me to vacate. The only way a tenant in a condo can be required to vacate is if an owner wishes to move in. . . BUT it can only be at the end of the lease (unless they want to have a mutual agreeable arrangement – that is not part of the act, but in my case, if they had offered a reasonable alternative, I would have been open to it). I went to RTB and they informed me of my rights as a tenant in this matter, and I informed my landlord and had signed the lease. They were not happy, but as professional rental management they should have known this. What does annoy me are the differences between different companies for what application information is *required* – each company has its own requirements and application forms. One new (within last 2 years) small company with a building for seniors does not require all this information, simply a deposit applied to the damage deposit on approval with name and address and name/s of applicants – and it is a month-to-month – or actually annual lease but 30 days notice. When I called about it and asked about the application form that was online, the onsite manager told me that they did not require a lot of detail *they are seniors*. What a welcome innovative idea! Just a few things that are so different than what I read about in BC and some other provinces – but they seem to be working fine in my view in Manitoba, so may bear some reviewing elsewhere.

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    [-] Wei

    A few months ago my landlord (of a multi-unit rental property) gave me a rent increase notice with nearly 10% rent increase! I know that they have replaced windows in all the units earlier, and was prepared for a reasonable increase (maximum allowed increase for 2018 is 4%). But 10% truly shocked me! Yes in case of renovation a landlord might be permitted for a more than maximum increase, but there are a whole set of procedures in BC Residential Tenancy Act that they need to follow in order to achieve it. Apparently the landlord did not follow the procedures. When I argued immediately in writing, they revised the notice very next day and reduced the increase to 4%! When I talked with other tenants, they all received a rent increase notice with higher than 4% increase. Surprisingly, most of the tenants did not know about the 4% maximum increase limit, and did not know that what the landlord has done to them was illegal. On the other hand, I would not be convinced that the landlord did not know about the limit because they have a team of lawyers working for them. It appeared to me that the landlord just took the chance to take advantage of tenants!
    Based on my experience, my suggestion to the government is this: encourage the tenants to report any illegal activities conducted by landlords including over-the-limit rent increase. Once the illegal activities are investigated and confirmed, the government should give penalty to the landlord.

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    [-] D

    Regulations need to be targeted at both bad landlords and bad tenants. Skim the news and you’ll see horror stories of both: typically tenants vandalizing a unit or coming up with ways to not pay rent for months, and landlords illegally evicting tenants (changing locks, insufficient notice, making the place unlivable etc.), often with little or no consequence.

    Good landlords and tenants need to be able to have faith that if they get into a bad situation the RTB can act quickly and they can recover costs for damages/lost revenue/lost accommodation. RTB orders should have teeth when needed – if landlords disregard orders some means should be available to recover the cost to the tenant (perhaps similar to a builder’s lien, or whatever methods would be used to collect unpaid property taxes) and if tenants refuse to leave, vandalize the unit, etc. trespassing and vandalism are crimes and could be treated as such. Obviously these would only apply in extreme cases, but these protections are sometimes required, and must be applied quickly (i.e. it should not take several months to evict a tenant that doesn’t pay rent or recover costs from a landlord – renters and landlords both have bills to pay). Protections must also be accessible and unfortunately average people don’t have time nor resources to go to court to resolve a dispute. Having been lucky and only dealt with good landlords in the past I don’t know how effective the resolution process is, but there are enough horror stories floating around to make anyone nervous, which likely has a chilling effect on the amount of units being rented out.

    Lastly, there are few serial bad tenants/landlords that repeat the same process with every new agreement. It would be nice for tenants and landlords both to have some way of knowing if they are dealing with someone who has been the subject to RTB orders in the past – good references are too easy to fake.

    As others have said, if landlords had more faith that they had protection from bad tenants, perhaps there would be a few more rental suites on the market.

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    [-] Kim

    Landlords should have a say regarding what is allowed in their homes/private residential suites. For example, pets, smokers, marijuana..landlords should be given rights to evict or give notice if those are abused.

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    [-] Ariane

    Rental properties are supplied by property owners whom purchase properties for either A-to retire into some day. B-as an investment to add to their portfolios.
    Without these people purchasing these properties there would be no rentals available.
    With the rapid changing new tenancy laws many of my clients (property owners) are now questioning why they should hold on to their rentals if they no longer have any control over their property. Removing the little box to allow an owner to terminate a tenancy has created more confusion, frustrations and actually scaring property owners away from renting out their properties. Tenants are confused and some are now abusing the system taking advantage of property owners by securing new tenancies and vacating a property without proper notice.
    Removing box 2 on page 2 has also put people at risk on both sides.
    Here is an example……Let’s say I have a tenant, well reputable doctor whom makes a lot of money and therefore always pays his rents on time. During the screening process he was fantastic. Now in a tenancy he is verbally abusive and says belittling things to his female property manager. Because box 2 on page 2 is now removed the female property manager has NO grounds to discontinue the tenancy. She cannot evict him, he pays on time, she cannot get rid of him as he has done nothing criminal or civil. But every time she needs to attend to the property to do an inspection or fix something she has to listen to verbal abuse.
    See box 2 on page 2 used to allow us to put ALL of our tenants in a probation period. If the relationship was disrespectful and abusive we did not have to renew a lease or continue with the relationship. Just like employment, most places have a probation period. To protect people and properties this box 2 on page 2 was VERY crucial.
    Another example….
    What if a tenant wants to rent a property for only 9 moths because they are building a house. But the tenant wants a document that ends in 9months. They want the security of 9 months. We can no longer do this. These scenarios come up all the time in my fully furnished properties.
    We really need to find a way to allow a property owner to have some sort of control over their life investments.
    When handing the keys to a tenant they have to understand that those keys are someone’s lifetime of work, retirement property or a piece of their portfolio which pays for their family to feed their kids. Giving keys to a property is NOT a joke and should be treated more like a very precious commodity.
    Remember rentals are available because someone decided to buy a property and make it available for someone to rent. Renting someone’s property is a privilege not an entitlement.
    Both tenants and Property owners need to treat each other with utmost respect.

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    [-] Zuz

    1. The probationary period created with a vacate clause that you describe is, IMO, contrary to the Residential Tenancy Act (the “Act”) in that it is an admitted attempt to avoid having to use the eviction provisions of the Act (which you are not allowed to do pursuant to s. 5). Even prior to the legislative changes restricting the use of the vacate clause, there were Arbitration decisions that found such use of a vacate clause unlawful. In the scenario you describe I’d argue that it’s reasonable to assert that the continued verbal abuse has “significantly interfered with or unreasonably disturbed another occupant or the landlord of the residential property” which constitutes cause under s. 47 of the Act. If the tenant disputes such a notice it would be up to the landlord to prove on a balance of probabilities that the abuse is occurring, but if it truly is then it doesn’t take that much to build a case. Sure, enforcement can be expensive if the tenant overholds after there is an order of possession, but that would be the same if a tenant overheld after the expire of a fixed-term with a vacate clause, so there isn’t anything there.

    2. You could enter into a 9 month fixed term (without a vacate clause), and the tenant could give 1 month notice a full month before the end of the fixed term, to be effective on the same date the fixed term expires. The tenant gets the 9 month security and is able to end the tenancy when they want to.

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    [-] Ariane

    Your comments are appreciated. Although I do have to disagree with you. When a person is being verbally abusive there are no grounds to evict or to end a tenancy. The rcmp will not get involved unless the tenant in question has a previous record.
    Comments like yours is what is scaring most of my property owners – loss of control over their properties. This is the complete reverse effect of what our government is trying to do. Instead of making it pleasant they are making it too hard and unpleasant to own a property and rent it out.
    Remember renting someone’s property is a privilege NOT an entitlement.

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    [-] Marie

    Rent increases of 4% a year is too high. My rent will double in ten years I’m a senior on a fixed income. I’m a reliable tenant who wants to age in place. I’m fearful for my future. Please keep rentals pet free for landlords who don’t want pets. I lived in a building with pets, and it was horrible. Dogs barking, fleas in public areas, and pet smells. I currently live in a pet free, N/S, no BBQ building.

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    [-] Steph

    I think that rent controlled apartments would make sense. This would stop landlords and property management companies from trying to get renters to leave so they can increase the rent. I have had great luck in renting but I have heard many horror stories.

    I also think rent increased should be capped at inflation and not include the additional 2%. My wage did not go up 4% last year but my housing went up. And my gas bill, my hydro bill, my groceries and many things that are necessary for every day. My husband and I are currently foregoing having children even though we both have decent stable jobs because of the never-ending decreases to our disposable income. And also because since we rent a 1 bedroom we see no way we can have a kid. We do not want to spend all our money on accommodation.

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    [-] kirsty

    The government should increase corporate taxes, and use that money to build apartment complexes, and sell units at below market rate, and if that “owner” wishes to sell their condo they are forced to sell back to the government. This Allows strata and the owners to take care of the building, and not the government, and gives people a sense of ownership while keeping the rates below market. Singapore’s government does this for 60% of its housing, and its about time we follow suite. Its not the free markets job to provide below-market housing its the governments. The government has the power to buy land, and build highrise apartment buildings, and sell the units to the people at below market price, while still having ownership over the building.

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    [-] ML

    I would caution against applying another country’s rules without fully understanding how they work. Task force-Please do the analysis first.

    As a person who has relatives and has worked in Singapore- yes the government owns properties which it rents. Criteria is stringent and there is a built-in bias for the Singapore government housing to be assigned to couples and families over single persons, which people have told me results in young persons getting married quickly to friends to get on the housing list.

    Also the waitlist is several years long so that persons sign up when they are coming out of school. Can you imagine waiting years to be qualified to get housing? Also do you want the BC government to get involved in renting when they can’t get their healthcare system in order? When someone is waiting 6 months to a year for a needed surgery and can’t walk (knee surgery needed) or can’t see ?(waiting for cataract surgery)-Why would you suggest the government take charge in this way?

    Also consider that when you say “government” that the BC government is using taxpayer money to assign to whatever it does so if there is not enough money, taxes will go up, or potentially be reassigned from other services.

    Increasing corporate taxes can have other negative effects. Small and large businesses who must pay more in tax have less money to assign for raises or to hire people.

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    [-] Jennifer

    I believe there should be some consideration of different regulations for secondary suites vs apartments or other more standalone units. We have a suite in our home that we rent out; under the old regulations we were able to say goodbye to bad tenants at the end of their lease without a fight, whereas now we would be stuck with them. We now have an excellent tenant and are happy to keep her as long as she wants to stay, but like another poster mentioned, should we decide that we need the space as our family grows (we are expecting a second child), we will be in a difficult position.

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    [-] Dagmar

    Hi Jennifer, I’m sure you can legally ask tenants to leave if you need the space for yourself, or even immediate family.

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    [-] Barry

    Safer subsidies should be greatly increased to reflect the true cost of renting and living expenses. Evictions should be evaluated and oked by an independent government body to make sure all are compensated and found alternative AFFORDABLE housing. Those who rent are becoming the weakest part of our society subject to the whims of profit and weak government policies.

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    [-] Blake

    RTA has no recognition that some one renting a suite in their house experiences a vastly different relationship with the tenant than a large commercial landlord.

    Our first tenant used to smoke inside and sometimes butt their cigarettes on our patio furniture when outside. At night around 1am they would scream obscenities at us that would wake us up.

    We have young children and they have seen me cry multiple times because of treatment from tenants. Getting peace and safety required a court order every time.

    We used to not be able to afford our house without tenants but now thanks to the value increases we can. With the thrust towards handcuffing landlords more and more, we are on the path to getting rid of all our rentals. Every single person I know that has rented to tenants in BC is sick and tired of being vilified by media and government. We take huge risk and get very little cash flow to cover the many problems that can come up.

    Every single one has killed all their rental units. The government has legislated all profit out and offloaded 100% of the risk. People will only put up with that for so long, before they find other avenues.

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    [-] John

    The landlord of a unit in a strata corporation is entitled to charge their tenant a move-in or move-out fee charged by the strata corporation to the landlord (see section 7(1)(f) of the Residential Tenancy Regulation). This applies even if the tenant hasn’t agreed to pay such fees in their residential tenancy agreement, and there is no limit to the amount of the fee that can be charged. I don’t think this is fair to tenants. The landlord should only be allowed to charge these fees if the tenancy agreement provides for it.

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    [-] GRANT

    At least around Victoria, airbnb and other short term rental sites provide potential landlords an opportunity to make a bigger buck off of tourists and other short term residents to the detriment of the housing availably for full time residents. When viewing potential new homes in the recent past, my wife and I were shuffled through at least three conga line house views before totally scoring with our current place via dumb luck. This is a stark contrast to the city we moved from (Montreal) where landlords were falling over themselves to rent apartments to long term tenants. In a city where vacancy rates are barely above 0%, this is very daunting for potential renters and new residents.

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    [-] James

    While I agree that renovations and similar practices are bad… But we gotta protect good landlords too. Bad renters – even if they don’t pay – is really hard to evict and you’re easily out 2,3 months income from one bad renter. That’s a big blow. Especially not all landlords are rich – we have mortgages to pay and interest rates are escalating fast. Please don’t punish good landlords along with bad ones.

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    [-] Dianne

    As a pontential rental housing supplier, small scale basement suite that I would like to rent out in my own home but currently do not , I would like to see the RTB be on the side of Occupying Landlords… whom have to deal with nuisance and/ or delinquent tenants… legislation needs to be written to protect small scale landlords when tenants decide they can change or circumvent rules… ie: late payment, occupancy limits, disruptive behaviour, use of property guidelines, and city by-law infractions… is small scale landlords are at time held captive by rules that are meant for townhouses/condos…. it becomes unbearable when your tenants.. in your own home are disrespectful and disruptive.. and do not follow the signed upon agreement. I am speaking only as a home owner who could rent a suite but at this time does not … finding a tenant/ tenants who do not in this situation is a challenge… we are not in it for the money but to provide affordable housing .. we do not need to rent our suite but would like too… just too many unknowns and unrealistic expectations.

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    [-] Averill

    I agree and I wish that as a renter I had the same option to keep the suites around me empty when my home becomes unbearable because my neighbours or landlords are disrespectful, disruptive, and do not follow the signed upon agreement.
    It would be great to see this resolved so more great units like yours could be made available.

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    [-] Dagmar

    I have been a landlord for almost 30 years, and I never had a problem until last year. There was always some basic clean up, repainting etc. to do, but my last tenant destroyed my home. It cost me over $5000 to address the damage caused purely by a lack of caring. (destroyed brand new rugs and subfloors which had to be removed, etc. etc.) I would like to see the ability for landlords to require larger damage deposits. I have moved into the house myself, using my other residence for weekend use for me and my family. It is cheaper for me to pay the carrying costs on two places than to pay for all the damage and repair.

    If you could hold additional meetings, please add the Sunshine Coast to your list (and advertise). From what I’ve read, it’s in the top 3 WORST places in Canada to find accommodations. People working full time are living in their vehicles. I would like to see opportunities where people can provide space on their property for RV or tiny homes. Currently, it is not legal.

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    [-] Averill

    I had a similar experience with my property when I was a landlord. The tenants allowed their dogs to defecate indoors, resulting in damage to the floors and subflooring that far exceeded the damage deposit I was allowed to collect. I’ve also faced losses due to abandonment of the property and inexperienced renters not realizing they were responsible for the cost of the whole unit when their roommate moved out.
    Still, those were all risks I took on as a landlord. I had the right to disallow pets in the unit, but I chose to allow them because it’s something I believe in. In the end, I sold the unit and still made a profit after all of the damages. Owning a property is work, but I treated it as a business with the same financial risks as a business. I agree that you should not rent out your property if you feel it is less profitable to you than the carrying cost of two homes, but I’m also sorry to hear this one bad experience in 30 years was enough for you to choose to take another rental unit off the market.
    Best of luck in your future endeavours with your properties.

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    [-] Moderator Moderator Lisa

    Thank you for contributing to the online discussion and raising this concern. We’ve heard from people in many communities who would like us to visit, regrettably we can’t get to every community. Due to budget limitations and time constraints it was only feasible for the task force to travel to 10 locations in the month of June. Analysis was conducted by the Residential Tenancy Branch to determine the 10 locations in the province to host the community meetings. The analysis included a review of the number of rental units in a community, the number of applications for dispute resolution, a mix of rural and urban locations and ensuring the task force was going to all regions of the province.

    Everyone’s comments and ideas are welcome. For those outside of the 10 communities or unable to attend a nearby session, we encourage providing feedback online in this discussion forum.

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    [-] Cameron

    The government needs to create an official registry of tenancy agreements, and create an online portal system that tenancy related matters would flow through. The portal could facilitate payment of rent, holding of damage & pet deposits, and include all standard terms of a property and would function as a vector to issue notices by the landlord, receive complaints from the tenant.

    I feel that such a system would help good tenants and landlords get repairs done in a reasonable amount of time, and hold a record of rent payment or rent re-reimbursements, and could also play a part in speeding up any kind of RTB decision making. Not every issue needs to go to the RTB, having an official record of events keeps parties honest. If a repair is not completed, or not done to a satisfactory level the resolution of the repair could be disputed.

    We need to be able to give tenants faster judgement and recourse for when a landlord refuses to make required repairs. Many landlords simply choose not to because they know the RTB is so backlogged that people will often move before a hearing is held and a judgement is issued.

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    [-] Derek

    I dont have a lot of time to get into a large process, but I will tell you my experience. As a renter, I have to move nearly every year, because the owner, though they may say “long term” cannot help but take advantage of a hot market.
    This invariably leads to “showings” for 6 months, where strangers inspect your house a few times a week, and you in the end, move on to a new owner who may claim to be long term.
    I wish when we got notice of selling, we could forward it to the government, who would buy it and rent it to me, to maintain rental stock.
    Alas, we are such a long way from such simple solutions. Good luck in the committee

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    [-] Averill

    One way this could be addressed is by setting regulations that control rental prices. Such rent controls exist in many European countries including Austria, Germany and Sweden. There are already regulations on rental increases for existing tenancies, but none for new tenancies. Regulations on increases for new tenancies in the same unit would discourage the kind of turnover you’re experiencing with minimal cost to the Province. Moderate increases still encourage landlords to keep units on the market and more significant increases are acceptable if proof of major renovations is available.

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    [-] Kris

    Let’s start with the largest bugbear: The lack of RTB support.
    In short, I won a RTB arbitration. I have no way to collect. This needs to change. There needs to be staff so RTB arbitration is streamlined. Not a 3 month endeavor. This is unfair to tenants and landlords. If someone wins arbitration, the loser must comply immediately, not have to go to court to get law enforcement or put a lien on the property, etc. Right now it can cost around $300 just to generate the paperwork to file a RTB dispute and that is just not acceptable.

    Next, the cost of renting in BC is more than three times out of line with prevailing wages. It should not cost $1800 to rent in BC where the same size apartment in Montreal is $600. The Province should peg the minimum wage in BC to 400% the median rental cost. So for Metro Vancouver, the minimum wage at present needs to be $40/hr while we have $1500/mo shoebox condos. If business owners balk at this, then they need to put pressure on the developers to build cheaper housing, or for the city to build cheaper rentals.

    “Market Rentals” are nonsense. Nobody who lives in Metro Vancouver and is earning minimum wage can afford anything. 12.65$ = 474.375 maximum rent. This is a joke. There is nothing for even twice that, therefor anyone earning minimum wage full time must put 75% of their income into housing. People should not be required to give up their autonomy, especially seniors, just to live in BC. We should not be stuffing 4 seniors into basement suites.

    The City of Burnaby hates renters. They’ve systematically destroyed all the affordable rentals in the city in favor of replacing them with low-quality “luxury” condos that nobody lives in. The City of Burnaby is sitting on a fortune and refuses to solve the homeless problem by denying it exists. The province should mandate that the cities of Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey have 25% affordable (as in a place that is less than half a paycheck to rent) housing within their city borders that are reasonable sized (a 250sq ft suite with no bathroom is not a home.)

    In the interest of balance to landlords, the city should actually own all the affordable rentals and be responsible for them. It’s clear that private landlords would rather do nothing to maintain buildings, and just wait for a developer to buy their property to demolish it. Let’s just cut private landlords out of the picture, have city buy out all remaining rental buildings and either maintain them or build new higher-density affordable buildings. AirBnB has done nothing but destroy all the affordable housing in BC, so let’s end the problem by forcing the city to take back all those buildings.

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    [-] Averill

    In response to your last paragraph:
    In addition to dedicating 25% of the city’s housing stock to social housing, the City of Vienna, Austria indirectly controls over another 20% (200 000 units) in collaboration with private developers. These units are developed by selling land that was pre-purchased by the city at an affordable price to developers who have submitted successful proposals. The new developments must rent half of the new units to lower-income residents for 20-25% of their household income. Residents are never required to leave units, even if their income increases. This model results in social integration through people with multiple income levels living in the same buildings (mixed income housing), reducing stigmatized concentrations of poverty. The lower-income housing stock is replenished through the addition of approximately 5000 units per year. See https://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdredge/pdr_edge_featd_article_011314.html for more info.

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    [-] Shanaia

    I think the “discount” Loophole should be closed. A rental agency I recently rented from showed me an apartment for rent at 750$. I liked it and a few weeks later went to move in, but when I was about to sign the lease the rent was actually 950$. I was informed 750 was a discount and If I did not vacate the property by the time my one year lease was up my rent would be hiked 200$. I didn’t want to sign the lease after that but I already had my things at the apartment, and good luck trying to find another place to live in a day. I was basically forced out after my lease was up. This company does this for every property they manage and many people are forced out of their homes due to cost, yet this is still legal. How are landlords still able to do this?

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    [-] Brandon

    First off, fix the Rental Tenancy Board arbitration situation. The arbitrators don’t even know the basics of the Residential Tenancy Act. How can renters and tenants ultimately find protection if the government isn’t even aware of its own laws?

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    [-] C

    We have a small one-bedroom suite attached to our family home, which we purchased in 2016. As much as we would love the income from renting it, there are barriers:
    1) A lack of control if there are tenant issues. (We have kids at home.)
    2) It is attached to our principal residence, so if we were to rent it, when we sell our home we would have to pay capital gains tax on part of the proceeds.

    After considering all options and doing a bit of math, we came to the conclusion that it simply is not in our interests to rent a result of these factors.

    My suggestions are:
    (1) To negotiate with the federal government to exempt secondary suites (attached to principal residence) from capital gains tax so that secondary suites that generate rental income that are attached to the homeowner’s principal residence in an area with high/escalating housing prices and relatively low rental availability.

    (2) To provide principal owners with attached suites a greater degree of control, so tenants can be removed more easily. [See, for example: https://globalnews.ca/news/4153633/nightmare-tenant-landlord-rights/%5D

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    [-] ML

    Re: 2)
    There is no capital gains on a suite that is in a primary residence, unless you apply depreciation (capital cost allowance CCA). Talk to an accountant.

    https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/personal-income/line-127-capital-gains/principal-residence-other-real-estate/sale-your-principal-residence.html

    Excerpt:
    “We will consider the entire property to maintain its nature as a principal residence in spite of the fact that you have used it for income producing purposes when all of the following conditions are met:

    The income producing use is ancillary to the main use of the property as a residence.
    There is no structural change to the property.
    No capital cost allowance is claimed on the property.

    The example they use is running a daycare in your home.

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    [-] JJ

    I agree with a number of other comments that the one size fits all approach does not work well. The market is very complex and having different laws for different purposes would be better. This would include short and long term agreements and multi family and secondary suite units. As a property owner with a secondary suite, living in a rural area with a vacancy rate of below 1%, the need of the renters and the landlords are different than those in the city. Things to consider for changes:
    1. Any additional restrictions on landlords will continue to scare away good people from having secondary suites. In rural areas we rely on these suites because apartment, multi family units are rare.
    2. An advertising campaign highlighting the benefits of having secondary suites. There are too many horror stories out there. We need to change the message.
    3. Allowing more room for landlords to make reasonable restrictions. For example occupancy size in a rural location is a legitimate issue when people are on wells and septic systems.
    4. Looking at changes to the age restriction options on stratas. In smaller communities with very few multi family units, these age restrictions have a huge impact on the rental market.

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    [-] Michael

    Have a grant for those who are low income and cannot afford to pay $100 to the landlord tenancy branch for an investigation, with measures of repayment in the event of frivolousness. Otherwise landlords who don’t ensure cleanliness or basic maintenance between tennants will continue to get away with negligence.

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    [-] Connie

    In metro Vancouver there is an excessive and unhealthy reliance on householders to provide suites for rent. Hard to get stats on this since below official radar. There needs to be much more purpose built rental buildings built. The dwindling old stock in Vancouver is often not well maintained and there is not enough new rental buildings . While it’s important to house the homeless, it’s equally important to help people working in Vancouver who have a horrible time finding secure, affordable rental homes. More incentives for builders and fast tracking permits is all I can think of. Are there companies who have expertise in this, such as after the Ft Mc Murray fire when housing had to be replaced fast?

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    [-] Dionne

    I personally feel the system is very unbalanced in favor of the renter. Landlords do not have any say. There is a misconception that most landlords are wealthy and are taking advantage of tenants which is not the case. As someone who worked really hard to own a property, the only way to afford it is renting it out. With all these new laws, it is making it difficult to be a landlord. It is frustrating that after all these years of saving and putting a down payment on a property, the government is now telling me what I can and cannot do with my property.

    I feel forcing landlords to give 4 months notice is unfair. This gives tenants time to break a lease and leaves the landlords struggling to find new renters. They have been multiple times when tenants have not paid their rent with no repercussions and I have not been able to afford my mortgage. Now with the new rules of paying 12 months to the tenant, I feel it is better to take my property off the rental market which would decrease rental rates even further.

    I feel there needs to be more safeguards put in place for landlords to feel comfortable renting their property. If not, people will not rent out their properties and rental rates will decrease even further.

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    [-] Joanna

    As a tenant who will have to vacate due to the owner’s son moving in, rest assured, it is a much harder for renters to find a place to live than for owners to find a tenant. If you feel you can afford to forego the income that your suite generates, you are already light years ahead in terms of security to most BC tenants. In my case, there is a very real possibility that my daughter will have to change schools. If landlords can only feel comfortable renting out their suite in a system where tenants live in constant fear of having to uproot their lives yet again, than I don’t know what to say. I have rented in many cities and different countries and have never felt so much at the mercy of landlords, regardless of the tenancy act. The reality on the ground is that most tenants do whatever it takes to be able to stay in a good unit. Lots of talk about bad tenants. I’m sure there are some, just as there are bad landlords. I get equally, if not more, angry at stories of tenants not paying rent for instance as it reflects badly on all of us. I think in circumstances where the tenant is obviously abusing the contract, the owner should be given more latitude. (evicting for non payment of rent). However, good tenants should not have to worry 24/7 if they will have to find yet again a new home for their family. Landlords need security to know what their income will be like but tenants need to have the security that they will have shelter – a basic human need.

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    [-] marina

    Thanks for your comments. As a landlord, I will be happy to rent to you in a long term, but how can I find you from those bad tenants? I would suggest government to build a ranking system, so both landlords and tenants can build their renting credits. Good tenants and landlords will be awarded and bad ones will face the consequence.

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    [-] Martin

    The system is already fair and balanced. I see both bad landlords and bad tenants. The objective needs to be ways to push both ends of the spectrum towards the middle ground. There appears to be little external assistance for either landlords or tenants who are unfairly treated. I’ve been a tenant with a sketchy Landlord and am now a landlord of just one basement suite with a good tenant that I want to keep in case the next random one is a problem. It’s a modest house and in order to make the payments, I need a tenant.
    I think a key thing to remember is the opening sentence in this discussion: most relationships are working well.

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    [-] Ross

    While the system appears to be working well on the outside , if you are a small landlord it is easy to get devastated with a bad tenant. Times for hearings, orders need to be improved. There should be recourses to recover losses. Fraud and non payment should be the same as theft. Both parties have entered into contract . Breach by non payment is basically theft. IR.T.O. Delays make it a significant cost to landlord.most cannot afford 3-6 months without rent

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    [-] Mark

    I’m a renter and my suggestion is to put a limitation to annual rent increase. There should be a limit and it should not be based on the inflation rate. at a minimum, rate increases should be at most 1/4 of the inflation rate. I know it’s hard for the landlord, but I believe it’s more harder on the renter.

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    [-] Hillary

    There are a LOT of nightmare tenants out there and it takes a VERY LONG TIME to get to arbitration. There ought to be a way to fast track some of these hearings when tenants pose a risk to other tenants and/or the landlord’s property. Having to WAIT 6 weeks or more is ludicrous!!

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    [-] Graeme

    I am a long-term tenant with wonderful landlords. Yes, we exist, and judging from the level of stress and paranoia on this board, we’re rare as hens’ teeth.

    I wholeheartedly support the elimination of the fixed-term lease loophole and the increased penalties against bad-faith eviction. The prospect of having to find different rental accommodation in this market is terrifying, and these changes help me sleep better at night.

    I am not opposed to granting extra tools to landlords or tenants to help in problem situations, provided they are not just another way to circumvent the ordinary process when it is inconvenient.

    I would like the Government to focus on enforcement and/or support of existing legislation in addition to launching new initiatives. Here are a few examples:

    – The Residential Tenancy Board is badly underfunded and is not able to serve its purpose.
    – The short-term rental (AirBNB) legislation is still being broadly ignored and is badly in need of visible enforcement.
    – The empty homes tax needs to be enforced, including properties that have been vacant long enough that they are uninhabitable. These properties should be rebuilt and reinhabited or sold.

    Here’s one wish for the future:

    – The Province should stop (or give the cities the tools to stop) developers from indefinitely holding properties until the zoning authority give them what they want (Looking at you, Concord Pacific.) Land within urban boundaries is intended to be used, not held hostage.

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    [-] Kadri

    This is my feedback as a small landlord.
    There are so many responsible tenants out there, but a few bad apples are ruining the batch. Small landlords need more protection against bad tenants so they feel safer about renting again.

    One bad tenant can leave easily 10,000-50,000 in damage to the property. The problem with bad tenants is that even after you win the arbitrations they just won’t pay for the damages. And even if they would, they do not have that money to pay fast. Ending the landlord collecting $200 per month (for $10,000 that is 50 months = over 4 years). For a small landlord, that is a big loss, and many don’t even have means to fix a damage of this extent (some may be even forced to sell since they don’t have $50,000 to fix the damage).

    I feel many recent changes in legislation are based on protecting tenants from large corporate landlords. These changes though affect small landlord negatively. Maybe there is a need for the legislation to treat small landlords differently. Lots of small landlords were using fixed term tenancies as a trial period to see if the tenants are compatible with other occupants, not to evict good tenants & raise the rent. Current eviction process for bad tenants is too slow and costly.

    Some of the things I feel need to be addressed and some possible solutions:
    1. NON-PAYMENT OF RENT. Eviction process needs to be faster and easier to evict tenants who refuse to pay rent and refuse to move out. Possible solution: maybe RTB decision could be enforceable by RCMP – if the tenant does not move out like the eviction notice requests, landlord could call the police to enforce the moving-out process and changing locks. The whole process should not take longer than 15 days, so the landlord can have the place ready for the next tenant. Landlord should not need to go to the Supreme court and hire a bailiff (this takes time and money). Once tenants stops paying the rent, they should no longer have rights to the rental unit. Otherwise they have more right to the property than the landlord who owns it. If the landlord defaults his mortgage payments he is penalized for such and that goes into his credit score and he may lose his property. If a person goes to a restaurant orders food and wine and in the end doesn’t pay the owner calls the police and that person is arrested. If a person goes to a store takes merchandise without paying for it is arrested. A person rents a place doesn’t pay his monthly rent gets away with the crime and cannot be removed without a court order. This is not fair. Non-payment of rent is stealing from the landlord. Why are the tenants being protected for non-payment of rent? Landlord should have easier means to remove the tenant from their property once the RTB decides so.
    2. ARBITRATION WAITING TIMES need to be shorter for eviction related matters.
    3. EVICTION PROCESS in general needs to be faster and less costly for landlords to remove the bad tenants from the property. Government needs to find better solutions to enforce the evictions and close any loopholes that allow tenants to squat in the property without paying rent for long period of time.
    4. DAMAGE DEPOSIT NEEDS TO BE BIGGER – the damage deposit of 1/2 month rent in current marketplace is lots of times not enough to cover even the cleaning costs, not talking about repairs. I’ve been a renter as well, so I understand that for most tenants it is hard to even gather the 1/2 damage deposit. So I propose the landlord should be allowed to collect additional damage deposit monthly – e.g. the tenant pays $2000 rent + $200 damage deposit. Over one year lease that would be $2400 additional damage deposit, and once the tenant moves out, they would get it back like the regular damage deposit.
    5. PET DEPOSIT NEEDS TO BE BIGGER – landlords are scared to rent to pet owners because the 1/2 month pet deposit does not cover most damages left by pets. Many landlord opt to not rent to pet owners after a bad experience. So I propose the landlord should be allowed to collect additional pet deposit monthly – e.g. the tenant pays $2000 rent + $200 pet deposit. Over one year lease that would be $2400 additional pet deposit, and once the tenant moves out, they would get it back like the regular pet deposit.
    6. ENFORCING RTB decisions – the process of arbitration and collecting money should be made easier for both landlords and tenants. If the party in fault does not pay, the claimant should not need to take it further to small claims court. RTB decision should be enforceable and for the cases where the party in fault cannot pay the full amount at once, RTB decision should also propose a payment plan. Solutions should be in place to ensure the CLAIMANT gets paid. – landlords nee more rights to collect the money from bad tenants.
    7. COLLECTING MONEY – refusing to pay the CLAIMANT should be considered as THEFT and should be handled as such. Claimant could report the person to RCMP and the criminal record would reflect these offences.
    8. DELIBERATE DAMAGE TO THE PROPERTY should be considered as vandalism and should be handled as such. Criminal record should reflect these offences.

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    [-] Dorothy

    this is one of the most well thought out and rational submission I have read so far. Thank you for your work.

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    [-] D

    Well said!

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    [-] Danielle

    I’m a renter. From everything I have heard about recent changes, it is near impossible to evict bad tenants and protect your property as a landlord. This is deterring people from being landlords, which decreases supply, driving price up. Simple economics. Please find a way to balance without giving all the power to the tenants to use and abuse property that doesn’t belong to them. Signed, a good tenant.

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    [-] Perry

    Thank You Danielle. As a ‘good landlord” I completely agree and hope your landlord appreciates you as a tenant.

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    [-] lawrence

    Re: Fixed term tenancy legislation

    I would like to applaud the government for working to improve fairness for tenants in the situation where landlords were using fixed terms to increase rent more than normally would be allowed.

    However, the language currently used in the legislation poses several problems and I believe they will increase rents, make many landlords consider taking their home out of the pool of rentals available for locals/residents wanting to stay in a permanent home, and rather opt for short term vacation rentals or selling their home altogether. These options will not favor tenants or the government at a time when vacancy rates are low in many areas.

    The primary issue stems from the rigidity of the language around what the tenant and landlord may agree to at the end of a fixed term. Landlords and tenants should be able to agree on whether or not a tenancy can or cannot move to a month to month tenancy at the end of the fixed term. Currently, if the tenant does not agree to another fixed term, then it is automatically moving to a month to month tenancy—whether the landlord agreed to that or not.

    We have many tenants who have signed in agreement that the tenancy could continue for another fixed length of time (which is determined by a discussion between the landlord and tenant and completed well in advance of the end of the original fixed term), but that month to month would not be allowed. These were signed well in advance of your recent legislation changes and it was never used to increase rent more than is allowed by the RTB. Your language leaves no room for tenants and landlords to agree to this type of tenancy.

    The issues for individual landlords that are renting out a home, for instance, on their own rather than through a company, is that they cannot ensure that they can be there when the tenant moves out if they don’t have enough notice of when a tenant’s term ends. There is also excessive risk in this situation for the landlord in that if you are renting out a home with a large mortgage, property taxes, insurance and maintenance, then you cannot necessarily afford to have that house sit empty for months of the year. There are times of the year that are typically easier to find a tenant for these types of properties, so trying to have fixed terms that end in those times of the year makes it possible for landlords to continue to rent to longer term tenants and avoid hiring property managers (which would then increase the rent further).

    I have a tenant who likes to sublet the home they rent from me. Now that they will be renting month to month, there will be no option for sublet for them. In addition, when I know who is living in a home for a fixed term and how long that term is, I can easily distinguish which cosmetic or personal requests to consider spending money on to make the home more the way a tenant wants it. If they are only in a month to month tenancy, I will have no security that they will stay so then only absolutely necessary repairs would be dealt with. I do not believe that tenants understand what they lose when they are not in a fixed term. They only perceive freedom when in fact they will lose many things. Rents will also have to rise. If I have to consistently worry that I could have a tenant move at any time of year, and that could potentially cost me thousands of dollars, then I will have to save for that eventuality. That will mean increasing rent to the maximum allowable every 12 months. In the past, when I had back to back fixed term tenancies with the same tenant, I often did not raise the rent at all between leases. I could forego the rent increase due to the stability of knowing when the tenancy would start and when it might end.

    The implications of the rigid language around fixed term tenancies has the following impacts:

    For landlords:
    -decreased security and much greater financial risk, especially when renting homes etc as tenants with children tend not to want to move at certain times of the year so landlords have be able to be able to withstand many months without revenue if unable to find a suitable tenant (please note that some municipal bylaws do not allow you to rent a home to a group of students/unrelated people, so it is not always a given that a tenant can be found on short notice, especially for larger homes).
    -financial cost and stress of not being able to show a home or be at the house for a tenant to move out, due to a preplanned time away (we also have families, just like our tenants do, and our kids also have vacations planned or school trips that we volunteer to help with)
    -reduced ability for a landlord to go away on a vacation as they have no idea when their tenants might move or when they would be required for inspections and return of the damage deposit
    -difficulty finding appropriate tenants for homes that are not ‘cookie cutter’. If you have a larger home or a unique property then it often is more difficult to find a tenant, and if the home is in better condition then the risk to the landlord is higher and they need to find a suitable tenant who will care for the home appropriately. Damage deposits are very small in relation to the actual cost of repairs.
    -consideration that selling may be a better option as the financial risk of having no tenant for too long may be too great
    -need to have to increase rents every 12 months to save for times of financial loss
    -decreased incentive to repair anything nonessential as the tenant could leave very quickly
    -greater likelihood of renting short term or changing the property to a vacation rental as the revenue will be higher and the risk will be similar

    For tenants:
    -reduced security as when they are not in a fixed term the landlord can choose with rather short notice to sell the home
    -if landlords sell to avoid the financial risk of the month to month tenancy, there will be less properties available for tenants to rent
    -if landlords decide to switch to vacation or short term rentals as they yield greater revenue and similar risk to the month to month tenancy (especially in the case of unique or larger rental homes/spaces), then tenants will have less properties available for home/long term rental
    -higher rents: landlords will need to increase rent at every opportunity to help provide security for the risk of month to month tenancy—will cost tenants more
    -no ability to sublet—sublet is not applicable to a month to month tenancy—so then they will have to move out

    Recommendations:
    The language needs to allow tenants and landlords to openly choose to remain in fixed terms tenancies rather than allowing month to month if the landlord is not able to manage month to month tenancies and the tenant feels it is a good fit for them to have the security of fixed terms. The fixed terms should not have to be one year. The landlord and tenant should have to discuss the term length and come to an agreement. Alternatively, after the initial fixed term, if the tenant does not decide on another fixed term and if the legislation continues to insist on allowing month to month automatically, then the tenant should have to give greater notice to end the tenancy (or this should at least be an option in the agreement). This would give landlords more security and then avoid them removing their homes from the rental pool. Again, this should all be determined at the start of a tenancy and can’t be altered in the middle of a tenancy unless both parties agree. If a tenant doesn’t want those terms then they can choose not to rent from that landlord from the beginning, and equally the landlord can instead try to rent to someone else for whom there is a better fit.

    The government has a housing crisis. It is not landlords who have a housing crisis. Landlords are a big part of the solution to the housing crisis in that we continue to provide homes for rent for individuals/families, rather than developers who continue to take over properties and build expensive homes for sale. Your rigid language in the agreement and lack of flexibility in allowing tenants and landlords to find an agreement that works for both of them will cause inadvertent negative consequences on both tenants and landlords.

    If the government makes it too difficult, I will sell or move to vacation rentals. You will have fewer homes in the rental pool. I have spoken to many landlords who have similar feelings on this. There are many other individuals/couples/families etc that rent out homes like this. It is a large percentage of the rentals available in many centres. We are just regular people who need some security otherwise we cannot continue to provide rentals.

    I like the idea of providing homes for people and take pride in what I rent out, but not if it will cost me even more sleepless nights than it does already. Being a landlord already comes with many challenges. We deal with the many personal break ups and changing family situations that tenants have. It is very stressful and housing is often a critical piece that needs to be sorted out. The government never applauds or thanks landlords for all the good work they do dealing with these difficult issues.

    Penalizing good landlords and making life so restrictive for landlords will not improve the situation for tenants, the government or society at large.

    Here is some possible language that could remedy this situation:

    At the end of the fixed term the tenancy may
    a) continue on a month to month basis (check box)
    b) continue for another fixed length of time (check box). A new agreement will be drafted for the new fixed term at least ___months prior to the end of the current lease.
    Then there should be a box that both the tenant and landlord signs.

    Thank you for your consideration of my concerns.

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    [-] Jennifer

    The province needs to provide a comprehensive housing framework for Greater Vancouver (and any municipalities suffering under low rental vacancy, such as Kelowna), with built-in disincentives for municipalities that do not densify and build Purpose-Built Rental buildings and affordable units. West Point Grey, Shaughnessy, West Vancouver, and Highlands-Capilano are some of the worst offenders when it comes to the regulatory capture and protection of mansion-level zoning, at the total expense of apartments and affordable units. This is an unacceptable state of affairs and puts undue pressure on the CoV to densify and replace already existing, old-and-truly-affordable rental.
    Disincentives for municipalities to engage in exclusionary zoning practices could include higher property taxes, or a lower threshold for primary residence property tax exemptions, etc. Basically, the idea is “tax them more if they continue to use zoning to exclude poor-to-average people from living in their neighbourhood.” It would be a Pigouvian tax scheme, in the sense that the externalities of exclusionary zoning (fewer affordable homes) would be built into the housing market. The funds of this tax could be earmarked for TMH/social/PBR housing construction – or even better, the replacement for TMH when that inevitable day comes.

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    [-] Roy

    We could start by fixing rent pricing. Rent is increased every year, while home owners see double digit growths in the value of their homes, while renters bear the costs of these outrageous value increases.
    I live in a rental accommodation with a landlord who does 0 maintenance, yet increases rent every year. He knows that his house will be worth the same price as a tear-down as if he maintains the house. He has ignored water on the electrical service, and numerous other water issues from not replacing the roof. As to an old fridge, stove, carpets and any number of things that need addressing, nothing is ever done.
    It’s past time for municipal, provincial and federal governments to step up and provide truly affordable rental stock. It’s past time for government to go after the apartment flippers and the gangsters that ruined our housing market by laundering their money through it, like in the “Vancouver Model”.
    A fair system would account for the increase of value to the owner, while protecting the renters from paying the cost of this new value.

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    [-] Perry

    Would you accept wage controls while your boss gave you a “paper increase in value” that you could only collect on if and when you quit your job. Paper increases in real estate values do not pay the ever increasing property taxes, insurance and utility rates, strata fees, and maintenance costs.

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    [-] Bea

    Rent control: rent should be legislated and tied into the size and quality of the unit (ex 400sq bachelor should not go for $1000 as we see happening…etc). Look at the average wages in the Lower Mainland and especially the wages in the services sector and retail and decide if you/we really want services to be offered in all the areas of Lower Mainland.. If so, rent has to be significantly lowered (and that has to be enforced).

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    [-] Perry

    So who is going to provide this below cost rental for you? Buying any property in Vancouver and covering costs by renting it out at $2.50 a square foot is a dream.

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    [-] Not

    You need shorter wait periods for arbitration. When we’re (landlords) stuck waiting for an arbitration date because a bad tenant won’t leave and continues to cause damages to your place in the process, how is it fair that they are able to just jump to a new rental after the fact and do the same thing with no consequences, especially if they DO finally leave, right before an arbitration (because who can sit at home watching them for hours on end, especially if they pull an overnight move). Then you have no forwarding address, no way to find them and you’re out months of rental income PLUS stuck paying damages worth over and above the damage deposit! Why would anyone want to put a rental on the market anymore? This happens OVER and OVER again so many landlords are now pulling their rentals and keeping them empty because why bother with the headache?

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    [-] Heather

    More help from residential tenancy branch.

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    [-] Irene

    It’s stupid to protect renters only! There are bad and even horrible renters! It’s unfair to landlords who put out a property or part of a property for rent and then suffer from losses because bad tenants are protected by laws – they can stay there without paying rent and do damages to the landlords property but the landlords still can’t do anything to get them out!!! Where is fairness? Such stupid laws protecting tenants only will make people not wanting to rent out extra spaces. Will that help with affordable living??? More renters and less units for renting will boost up the rents even more. Who will be blamed then? Definitely not the landlords!

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    [-] Charlene

    Suggestions? I would say that some sort of standards that define housing kind and type and maximum rent that can be charged based in a formula. Some of our rent is driven by market demand, and lack of affordable decent housing. Others are clearly renting to have you pay their mortgage by leasing space to you. Somehow there needs to be limits . Wages have not kept up with costs of living, and that is why some renters are hurting. Also, while some landlords are great, others at not very good at all. Such as pet rules…limiting size and type. I think a reasonable compromise is a pet deposit, but no more saying you can’t have an animal. I have a dog and use local dog parks and walkways. But my concern is trying to find affordable housing when as a single older woman….that dog is part of my home security. So….that is something that has to go or maybe they should not rent.
    The standard lease agreement is a great tool. Update and keep updated. I also think that a section on repair issues spelling out who to call when should be on it. And some kind of language that if the landlord does not answer or cannot organize a needed repair, such as heat or water, that a tenant can get it fixed….and it will be paid for by landlord after arbitration. And that taking to arbitration cannot result in harassment or penalty such as eviction. Some landlords or not diligent …and some are wonderful. I think that having a review for price charged may be good as well.

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    [-] HJ

    2% Base on the rent control formula; As a small landlord we use the 2% increase to fund capital projects around our building. In the past year we have redone the walkway entrance to provide a slip free surface and better handrails for our elderly tenants. We are also able to put a certain amount in contingency towards the re-roofing and and window replacements. We are 75% funded to these replacements. Without the 2% increase this would stall our contingency funding and the windows and roof replacements would be delayed indefinitely. Other short term improvements would also not be completed
    Pets: We have tried allowing pets into our suites. About 60% of tenants were good with their pets. The remaining tenants were not concerned with the condition of the suite. Cat urine and feces’s is a terrible thing to clean up. It soaks through the carpets into the floor below and cannot be cleaned – the sub-floor must be replaced. The Pet deposit does not cover these expenses.

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    [-] Perry

    Well said! It only takes a few bad pet owners to make landlords reluctant to rent to anyone with a pet. Cat or dog urine and feces (even if it is an “accident”) on carpet or laminate flooring usually mean a complete floor and underlay replacement costing thousands of dollars. Something the rent or damage deposits do not begin to cover.

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    [-] Emma

    I am a new landlord, currently renting two units in a house that I eventually intend to move into. I have spent money renovating the property, as I would never wish to rent something to a tenant that I wouldn’t want to live in myself. I have no problems abiding by the tenancy laws, and understand and fully accept the recent changes to increase the notice period required to vacate. I truly believe that tenants should be protected from bad landlords and in today’s rental market it is vital that they have additional time to secure new housing. However, just as importantly good landlords MUST be protected from bad tenants. My biggest fear is having a tenant who chooses not to pay the rent anymore. I have seen this happen and it takes months of arbitration for the landlord to remove the tenants from the premises. It is critical that tenants must also abide by the tenancy laws and should be held accountable when they break the rules, this is a two-way contract and the legislation and infrastructure should be there to support both parties. Without this, the rental market will fail – more and more property owners will be reluctant to rent as it is too much of a financial risk.

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    [-] Shaun

    Set a maximum rental increase as a result of renovation. For instance: if a landlord seeks to renovate their property to increase value, they may only increase the rent for their tenants a maximum of 3% over a five year period. This measure may ensure that landlords must weigh unnecessary renovations more critically and avoid renoviction syndrome. These measures would apply to new owners as well.

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    [-] Perry

    And it would also mean that most landlords would not upgrade their units or make any repairs that are not absolutely necessary as they would have no means of recovering the costs.

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    [-] Averill

    The May 17 changes to the Residential Tenancy Act to improve security for tenants facing eviction are a good first step in policy, but they fall short in implementation and enforcement. The rental market in BC is a landlord’s market, meaning that there will always be a new tenant around the corner to replace a tenant whom there is conflict with, even if it is a result of the landlord not meeting their responsibilities. Landlords and management companies also tend to have more time, experience, and resources to navigate the residential tenancy dispute process from a business perspective, while renters repeatedly struggle to navigate the system that is meant to protect them. As a result, a culture of bias exists in favour of landlords within the residential tenancy dispute branch, as tenants are more likely to be emotional and poorly organized in defense of their home and livelihood.

    Here are a few recommendations based on a scoping review of rental housing research over the past 8 years:

    1.Require legal minimum periods for rental contracts allowing tenants to have fixed long-term, stable tenancies (Saunders et al., 2017).

    2.Policies that include health, safety, and comfort standards for rental housing (Bish & Clemens, 2008). This may include a requirement for landlords of large housing stock to adhere to an improvement scheme for upgrading conditions annually or biannually (Saunders et al., 2017).

    3.Maintain quality and safety of existing housing stock. Mandate inspections as primary prevention to identify and address hazards before they impact health. This will require increasing enforcement, oversight, and reporting requirements (Benfer, 2017; Krieger & Jacobs, 2012). In Los Angeles, California, owners of properties not meeting code standards have thirty days after notification to make repairs or face sanctions (Krieger & Jacobs, 2012).

    4.Subsidy programs that protect residents when the owner of a dwelling cannot afford the cost of maintenance and improvements (Saunders et al., 2017).

    References

    Benfer, E. A. (2017). Contaminated childhood: How the United States failed to prevent the chronic lead poisoning of low-income children and communities of color. Harvard Environmental Law Review, 41(2), 493-561.

    Bish, R. L., & Clemens, E. G. (2008). Local Government in British Columbia (4th ed.). Richmond, BC: Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

    Krieger, J., & Jacobs, D. E. (2012). Healthy Homes. In A. L. Dannenberg, H. Frumkin, & R. J. Jackson (Eds.), Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability (pp. 170-187). Washington, DC: Island Press.

    Saunders, M., Barr, B., McHale, P., & Hamelmann, C. (2017). WHO Health Evidence Network Synthesis Reports. In Key policies for addressing the social determinants of health and health inequities. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe

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    [-] Alfred

    Set up a fund to help landlords, especially small landlords, understand and obey the law, make it easy to rent out their properties, such as advertising, credit checking, etc.

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    [-] Daniel

    While I understand the need to protect tenants from dramatic increases, landlords should have the ability to adjust rents to market levels if tenants elected to leave rental units. Basically, the market rents should apply to new tenants.

    If the government wants to encourage more affordable housing, then it should allow those with houses to have more than one rental suite. Of course, each rental suite must be safe. I understand concerns with street parking, garbage disposal, etc. These could easily be addressed. For example, a certain number of parking passes could be given to each home. And, property taxes could be adjusted based on the number of suites within a home.

    Obviously, tactics like vacancy and non-resident taxes aren’t working. If an individual has enough money to buy a home and leave it vacant, then an additional tax will not make them add it to the rental market. Instead, the government should introduce incentives for those that offer affordable rental units.

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    [-] Susan

    I would like to see a rental cap. On how much they can charge per month. Max amount one has to pay per month. Like 1800.00 per month for a full house and 1000.00 for a duplex or basement suite.

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    [-] Perry

    So when a landlord has a mortgage, strata fess, insurance fees, taxes, and utility charges that add up to more than the maximum rent do you think he will continue to rent it or take it off the rental market and sell it?

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    [-] Bonnie

    The landlord will still have those fees if they keep the rental unit vacant.

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    [-] elmer

    Having the current broken market is not beneficial for future GDP’s growth. A way to fix this would be to have 2 markets under 1 umbrella. Both markets would be supervised under a system of laws.

    1- Rent Regulation Market/with price controls/BC Government Market:
    BC Government will invest into new infrastructure and also buy current infrastructure. It will unclog affordability and provide GDP’s growth.

    2- Rent Regulation Market/no price controls/Privately Owned Market:
    It will stimulate the investment into the Privately Owned Market. Also, this market has now the option of selling to BC Government.

    The current situation builds up over the decades. This solution provides results for both renters and landlords. Like any new process there will be adjustment at the beginning. The positives on the GDP would be significant on the long run.

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    [-] Lk

    Require ALL legal suites to have their own hydro/gas/water meters. We have 1 suite and the house (10 yrs old) is wired so that we, the Landlord, have to pay the hydro so it is included in the rent. In one month one couple put our hydro UP 84%!! They insisted on turning the heat to as high as it could go and leave it there. They literally baked the walls above the registers creating a potential fire hazard. NOTHING we could do about it as since hydro was ‘included’ as part of the rent they saw it as being FREE. In our Addendum we asked they be responsible with utilities but once “IN” the unit they didn’t care. Hydro was on us re: this dramatic increase and RTB told us the didn’t care, our problem. We’re a retired couple and this mega utility bill was crazy to have to deal with and no way to bring it under control.

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    [-] Lk

    As a Landlord of a house on a residential city lot I MUST be able to have rules re: pets or NO pets and NO smoking of cigarettes & marijuana. I see it as totally unfair to force Home Owner Landlords to have to accept pets (we have allergies and would be forced to withdraw our suite if we have no say as to whether or not pets are allowed). Same with smoking cigarettes & marijuana. It is a significant and real health concerns for us. If we cannot control our own house we will be forced to withdraw our suite from the rental pool. Small Landlords must be able to have rules surrounding their rental unit. These should be stated up front so Tenants can make an informed decision as to if they can live & abide by Landlord rules.

    There also MUST be a mechanism to evict a Tenant in a timely manner who is: Not paying rent, damaging the unit, not following the rules, creating dangerous situations. Tenants who move in and cause significant damage with no mechanism for a Landlord to have them removed does cause real concern re: wanting to rent a suite in your own home.

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    [-] Yasmeen

    I believe the Tenancy Act is geared towards giving renters the advantage. As a landlord, we do not accept pets as you’re only allowed half a months rent as a deposit. Half a months rent would NEVER fix damage an animal can do (replace carpet because of urine, scratches etc in the walls). It’s not worth it to take them to arbitration as it takes money months to come to a resolution and even then, if there is a judgement in your favour, getting the additional money is even more difficult. There is no longer a benefit to renting out your basement suite – no incentive. You have to claim it as income and if you have an awful tenant, the eviction process is a nightmare! The RTA needs to be more balanced to not only protect the tenant but ALSO the landlord. Many landlords I know have stopped renting out their basement – it’s not worth it anymore.

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    [-] Brad

    As a small time landlord I think it’s ridiculous how these renters feel like it’s owed to them for what they are choosing to live in. It’s not a right to get your way with it all it is a privilege. You are the one choosing to live there you are not forced. If you do not like the price, pet policy, rent amount then do not rent the property. I am for protecting the renter from bad landlords and being evicted and also unfair rent increases. You also have to remember that the landlord has to make money to afford renovations and improvements as wear and tear is common over the years. It’s a beautiful thing to own your own home and when you do you can do what you wish to it or in it! So in my opinion if you don’t like it no one is forcing you to live in it or rent it. 4 month’s notice is ridiculous amount of time and half months rent for damage deposit is not even close to covering the costs of repairs

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    [-] Arpan

    Each rental housing provider must be registered on registry and there must be a legal document signed by both parties along with their documents.Each agreement must say how many people can live in that basement/unit.The rental providers usually rent the units at higher price but don’t bother on how many people are living.There are many locations where in 2 bedroom more than 15 people are living because owners don’t care,they just care about rent.Rules must be equally implemented on renter and rental provider.Surrey has more than thousand illegal basements.Paying basement fine to city don’t make them legal,these basements should not be rented on.The housing market is overpriced because people buy million dollar home with 2000 dollar worth basement.Lets stop this culture of buying houses from others pockets.Please don’t allow illegal basement up for rent.Each rental agreement must be submitted to board otherwise owner of house will be penalized for not reporting this to board.Make it compulsory for online rent payment and CRA must be notified of profits.Its big loophole in system and people are abusing it.

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    [-] Feng

    I don’t understand why the government sets up a rental task force and before it’s doing any consultation, new rules already come out.
    I thought normal process would be consult first, then make decision.

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    [-] Rob

    Residential Investment Rental/Lease Bylaw

    From here forward Rental will imply rent or lease.

    This is a bylaw that is directed at Residential Properties bought solely for, or partially for Investment and used as a Commercial Rental. Those who purchase a Residential home solely for the purpose to rent, should be considered commercial rentals, a new Bylaw called the Residential Investment Rental Bylaw is a recommendation since the Property owner is using the property solely for income and profit, by having the renters pay for all upkeep, and mortgage of the property. Property for Profit is a commercial venture, and is not considered to be part of the residential properties yet residential properties are being considered investments for profit and should be considered commercial investments.

    This proposed bylaw will accomplish a few things, prevent properties from being purchased for the sole purpose of rentals, stop the inflating of prices, keep prices lower so the average Canadian can afford their own home.

    This bylaw will also allow Cities, Municipalities, Regional Districts to collect money which should be placed into a fund to build affordable housing. All money collected under this bylaw will go to an Affordable Housing Fund and will be used for the building of Affordable Housing or to offset costs of Affordable Housing to those that would qualify.

    What follows is a template to start this type of bylaw, unique in its own, and will be refused by Home Owners who rent, and applauded by renter who will say it does not go far enough, regardless it gives home owners incentives to keep rent low, allowing for affordable housing, it gives funding to cities and municipalities towards affordable housings, and it gives renters an opportunity to rent without paying the cost of paying the homeowners mortgage passed down unfairly onto them.

    This bylaw will be applied to Residential Homes who

    a) Bought Solely for the purpose as a investment, to rent for profit or income and will be considered a commercial investment. This Residential Property will not have the Home Owner living in, or on the property the Rental Investment resides on.

    b)Bought Partially for the purpose as a investment, to live within, and rent for profit or income, will be considered a commercial investment. This Residential Home will have the Home Owner occupying a % of the Rental Investment portion of the Home, and will rent out the other remaining % of the actual square footage, and the Home Owner will have the Home Owner living in, or on the property the Rental Investment resides on for not less than 6 months of the year, and does not rent out the Home Owners portion of the Rental Investment during the Home Owners Absence.

    This Bylaw, The Residential Investment Rental Bylaw, will place a Rental Tax on the Residential Investment based on the Residential Investment Property based on.

    A) Value of the Residential Property, with the same Rental Tax rate applied on,
    A) Sole Purpose to rent out entire Investment
    Or
    B)Sole Purpose to rent out a portion of the Investment.

    B) All Residential Investment that is purchased under conditions A) or B) must be registered as Investment Properties under the Bylaw and will be considered Commercial Investment for Rent and will be subject to the Residential Investment Bylaw.

    C) Residential Investment Rental taxes will be calculated on a basis of Property Value vs Mortgage as per example below. Rental Taxes can not be passed down onto renters. The lower the rent a Residential Investor applies to their Investment Rental the lower the Rental tax is, the higher the rent above the mortgage the higher the Rental tax is.

    EXAMPLE BELOW based on a Home Value of 300,000 and a mortgage per month of $1690.00.

    Home Value Mortgage Rent Rental Tax

    $2000.00 $2640.00 per year 11%
    Anything over mortgage rate +2% $1890.00 $2041.20 per year 9%
    300,000 $ 1,690.00 $1690.00 $1419.60 per year 7%
    $1440.00 $1036.68 per year 6%
    $1224.00 $ 734.40 per year 5%
    $1040.40 $ 599.39 per year 4%
    $ 884.00 $ 318.24 per year 3%

    As the example listed above is for 1 Rental Unit within 1 Investment Property, this tax would apply to each unit rented, so if a Investment Property has 4 units and rent is $1690.00 per month per unit, then the Rental Tax is $1419.60 per year per unit. If a Residence has 2 Units, then it is $2839.20 per year.

    If the Rental Rate is above the Mortgage Value, then it is +2% increase on the first $1 over.

    A Rental Tax, will discourage Homes being bought as commodities, and it will also treat homes being bought as commodities and used to generate Income and Profit will keep rents in control to some degree.

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    [-] Jackie

    The change to the rules ending fixed term tenancies is resulting in a loss of rental units on the market, making it even harder for tenants. I live in Victoria where we have a very tight rental market. Some of my friends who live near the university were doing student rentals of their furnished 2 bedrooms suites for the school year – Sept – May. This worked very well for the students who went home for the summer, didn’t have to pay rent during that time and had nice furnished accommodation. It also worked well for the landlord as they were able to leave their suites furnished and have the use of the space through the summer for company and privacy in the yard. Fast forward to the end of fixed term tenancies. These landlords can no longer do student rentals for the school year. They are not permitted under the Act. If they were to re-rent it in the fall, the prior tenant could sue them for 1 year of rent. It makes it way to risky for them to rent their suites so they have chosen not to. it It’s a shame, and I’m certain an unintended consequence of the new rule.

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    [-] David

    I am less concerned about creating new rules than I am about the enforcement of existing rules.

    A significant number of property management companies are taking full advantage of the extremely low vacancy rate by blatantly ignoring basic rules for rentals – including maintenance, respecting tenant privacy, etc.

    They know there is little chance of enforcement. They also know that if they can make life very difficult, a tenant might choose to leave … which gives management an opportunity to double or triple the rent for a new tenant. It’s a no lose situation for the property manager but a big problem for the tenant.

    The only solution is to make tenant complaints simpler, and ensure they are handled quickly and firmly.

    Without strict enforcement, no laws or rules are worth the paper they’re printed on.

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    [-] Ross

    Your comments are all too often repeated. Not all managers or owners are taking advantage of the low vacancy rate. You say a significant number. Where do you get your facts from?

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    [-] Marty

    I’ve rented many times and recently began representing a landlord. From my experience I believe (1) the MAJORITY of tenants and landlords treat one another fairly and with respect, and (2) I believe the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) and supporting systems in BC are among the best in the country. If we can’t agree on point 1 then we’ll be continually modifying the RTA based on political pressures or the loudest/best lobby/PR groups which will only grow the divide between tenants and landlords and does nothing to solve our core issue – lack of affordable housing. The perceived approach taken to-date by this government has been just that, all-encompassing changes supporting an “us versus them” environment with minimal consultation from both sides (this feedback tool is a great first step in changing that). While I agree some of the recent changes were necessary to address the exceptions and not the norms, a “one size fits all” policy approach can only lead to long-term detrimental impacts for both sides. If you want to stop the few “bad apples” from breaking the rules, beef up the enforcement so it’s more timely and make the punishments more harsh (for tenants and landlords).

    Now let’s get focused on the real issue – LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING! If we really want to address the significant concerns with affordability, making changes to the RTA are not the silver bullet a few will make you believe will solve our woes (it’s PR) and will, in many cases, limit new supply of purpose-built rentals getting built. New supply is exactly what this province should be focusing the millions of taxpayer $ on to address the enormous shortages in order to drive down rents at all levels. Give the new Housing Hub initiative (encouraging public/private partnerships) some real teeth and mandate municipalities reduce barriers and encourage incentives to build new rental housing of all ranges to catch up with the significant supply shortage. While the government has come out with all sorts of ambitious 10 year affordale housing targets, without municipal supports they will never be met and we all know there’s an election every 4 years and it’s easy to push blame to your predecessors. Let’s stop playing politics and start addressing the core issues in a more rational and pragmatic way that will benefit those that need it the most, not those that complain the most. Thank you.

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    [-] Nichole

    Suggestions

    * pet friendly policy in more rental accommodations (such as in Ontario where renters can only be barred or evicted “due to having a pet if [it] is dangerous, or causing allergic reactions or problems for other tenants or the landlord, which requires a written order”. http://www.ontariotenants.ca/law/law.phtml#Q6?utm_source=KijijiCentral&utm_medium=Article_Hyperlink&utm_campaign=No_pets_allowed?_What_to_know_about_pets_&_rentals

    * Better ways of managing properties being “renovicted” forcing lower bracket earners into homelessness or difficulty in securing a new place.

    * A four-year rent freeze as proposed by Jean Swanson https://globalnews.ca/news/3739543/vancouver-rental-vacancy/

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    [-] Perry

    Will you also agree to a four year wage freeze? That would only be fair!

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    [-] S

    Many people don’t get yearly raises. I being one of them. The company I work for froze cost of living wages over 6 years ago, took away differential shift pay and bonuses. So yeah, I don’t have a problem with freezing rent hikes!

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    [-] CW

    Maybe we can also freeze property taxes, terasen gas, bc hydro, costs of maintenance…..??
    whether a person rents their suite in order to feed their children as personal circumstances have changed since purchasing or to take their family to Hawaii every year is absolutely no business of anyone’s & irrelevant to the affordable housing crisis. It is not the personal homeowner’s issue to solve. Never mind the imposition on the rights of a homeowner who is forced to allow pets in their home regardless of the damage they can cause as some may suggest happens. Why do they even need a reason to not want smoking, pets, etc …it’s their home. Choose another place to live if you don’t like it. Let’s make sure there are no unfair renovictions, and both sides have incentives to behave within the agreement of the RTA. Outside of that this is the government’s problem to solve and not on the backs of either party.

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    [-] john

    We own and operate aprox 270 apartment suites. The 4% annual rent increase does not allow for anything beyond normal operating expenses such as larger suite or common area renos roofs, boilers, new piping, windows, elevator upgrades etc .Most rental buildings are very old and in need of all kinds of repairs. With the 4% allowable annual increase a landlord cant normally plan such improvements without negative cash flow. Buildings will have deferred maintenance as a result. Also undervalued rents should be able to be reviewed like they were before recent changes to residential tenancy act. We bought a apartment building last year with rents 35% below market. We should be able to get the rents up to a reasonable level, not necessarily full market but something that will allow for building improvements and betterment for residents and the landlord. The security deposit of half month rent is not nearly enough. Once you do the carpet cleaning and a small amount of cleaning or damage repairs there is nothing left for the landlord to cover costs. These are my three primary concerns. We have a new 98 suite apartment building in the design stage and will start building next month. After the act changed back in January we changed it from rental building to market condo as I feel there is no reason to be landlord with such stringent one sided regulations. More landlords will follow suite by not building purpose built rental buildings unless it makes sense business wise and currently it doesn’t in my opinion. Government incentives are needed for landlords to build more housing for rental.

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    [-] S

    So you’re trying to tell us that you can’t afford to maintain 270 units at approx 1200/month rent = 3,888,000 A YEAR and that an increase of 4% to those 270 units at approx 1248/month = 4,043,520 A YEAR isn’t enough???

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    [-] Ariane

    Nailed it John…..Most do not understand the cost of running a building full of people with high traffic.
    Thank you for your comment.
    My property owners are running scared and selling thier rental properties because they feel like the government has taken all of the control out of their life investment. They ask me “why should I rent out my property if I have no control”. Very valid question…and most if the time I have to agree. It is very sad what is happening in the RTA now.

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    [-] Cam

    This may be controversial, but there might be separate rules for multi-unit buildings and people who rent out a space in their own home. I’m a strong believer that people should be able to own a pet or smoke in their own homes. Also, that no landlord of a multi-unit building should be able to make this restriction. (Maybe smoke on the balcony only – I’ll give you that.) But, home owners who rent out space in their own home, should be able to make a few more demands (like no pets) BUT, and this is a BIG BUT, they should not be able to charge a comparable rate to a place that accepts pets and smoking. PS I don’t smoke, but I’d love to have a dog or a cat.

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    [-] Loretta

    Reduce the current rent increase %. I’d like to see rent controls, or at least not have the rent increased every year. A cap on rent increase. If the landlords don’t improve the inside of the apartment, they shouldn’t be allowed to raise the rent. Raise the ceiling for qualifying for the Safer program,
    So seniors spending over 40% on rent can qualify.

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    [-] Perry

    Can we then put a cap and controls on your wages so the landlord’s costs do not increase? Freezing rents will inevitably lead to less rental accommodation being available as no one will invest money in something that eats away at an investment rather than offering a return.

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    [-] Joanne

    One of the suggestions that I have is have a tax rebate for people who remodel their homes to make them suiteable for another family or their own family members to use. Currently, many homes are underutilized and their is no real incentive to spend over 100,000 to make modifications to make a legal suite. Then housing can be increased without having to build new towers which only get sold to offshore investors primarily. As well, we need to followup and tax people who are renting out their suites to ensure that funds are available for social needs, in order for things to be equitable. Crack down on airbnb and other sites which are allowing people to not report their income.

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    [-] Tyler

    Punish bad tenants and landlords. Require both sides to apply to the residential tenancy branch to end the lease to avoid abuse of the system.

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    [-] Tyler

    What does the government plan on doing regarding the shelter allowance that are included in social assistance rates? Does the government plan on seizing properties that are owned by those who abuse the system and who leave their properties vacant without either living in them or renting their properties out when they not using them?

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    [-] tim

    Need to simplify processes and allow landlords to more easily evict those who are causing serious problems or who are not paying rent. It seems now that tenants can live rent free for months while the process unfolds. Why would anyone want to rent their place?

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    [-] David

    When a new company took over management of the building I live in, they identified 3 tenants who had a history of late rent payments. All 3 were evicted and gone within 90 days.
    Seems like the “system” works fine.

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    [-] Barry

    The rules should be different for Corporate and Small Landlords. It can take 6 months to get a hearing from RTB if tenant disputes their eviction for unpaid rent or decides to squat. It is financially devastating for small landlords, who in addition to unpaid rent, possible destruction of unit and paying $$$$ for a bailiff, can be out tens of thousands of dollars.

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    [-] MA

    90 days is a long time when you are a small landlord trying to cover the mortgage.

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    [-] Ronald

    Government should ban landlords from switching to online bed and breakfast rentals. In vacation destinations such as the gulf islands and Vancouver island the number of rental suites have been decreasing as vacation rentals are increasing. There is nowhere to rent.

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    [-] Ben

    As owner of a mobile home park, the cost of operations have increased significantly in the past few years and the ability of renters to pay for the increases is limited especially for the senior population. Municipal taxes utilities charged by municipalities as well as snow removal and general upkeep costs and rising mortgage rates make running the park challenging. I suggest that government exempt mobile home parks from increases in municipal taxes and utilities so that landlords can feel more confident in hanging on to mobile home parks and do not feel the need to sell to developers at a time when mobile home parks are rapidly diminishing across the province.

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    [-] B

    Because it has become so difficult to manage bad renters and have them removed — I have sold 3 stand alone rentals — still have a suite and rent out two bedrooms in my home. The system was unfair to small landlords before and I am happy not to have the 3 units I sold with the new rules. I will be watching what will happen and if the rules become too onerous with my suite that will go too. By the way all the units were sold to people who are living in them – they are no longer rentals. My rentals were clean, in good repair and well managed and the rents were average where we lived. My money is now invested elsewhere. Rental shortages are due to bad government policy – offering nothing to protect your investment.

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    [-] Sallie

    Why would a property purchaser be tied to the current tenant who has a previous agreement with the seller? I am now hesitant to buy a currently tenanted property because I can’t even choose my own tenants!

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    [-] Cornelia

    The building I live in was bought a year ago. It is starting to improve, however, we have not wanted to make an issue about things not getting done out of fear of being evicted. They take forever to get things done. One example is there was a flood in the laundry room. It took 15 weeks for it to be available. Some people without a way to get to a laundromat had difficulty.
    The thing that got me upset was a new charge for parking of $50 a month from not paying anything.

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    [-] Claudia

    BC has got to be the most pet unfriendly province in Canada when it comes to rental units. No one wants to allow pets. It’s discriminatory and a hardship for people who have pets or would like to have pets. People who have pets are happier, healthier, and suffer less from depression. Landlords should not be allowed to discriminate against pet owners. It seems like many landlords want you to live alone, have no friends, no life, spend as little time as possible at home. This is no way to live. We pay outrageous amounts of rent and have a right to use our space as we see fit in a reasonable manner including having pets.

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    [-] Perry

    No problem with you having a pet as long as you provide a bond that is sufficient to cover the additional cleaning and damage costs, and the costs to replace all of the flooring and underlay. One or two “accidents” typically means replacing a carpet or floor. And a few bad pet owners have made it difficult for everyone.

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    [-] Vincent

    Change the Strata Property Act to disallow rental and age restrictions! This will provide more stock to the rental market and help the tenants to have more choices. Alternatively, charge speculation tax to the strata not the individual unit if the vacancy is due to strata bylaw.

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    [-] Nicole

    Some articles in a rental contract are very vague, particularly around questions of “normal wear and tear” and what maintenance tenants are supposed to perform at their expense. Even the stipulations of “emergency repairs” can be very vague. As a tenant, I am always very anxious during my annual inspection for fear that the landlord will charge me for very reasonable wear and tear. For instance, I was charged for snaking my drains in a condo building (they had never before been snaked, during mine or previous tenancies). The bath was unusable without this repair, and I demonstrated that I had taken active steps to prevent it (purchasing a drain brush, draino, hair catcher, etc.) However, the landlords have the upper hand to define terms that were very vaguely stipulated in the contract.

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    [-] Jamie

    1. Implement vacancy control in BC by limiting rent increases to once every twelve months,
    regardless of whether there has been a change of tenant.
    2. Require automatic dispute resolution hearings with the RTB for ALL evictions
    3. Tenants are more VULNERABLE than ever. We NEED a temporary rent freeze (eg. NYC)
    4. Enforceable penalties for fraudulent evictions
    5. Mandatory damages and penalties where a landlord does not comply with an RTB maintenance order within a reasonable time (Sahota’s)

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    [-] Perry

    So if there is a temporary rent freeze will the BC Government also legislate a freeze in property taxes, mortgage interest rates, strata fees, insurance rates, hydro and gas rates, water rates, as well as all wages related to nay repairs or maintenance on a building or unit?

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    [-] Jamie

    Rents in Metro Vancouver had a sharp increase of 6.4% in 2016, and again of 4% last year. I understand that many homeowners are stretched thin, house poor and facing cash flow problem, however there are programs in place to help (eg property tax deferment). The government loaned $168 mil just LAST YEAR to help homeowners. What has been done for renters? What are your suggestions?

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    [-] David

    I don’t think the new rental law is fair for landlord. The new act don’t require the tenant to take any responsibility. For example, my previous didn’t pay my rental fee few months, after i win the court , i still can not get any thing back. The law encourage tenant to not pay fee for landlord.

    I believe the new act will make landlord increase the rental fee or not rent.

    Any law if it is not fair, it is not law.

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    [-] khene

    As rental housing provider, we are facing the below issues that the current RTA is biased towards rental providers:
    1) Breaking Fixed Leases – The liquidated damages clauses we have tenants agree to is unenforceable when tenants refuse to pay rent and move out without notification or leaving a forwarding address. Half Month damage deposits in these instances are usually insufficient to cover the damages they leave behind and the loss in rental income from the point in time tenant decided not to pay and from the period property is left vacant. There is no recourse for the rental providers to recover losses. The RTA requires property providers to go through lengthy legal steps to file to keep the damage deposit which is time consuming

    2) Damage Deposits – the 50% is insufficient and provides tenants a loophole to abuse damages. We require 1st month, Last month and 1 month deposit (3 months of rent) to prevent tenants from negligently causing undue damages.

    3) RTA penalty to property providers – Should an inexperience property provider miss the filing period to keep damage deposits or file an arbitration claim, property providers may be penalized for as much as double the damage deposit. This clause is a huge disincentive for property providers to rent.

    4) Arbitration – the arbitrators are usually biased against property providers either by rationalizing the damages submitted to court or discounting the economic value of time incurred in administration as well as repairs. In most cases, arbitrators assess the material damages only and not take into consideration labour costs.

    5) Filing Rules, Arbitration results – there is no recourse for property providers to challenge an arbitration results, especially when the arbitrators have indicated by their ruling a gross misunderstanding of the facts submitted. The next recourse available for property providers is the small claims or provincial courts which further delays our economic losses by as much as 1 year from the time the tenant decided to vacate the property

    6) Arbitration – when the defendant tenant decides not to be present on the day of the hearing, there should not be an arbitration hearing ruling in their favor. The fact that the tenant did not appear for the arbitration hearing should be an admission of the claims put forward by the landlord

    7) Due Diligence for breaking fixed term leases – while the onus is on both parties to find new tenants, it may not be practical to do so quickly. There should be an allowance to quantify the due diligence period without having to state the period in the liquidated damages addendums.

    8) Moving Out Inspections – There is usually insufficient time between the move out inspection and new tenant move in inspection when the move out inspection is unsatisfactory. The out going tenant usually does not have sufficient time to clean the property again.

    9) Breaking Fixed Term Lease rental loss – where the property provider is able to identify a new tenant at a higher rental price, the arbitration ruling should not allocate the difference in the new rental price and the old rental price towards damages caused by the tenant breaking the lease. By doing so, property providers have true economic loss especially when there are damages to be claimed. This is unfair.

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    [-] Beth

    Landlords need more discretion for who can continue to dwell in their property; i.e. if tenant becomes nasty and uncooperative they should be able to be evicted even if they pay on time. Would you want someone who hates you living in your home? Landlords need to be able to obtain insurance for willful damage of tenants!!! Landlords should be able to evict a strata tenant that has created multiple insurance claims due to something like water damage (my tenant one year overran the sink, next year overran the tub causing huge insurance issues due to being on the 4th floor. My only recourse was to sell. I will never be a landlady again under current conditions and tones which see tenants and wonderful victims and landlords as money grabbing slum lords. It’s been a very uneven playing field.

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    [-] Karen

    Legislation to force landlords to accept screened tenants at reduced rent based on income or on welfare in return for tax credit. Say 2 units for every 100 they own.

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    [-] Karen

    I would like to see changes to Pet policy. Check Ontario for ideas, where you can’t refuse tenants because they have a pet. I have to hide my cat. I’m PWD, and she is my only company most days. She’s my family.

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    [-] Averill

    I find the over representation of landlords on this page, particularly through ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ is a great example of how there is a difference in the ability of landlords and tenants to represent themselves. Whatever the dispute is, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and if you have the time, intelligence, and ability to unite together with others like you and make your voices heard, you are at an advantage.

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    [-] Jacquelinevanhoepen

    By ensuring rentals aren’t increased unfairly such as was my case with a $100 rental increase a year ago.

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    [-] Qiang

    Renter who living in the basement have more people not on the list stay for more than 3 months ,what is the reasonable days? Also , renter base more right make the landlord do not want rent ot anymore

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    [-] Dina

    Renters are probably the largest group to get hit anytime the housing market changes. They have no say over how much rent increase they have to pay every year. Salaries in Vancouver are so low and and that rent increase of 4% per year could force people out of their homes and onto the streets. I’ve also heard horror stories of landlords attempting to evict their tenants based on false accusations in order for them to rent the property to someone new and charge them whatever they want. The government should 1- lower the rent increase to 1% per year and 2- work on behalf of the renters to prosecute vicious landlords who force their tenants out 3- prosecute landlords who refuse to rent their properties based on discriminatory factors such as having children. The BC government needs to stop treating foreign billionaires better than they treat the average resident of Vancouver. You have obliterated the middle class and if there are no provisions set on stopping all of the illegal and shady activity going on in the housing market you will lose all your residents and Vancouver will lose its history and culture.

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    [-] Gint

    I totally hear what you’re saying and I honestly think the answer to most of these issues is to focus on raising the vacancy rate to give more choice to tenants, but I did want to provide another perspective to each of your points:
    1. Limit rent increase to 1% per year. So you think it’s fair that a landlord should be handicapped to a rent increase of less than inflation? I understand the counter to this that wage growth for some has been less than inflation and I agree that is an issue, but passing that issue on to the landlord to bear is equally unfair.

    2- I think its pretty clear and unanimous that unjustified evictions should be stopped. Though I suspect what is and isn’t justified in the context of an exceptionally low vacancy rate is probably a little less clear.

    3- I understand this point is a tough one, but you have to understand that the landlord is ultimately responsible for the unit, so if you remove the ability of the landlord to place in the unit it creates a mismatch of responsibilities.

    Happy to discuss further.

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    [-] R

    Wilful destruction, vandalism, unauthorized alterations or making a rental unit inhabitable should be deemed a criminal offence.

    After an Order of Possession has been issued, use of an expensive Bailiff should be optional (also they are not immediately available, often for 4-6 weeks). Landlords should not have to provide and pay to store evicted Tenants belongings.

    Make all RTB rulings public including names of Tenants and Landlords in a searchable database to allow both Tenants and Landlords to see prior rental history and problems (unlawful evictions, unpaid rent, destruction of unit etc).

    Ensure that RTB arbitration is fair and consistent by publishing decisions backed up by the relevant section of the act that was broken.

    Bring back fixed term with vacate clause Leases for small Landlords, who for whatever reason, decide that they can only commit to a limited time. Don’t force these LL’s by the “all or nothing” approach that they either need to become a lifetime LL or take their suite off the market if they are not allowed to simply offer fixed term lease.

    Stop changing laws during the lease period. The retroactive implementation of invalidating the Fixed Term Lease has made many LL’s stop renting. Is the government trying to ensure that they are the last LL standing? It makes no sense to be a LL now – too much risk.

    Allow current RTB pet laws to remain in place.

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    [-] MA

    Absolutely agree with this: Make all RTB rulings public including names of Tenants and Landlords in a searchable database to allow both Tenants and Landlords to see prior rental history and problems (unlawful evictions, unpaid rent, destruction of unit etc).

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    [-] TS

    that would be a huge mistake as the current process is so unfair and fatally flawed and the decisions never reflect the facts of the case or what transpired in the hearing. unless these hearings are recorded for accountability then no names of tenants or landlords should be published

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    [-] Tana

    I suppose my beef with the LTA is that every year I can expect an increase in my rent in my circa 1960s era three story walk up. If only I could get 4% increase annually in my salary. To do so I have to bargain and go on strike for that. I feel this is patently unfair, especially to people who aren’t even employed in unionized positions either.

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    [-] Yvonne

    If government keep standing beside tenants and ignore landlords’ interest I would rather stop renting, sell the place and invest in somewhere fair to investor. There are so many places in the world except vancouver. We don’t deserve this, this government is delivering the wrong message: people don’t have to work hard to get good life because rich people can pay all the bill for them.

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    [-] Ben

    There are a few key points i would like to hit here.. 1.) $3000 a month for a single person to rent a suite is not affordable nor realistic as a “Low income” rental place. I make $3000 a month at a decent wage job i would be starving and immobile simply put I would end up dying or severely harmed by this kind of enactment. The solution is not as i see it to build more housing but to make first existing housing units capped when used as rentals. The average rental capped rates should take into consideration based on the rooms,amount of utilitys used as well as provided,they should not be rentable unless a stove and oven are available either. Then the owner should have to show his mortgage rate and it should state their yearly contributions to thier mortgage and from that point the said rent rate should be configured. 2.) Foreign speculation… The reason this even exists is due to the reality being as such that most people in our own city have watched the market become unnatainable let alone realistic to own one. Would not a local economy benefit enough from within? Then yes build more housing to fix the lack therefore some what solving homelessness. Give the homeless hope and a purpose and a job that will also contribute to the economy instead of more illegal taxes on the already contributing to it. I live in Vancouver B.C. i have always lived in B.C. and I sadly to say at the rate the housing rentals and what is even considered able to be rentable let alone liveable has gotten so costly that I as are the masses of folks like me stuck at a point we will always be one of the folks bystanding and paying albeit indirectly for a home owners house and at the end of the day still own no permanent roof over my familys heads instead of putting what income I can obtain and purchasing with what money i saved in my life into the housing market providing growth to this systematic solution and growth??

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    [-] A

    Mandatory education for anyone wanting to rent out a suite and be a landlord. Too often I hear about landlords overstepping boundaries. I know of an individual whos landlord entered the suite while tenant was home. No advance notice or permission was given. Landlord did knock not on the door. Unlocked the door with a key. Tenant heard noise from the door opening, went and asked what was going on. Landlord said “oh sorry, i thought you weren’t home”. From that moment on, the tenant was extremely uncomfortable.

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    [-] F.

    I agree. Being a landlord is a big responsibility and requires specific knowledge and communication skills so that both landlord & tenant can have a good understanding of expectations & governing regulations. It is more than just picking up a cheque each month.

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    [-] A

    Address the lack of “no pet” rentals and find a way to make it work for both the landlord and tenant.

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    [-] Perry

    A large enough damage deposit to cover all of the additional cleaning and potential replacement of flooring and underlays.

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    [-] Colleen

    It is unfathomable how unprotected landlords are and how many ridiculous “rights” a tenant has. Being in the real estate investment industry is painful for those of us who have experienced bad tenants. The RTO rules are excessively in the tenant’s favour and they entire program needs to be visited by a non-biased third party to make recommendations that are equally fair for both parties.

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    [-] Priscilla

    My concern as a Senior and renter with a limited income is to be able to find a safe, clean,well maintained and affordable rental units so I can keep actively engaged in the community. My worries are: communities need good housing planning and zoning laws to prevent exploitation by developers; rental property owners need firm but fair guidelines to follow related to renovations, rental increases; quality of life is important to maintain healthy neighbourhoods and safety of tenants is vital.

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    [-] Carla

    Raise the rates. Save on health care. If you do the first, the second will inevitably follow. $375. To cover rent, hydro,heat,phone,cable and wifi is insane. Yet, people with one of the recognized disabilities are expected to do it . Every time you give yourselves a raise,poor people should get the same amount. If you raise the rates, the savings on health care and other social services will easily cover the cost. It’s not a matter of money, it’s a matter of priorities.

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    [-] Sarah

    Renters are desperate because there is so little rental housing out there that they will stay with a bad landlord because there is simply nothing else. The situation is worse for renters who are wheelchair users because the provincial disability system forces them to live in poverty ($375 for rent, seriously? I’d like to see an MLA live on that!) and because there is almost no accessible housing. BC Housing wait lists for wheelchair units are years long and people can’t move for school or work because they won’t give up their current rental even if it is bad, because there is nothing else. We need more wheelchair housing and more subsidized housing and an increase to PWD rates to give people a chance.

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    [-] monica

    Amendments to tenancy law like the ones that took effect December 11, 2017 & May 17, 2018 may decrease the number of rental units available in this province. I say this because myself and my relatives have already decided not to rent out our units once our existing tenants leave due to an unbalanced tenancy law. Having to provide 4 months notice for renovations/demolition/conversion or being unable to include a vacate clause in a Tenancy Agreement is oppressive to landlords rights as the owner of the property. It is already extremely difficult to collect on unpaid rent when a tenancy decides to live in the unit and not pay rent. We receive monetary orders from the RTO that we cannot even successfully collect on when a tenant has fled or receives Income assistance and is unemployed. These changes along with the existing long process in having a ‘bad tenant’ removed and having to absorb all of the financial loss involved with obtaining a Writ and hiring a bailiff is making it impossible for myself and other landlords I am speaking on behalf of to see benefits considering all the potential risk involved in allowing someone to reside on our properties. Better off selling our properties and moving to a place that has fair and balanced tenancy law.

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    [-] F.

    Hello. I am a renter. I am thankful that my rent only increases by 4% per year. However, my salary does not increase at that – I am now paying 65% of my income for rent, sharing a 1 bedroom with another family member & using the living room as a 2nd bedroom. I would like to see the limit on rent increase LOWERED to 2.5 %. This would give immediate help to renters. I would also like to see more enforcement of rent increase limits and further support and legal aid recourse for those renters who are faced with illegal rent increases. Thank you.

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    [-] Nicole

    This is such a key point. Many renters are driven out of perfectly good rental agreements by the rental increases that do not reflect wage increases.
    I think percentages of rental increases should be tied to minimum wage increases.

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    [-] Penny

    I sympathize that your rent is increasing faster than your wages, however the cost of maintaining a rental property is also not tied to wage increases. Should the property owner be forced go into debt for the sake of providing lower rent to the tenant? When we had a rental property we were happy to keep the rent low for a good tenant, but if you do not raise the rent every year by the amount allowed, there is no way to “catch up” if you face cost increases in future years. Under the current rules the landlord is penalized for trying to do the “right thing” for the tenant.

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    [-] Perry

    The legislation needs to allow the Owner the opportunity to access their funds by selling the unit without imposing huge financial penalties (i.e. your payment of 1 years rent to the Tenant). Providing a 3 month notice should be enough for an Owner to be allowed to sell and access their invested capital for whatever reason they may want. If you are concerned that Owners would use this as a way to evict and jack up rents then put an additional 3 month period of vacancy in place before a unit could be re-rented at higher than allowable rents.
    You need to put legislation in place that allows an Owner to promptly evict a bad Tenant ( I am aware of an Owner that has been hit with thousands of dollars in strata fines while trying to evict a problem Tenant from their condo), or a Tenant that is not paying their rent or not paying it on time.
    Rent Controls are understandable, but when hard costs escalate annually at a higher rate than allowable rent increases, it is hard to understand how a Landlord is expected to absorb these. Eventually they either stop making repairs and upgrades or are forced to sell. It is not the Landlord’s job to subsidize their Tenant to the tune of hundreds of dollars a month.
    If you want more affordable housing, why are governments approving new high end developments? Why don’t you put a moratorium on high end housing and condo developments and only permit new developments that offer “affordable” units for sale. Perhaps this could be accomplished by offering government land on long term leases and expedited permit approvals for developments that build affordable units for the market. There are more people moving into the region every year than we are building housing for. That is only going to make the problem worse. You need to build, build, build, and make them affordable not luxury high end homes.
    Renter’s rights can cause extreme financial hardship to a landlord. Mortgage payments, strata fees, property taxes, and strata fines all have to be paid even when a Tenant is not paying their rent. Most Landlords cannot afford to pay these bills when the rent is not coming in. Why would any intelligent business person want to build and provide rental buildings and have all of these headaches when they can do high end condos and sell them – profit made and problem free.
    Your current Rent Controls virtually guarantee that any thinking Landlord has to increase the rent by the maximum allowable amount each and every year, even if they really did not want to, as current legislation compounds the “fall behind” effect each and every year. If they fail to do so and then find down the road that they may need a higher than allowable rent increase one year to cover accumulated increased costs (like higher interest rates on their mortgage – which by the way an owner living in the unit would have to pay) they are hooped and have no means of making up any lost ground. And ask anyone that has had to go through the Residential Tenancy Branch for a claim – it is a waste of time and not worth the effort as they are so one sided toward the Tenant.
    In closing, you need to have balance in the legislation. Protect Renters from “Bad Landlords” and at the same time protect Landlords from “Bad Renters”. Require Landlords to provide a 3 month notice to vacate or increase the rent. Perhaps put in a 3 month vacancy clause before rents can be increased on a vacated unit. Allow Landlords to promptly evict ‘Bad Tenants” – Renters who are not paying their rent or not paying it on time, who are causing damage to the rental unit, who are causing problems or not obeying rules in strata units. Allow a simple process and means of catch up so a Landlord can catch up for accumulated hard cost increases and not have to maximize his allowable rent increase every year. And allow Owners to give proper notice to vacate so they can sell the unit to access their funds (in many cases retirement funds) without imposing punitive fines or fees (like 1 year’s rent to the Tenant).
    Remember, any good contract or deal should work both ways. In other words, what is good for the Tenant is good for the Landlord. If the Landlord has to give a 3 month notice, then the Tenant should also have to give a 3 month notice. If the Landlord has to pay a years rent to vacate the Tenant should have to pay the Landlord the same fee if they want to move out. Why does the Landlord have to give the Tenant a month’s free rent when they are giving proper notice to vacate but the Tenant does not have to pay the Landlord a month’s rent when they move out (often with limited or no notice).
    You have said you are looking to create “fair and balanced” legislation and I think that is a good goal. However you need to remember that “fair and balanced” is not achieved when providing legislation that gives a renter more rights than an Owner. “Fair and balanced” means that what a Landlord must provide for the Tenant, the Tenant must provide for the Landlord. And “fair and balanced” recognizes that an Owner has hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the property along with the huge financial risk associated with renting and mortgages while the Renter has none.
    Your government does not seem to have a problem telling businesses, drivers, transit users, Hydro customers, ICBC customers and many others that they must pay for the services they use. Why does this not apply to the Tenant and Landlord legislation? If you want more affordable rental accommodation available you must provide an environment that is not Landlord hostile and overly Tenant friendly. I know we were planning on adding another rental unit to the market until we saw your proposed legislation, and I know of several other people who came to the same conclusion – the existing and proposed legislation made buying a unit for rental purposes a very bad investment decision.
    I am hopeful but not confident that your Task Force will be more than political grandstanding and revise the current and proposed legislation so that it is truly “fair and balanced” and develops and environment that encourages the expansion of reasonably priced homes for both the buyer and renter.

    Sincerely,
    Perry Coleman

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    [-] Kia

    Hi There,

    my comment will probably be identical to so many others but I guess that is good because it might help prove a very real point. I work at UBC and make a decent wage, but live in poverty. I live in a building that’s close to 100 years old (meaning, it’s paid for!!! no mortgage on this sucker), its run down, it stinks, there’s only 1 washer and 1 dryer, and i have found drug needles on the stairs leading up to my apartment door at times. living where i live makes me cry and feel like a failure, but my life would feel worse if i had to spend hours travelling to work. Besides, rent is pretty much the same from downtown to chilliwack, so really, what good would moving do but add more unneeded stress to my life? I live in Davie Village. I call the cops on a weekly basis to help remove homeless, dirty and drug induced people from the open parkade below my 2 level building. The floors are rotting, and the place is falling apart. I’m waiting for the day i get a notice that the building is being knocked down — but so far, all I’m getting are rental increase notices every year, on the mark. Rental increases, yet nothing is done to the building to keep it clean and safe. I would truthfully and easily put up with the dirty stinky building if the rent would stop increasing. That said, I cannot afford to live elsewhere so I must put up with the rental increases and pray that i don’t end up homeless tomorrow. I work a full time job at UBC AND I also work part time on the side to make ends meet and I’m scared all the time that it won’t be enough each month. And I’m single!!! it’s just me and I have nothing and do nothing. If i need to buy runners or new clothes for work ( and i buy EVERYTHING on sale), I take on a bit of debt to do so. All of the money I earn is spent on food, rent, and constantly paying down debt that I’m continually taking on in order to buy necessities. The apartment i live in is all i can afford. the rent is just above $1000/month. I’m embarrassed where i live. I try so hard to get ahead but just can’t because of the cost of everything. Tell me something, how is it fair, that a landlord can increase rent every year when their building is paid off, UNSAFE, dirty, smelly and they put nothing back into it? How is that fair? How do you expect people to not fall apart mentally and emotionally having to deal with this type and level of stress every day? I am beside myself. I am not lucky enough to have family who can help me — but really, why should that be the norm? Shouldn’t I be able to work hard at my job, take home my paycheque, house and feed myself without worrying that I might actually starve or be homeless??? I started my day crying today because i found a rental increase notice under my door. before I opened it, i thought to myself, “surely this isn’t a rental increase notice. this building is rotting and is dirty ALL the time. Surely, the landlord has a heart or a conscience”. Well, how wrong was I?????? PLEASE HELP!!!!!

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    [-] Barry

    The property may be 100 years old but that does not necessarily mean that the owner has owned it for 100 years. The owner may have purchased relatively recently and be paying the 30 year mortgage on it. Do you know for sure that the mortgage is paid off?

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    [-] RLS

    I would like to see the RTB cover the following points in more detail. Most arbitration hearings I have revolve around these 5 scenarios.
    1. Renters that purchase a home in the community but in a fixed term lease, options for getting out of the lease without paying it out.
    2. Clarity around liquidating damages and the actual cost that should be in there when breaking a lease.
    3. Reasonable arbitration dates. Sometimes waiting 10 months for date
    4. Arbitrators favour the residents. They should be impartial.
    5. Property owners need more support especially when residents damage their income property, refuse to leave, and cost the owner thousands of dollars to remove them during the delayed and complicated BC Tenancy branch process while continuing to live there and damage the property and not pay rent.

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    [-] Susan

    Helpful to have a mediator office when concerns can be addressed. Someone who isn’t involved in the conflict who knows the laws. Half the problems may not even BE problems if both parties knew there was somewhere to go. Would prevent bad behavior starting in the first place. A level of accountability.

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    [-] Barry

    As a small time Landlord who is currently allowing his suite to sit empty after a destructive tenant, I await to see how the new laws will affect me before I decide if I will rent this suite out again, after noting how the current government made many Landlords legal leases invalid with the removal of the Fixed Term Lease option. I personally know of 12 landlords who have sold their rentals being sold to private homeowners (having to evict their tenants) due entirely to the new rules.

    It would help if the government realised the difference between corporate landlords and small owners, especially with those with secondary suites. It appears that Tenants and Landlords are pitted against each other when it should be mutually beneficial to both apartments. By pushing out small, caring Landlords there will be less units on the market leaving only the rapacious Corporate Landlords who are not interested in their tenants but only motivated by profit. I suspect, that these Corporate Landlords are the reason for the new rules. Unfortunately, the risks to small Landlords are getting to be too great – if laws change to diminish their rights even more, there will be much fewer rentals. Please do not force smaller Landlords to accept pets, rental freezes or have no exit strategy for getting a tenant out of their secondary suite (bring back the Vacate Clause – not all small LL’s want a lifelong commitment to being a Landlord but can offer temporary accommodation which may help out a tenant who is not looking for long term etc. As long as both parties have a signed contract explicitly stating the move-out date. This is basic contract law and should never be made invalid). Make all RTB rulings public, including names of tenants and landlords so that both parties can make enquiries on whether to rent from/to a particular person. References are often faked – every tenant has excellent references, so Landlords need other means to check if someone is a good tenant or not (credit checks should also be available for Landlords).

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    [-] Lois

    I’m a small landlord with 3 units, in a small town, and I took on renters several years ago at the local market rate. Then my mortgage and LOC interest went up huge when BOC raised the rates, my insurance goes up every year, water rates increased, property taxes rise, all of these far more than the 4% I am permitted to raise the rents. I’ve ended up subsidizing my tenants from my old age pension, because the rents don’t cover the operating costs. I can’t reset rents using fixed term leases they way I used to, because they are now invalid by the new rules. I can’t evict tenants even if they deliberately break the terms of our rental agreement – the RTA gives them a second or third chance to stop breaking the pet rules, being drunk and noisy, or ” forgetting ” to pay the rent !!. I would like to see tenants held responsible for their behavior, instead of this assumption by the province that they are ignorant children who can’t follow a legal contract, and should be given some special status for bad behavior. Tenants are perfectly capable people and able to be swiftly held accountable for their actions…as I certainly am as the property owner.
    If I’m late with the mortgage payment, or the property taxes or the garbage bill for the house that my tenants are living in, there is an immediate penalty…no excuses! Am I really that much better than my tenants, that I’m able to follow simple rules and they are not? The province seems to think so, and it is disrespectful to tenants!
    The Residential Tenancy Act meant well, but has gone too far in protecting tenants rights, and as a result, too many renters are gaming the system, knowing we are powerless once they get into our houses, even if they told lies to get there. The level of damage and pet deposits is totally inadequate, it is a tiny fraction of the cost of holes in countertops and carpets full of poop. As to those who deliberately trash houses, BC has hung landlords out to dry by leaving this problem within the residential tenancy realm, and not considering this damage as the criminal act which it is. RCMP should be called in these cases, just as it would be if the damage were caused to the neighbour’s house or a public building.
    As it sits, landlords have to take all the financial risk, and tenants get all the rights to the use of the property. No wonder landlords switch to short term rental, where they have some control, or just give up and sell their rental properties… I am going to be forced into it pretty soon myself, and my good tenants- one old age pensioner and a disability pensioner, will be looking for a new place to live.

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    [-] Liam

    Lois, you already have the right under the existing tenancy laws to apply for an additional rent increase where you are running a loss on a unit, similarly you can evict a tenant where they are repeatedly late paying the rent or damage a unit. The problem doesn’t seem to be a lack of laws to protect landlords for loss, but a lack of education for landlords about enforcing their rights – this isn’t a criticism of you – the government needs to more actively inform landlords of the tools available to them.

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    [-] jay

    Quicker and more effective response by police (or other legal authority) to deal with problems. The time to respond and solve complaints is the number one issue for both sides, tenant or landlord.

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    [-] George

    Here in Maple Ridge, our building changed hands 5 years ago, the New Foreign investors have decided to not offer any maintenance to suites only increase prices by double in many cases, people here need HELP because these Investors only $ee there investment s, not the people who at times have lived here for decades and afraid to speak out. Thank you for this opportunity:)

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    [-] Averill

    I’ve had a similar experience with my building in Vancouver. Since the building sold, the rent went up and the maintenance went down. When I had emergency repairs that were unaddressed (repeated loss of electricity to my fridge), I was told by the building manager that the new owners would not compensate me for the repairs that he acknowledge they are legally responsible for.

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    [-] Jen

    There needs to be done serious rental rate caps! Based on age, location, condition etc… It’s gotten way to out of hand.

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    [-] Jeffrey

    The relationship is not fair as a tenant in Vancouver you have no rights. I live in constant fear of losing my home. I have been renovicted twice and as I age I know that I will not be able to stay in my home. When I retire in 20 years my rent will be 1000 dollars higher than it is today. CCP will not cover this. Currently my landlord raises my rent every year the maximum he is allowed. Used to be good tenants never or rarely received increases. I don’t get a 4% raise every year why should my landlord.

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    [-] Bob

    The key to a good landlord tenant relationship is a balanced rental market where a good tenant is sought after and valued as is a good landlord valued for upholding their end of the contract. The over development of profit rich retail housing has crowded out market rental development throwing price and relationship out of balance. We need to mandate a percentage of new construction contain market rental housing to ensure the housing stock is balanced even when low interest rates distort housing demand mix. With ample supply of rental the rush to buy at any price subsides and price stays balanced (as does the landlord tenant relationship). Further, laws should be crafted to take risk out of renting for both parties by holding tentants and landlords accountable when they step outside the law. Tenants that cause damage or dont pay rent raise the risk which means landlords must raise rent to account for the risk. Landlords that dont fulfill their duties create excessive turnover and associated moving costs for tenants (and rental price reset as they move into a new agreement). This incentivizes landlords to bully people out as turnover equates to a new rental contract for more money. Enforcement should disincenticize so that Landlords see value in doing their part to maintain long term rental relationships and landlords should be ablento maintain fair return on investment and stability in kind.

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    [-] Stephanie

    The Vancouver rental market is ridiculous. My landlords were able to raise my rent by as much as they wanted. In two years it went up by 34% because of a loophole in the tenancy act. This loophole needs to be addressed. Essentially they get you to sign a one-year lease that does not transition into month-to-month after that one year. Instead, you must sign another one-year lease, which essentially makes you a new tenant and they can raise the rent as much as they want. This is extremely greedy and should be criminal. We need to provide affordable housing in order to maintain a vibrant, diverse, and thriving community.

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    [-] Lynn

    What your landlord did was illegal. It was never the intention of the fixed lease that it be considered a new rental. It is a continuation of the previous agreement. The amount of rental increase is dictated by the government.

    I am a respectful small landlord. who follows the RTA, and goes above and beyond to keep our building a happy, safe living environment. I suggest you to the the arbitration board with proof of what increases, and I expect you would win.

    Please, when you, or any tenant is faced with something that seems unfair, do some research. I continue to read tenants complaining about landlord issues, when clearly if true, the landlords are breaking the law. As well, landlords know your rights and responsibilities. Libraries provide computers for free. Read the section of the RTA that deals with the issue.
    Read the information on the RTA website which provides lots of information.

    Let’s keep this balanced folks. Information is imperative to a good tenant/landlord relationship., and so is mutual respect. I belong to Landlord BC and it is a terrific resource for landlords who want to be good landlords. They provide balance, objective information based on the law.

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    [-] Ros

    All fixed term lease now automatically convert to month to month. The vacate clause is no longer allowed and LL must allow you to stay for as long as you wish (a month or a lifetime).

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    [-] Pamela

    For those of us on the ‘welfare’ system… we are allotted $ 375 per month for rent… the days of anything for $ 375 are long gone !!! … As an up and coming senior, wanting to live a simple life with my own disabilities, there is no option in any of the available rentals but to have a room mate… A good room mate is hard to come by I have found… addictions run rampant and I have more than one time been put at risk due to ‘their’ addictions… There NEEDS to be a way to afford something livable to be able to fend for myself. … FIND someone that can buy property and set up tiny houses … OR even buy up campers, motor homes, trailers etc and set them up on a community property … SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE !!! Thank you for your time in reading this. God bless.

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    [-] Bob

    When I first got into this game 8 years ago, the properties I bought brought in pretty close to the 1% Golden Rule (GR) of real estate investment – that is if your monthly rent collected is 1% of what you paid for your shack in the woods, it’s a good investment. I was a bit less than 1%, but it is (was) good early retirement cash flow. Now, however, the real estate market has gone crazy just like everywhere else. Because of increasing property values, my actual GR return now is closer to 0.5% (My gross monthly rental income divided by what I could get if I sold). That is before insurance, strata fees, utilities, taxes, maintenance etc. Taking those out, my GR return is .375%, or 4.5% ROI.

    So, let me ask you this. Give me some idea of what kind of incentive I can be offered to stay in the rental property game when I can sell my investment, put it into GIC’s and earn the same return without the hassles, maintenance, hatred from tenants, government interference, paperwork and on and on and on.

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    [-] Deryk

    We provide several rental properties to renters here in BC. We are on the verge of selling everything as we see changes coming that give more rights to the tenants. Even the mere talk of bolstering tenants rights is enough to tip us over the edge. We need to be able to evict problem tenants. How does it help tenants if we feel slapped in the face enough to say I’m not doing this anymore and we sell our properties….and the tenant has to move because the new owner wants to live there? How does that help the tenant? It’s been years since rental properties have been built and yet recently a lot of new rentals are coming on stream. One of the main reasons that this is happening is that a new business model has been created for private investors seeking a fairly good return on their money in a time when interest rates are at historic lows. The problem with this flash in the pan building spree is that once these investors realize why no one has been building rental properties since the late 70’s….because of rental restrictions that favour tenants (next to impossible and time consuming to get rid of a bad tenant etc) then these buildings will very likely convert back to non rentals. I personally know one fellow who is DUMPING three new buildings because of this exact reason. Those three large rental buildings will be converted back to individual ownership. How does that help renters? There is a list available of bad tenants. There should be a list of bad landlords also. Most landlords look after their tenants because it just makes good business sense. If the property is kept nice, it rents quickly and income is maintained.

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    [-] Karolina

    Kicking someone out of their home should not be an easy process based on landlords’ subjective perceptions. Of course, there are tenants who need to be evicted but there has to be an external, objective process for that. Depriving all tenants of their rights so that some bad ones can be evicted more quickly is not a solution. There has to be an effective, external process to manage evictions.

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    [-] Ariane

    I too have many owners whom I represent whom are thinking of selling their rental properties because they feel like they have no more control. One sold two this year. Another one has two for sale right now. All 4 of these properties were sold and selling because they are scared.
    On my portfolio I do not have one bad tenant or one bad owner. The reason why I have this balance is due to the fact that I represent owners who maintain the properties and they are also not greedy. Any of my owners who do not play fair I just refuse to not represent them. Any tenants who do not play fair will have to move on from my portfolio.
    We need a list of bad tenants and we also need a list of bad owners. Even if these lists exist they are against the privacy act. If they were allowed to be made public perhaps this would set the offender straight.
    I have been hired to clean up properties which were destroyed because the property owner did not do proper screening. Now 7 years later these bad tenants still cannot obtain a loan for a car, school, house. They cannot get credit and when they call me to lift the summons for payment I simply say sure, just pay us the $10,000 you owe us and I will call the court registry. People like that should be reported so that no other owner has to endure this kind of destruction.
    Then I see the flip side…..owner wants me to take a property on, I do a consultation and realize the tenants are being treated poorly, the property is in dire needs and the rent is too high for what the property is. This sort of owner should also be reported.
    Balance is the key word here…..right now the scales are off balance. The RTA does not reflect any balance on the owner’s side. The scales have tipped over towards the tenant’s side making it that property owners do not want to rent out their properties anymore.
    Our RTA new laws are having a reverse effect on what it was designed for….and it’s really sad to see these perfectly amazing rentals no longer available to tenants because the property owner ran scared.
    The RTA needs a new look not just a stitch in the cut. It needs to be redesigned to fit 2018 and not 1980. I really do hope they act fast on it too before we lose more rental buildings and wonderful property owners who simply got scared.

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    [-] Deryk

    The province of NB requires that the landlord place any damage deposits into a government account which I think is a much fairer way for both parties. That way, if a dispute arrises, then it can be sorted out in a fair way by arbitration and the money granted to the right person.

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    [-] Jocelyn

    When I moved to Victoria it was very difficult to find an apartment that would accept children. A lot of buildings have a 19+ rule, which makes finding somewhere to live in a region with such a low vacancy rate really tough. I found a one-bedroom that is half of my paycheque and was grateful to get it. We’re making it work for now, but it’s not sustainable.

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    [-] YS

    Many of the most important points already been addressed by many other readers, so I will be only mentioning a few more here below:
    1. Many landlords are weak, vulnerable, too.
    – As many other mentioned, many landlords doing renting either to help their own mortgage or do a small investment with their hard earned income.
    – They are not profiting as much as many thought. For example in an average location such as Coquitlam or Surrey, having a 2 bedroom costs around 500K, rented for around 1700. With 20% down and 400K mortgage, their monthly minimum expenses (interest + strata fee + property tax) would only break even, not mention any additional maintenance and repair.
    – The potential financial loss for landlords is far greater than tenants.
    2. Equal treatment of both landlords and tenants are key point.
    – As mentioned by many other feedbacks, with the current bylaws the landlords are being wrongfully treated with no protection at all. Many landlords already been scared away off the market and many more are following the suit.
    – The only outcome of unfair treatment of landlords would be worsening the rental market: much less rental pool, much higher rent, much more serious housing situation, and more potential social problems…
    – Therefore, the same rules must be applied to both sides, same rights, same responsibilities, same notice period, same penalties… One good example, if the rental unit in case suddenly not livable and the landlord to be responsible, the landlord has to pay for temporary housing related costs; on the opposite, if the tenants not paying the rent, they have no right to live there any more…
    3. Urgency to establish an efficient system to evict bad tenants.
    – Although there are bad landlords, but to evict bad tenants already become very serious and persistent issue, as complained by many feedback here.
    – With the Order the landlord should have the authority to stop the tenants keep staying there.
    – Only a handful bad tenants not obeying the Order, so government should provide help for the landlord with the eviction process if needed, this will reduce the burden mentally and financially.
    4. Government and the society should recognize the importance of the landlords role.
    – The landlords have been contributing their time and financially to help ease the very serious housing situation, fair treatment and some incentives will increase the number of landlords, increase the supply, improve the housing situation.

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    [-] S

    I would love to see rent freezes for people who earn less than $32,000. I’m a single parent, no child support, no wage increases and my rent is increased every year to the max allowable. When you’re already paying too much rent for one person to pay it adds up exponentially every year. Right now my rent is already 65% of my earnings. Next year it will be approx 67% of my earnings. At this rate I’ll be getting my mail sent to a cardboard box on the street. Something needs to be done now and drastically to prevent these rent hikes for low income people.

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    [-] Justin

    I totally agree, but it’s shouldn’t just be for those with low incomes. The banks won’t let you mortgage a home if it makes up more than 33% of your income yet those who are trying to survive renting are stuck in situations where they’re paying much higher % of their income in rent. Living in BC isn’t sustainable at this rate and I’m highly considering moving my family away unless something is changed.

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    [-] Jess

    I believe this is the government’s responsibility to provide low income housing. The private sector should not be responsible for that. I agree this is hard for low income to find places to be in Vancouver.

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    [-] N

    And if people want to rent and are no drug addicts …are you saying they cant live a normal life in van city you can work on income assistance too just to clarify if some is working legit full time but also receives income assistance why cant they have a place -i only want to clear things feel free to reply

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    [-] Scott

    I’m a member of a number of online landlord social media groups, and one lamentation I’ve heard a number of times is that arbitrators with the Residential Tenancy Branch are inconsistent with their rulings, largely due to the lack of transparency in precedent rulings.

    It seems like a priority should be to make all RTB rulings public record, so that there’s a body of precedent that can be relied on for consistent application of the law.

    The only answer anyone has been able to give me as to why RTB rulings are kept hidden away is ‘privacy concerns’, but the same privacy concerns are immediately discarded for arbitrations that go through the court system, so there seems to be no valid reason why RTB arbitration rulings should be shrouded in secrecy.

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    [-] Kalisa

    There needs to be a law protecting renter’s pets from discrimination and inability to find pet friendly housing. Finding pet friendly housing at an affordable rate is almost impossible in BC. Ontario was able to enact a law banning pet discrimination, why is BC not able to!

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    [-] Karolina

    Adopt the recommendations from the Vancouver Tenants Union.

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    [-] Duane

    A major goal of this government needs to be to increase the rental housing stock. People who have nowhere to live are worse off than existing renters. Existing renters have nowhere to go, which contributes to their vulnerability. Too much discussion focuses on rules for landlords. Not enough discussion is on encouraging people with property to become landlords and even developers. It is the landlords and developers who provide the housing. We need more of them.
    The house across the street from me has a basement suite that has only been occupied for about four years in the past 14 years. The little old lady who owned the house was afraid that she would not be able to get rid of a bad renter, and that she would not be able to get compensation for damage. (Damage deposits are rarely big enough to cover damage caused by renters.)

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    [-] Jacqueline

    There need to be stronger caps of how much any company can increase rent, whether the renter is in a lease or not. There are too many loopholes right now. I have friends who have lost their homes due to renovictions, one friend who lives in her RV because she can’t afford the the high rents, and myself who has had to move away from Victoria, where I’ve lived most of my life, to a village where there are virtually no senior services or any services for that matter for miles. People shouldn’t have to worry about being put in these positions – everyone should be assured of secure housing at rents they can afford. Social housing is becoming a viable necessity for a large segment of the population – young people, single parents, working families, and seniors.

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    [-] C

    We need to deal with the extensive, incredible amount of illegal rental suites that extend across this province, most especially across the lower mainland leading north to Squamish. Its an owners market right now, they take advantage of the vacancy rates and housing crisis, by baking the on desperation of people by renting out suites which are unsafe, not to code and in some cases intolerable.

    For example in Squamish, its been said by locals and the District, that over 75% of Squamish rentals are in fact illegal, unregistered suites. These rentals are not even close to being to code, rental rates are not regulated through value assessments and landlords can essentially rent out any basement or hole in the wall for whatever they want, regardless of the condition or quality. I myself moved into a basement suite, later finding out it was illegal when I went to apply for my Squamish business license and my landlord refused to sign for it as the landowner…. why?… because its illegal. This leaves me in a peculiar situation of not being able to carry out my business as I need to and if I did report the suite to be deemed illegal, I would be the one who would then have to search for a new place for myself and my son, which in most cases (due to the vacancy rate and pricing), takes an average of 6 months to a year to find.

    When is the Provincial and local governments going to step in and regulate this insane, out of control rental market?… When will there be guidelines, laws and task forces be put into play to weed out all the cheaters and opportunist landlords and make the market more balanced, fair and regulated?

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    [-] Justin

    Removing fixed rental time is huge for protecting tenants. My landlord has tried to raise the rent significantly over the legal amount three times now using the fixed rental agreement contract. This now protects me from not letting them raise it more than they’re allowed too.

    Yet they are still trying to get around it; they recently told me a family member will move back in so they asked me to move out in 6 months and we agreed that was fair, but then they mentioned that the family member will not move in and are now asking for a significate raise again and trying to say because we agreed on 6 months previous they can kick us out.

    They believe they should be able to raise the rent to whatever because recently the market value is higher than what we pay. This speculative mindset is part of the problem in the lower mainland.

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    [-] David

    1. The annual increase limit is too little compare to other costs such property taxes, utility, interest on mortgage increasing. It made the landlord with no profit and spot release empty rooms to the market.
    2. We should have a policy of “No pay, no stay”. The any reasons if the tenants stop paying rental on time, the evict starts within 15 days.
    3. Increase the deposit to three months instead half month. The half month deposit does nothing if there is damages done by tenants consider the expensive repair costs in BC.
    4. No marijuana grow and smoking is allowed in rental units unless approved by landlord.

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    [-] Dave

    A critical aspect of a successful rental, which provides some security to the landlord as well as provides clear expectations to the renter, is the amendment portion of the rental agreement. Currently, the government rental agreement form has no significant prompt for the creation or addition of a thorough addendum. There should readily available template available online for landlords to use which will help with consistency. In situations of dispute, a consistent form for addendums would help. Landlords need to be able to feel comfortable that their property and space is protected. The emotional investment of having who are essentially strangers living under the same roof can be a huge stressor and the us-versus-them approach which has resulted from this intractable conflict continues to cast landlords in a negative light. More and more rentals will be removed from the market as landlords continue to feel more and more squeezed by tighter and tighter regulation.

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    [-] Gint

    As a small landlord, I am deeply concerned with what is being called an advocacy of a “fairer” system but with proposed changes that are exclusively for the benefit of renters. I think it’s productive to concede that there have been abuses by landlord in some cases, but problem tenants are as equal a concern in this equation. Given the vacancy rate is so low, consideration must be given to encourage rental stock growth and the maintenance of existing stock.

    1. Renovicitons. Temporary displacement of people from their homes is unpleasant, but if you unreasonably discourage the creation of new housing stock, particularly in cases where density is proposed to be increased, it will only exacerbate an already low vacancy rate. Policy should focus on discouraging fraudulent renovictions, ie. cases where tenants are evicted by a landlord with no intention to develop or improve the unit.

    1b. Tenant ROFRs at same rent for re-developement applications. I STRONGLY disagree with this. If a landlord genuinely improves a unit, it should not be restricted to the same rent level because it is not the same unit. Policies that are focused on discouraging landlords from capital investments into rental stock should be avoided especially considering that the main issue here is a low vacancy rate.

    2. Proposing a rent freeze. Due to numerous new tax initiatives in addition to elevated land prices, cap rates for rental properties are barely above risk free GIC rates, implying that landlords are already not being compensated for putting their capital at risk with rental property ownership.

    I think implementing a once per year ability to increase rent, regardless of tenant turnover, would be a fair way to guard against unreasonable landlord practices though some consideration needs to be paid in situations where a unit is substantially below market levels. Genuine family move-ins and post-permit development evictions should not be discouraged as they encourage the highest and best use of existing and creation of new housing stock. Encouraging fixed term tenancies (ie. not month to month) may be a good avenue in providing stability to both the tenant and landlord.

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    [-] deb

    Provide timely sessions with arbitrators – it often takes too long to get a hearing.

    Ensure that all monetary orders can enforceable without going to Small Claims Court – easy for tenants to disappear but not easy for landlords to disappear.

    Have legislation for Commercial Landlords and Small Landlords. This means the legislation would be different for both. A small landlord should be able to take over their suite in their principle residence with minimal notice and without penalty. Often it is about safety for their own children or housing for their own family.

    Rent increases – when I have a good tenant I do not usually increase the rent but if I don’t increase the rent every year I get too far behind. Allow small landlords to have increases cumulative (basically I can up the rent every 5 years (or anytime after a year) but if I don’t then the next time I can up the rent for the amount for each year I missed).

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    [-] Penny

    Those are very good ideas.

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    [-] Bonnie

    I cannot express how disappointed I am…..3 people on the task force…..all 3 MLA’s…..2 from the island and 1 from West Vancouver…….10 meetings……3 of them off the mainland, 3 of them in Vancouver and surrounding areas, and the 4 remaining for the REST of BC……doesn’t sound fair at all. Perhaps if your party reached out to the areas where the NDP did not get voted in, there might be an opportunity to persuade those voters to see the side of the NDP…..however, you took the safe course and showed your cards. Why am I not surprised…..John Horgan was here in HOPE before the election and heard all the horrendous stories about the landlords of Manufacture/Mobile Home parks, and low and behold, those stories fell on deaf ears. If you want a chance at being the party in control for a second stint, you need to hear the voices of the common people that struggle to survive……you got in by a hair this time…..might not be so lucky next time…..over 60,000 people live in manufactured/mobile homes in BC, mostly seniors, single parents, and very low income people…..if you want to help us like you say, then you need to come to where the problems are and not on Salt Spring Island…..just saying….

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    [-] Sonja

    With the changes to BC’s legal marijuana growing rules, public education is needed for both renters and landlords. As a landlord, I don’t want to run into issues with my tenants about grow ops, and I want to protect my property from humidity, mold, and water damage, etc caused by grow operations.

    Although I have not experienced this, dealing with nightmare tenants. I would hope that there would be a fast and effective way to move this people out of our properties legally. Trusting that a landlord, who has a reputation for decency (proof from previous tenants, or neighbours), is not making up their claim and allowing simple ways to remove these people from our properties. I know I would agree to join some sort of “good landlord” association and get “certified” or “inspected” annually if it meant when bad tenants came, I could quickly (within 1month), kick them out without court time and hassle. If stores can ban thieves and rude threatening customers, why can’t I take action to deal with it myself, and not go to court over it?

    Communication between people who are new to each other is difficult at the best of times, it would be great if there was renter and landlord education about what to say when this happens… (something needs to be repaired, property security needs to be improved, pests). Like a handout I could attach to the contract when they agree to move in. Or maybe education is offered at universities through unions or dorm room programs? That way they are learning earlier what is expected of them as they enter the rental world. Maybe even using dorm supervisors as a channel that BC rental housing uses to provide education on cleaning and tidiness. Contest offered 1 a year for proof of taking on the “cleanest dorm” challenge?

    Pets are always a sore point with landlords. We don’t have a pet friendly rental because we have allergies on the property to animals (asthmatic children), but it would be nice if BC rental housing would remind tenants that although pets are great company, they do hamper your ability to move as there is very limited places that want a pet. Or maybe some incentives for landlords need to be created to increase the pet rental market?

    Accessibility information is needed for builders of basement suites and new builds. We went to a lot of trouble to build our rental cottage as an accessible building, the information on specs for building this way way was difficult to find. Ramps, Door widths, hallways, room size, kitchen/bath layouts, door handle styles. Very simple design features that were easy to add at the building stage, but would save lots of $$ for people building legal basement suites (above grade) or new builds, and renos to houses planned for rent. Imagine how many more people we can rent to if its accessible!

    Thanks for taking the time to read my ideas!

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    [-] Penny

    I think we need some sort of “renter’s insurance” in BC covering major damage and failure to pay rent. Tenants would pay the premium, but overall it should result in lower rents for the vast majority of responsible renters. This would be beneficial to both sides of the situation.

    Property owners would be more likely to rent out their property knowing that potential damage would be covered by the insurer. As more people are comfortable being landlords supply would increase and rents should fall. Rents could also be lowered as the cost of potential damage would not have to be factored into the rent charged.

    The tenant who looks after the property they live in would pay a low premium, which would continue to fall as time goes on. They would also be able to show this as evidence to a new landlord of their suitability as a tenant. Low premiums would be proof that you look after the property regardless of family situation or pets. Higher premiums would be a warning to the potential landlord of possible problems.

    As a tenant with a low insurance premium, you would be prized by landlords and have the pick of the better properties.

    Some property owners may try to scam the system by making claims against tenants without justification, but if there was a list available showing how often a landlord has tried to claim against the insurance, tenants would have a heads-up to avoid these people.

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    [-] Kathleen

    This is a great idea

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    [-] Eliecer

    – About the rent…
    Right now, landlords can only raise the rent by a maximum of 2% + inflation, once every 12 months. Our salaries don’t receive an increase at the same rate so every year we are paying more and more and able to get less and less. Instead of inflation, it should be the percentage that the minimum wage has been increased.

    – About the affordable housing…
    I suggest the idea to create communities subsidized by the government where the price for a house with max 3 bedrooms won’t be more than $150,000. The Provincial government will work together with municipalities for the availability of the land where these communities will be built. Construction companies will be bidding the different projects and they have to comply with the actual regulations in the construction industry. Low and medium income families will be allowed to buy these properties following the usual procedures to buy a house. Stipulated in the contract, once you buy the house you won’t be able to speculate with it because in case you wanna sell the property, you have to sell it back to the municipality for the same price or lower depending on the damages if any. Apartment buildings can be built inside these communities following the same procedures but for a lower price.

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    [-] Denise

    As a previous tenant but also a landlord of 3 apartments, the BC Tenancy Act should have protections for both the landlord and tenants. Landlords rent out their personal property so of course, they should have a say in whether they want pets or not. We have had pets as a negotiable factor with our properties but landlords should have the right to choose who or what they want in their own properties. It will drive many people from renting out their properties if others can dictate who live in it. Why would I let someone else dictate how my business is run? Of course there need to be policies on discrimination, evictions, dispute resolution but to have it all leaning to protect the tenant would reduce the rental pool not increase it.
    As a landlord, we don’t make any money monthly between the mortgage, the strata fees, property taxes and the insurance. Limiting the time we can raise the rent to five years would be ridiculous and not even keeping up with inflation and the annual strata fee and property tax increases. The Tenancy Act already sets the maximum yearly increase per year which is fair. It only ranges from 2-4% annually and that barely covers the above increases. Yes, we have rentals as a long term investment but not to run the business at a loss. No business would ever run this