Discussion 2: Share Your Experiences Being a Landlord or Tenant



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

Thank you for the online feedback so far.

My colleague MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard and I had the pleasure of visiting Maple Ridge on June 4th making our first stop on the Rental Housing Task Force province-wide tour. We held the session in the rotunda at Thomas Haney School, a great location and space for about 45 citizens to have some very stimulating conversation. I was pleased to see my colleagues MLA Lisa Beare (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) and MLA Bob D’Eith (Maple Ridge-Mission), and many locals who’ve been involved in rental housing issues for many years.

We had many passionate people attend, from all walks of life. From the incredibly enthusiastic 10-year-old who came with his parents, was an active participant in the discussion and helped to post sticky notes to the idea boards, to the long time anti poverty activist who shared stories of the challenges she faces, to the gentleman who left early to sing a solo with a local choir, only to return because he was so passionate about the topic. All are examples of diverse British Columbian’s who took their time, and effort to make our province better by working together to find solutions to the problems we face.

The evening started with some discussion about the issues facing both rental housing providers and renters with discussion about possible solutions. The groups were broken into two with a report back, so both groups could hear what each other talked about. For the next phase of the evening, the two groups talked about what fair, secure, safe, and affordable housing meant to them, and what we could do to create a better, more secure and fair system.

By the end of the evening we still had a crowded room, with many sticking around to get in one more story or one more idea. Clearly this dialogue was long over due!

On Wednesday night we were in Nanaimo and had an even bigger crowd, with lots of great advice, and questions.

There are more community meetings planned, you can view them here and register to attend https://engage.gov.bc.ca/rentalhousingtaskforce/communitymeetings/.

Next week we will be in Kelowna and Nelson so please be sure to help us spread the word about those sessions.

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

Discussion 2: Being careful not to identify personal information of others tell us about your experience being either a landlord or tenant that you would like the Rental Task Force to consider as we proceed with making recommendations to the Premier and Minister Robinson on changes?

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334 responses to “Discussion 2: Share Your Experiences Being a Landlord or Tenant

    User avatar
    [-] Stepanka

    I am a renter and have never owned, that being said I really do believe that the power needs to shift to be more equitable between renters and landlords. I have many friends who have rented out suites in their homes and have had terrible experiences but were left with no ability to evict and no recourse for the damage caused. I have other friends that have suites that they don’t rent out for fear of ending up with bad tenants. That doesn’t seem fair to me, these individuals & families are opening their homes to share with strangers, they (rightly) expect their property to be treated with respect, we should help them protect that asset. Could there not be a third-party that helps monitor this? Photos are uploaded to a site and approved by both parties indicating the state of the property when initially rented, credit card numbers are kept on file in case someone flees without paying for the damage? We know where the landlords are but it’s pretty darn hard to track down a tenant that leaves. It’s a half-baked idea but I’m sure you can come up with something reasonable that is fair to both parties.

    We need more rental housing on the market, we know that, so we need to create rules that are fair and safe for everyone, including those that are opening their homes. One commenter mentioned that there are more rules in place protecting people who decide to host on air bnb than there are for small landlords in the long-term rental market, which is crazy but absolutely true. Of course people are choosing that avenue, they make more money and they have more protection, it’s a no brainer. As a renter I worry about this and the impact it has on supply & demand. I strongly feel that if there were better rules in place for small landlords, more people would open up their homes. There probably aren’t enough unused suites to make a huge difference to the supply, but at least then long-term rental suites could reasonably compete with air bnb.

    I also worry about renoviction for me and my neighbours, it’s something that has happened to a number of my friends, and even with the advanced notice they still weren’t able to find new rental accommodation in Victoria and ended up back with their parents. I live in an older building that is definitely at-risk of this type of development. My neighbours are mostly single people and elderly people on fixed-income that have lived there for years (some for decades), what would happen to them if something happened to our building? There is nowhere to rent and even if there were it would be too expensive. The rental housing market is such a mess right now. It is really disheartening and honestly, pretty stressful. I don’t know what the answer is but I sincerely hope that you are able to find some solutions to help ease the anxiety this is causing so many people.

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    [-] MG

    I was a landlord for several years but after several situations I chose to sell my house. I had some good tenants initially but having 2 suites in a house was a lot of work that I wasn’t prepared for. I bought a home that was very expensive and the only way I could afford it was to rent out the suite. It seemed like the perfect solution. I had a variety of situations, a tenant whose girlfriend moved out, who decided to sublet his room to someone I deemed to be unsafe, a tenant who smashed holes in the wall and swore at my 3 year old, a tenant who somehow found a way to have my Internet disconnected by convincing Shaw he was my husband, and one tenant who emptied his bacon grease by opening his window and pouring it out on the bricks of the front of my house. After that incident I realized I wasn’t the type of person who wanted to be a landlord and realized that I found it quite overwhelming. It might be a good idea to have something that explains the obligations of being a landlord to people coming into the market. I was very unprepared for the responsibility that I was undertaking and though there are benefits (that my realtor underscored), they are not immediate and come with a lot of hard work. I say if you want to, or have to become a landlord, do your research and find out if it’s for you.

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    [-] NB

    The second someone damages your property ie punching holes in your wall, they should go immediately. They should lose their rights to notice the minute they chose to damage your property. Until the province supports the rights of a landlord to not fear for their property or themselves vacancy rates will be extremely low. It will also send a message to bad tenants that they need to care for their rental home as though it was theirs which is what the good wonderful tenants do.

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    [-] Rebekah

    I have always rented and moved around frequently – often in the same city. Renting has, in the past, not been a problem in terms of “bad neighbours”. In more recent years there seems to be more drugs, more noise, less respect – and to hear community leaders talk about “renting” it seems as though renters are seen as second class citizens! At 68 years of age, a retired professional, I suddenly feel that because I choose not to own my dwelling, I am not worthy of a decent place to live, with neighbours who are decent human beings. I also feel for landlords and have known many who are stuck with tenants who trash the apartment/house, don’t pay rent, grow marijuana, terrorize the neighbours and so on. Evicting someone is very difficult it seems.

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    [-] Shelley

    I agree – one of the hardest things is how people see and treat you. I’m a professional woman who makes a decent salary, but not enough to buy a house in my city. One of our neighbours tried to get all the others to back him in demanding that we not be allowed to be there, despite the fact that we are tidy, quiet and try to be generous with our neighbours (offers of help, etc.). It’s really sad that renting is seen as “lower-class,” even though home ownership is out of reach for even the middle class in some cities.

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    [-] ca

    Well said.
    When I was 12, I never had to beg for a place to store my bike, or to have a dog, or even to have use of a tiny patch of yard. Now, as I’m more than half way through my life, all those things I took for granted are gone.

    Despite the talk about RTB being fair, and landlords saying they are needing protection from us awful tenants, most of my own experiences with landlords in BC have been horrific.

    Some homeowners here in BC really do act as if they are ‘lords’. The attitude here of many landlords is reprehensible. Apologies in advance to the good ones for what follows.

    Here are are some of the commandments that I have experienced which landlords impose by their actions and words:

    Thou shalt not have a pet no matter how lonely you are.
    Thou shalt not have visitors.
    Thou shalt not protest when I am unfair to you, or else I will kick you to the curb.
    Thou shalt not make any noise whatsoever.
    Thou shalt not ask for fair rent.
    Thou shalt live in a mouldy, dark, underground space and pay my mortgage for me.
    Thou shalt only have a shower and no tub or a tub and no shower.
    Thou shalt sign a lease for a fixed term and then leave or pay a hostage-level rent after 3 months. Thou shalt be treated as guilty as a bad tenant until and unless I choose to say you are a good tenant.
    Thou shalt not ask for a written reference letter.
    Thou shalt not live in a legal suite and therefore thou shalt not be part of the community for fear of a neighbour ratting you out and therefore also thou shalt not be entitled to home adaptations.
    Thou shalt not have a parking space.
    Thou shalt only do laundry when and how I say you will and probably not on my property.
    Thou shalt not have a garden.
    Thou shalt not have accessible housing.
    Thou shalt not ask for any reasonable repairs or improvements.
    Thou shalt put up with my noise and my lifestyle and not complain even if it means you can’t sleep or live in peace.
    Thou shalt not have lighting that lets you see the lock to get into your house.
    Thou shalt access your space without safe lighting or cover from the elements.
    Thou shalt not have any storage space.
    Thou shalt not have a place for your bicycle or barbeque.
    Thou shalt live in less than five hundred square feet of space and yet thou shalt pay handsomely for that privilege.
    Thou shalt not have a yard now shalt thou keep plants on your tiny patio/balcony.
    Thou most certainly shall not be disabled.
    Thou most certainly shall not have kids.
    Thou shalt not be an equal.
    Thou shalt not be.

    I see myself as a good tenant, as as a customer. I add to the owner’s bottom line.
    Why are tenants treated as second-class citizens in BC?

    Perhaps one reason is that the ’system’ supports the idea that landlords are above me in all ways.

    Maybe it is time for the language and related contracts to change?

    Calling homeowners ‘lords’ gives them the idea that they are superior to their tenants.
    It implies a Lord-Serf relationship. In reality, that often is what we have, but it is time to change and we can start with a new word.

    How many times have we heard, as tenants in suites that ‘this is my home!’.
    Landlords don’t seem to understand that it is still their structure, but legally the contract makes the rented space the tenant’s home.

    The word “lord” reinforces an antiquated belief system. It is time for a change. Although there are some legal contexts that need to be considered. I’d be happy with Renter and Rentee.

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    [-] Lynn

    As a small landlord, I am so sorry this has been your general experience.
    We allow cats, have a garden for flowers and vegetables, a backyard with fruit trees, free off-street parking, and visitors are fine. There are some very good landlords out there. My frustration is the focus is always on the bad ones. Good luck.

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    [-] Carrie

    Can we rent from you?

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    [-] ca

    I had no idea that there had been a scheduling issue with laundry (2 semi-retired adults upstairs and me down, plus the landlord’s adult kids visiting with many loads of laundry), and when they told me to pick a day, I asked to talk to them in person about scheduling.

    The landlords put a lock on the laundry room door (shared laundry, basement suite) with no notice. I was told I could use the laundry room on Mondays and Fridays.

    As a disabled person, access to laundry when I need it is important and I was distraught at finding a lock on the door.
    However, I stayed calm, called the RTB for advice, then asked my landlords for the proper 30 days notice (and gave them the form) plus a rent reduction.

    Things escalated badly after that, including me finally raising with them that the landlords’ pot smoke smell was upsetting m guests and bothering me. I received 5 hand-written pages of hate mail (“how dare you tell us how to live our lives!” etc. etc.) and an eviction notice. Twice during that time, I went to the police twice out of concern for my safety (landlord yelling, swinging his arms at me). All the cops did was make things worse. They said they would talk to my landlord about my safety concerns but they just went on a witch hunt to try to nail him for having a bit of weed in his house. All that did was make him hate me more.

    The landlord then refused to clear the steep driveway (I’m disabled) during a snowy period, when I needed to get my wheelchair up to the top of the driveway to get on the Handydart. I was in no shape to try to assert my rights any further, as I’d already been evicted for something as simple as trying to assert my rights regarding laundry

    I asked for more time than 60 days notice, but was refused/unanswered by the landlords. I was afraid to leave my door and could feel their hate seeping through the walls.

    Guess what? The RTB ruled it was *not* bad faith eviction because the landlords said in the hearing that they ‘wanted out of the business of being landlords’ and intended to keep the place empty. I had no way to prove then or now that they really did keep it empty, and the reason they evicted me was not about keeping it empty – the hate mail was all about how miserable they felt I’d made them feel with my ‘demands’. In my heart, I do feel badly for them, because they were truly unhappy. Blaming me for their unhappiness and causing me financial and emotional strife was the only way they knew how to express themselves. It hit me hard.

    Although it was a bad faith eviction at the time it happened (I was advised by 2 advocacy groups of this), since the reason given at the hearing was they were getting out of the landlord business, they walked away.

    I was almost homeless but for the grace of my family. I spent $15k and 2x in 3 months, plus thousands in movers and storage, to stay off the streets. None of this is recoverable. Now, I find myself paying $300+ more per month for rent and $15,000 in debt to my family. I hold the RTB accountable for this not the landlords.

    A few things could be put into place to prevent such a bad situation happening again.

    1. Landlord eduction before renting

    2. When a landlord does an ‘own use’ eviction, they should be required to prove beyond doubt the place will not hasn’t been rented.

    3. 120 days notice for ‘own use’ eviction to give the tenant a more reasonable time frame to find suitable, affordable housing.

    4. The amount paid out by landlords to tenants for ‘own use’ evictions needs to be increased. It should be more than one month ‘s rent, because it is not nearly enough to cover the cost of scrambling like I had to do after being hate-evicted.

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    [-] ca

    Of the last three places I rented, two advertised as ‘with WIFI’. What they don’t say in the ad is that the signal is so weak you can’t keep a consistent internet connection.

    Anytime there was a system problem and the modem needed to be rebooted, I had to ask the landlord to do the reboot and they weren’t happy about it. When I asked for the modem/router to be placed in central location where I could reboot it on my own if needed, the suggestion was declined. The landlord said they didn’t know how to do techie stuff and added me to Shaw as a person who could call for support.

    here was no resolution with the signal until we strung an ethernet cable from their kitchen to the basement, so I could install my own router. Later in the (somewhat troubled) tenancy, the landlords raised the issue of how I was ‘complaining’ about the WIFI and that I had ‘cost’ the the increase in speed (I offered to pay, they declined).

    With the 2nd place I was in, I had no desire or energy to go through that hassle again so I opted to get my own internet, which cost me almost $80/mo more than I’d budgeted for.

    When I rented the place I’m in now, I opted for my own internet despite WIFI being potentially included. I rely heavily on the internet for outreach, ordering groceries etc. since i’m somewhat housebound, and can not imagine having to be put into the position of having to beg and cringe for a signal or tech support.

    When a landlord says “WIFI included” they need to ensure that the signal is strong and consistent, provide adequate tech support, and this should all be clearly established up front in the tenancy agreement.

    It seems petty to suggest that the RTA should cover such things as WIFI, but maybe it needs to go that far down on the detail scale.

    Maybe my case isn’t that common?

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    [-] ca

    There are lots of ‘programs’ that appear to help disabled etc., but in reality, one can never qualify for them. Landlords are averse to renting to disabled people.

    Example: HAFI
    https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/rental-assistance-financial-aid-for-home-modifications/home-adaptations-for-independence

    Note the requirements for qualifying based on your rental amount…the rents don’t even come close to the reality of the Victoria housing market.

    Also, the suite has to be ‘legal’, which is another requirement that is impossible to fulfill in Victoria. Further, landlords have to disclose all their income/debts etc. – totally invasive. My landlord’s comment from reading this (they declined to apply), was “I can see why landlords don’t want to rent to disabled people’.
    Why would a landlord have to disclose anything? I don’t know a lot about the ‘formulas’ or ‘reasons’. I just know that as a tenant with a disability, it sucks and makes me afraid to even ask for simple accommodations such as keeping the ramp to my door clean of slippery pollen

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    [-] ca

    Maybe not directly relevant on the topic but posting here.
    (ps It would help to know what all the topics are going to be in advance so we know when/where to post the related stuff)

    I sent this and many other comments to my MLA and the Housing Minister, but they never replied.

    TOP THE PRACTISE OF MORTGAGE LENDERS USING RENTAL INCOME IN QUALIFYING TO BUY HIGH-PRICED HOUSES.
    You will need to contact FICOM, Insurers like CMHC and Canada Guaranty, The Mortgage Broker’s Association of BC to learn more, but here’s a high-level view:

    A buyer wants to buy a $700,000 home. The home has a two suites
    The buyer can use up to 100% of rental income on each suite and add it to their own qualified income, in order to qualify for the mortgage o.a.c.
    So, they get an appraisal for ‘market rent’ (which is insanely high) or have a tenant in already (paying an insanely high rent), and they are good-to-go with the lender on income qualifying.
    (nb: There are other ways rental incomes are used in qualifying. e.g. some use a formula, eg. if there are 3 or more suites).

    I question the moral and ethical principles of this type of lending criteria. Do you?
    I am concerned with the dependency it puts into the real estate buying and rental housing economic cycle. Are you?

    Once a buyer has used 100% rental income, plus 100% of both of their incomes (if there are two buyers), JUST to qualify for a purchase on a $700k home, they are FINANCIALLY TRAPPED. They must, must, must charge the crazy rent forevermore, plus pay for ever-increasing taxes & utilities. Guess who is really buying their home for them? Us tenants. And we are doing it by not having a decent quality of life, by going into debt, by never being able to save for our own homes, and by taking ourselves out of the rest of the economy. No dining out. No new clothes. No trips. No staycations. No movies. No whale-watching. Nothing. Just Netflix and Rent.

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    [-] bkaren

    In my experience the mortgagors have never taken into account any rental income from the suite in my home, or rental income I get from my home. They used to take 50% but now take zero.

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    [-] K

    I spoke to a mortgage lender at a bank not too long ago and they definitely can count rental income as part of income towards a mortgage.

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    [-] ca

    Sorry if this isn’t relevant. It isn’t my story to tell, but it is the story of many women.
    in case you haven’t seen this news. Women are now being forced to use their bodies to pay the rent. How long are you going to stay in the status of in action and ignorance on the issue of systemic oppression, financial abuse and discrimination against women in BC?
    note…the cops are going to do nothing unless the woman is confined or assaulted.
    http://bc.ctvnews.ca/mobile/video?clipId=960933&playlistId

    They cops call it consent. I call it exploitation.

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    [-] Debbie

    Recent regulations doing away with fixed term leases and making it retroactive is very unfair to landlords. We would not have entered the rental market if we knew there was no end to a tenant’s stay. Property owners must have control of their own property in respect to infinite duration tenancy or we and other property owners will no longer rent out. In smaller communities houses, etc. are often rented out for a fixed term, suiting both parties; however, the new regulations give tenants an unfair advantage. We (and other landlords) will not be renting our property again under these laws, thus creating a tighter rental market.

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    [-] ca

    Lost everything – and I mean everything – due to mould in a rental unit.
    Insurance won’t cover mould damage unless there is actual water damage/water touching the items.

    Landlord refused to help and also dinged us for having to break our lease (we paid 3 months rent willingly, but he rented it out asap and did not give the $ back)
    Strata corp wouldn’t get involved.
    RTB said there was nothing they could do.
    There was ‘nothing’ anyone could do
    All our possessions..everything…gone and my health was badly affected.
    Probably $10k lost in possessions and money spent on health problems, never mind the cost of having to move again (and again)

    Found mould in another apartment, and my landlords wrote ‘we are not responsible for your health problems’.

    Landlords and tenants in BC, and home owners in general are very vulnerable to mould. Mould isn’t always visible. It is often inside the walls where it can’t be seen. It can make you very, very sick.

    RTA/RTB is letting a lot of people get and stay very sick.

    Not sure what the answer is – but perhaps mandatory mould testing in the same way as mandatory building permits etc.?

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    [-] William

    You could have bought a dehumidifier.

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    [-] An

    As a BC resident and landlord in multiple provinces, incl BC, AB, SK, ON and TX I can tell you that the current BC act is just fine – in fact is one of the best if not the best in Canada – and needs no tweaking besides the minor renoviction amendments (4 instead of 2 month, right to move back into unit at higher price by same tenant) !

    Please do NOT follow Ontario’s horrible act that doesn’t even allow security deposits or rent increases to cover inflationary upside or utility / prop tax increases and also makes evictions for property damage or non-payment of rent overly expensive.

    Look at new supply not merely protecting dwindling older supply with ever tighter rules please. Landlords a private businesses that also need to make a modest return on their investment, significant time investment and risk taken to rent properties worth 200,000+ per unit or far more often.

    Fiddle with the act too much and expect a serious drop in new supply and even higher rents !!

    Happy to be part of focus groups or to be consulted further as a BC landlord with experiences in multiple jurisdiction managing and / or co-owning well over 1500 units.

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    [-] CW

    We are no longer landlords due to the stress & costs. In the past we have had good renters and very difficult renters. 1 moved her boyfriend in and had a physical screaming fight so disturbing that the police were called. We gave notice and luckily they did leave but not without pulling the front door of our stove off among other small damages that added up. Another older tenant in his 70s had prostitutes to our home. I called him on it and he said “there is nothing you can do about it” which was the same response I received from the rcmp when I called to inquire as to what I can do. A third tenant moved in his two adult daughters (750 sq foot 1 bedroom) and a dog…laundry was going constantly and once he left the suite was in a horrible state. A young woman moved in, and then took us to the RTB and asked for $3000. Very time consuming preparing papers, serving them etc. A very stressful time. In the end the RTB was very supportive and she had no grounds for a claim and said her mother told her to try. However, even with the support of the RTB our experiences have not made it worth the income it generated. We looked into the Homestay Program. The public school system offers them as do the local colleges and universities. We have gone this route in the past and never had an issue. As mentioned in other discussions most landlords are renting out of necessity. Fortunately we do not need to go this route but if circumstances change our first choice would be Homestay. I don’t know if there is a solution to ensuring respectful relationships between the 2 parties through new regulations. I think landlords will find other ways to support their lifestyles living in BC. Maybe through the homestay programs or renting out to close relationships only. Unfortunately for the good renters it is going to become a matter of who you know.

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    [-] R

    I have a secondary, stand-alone unit on my property that I used to rent out for 6-8 months of the year and then allow family members to use it when they come and visit (mostly my brothers and their families or my parents).

    Unfortunately, I was horrified to learn that Landlord BC had recommended that the Fixed Term Lease with Vacate Clause be voided without any consultation with their members. I was even more upset to learn that the government had effectively cancelled a material term of many LL’s contracts. This “loophole” of LL’s renewing the lease at an increased rent could easily have been rectified without removing the Vacate clause that many LL’s used for a variety of reasons. I imagine this was a small number of corporate LL’s that used this loophole to increase the rent to existing tenants. Most small LL’s wouldn’t risk losing a good tenant for a rise in rent as everyone knows how much a bad tenant costs.

    There must be a way for small LL’s who don’t want to be tied to long term tenants to be able to rent out with a “Vacate Clause”. Is it truly better to decrease the rental market by eliminating those temporary options? I know many LL’s who have taken their rentals off the market due to this change in law that removed timely protection and added extortionate penalties to LL’s that want to take back control of their suites. I’m interested to see what other changes are made to the Tenancy Laws – it is a very uncertain time to be a Landlord, knowing that the rules can change at any minute.

    Living on the same property as a prospective tenant, I am also opposed to having to accept pets (my husband and daughter are terrified of dogs and I would prefer that they would feel comfortable on our rural property, however, I know that pro-pet people believe this is a form of discrimination). We did allow cats until our last tenants cats urine damage cost us quite a bit cover. Unfortunately our insurance didn’t cover. Perhaps it would be better for tenants insurance to cover pet damages, wilful destruction etc rather than the LL always being penalized and responsible for damage?

    Thank you for providing the opportunity to provide housing providers a chance to input on how the laws may affect them.

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    [-] bkaren

    I concur entirely. I have taken the 3 bedroom suite in my home (Lower Mainland) off the market due to the fixed term lease changes and a insensitive, inconsiderate, bullying tenants. I am now required to live in the unit for 6 months in order to comply with the rules because the RTB is reluctant to enforce eviction for “noise”, which is so subjective if you don’t have to live with it. Why should I have to move because of bad tenants?

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    [-] Anita

    “Vacate the End of Term Lease” clause MUST be re-instated: A Landlord must maintain the ability to control his/her own property. Otherwise we are essentially giving full power of ownership of the property to an unrelated occupant (who could be a squatter) because the RTB has deemed it so. If I am accountable to the Bank for the house Mortgage and the Insurance company for protection of the property, than I should make the decision of who can and cannot occupy it and when. If after a 6 month or 1 year lease you have found that the current tenancy was not working or there had been many problems, especially for the small landlord or a landlord with a mortgage helper suite. It should be up to the land owner to end that situation or have the choice to continue with another term at the same rent with the allowable yearly increase.
    Landlords using end date for renovictions should be penalized . I do not have an issue with giving 4 months notice to end tenancy.
    Swift Justice: Make evicting a tenant for non payment of rent actually happen in 10-15 days by the direct request process. * Remove the requirement to get a bailiff at the landlords expense involved, and make the tenant responsible for their own stuff on eviction. All RTB orders particularly evictions be enforceable by RCMP.
    When a tenant is significantly damaging a rental home or engaged in illegal activity in the home then make it possible to actually evict them in 10-15 days by direct request.
    Hold tenants accountable when they damage a place, don’t pay the rent or Void landlord property Insurance through their activities.
    A tenant should be responsible to pay restitution when they willingly do damage that exceeds $500.00
    Make the RTB process quick (> 2 weeks) and employ properly trained arbitrators that are knowledgeable about the RTB rules and Canadian law. Arbitrators would be expected to make fair, consistent decisions and be held accountable to a third party for transparency.

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    [-] bkaren

    Well said. As a landlord with a suite in my home I concur with all your points. My suite is now off the market. Having asked tenants, who are not suited to sharing a house with someone else downstairs, to leave at the end of their fixed term lease I must now take it over for my own use to get them out. I won’t put it back on the market unless things get more fair for small landlords, despite the loss of income.

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    [-] Moe

    With honest honourable tenants there is no need for the RTB, however there exists a substantial number of malicious destructive tenants seeking protection from the effects of their violent lawbreaking ways, or at least delaying tactics. These cretins are fine talented actors who know how to play the role of fine upstanding citizens with commensurate skill. They cause great hhardship for property owners and are protected by privacy legislation. Property owners are forbidden to share information in the way financial institutions do about bad destructive tenants. Legislators could level the playing field by rescinding these bad regulations that cost property owners dearly, but since property owners are a relatively small portion of the voting population it is always easier to side with Tenants and let property owners bleed cash instead.

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    [-] TS

    I was a tenant for many years and am now a small private landlord. While I support reasonable protection for tenants, this should not be at the detriment of good and responsible landlords. I have fellow landlords who have been left with horror stories and at major losses from damages by their tenants, including pet waste left throughout the house, unpaid rent and not being able to evict or recover the rent, etc…I have seen in the proposals for Vancouver there is a suggestion to remove rental security deposits – this is ridiculous. Already a half a months rent does not adequately protect the Landlord from potential damage /unpaid rent.

    Also the idea of a rental freeze for 4 years also is an unfair charge on the Landlords as many of the operating costs go up and Landlords are subject to increases for the maintenance of the building, special levies, etc. that are not necessarily under their control.
    The new laws need to reflect a fairness for both tenants AND landlords.

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    [-] Arlyn

    My observation, while in attendance at a couple of hearings, is that Renters are given more protection and ‘rights’ than are Landlords. Let there be some FAIRNESS brought into the system!

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    [-] Shivonne

    Wish I could like this more than once

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    [-] kay

    I am a tenant and have educated myself of RTA. I am tired of educating Landlords of the laws, and sometimes they ignore them all anyways. Too many Landlords like to make their own rules when they have a business of renting their home or other large tenanted properties. I have heard it all from different potential landlords, and now they use the housing crisis as a tool to break even more laws.
    Have all landlords get themselves educated first. Especially private homeowner landlords. They are powertripping us good tenants to go rent higher rents in a apartment or condo because the small landlords with suites want to control what you eat/cook, what you buy for groceries (told no peanut butter allowed due to allergy, in a private suite) others have told no smelling food cooking, no noises ever during nap time for their baby, no laundry except one day (even if the w/d is private), no parking allowed and none available, no guests, no pets, etc etc and they usually are cheaper then a apartment.
    I am considered a tenant that is sought after by landlords, so even when I am given a four page list as to the rules they made up for their private suites, and all the rules they made up are against the residential tenancy act, and privacy act, these small time landlords that think they are so important and are allowed to make up their own rules, I walk away and go to the apartment instead to rent at a higher rate.
    Plus small homeowners say the RTA is forcing them to not rent because too many rights for tenants, that is not true if they educated themselves better. and I say good, we tenants dont want them anyways if they make up rules.

    Government please make more rental apartments with affordable rents, so that we tenants who are forced to rent non private units because of all the laws those landlords are breaking have a place to call home, a secure home, and aren’t subjected to these private small homeowners anymore.

    I am a tenant that has never had problems finding a place, lucky that way, most landlords chose me, first impression, and employed etc. But I am tired of educating them, tired of having to fight for my rights all the time, tired of ignorant people using their homes to control a tenant who just wants their own home, and privacy, and never wants to have conflict, or be subjected to ridiculous rules to make their life of their home better while I pay some of their mortgage, they have no idea how to be landlords, yet they want to do the business of renting to tenants. and then they complain when they get a professional tenant, because they don’t know the laws, and take all people for granted.

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    [-] Alison

    My husband and I have a 3-bedroom house that we rent out. I really like the Residential Tenancy website. It is very clear and the forms are easy to use. I would hope that any changes wouldn’t make the rules for tenant and landlords more complicated. E.g. the steps for raising rent, for the tenant to give notice and who is responsible for what. I feel it is balanced power except when a tenant of ours gave notice but was not moved out on the move-out day. With the three extra days for them to moveout and the damage they left it was more than the damage deposit gave us. They had been okay tenants for 3 years and let us in once a year as we requested to check the crawl space, attic and plumbing. But they stopped letting us in, started collecting lots of stuff and stopped doing housework. They paid rent. I am so glad they gave notice but we were out of pocket the extra money it took to ready the house for another tenant. The tenants who are in now look after the place and let us in once a year. They like it because they can tell us what is wrong and we make a maintenance plan. Money wise we find it a bit tricky – property taxes, insurance have gone up. Then we pay income tax on what we do have left over and we will pay capital gains tax on the increase value of the property when we sell. I am thinking to increase the number of homes in the rental market people need to want to put their money into real estate rather then something else. A break somewhere on taxes or support somehow for more return on the investment on rental housing. And/or some support to make it less risky for the landlord when a tenant does more damage than the deposit pays for. I have thought about different models like insurance, contingency fund, harsher penalties or a list of risky tenants but all the ideas I have seem to me to have big downfalls. If we ever have a tenant like that again it would be worth our while to hire a housekeeper for them or something. Not everyone has the ability or the will to look after a house. How they rented their next house without a reference I don’t know. Thank you for doing this. I took a course on property management before we bought, but it still is not easy. Maybe we should have invested our money on bonds. Just joking. With our current tenants everything is going well.

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    [-] Bob

    I have been the owner of two commercial rental properties in BC since 2012 and also have a carriage house since 2013 that I rent on my personal property. I also owned a vacation rental condo from 2009-2013. I have been fortunate to have had reasonably good renters in my carriage house and had a good experience with my vacation rental. I believe that is mostly due to carefully selecting renters myself. I have let the units sit empty rather than risk having a bad tenant. My experience with being a commercial landlord in lower rent rate properties with a property manager in a different town has been an entirely different matter. We are constantly having issues with bad tenants and the half month security deposit rarely covers the lost rent or damage that occurs. When we get a bad tenant, the tenant laws are such that it can take months to get one out and we often see uncollected amounts of up to $4,000 from a single tenant. The law protects tenants from being evicted but does little to protect landlords from bad tenants. The recent downturn in the oil and gas sector coupled with the cancellation of pipeline projects resulted in a significant downturn in Ft ST john where we have our buildings. We had to drop rents by a third to try and attract new tenants and even then, we had vacancy rates of up to 70%. Tenants are protected against market rate increases but there is nothing to protect landlords from market rate decreases. I have additional money to invest but will not consider any additional investment in BC real estate due to the landlord/tenant rules that are currently in place, particularly the limit on security deposits, the inability to write closed end lease terms and the inability to evict bad tenants. I was a tenant myself for 14 years and never had an issue with a landlord and I believe mostly because I was a responsible tenant. The current rules are overly slanted to the tenant and any future real estate transactions will be made in a different region unless there is a change. As for the rule change being considered to force landlords to accept tenants with pets, that would be a deal breaker for me and would cause me to sell my multi-family properties and stop renting my carriage house. The rules need to be fair to both parties in the agreement. Good tenants will be treated well by landlords because we want to retain them. The existing rules punish good landlords and result in fewer people wanting to invest in rental property which results in lower rental supply and higher rents.

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    [-] Ross

    I agree with the above comment. I am a small landlord in the interior of BC and am very distressed with the inability to write a closed end lease term with my tenant. With a closed end lease, the tenant has a reason to treat your home with respect. I’ve not raised the rent on our house for two years even though our tenant was on a 6 month lease agreement. Not all landlords are “slumlords” who abuse the system in order to raise the rent. There should be a separation between the two. To give more security to the tenant you could limit the lease to one year but not eliminate it altogether.

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    [-] ag

    Currently a tenant, have owned and rented for 30 yrs. It seems like only homeowners are posting comments saying that their rights aren’t as good as tenants. Do they realize that most landlords are the ones that own several units and/or buildings, and are actually the ones that the residential tenancy act is best for as there is an overabundance of slum lords in and around Vancouver? We need better protection and security as tenants, and landlords still abuse the system as much as possible and do not follow all laws, with no penalty. I was renting a privately owned condo, not a big time landlord, but was evicted because the new owner wanted to live in her purchase, but she re-rented it for much more rent a month after I was forced from my long term home and forced to pay more elsewhere. But then when I took her to arbitration the new owner evidence statement says don’t punish me, and she didn’t want to pay the extra two measly months’ rent. I won the two months’ rent, but then the changes came into effect 22 days after, and which I could of received 12 months compensation!! is this section 51 change not retroactive?, because it is horrible how many good long term tenants have been evicted for more rent. Whether it is landlords use, or renoviction. Tenants need home security, and privacy. Landlords who complain we have more rights are not using the system correctly and these complainers are just homeowners renting their secondary suites, and don’t know the business, and these Landlords complain on the basis of one or two bad tenants. What about the masses of slumlords that the RTA protects?

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    [-] Don

    As a person on a pension and CPP, it is getting to the point, where, like others in this area, we CAN NOT afford the ever increasing rental increases, that are driving people into homelessness and other means of struggling to get by. It is not only rent increases, as we are nickle and dimed to death with additional increases in parking, storage and laundry costs that are added to our rent, which can put it over the allowable percentage limit for the rent. I am also unhappy that certain companies that own multiple properties, collect mass amounts of rent and do nothing to spend it on the upkeep of some properties that they own. Rent can only be increased so far or it will be only affordable to the rich or well off and not to pensioners or those that are only working part time or have a low income. My, more personal negative issues with my landlord have to deal with the amount of unlicensed and uninsured vehicles that are located in our parking lot, making it look like a salvage yard and harder for other tenants to find a place to park. He has also made a racist discrimination comment based on renters skin color, recently that I will be filing a complaint against him. What concerns me is that he may be allowing more tenants into a unit, under the nose of the building owners, charging extra money that he pockets, while the owners get their monthly rent based on the who they think is renting the unit. (Example: 5 people living in a ! Bdrm apartment, where everyone thinks that there are only 2 people in there.) How can this be stopped?

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    [-] Judy

    I used to be a renter for 6 years (studied and worked hard to save down payment) and a landlord for 4 years. I think I understand both sides. My pretty new townhouse had 2 tenancies both were screened and rented out by a property management professional. However, first family broke one year fixed term and moved out 3 months earlier and left dirty and damaged surfaces (by a small dog) to me. They warned me not to cash their post dated cheques because they had cancelled that bank account. The second family damaged all kitchen and bathroom granite counter tops with huge greasy stains and refused to pay even portion of the damage. I ended up spent over $3000 to replace all counter tops and extra $$ to replace all carpets. Then I decided to keep the TH empty for almost 1.5 years and then I sold it.
    In past some years, when I was searching to buy a house with a rental suite, I have noticed that most of tenant- occupied suites (around 30 to 40 houses) were dirty, messy and with more or less damage on the floor, cabinets and doors. I realized a lot of renters (from the number of the house I have viewed, more than 70%) didn’t really treat the suite as their own home. I have gave up to have any rental unit.
    If there is no guarantee for landlords to recover the cost from the damage or rental loss, I wouldn’t consider to be a landlord again. Many of my friends have the same attitude as mine. Some of my friends have much worse stories with tenants and were so disappointed at the “nature” of a lot of renters.

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    [-] C

    While I have had many good renters over the years, I have also had a few that were not.
    In one case, things seemed to be going along fine until one month where the rent is not paid, then I tried to serve an eviction notice but there was no response so I taped it to the door. After 10 days the notice was still there and there had been no sign of movement in the unit. It turns out that the renter had skipped out on the rent and moved out without telling me. What he did leave behind was a bunch of household items, clothes, furniture etc that I needed to then move out and then put into storage. Then the unit had to be professionally cleaned. After waiting the requisite amount of time and paying storage fees, the contents of the unit were taken to the dump as they were not sell-able. I was never able to actually locate the tenant. In the end I was left with unpaid rent, cleaning fees, and a huge hassle before being able to re-rent the unit. The 1/2 month deposit that the renter also abandoned was not nearly enough to cover my costs.

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    [-] Derek

    Constantly have to move, because the owner of the place I’m living in is enticed by the hot market. Sick to death of moving, and every time I do, my rent goes up by approximately $500. I have moved 4 times in the last four years, and when I started, I had a 4 bdrm house for $1500, and now I am looking at $2600 minimum. As you can imagine, this will crush any dreams or hope of moving forward in my family, and may very well destroy it utterly. Civil society was fun while it lasted.

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    [-] Lisa

    I rent in a building that has the following rules: no holes in the wall (i.e. hanging photos), can only have windows open 15 min a day outside of the summer season (building is from 1920 and has no ventilation system), no open beverages carried in hallways, no guests allowed in the unit if you are out of town (I checked with RTB, this is not enforceable), no christmas trees, no candles, etc etc. There is an entire appendix to our lease that is all the extra rules. We get little notes in our mailbox every few months with a reminder about various rules.

    Our landlady’s hobby is evicting people for making too much noise (we have literally never heard any of our neighbours and are always surprised to learn someone else has been evicted for ‘noise’). We have survived in the building for 8 years by walking on eggshells around our landlady and never having anyone over. We are beholden to whatever rules she dreams up because we have two cats and we know there are no units that accept pets.

    Our previous rental building was converted to condos and everyone was evicted at the end of the year so they could do a bad reno and sell the units off. We were lucky to find our new building (I encourage you to look at craigslist postings and filter for pet-friendly and have a good laugh).

    Our landlady is overly involved in all our affairs. It’s insulting and inappropriate – but what can we do? Can’t tell her that her rules violate the RTA, what good would that argument do? Can’t move unless we’re moving to Ontario where they don’t let landlords ban pets. We’re stuck.

    Definitely feeling like a second class citizen who is only allowed to stay due to the magnanimity of our landlady.

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    [-] Carmen

    One thing that frustrates me as a potential renter and behalf of many of the low income folks I serve at work on the DTES is the number of rental postings that state a credit check will be required. It seems as though landlords are unaware they cannot require this without just cause, or they are doing it willfully despite knowing it – this, to me, is an enforcement issue where the province is not enforcing its own existing standards. I make a six figure salary and on principal I object to this requirement as it has nothing to do with my ability to pay my rent. Our household income affords the average (outrageous) rent for a 3-4br in Vancouver but it’s wrong.

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    [-] Andrew

    Stop letting owners raise rents every year. Even 2-4% is too much. Rents are out of control. Give renters a chance.

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    [-] Denise

    easy solution …………….buy your own house!

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    [-] Lyn

    freeze rent increases: the high cost of living continues to climb yet my income doesn’t.

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    [-] JasonZ

    freezen all costs,like mortgage interest rate,hydro, gas, property tax, then landlord could think freeze the rent

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    [-] C

    what’s with all the pet haters?

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    [-] Sara

    I am renter. I live in a house in Mount Pleasant that was built in the 1930s, renovated in the 1990s. The landowner lives in the same building that I do. The house has been subdivided into three suites. Every year I house beside behind or next to me has been torn down only to be rebuilt in a similar style and sold for millions of dollars. I live in constant fear of renovation. I am lucky though, the landlord lives in the same house and I don’t think she has any intentions of moving anytime soon or selling the house. In the last year seven of my friends have been renovated from their apartments. As a 30 something professional in the city most of my friends live in fear of man of action. If I get rid of acted I will Have to leave the city. I have savings but the city is starting to lose my hopes for the future. I don’t even think I will ever own an apartment in my lifetime. With the average income of the city being $70,000 it is clear that housing rental prices are ridiculous. Build rental housing that is affordable to people making $40,000 or less. Affordable means 1/4 of income on rent not 50%.

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    [-] Rowena

    I am a tenant and a landlord. I rent out the first house I bought after I moved cities. So, I have been a renter and a landlord for approximately 4 years.

    As a landlord, I have had great tenants. They seem to stay for 1-2 years on average (over 4 year time period). I allow pets, which has let me choose from a bigger pool of renters. I do understand needing to NOT force landlords to allow pets. Even though think the benefits of a larger pool of renters outweight the risks, i still have had issues with having to have the carpets cleaned after the pet owner leaves even though they said they cleaned it. The only issues I have had have been minor. My rental house is in the okanagan. because of the low vacancy rate I can pick the best tenant. The last 2 times I have needed to fill it I haven’t even advertised and I have found my tenants through word of mouth. I allow pets, but not sure if I would if I updated the flooring. Which is an interesting point. The place I own is nice, but it is not high end. So, I offer a 3 bedroom house with pets allowed for a reasonable rent because I chose not to update to stainless steel everything and hardwood floors. Some of the landlord horror stories i hear sound like they brought it on themselves. Did they have a proper inspection report? Do they know their rights? Did they check references? Landlords need to realize the extent of their responsibility.

    I live in the sea-to-sky corridor. The place I rent is similar to the one i rent out. it is decent, but not high end. It is comfortable with lots of space and storage, but I have old cabinets and counter tops. Everything new that is being built seems to be high end. The new development is for maximum profit (understandably), which is why there needs to be more purpose built rentals. More average homes with enough rooms and storage space. As a tenant I am terrified of my landlord deciding to sell. I choose not to own a pet because of the fear of having to find new rental accommodation.

    there needs to be more supply, most problems will be solved with more supply.

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    [-] KayDee

    I rented all through university – mostly in owner-rented suites – and am now financially able to rent in a new, properly-managed condo building downtown. As a 32-year-old, I know owning a home is goal that’s still many years away and I probably could save some money going the owner-rental route but the stress is not worth it!

    I will never rent a suite in someone’s home again! And I tell everyone I meet to do the same. Let me preface this by saying, I’m an excellent tenant. Always pay on time, no damage, don’t smoke, etc. But all I’ve ever encountered are sketchy landlords who don’t want to play by the rules, refuse to see their suites as a business and get mad when they get taxed as such, and just want to make a quick buck. Honestly, if you can rent from a condo board or management company, do it! They’ll respond to maintenance and keep the place up to code.

    One apartment in Kitsilano, our landlord was still on septic (illegal) and didn’t tell us until we moved in. Guess where the holding tank was? Underneath our hall closet. The smell was disgusting in the summer but he refused to fix it! Just kept getting his “friends” to come look at and gave us BS answers: “oh it just needs to be sealed” etc. We didn’t want to get him in trouble but he was cutting every corner he could go and not actually fix the problem. We finally called the city and they slapped him with a massive fine and work order to get off septic. We moved out shortly after but not before he tried to make us pay to replace the lightbulbs (nope! Those are under fair use) and pay to have a plumber come and fix the drains that we apparently ruined with our hair and shampoo. Um, ok.

    Another landlord’s suite was infested with cockroaches – didn’t notice until the second day we were moved in. I broke the lease after they refused to get the entire suite properly fumigated and fixed – they said it was too expensive and to just get traps and spray. They ended up taking me to court to truck to sue for the remainder of my lease amount. They lost (obviously).

    My point is, in both of those situations, a more naive person would have just rolled over and gone along with their scams. I was young in both of these instances and they both probably thought they could take advantage of me or intimidate because I was a young (and broke) student.

    Know your rights before you rent! As for landlords, know what you are required to do and what you’re allowed to do. You have rights yourself, but if you push it too far, the law will always side with the tenant and then no one is happy. The person is renting a living space from you so like it or not, it is their space!

    You cannot tell them when they can use laundry, what they can cook, who they can have over, what time they have to go to bed, how much they have to clean, etc.

    You can restrict noise within city bylaws, restrict illegal activity (drugs), smoking, and require deposits on pets.

    If something breaks, it is your responsibility to fix it! Like it or lump it. If the tenant accidentally breaks it, too bad. That falls under fair use. If they break it on purpose, you then have grounds for eviction.

    I would like to see better education on the part of landlords so that they don’t assume they’re being taken for a ride by bad tenants and try to impose illegal rules or try to cut corners by not fixings things properly.

    I’d also like to see better education on the part of the tenant so that they don’t get taken for a ride and they know when to stand up, and also so they don’t become indignant when they are in the wrong. Ie: not paying your rent.

    There also needs to be greater accountability on a landlord’s part re: renovictions. If a tenant is renovicted, they should be given the option to move back in at the same rent price – allowing for small increases based on time frame.

    If the landlord says they are no longer going to rent a suite (usually bs to try to evict and re-rent at a higher rate) then there should be a system to flag that address if they are rented out again and that landlord should be heavily penalized.

    Finally, I think we all need to show each other a little bit more respect, on both sides. Landlords need to understand they they are running a business when they rent and their customers have a right to a certain level of satisfaction. Tenants need to understand that landlords do own the property and have a certain level of rights as to what happens to that property. Instead of always assuming the other party is going to screw you (landlords) or being too afraid to demand what you’re entitled to (tenants), let’s try to work together, b/c this system is not working. Low-income tenants are being taken advantage of when they have no where else to go, resulting in bad experiences for both parties, resulting in put-off landlords taking their properties off the market, while those of us who have a choice are opting for better experiences with condo boards and management companies at a much higher rate.

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    [-] Lyn

    Unfortunately not all property management companies are professional. The company that I rent from does minimal care for the property, has failed to properly deal with asbestos and bed bugs, while charging exorbitant rents. Additionally, the property manager terrorizes us with threat of eviction, knowing the obscenely low 0.7 vacancy rate puts him at an advantage to easily rent our living space at a a profit.

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    [-] Carol

    Very well said on all counts! You have a very good understanding of what is going on out there for both tenants and landlords.

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    [-] Stacey

    I had an incident with a landlord where, even after an agreed upon decision with help from an RTB arbitrator, she refused to pay me back my damage deposit. To this day, I have still not received any money back from her and will now have to take her to collections to get it. This should all be dealt with by the RTB, who should have some sort of enforcement authority.

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    [-] Jan

    Income and rent is a double-edged sword that requires a living wage and affordable housing; both issues are a conflict of interest with capitalist values.

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    [-] Kelly

    I have been a renter with a pet pretty well all my life. I have always gotten my pet and damage deposits back and have multiple references from landlords. This summer scared me as I almost became homeless due to a lack of pet friendly rentals. I was evicted from landlord for their personal use. Fortunately we found a place with a landlord who recently moved to BC from Ontario. A province much more compassionate to and receptive of animals.
    My dog is a rescued senior with issues who would not be easily adopted. Hence why I could never surrender him.
    The blanket pet bans isn’t right and should be addressed. I ask that you look to Ontario anf their tenancy act. As it is fair to both parties.
    Landlords can do pre-screening meet and greets in current residence to see how home is kept and to meet the pet.
    Can require pet references.
    Make tenant insurance a requirement within lease agreement. Subject to eviction if not current.
    Conduct monthly home visits.
    Yes i will admit there are a few bad tenants with pets but they would be bad regardless. It is not fair to punish all renters with animals because of those bad apples.
    Furthermore these pet bans contribute to your homeless crisis. For there are a lot of people like myself who would rather live in their car then give away their pet. This also forces the unnecessary surrendering of pets, traumatizing all involved. Pets are part of the family after all. Pets should not be only for the rich. For they enrich all lives, no matter your socioeconomic status.

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    [-] Ingrid

    We’ve been renting a suite in a house for 28 years and my landlord is aging, as is the house, and he’s no longer able to do the maintenance himself, but is too stubborn to hire anyone else to do it. He’s frail, and his English is not strong, and we have stopped reporting things like a backed-up toiled or a malfunctioning stove because we feel bad for him. We have the necessary skills, so we take care of these things ourselves. The house is falling apart and we fear being demovicted but have not been able to secure a place on a co-op waiting list over the past 6 years that we’ve been applying. Our rent is basically stabilized due to our tenure here and we cannot afford market rates for comparable units. It’s discouraging and anxiety -producing.

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    [-] Jessica

    We need more affordable rental housing run by the government. It is difficult to be a renter and never knowing when you are going to have to leave because the landlord wants to sell or increase the rent. People may tell us to move if we can’t afford an area, but it is not easy if it is where I work and where my kids go to school. Of course, I will never be able to buy a home here, but renting should not be this expensive.

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    [-] Madeleine

    We used to rent. We are a family of 4. Our children were 8 and 6 when we were evicted from a 2 bedroom apartment in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver. The landlord went through all the necessary processes to legally evict the entire building in order to repair the parking garage. Many of the tenants (including us) had been living there for more than 10 years. There was one woman in her 80s who had lived there for 25 years. The landlord made every effort to give plenty of warning and compensation. He renovated all the suites and doibled the rents. He called us 18 months later and offered us our suite back for double the rent.
    After that reno-viction we moved to south Vancouver and rented the main floor of a house. If you have ever been in a house built in the 50s you know how insulation and sound proofing are insufficient. It was the only adequate space I could find for less than $2000. My hisband thought that was outrageous. Our rent had been $1100. Our income was barely enough to cover our expenses. We worried a lot. It created a lot of tension and stress for us.
    That summer, in our new home,we endured tenants below us that smoked and vaped pot that came up into our suite; that yelled profanities and cruel insults at eachother and who phusically and emotionally abused eachother. This was the beginning of a trend in abusive house mayes. The pot smokers moved out and a coupke who hated eachother even more moved in. This couple fought more frequently, yelled horrid abuse whenever they were home, threw things at eachother and made holes in the walls, left their dog alone to whimper for long periods and left their windows open at night so their drunk friends and family could get in the house if they werent home. The police were called frequently. It was frightening, distressing and sad. When this couple was finally evicted upon our repeated request, they refused to leave. The vioelence went on for 3 months longer….
    We finally decided to keave Vancouver after we were robbed in that house. In the middle of the day, in Kerrisdale, we were at work and our children were with their aunt, someone kicked in the back door and robbed us.
    That was the final straw.
    We now live in Abbotsford.
    I dont miss Vancouver but my family is sad to have left.
    I know these things and worse have happened to many good people, so I am sharing this here.
    I didnt feel safe or supported in Vancouver. My MLA (Suzanne Anton) assumed when I complained about my poor housing situation that I needed to live in a house. She suggested we buy a condo in the new Riverdistrict development. When I explained that we had been happy renting an apartment she said she wasnt sure why rents were so high and that she would speak to her colleagues. When I told her the house we lived in was owned by a Chinese 16 year old who doesnt speak English, she said her legislative neighbour, Mr Coleman would have some ideas….she dosmissed my concerns about fraud and money laundering.

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    [-] Struggling

    Wow! Nothing like returning to my home province and finding that I’m priced out of the market. That I get excited to have secured a low ceiling basement rental. Nothing like low ceilings and tiny windows to get through the grey winter days.

    I don’t even consider jobs in the GVRD given the rental market.

    In addition, I’m very concerned for my aging parents. They’re fortunate to benefit from a good situation but it is tenuous at best given the volatility of the real estate market. My Millennial relatives struggle to find employment and housing that meets their needs and honours their experience and hard sought education.

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    [-] P.J.

    When I was a kid we have to find a new place after a crisis. The only apartment we could afford did not allow pets and we had two kittens. You can’t imagine the heartbreak of bringing two beautiful companions to the SPCA because there was no one else to turn to. Shame on this province for allowing landlords to prohibit pets. It adds to overcrowding in shelters and affects mental health and well being of people who love their animals. Landlords complain about the damage animals do but any responsible pet owner will tell you the nightmare cases are few and nowhere near as expensive as the damage done by some children. We need laws to keep landlords from blocking pets and fair rules on damage deposits.

    Also, there needs to be better enforcement of fraudulent rental ads on sites like Craigslist and Kijiji. It’s already so difficult to find a place in such a competetive market, so much time and effort goes into finding something affordable and then going through the applications process, sometimes against dozens of other renters, the added stress of dealing with scam listing and knowing the police in this city won’t do anything about it is a serious problem. If there are no deterrents these crimes will only continue. Please do something about this.

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    [-] Victoria

    I now will not rent out the suite as I have no way of getting bad tenants out. I used the fixed lease for the initial 6 months to see if it was a good fit. Now no recourses for bad tenants. The laws need to protect both parties.

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    [-] H

    As a Landlord we endeavor to check references and do our due diligence, however it is never a guarantee you enter an agreement for tenancy with good tenants. The current tenancy act protects the tenant far greater than landlords. There can be a huge financial loss for those tenants that take advantage.

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    [-] Lesli

    I have just been evicted after 13 years in my apartment. My building has been under renovation for over a year, and there’s been repairs required to my suite for months. I was expecting this moment, but was shocked when it finally arrived. My landlord tells me that their son is moving into my suite to supervise renovations. They offered me a suite in the dark basement of my building for over $1000 more/month than I pay now. I declined.

    I’ve since found, in discussions with many other Vancouver renters, that this is a common excuse for landlords to get around the (now, more stringent) requirements around renovation-related evictions. I’ve found a (smaller, more expensive) apartment a couple of blocks away and will reduce myself to spying on my old building to find out if their excuse is true, and will document (and dispute it) if I see renovations happening on the suite immediately.

    I’m one of the lucky ones, in that I have a large network of friends who helped me find a new place, and the means to pay more rent in my current neighbourhood. However, for many individuals and families, this would be a catastrophic event that would leave them with few options. I urge the BC government to do everything you can to support the construction of purpose-built rental for people like me – the middle class who have enough means not to need subsidized housing, but cannot afford $1000/month rent increases, either.

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    [-] Brenton

    I just heard of this meeting in Nelson. It says sold out. I hope to attend this event regardless. Can I have an invitation please?

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    [-] JG

    My previous tenants, after we legally increased their rent for the first time since their tenancy began, went COMPLETELY hostile on us and went bad. In retaliation for the rent increase, they filed a Application for Dispute Resolution and provided false testimony and fabricated evidence we had to challenge at the hearing. They purposely destroyed our deck to fabricate a safety issue, falsely claimed we did not provide TV or internet services when we actually did, made false claims we turned down the heat in the winter, and false claims we interfered with their “Right to Quiet Enjoyment”.

    We even had to call the fire department after they purposely started a stove fire with smoke filling the whole house to just terrorize my family.

    I was also physically assaulted by my tenant outside my front door. I called the police. Tenant makes false claims to the police that I was the one who assaulted. Police can’t do nothing because we’re on private property, and there are no other witnesses. The only option left is to give notice to end tenancy. They file a Application for Dispute Resolution, allowing them to continue to stay for a while longer. Because they are able to claim low-income status, they are able to get free lawyers to assist them. Meanwhile, our family has to pay out of our own pocket thousands of dollars for a lawyer to fight their false claims.

    They also ran our shared laundry machines all day and night preventing our own use as there was no restrictions on their use in the tenancy agreement.

    My entire family suffered from these tenants. I felt powerless, and feared for my safety and my family’s safety.

    After a very lengthy process fighting their false claims, and money spent on legal fees, we were successful getting them evicted.

    I feel the law does nothing to protect against frivolous or false claims made by bad faith tenants. It’s a big money grab for them. There are no penalties for tenants who provide false testimony or fabricated evidence, only vague references to it being a “legal offense” to knowingly providing a false statement, which is meaningless.

    Most tenants, who rent, don’t own property (otherwise why would they be renting) or own any major assets. The law does nothing to protect against those bad tenants who are illegally working for cash and are judgement proof. They have nothing to lose by filing false claims and only money to gain from it. They can destroy our property, terrorize my family as much as they want, and we will never be compensation.

    We need a more fairer law that also protects the Landlords. We need a law that discourages tenants OR landlords from knowingly making false claims with specific penalties.

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    [-] C

    Many of these comments are perfect examples of why the RTA needs to change to reflect owners who rent a suite in the basement vs those slum lords mentioned. There are a very different set of circumstances and requirements for absentee or commercial landlords vs homeowners with secondary suites. Just one or two “bad tenants” can be a very serious issue when the homeowner is living right upstairs. As a homeowner with a secondary suite, I have the right to peace and quiet, and to otherwise be able to enjoy my home without worry. Any rules that I place in a tenancy agreement (including no pets, no smoking, no parties, etc) are my right as a homeowner who is sharing my home. If a tenant doesn’t like the rules they do not have to move in. Renting a space in my home is a privilege not a right.

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    [-] bkaren

    Try being the landlord who lives downstairs!

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    [-] Sue

    Finding a rental for my daughter and myself and our 2 dogs has been a challenge to say the least. The house we are currently in is cost prohibitive and they will likely raise the rent in Sept. There are rats in the attix and the crawlspace . All services are seperate including water???
    It should not cost this much to rent in the city I grew up in!
    I feel we will be forced to leave in September

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    [-] SL

    After 20 years, landlord evicted me when I requested repairs before agreeing to a 10 per cent rent hike. Said his sister was moving in (it wasn’t his sister and in any case that isn’t a legal reason to evict) and he was doing extensive renovations (but didn’t apply for permits). When he suspected I planned to file a request for two months rent in compensation, he filed an action through the tenancy branch for $5,000 in damages, saying I had damaged the carpeting and counters, original fixtures of 30-year-old suite. I spent countless hours preparing to defend the vexatious action and dutifully sent him copies of my evidence as required. He provided me with no evidence, not sure if he had submitted any to the board. The hearing by teleconference was a frightening experience because so much rides on the adjudicator’s impressions over the phone of two people she’s never met. She dismissed my concerns about not receiving evidence, essentially assuming I was lying and said as much in her ruling, and then they both referred to evidence I had no access to to conduct the hearing. The adjudicator was more sympathetic to his deceitful version of events — buying his fabricated story that he returned the entire damage deposit because he didn’t want me to cause a scene during the walkthrough. He apparently didn’t submit enough evidence and his testimony amounted to an emotional tirade, including questioning my mental health, and she dismissed his claim. But I felt the ruling could have so easily gone against me, which would have left me with few options except a costly judicial review. It is the epitome of kangaroo court. (I never did file for two months compensation because the arbitrary nature of the whole process was too frightening a prospect.) In Toronto, you get to have the hearing in person and there are advocates in the building to assist renters and landlords. There’s got to be a better way to arbitrate disputes than the way BC does it.

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    [-] Sarah

    I’m a young professional and feel that the market is slipping further and further away from me. I make a very average salary in terms of Vancouver income, but cannot afford to live on my own unless I want to pay 50%+ of my salary on housing. This means I sacrifice a lifestyle that I feel I shouldn’t at my age.

    My housing situation is precarious, as my landlord could evict me at any moment. I feel there is no protection for renters, and we are often silenced in order to hopefully maintain our post longer.

    I’m an awesome tenant (super clean, responsible, quiet, treat the home like it is my home), and yet I feel there is no reward or benefit to doing so.

    The strangest part of my situation is that I actually do have enough money saved for a down payment on an apartment, but my income is still too low to afford this. I essentially have to wait until I have a partner I want to make this investment with. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, and it has absolutely nothing to do with my income/saving skills/education level/etc.

    I think there needs to be certifications for landlords, and there needs to be a system in which payment/rates are standardized. For example, my landlord makes me pay in cash on-site every month. He wants to come into the suite, and won’t allow me to transfer via e-transfer or pay by cheque. This makes me and my roommate feel uncomfortable, and we really have no option other than to comply.
    Further, there needs to be more purpose built rentals in Vancouver that aren’t luxury units. I feel I only have the option of paying 2x my salary on a unit that is way too nice for my needs, or living in a complete dump. Where are all the mid-range options? Why aren’t these being built by the government or incentivized for developers?

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    [-] Jody

    I am writing this letter as I have many issues with the BC Tenancy Act and all the “hoops” a landlord must jump through in order to evict a tenant and then storing their belongings for 30-90 days afterwards. I have clarified further on these issues further below. I am requesting for you to action my concerns or forward this information to the appropriate party so that the BC Tenancy can be reviewed and changed.
    I am at my wit’s end as my former tenant has left behind almost all of her belongings and I am responsible to store it for 90 days! How is this even possible? I have attached pictures. This makes me not want to ever rent my basement out again and then the city wonders why there is not enough places to rent for tenants. With all of her belongings blocking access to the basement, I cannot rent the basement out again until she takes all of her stuff. If this takes 90 days, I am at a loss for 3 months’ rent and a family is at a loss of an affordable place to live.
    1. In order to evict a tenant, there are only certain reasons a landlord is able to do so. Some of the reasons for eviction require a 2 month notice in where the landlord has to pay the tenant a free months’ rent. Yet the tenant can give one month notice to move for any reason. This is absurd! The landlord should have more if not equal rights than the tenant. The landlord owns the property and pays property taxes, the tenant is only renting the landlord’s property.

    2. If a tenant does not move out by the date requested by the landlord, the landlord must apply for dispute resolution which costs $100. The dispute process can take over a month while the tenant is still living there for free. If successful in the dispute, the landlord will receive an “Order of Possession” but the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) does not enforce these orders, only the BC Supreme Court has the authority to do so. So then the landlord has to file an application ($80) with the Supreme Court of BC and swear an affidavit ($40) to get a “Writ of Possession” to hire a bailiff. There are only 2 authorized bailiffs to choose from for my area and they require a deposit of $1,700 to cover all costs that may be incurred for a 2 bedroom basement!

    3. The landlord has to store the tenant’s belongings for 30 days after the tenant moves out. If the tenant still hasn’t collected their belongings after the 30 days have passed and the assessed value of the goods is over $500, the landlord is required to store them for an additional 60 days! It is the landlord’s property, the tenancy is over, the tenant is no longer living there or paying rent for use of the space, this should be considered illegal dumping. After the month, the landlord should be able to move the tenant’s belongings out of the rental unit and change the locks. We are all adults and responsible for our personal belongings. The tenant can pay for a storage locker. How come when I sold my former house I could not keep my belongings there? Because it was no longer my property. The same should be applied for the tenant. Again why are there different rules for the tenant and landlords?
    The Tenancy Act rules are costing landlords hundreds of dollars when disputes arise and the tenants get off for free even getting free housing for months. Even to dispute a landlord’s loss, the landlord has to apply for a dispute which puts him/her in further debt of $100 and even if successful, the orders are not enforceable through the RTB. They are enforceable in the Provincial Court of BC (Small Claims) or the Supreme Court of BC, again that is another fee of $100. In my case, even the court would not be able to enforce the order as the tenant does not have any traceable income. She was receiving welfare but now I believe was she was making a living through prostitution.
    FYI, I evicted her as she continually smoked marijuana on the property even after I gave her a verbal and written warning to stop. She left her heat on full and all her lights on 24/7 even when she was not home. This caused our utility bills to skyrocket. She even used to have a pet when we had clarified no pets in the tenancy agreement and at one time she even had 2 kids living with her. She moved 1 month after she was supposed to out. She made so many holes in the walls, they need to be painted. The carpets need to be cleaned with a machine. She did not clean the oven. She broke the bathroom cupboard. The main window screen is missing and the toilet had feces in it and was clogged. I still returned her damage deposit of $200 so she could pay for the moving truck the next day. But when it came to pay the movers, she only had a $20 bill and some change to give them so they unloaded all her stuff and left.
    I don’t know who made and/or approved these rules, but they are outdated and should be updated. They are not fair as they allow the tenant all the rights. The landlord is renting out their property, they should be entitled to equal rights if not more.
    I will also be starting an online petition and writing in to the newspapers and news channels.

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    [-] William

    Rental is a business. I have been a landlord for forty years. With the current rules and government attitude towards landlords I would never recommend to any person to get a mortgage helper. I recently turned away needy people because of the rules against getting rid of a bad tenant Not being able to raise the rent to market value is a detriment that keeps the shortage alive. Leases protect landlords against bad tenants they are not a loophole. The city puts up taxes at 4.5% and all other costs climb yearly. The only one that wins against the rentals man is BC housing.

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    [-] William

    I believe all tenants should have a renters insurance card. They could purchase from any insurance company. The premium would be added to the rent and payed automatically by the landlord. Inspections would be done by an agent and insurance would cover the damages or lost rent. Tenants would be insured against fire, flood etc. Land lords would have to keep the suite up to proper conditions or be in trouble with the insurer.

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    [-] NW

    A few key issues I’d like to share from my experience as a renter.

    In brief, I am a renter and working on a doctoral degree at UBC, while working to support myself. A year after I rented a suite in a house, the house sold. I got two months notice with one month free (as per law). I had to look for a new place almost full-time for two months before I found something. I had to pack and move and unpack and set up a new space. I lost 3/4 months of work on my dissertation and I had to cancel presentations at conferences I had previously committed to. After 9 months at the new place (that was the term of the lease, the landlord had lied about the reason why it was less than a year and I believed him, and was desperate), the landlord evicted me so his daughter could move in (which indeed happened). Again, I had to look for a new place pretty much full time for two months, and all that moving entails. I lost another 3/4 months. I had no stability or ability to make commitments in my personal or professional life. I had to extend my degree and pay extra tuition. It was extremely stressful.

    issues to consider:

    1) Amount of notice for landlord use of home – 2 months is insufficient. Renters need more time to pick up their lives and move. Renters should have a decent amount of stability and security in their lives. 6 months in more humane for such a major life change.

    2) Amount of compensation for eviction for landlord use – the equivalent of one month is insufficient. The reality is that you need a half month’s deposit for a new suite (before you get yours back from old suite), you have to pay for moving, cleaning, and setting up new home. The minimum should be 2 months equivalent.

    3) Landlord should have to obtain a license for this business, and it should be revoked it they do not make necessary repairs and upkeep, etc. This business should not be considered just like any other business. it is providing housing – a basic necessity.

    4) This housing crisis is extremely stressful for renters, and there will be negative impact on health, physical and mental. Please support renters at this time.

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    [-] TS

    The current process at the residential tenancy branch is unfair and fatally flawed. an in depth investigation was done way back in 2013 by a group of lawyers who specialize in housing and dealt with the unfairness experienced by tenants and legal advocates on a regular basis. It published a 68 page report of its findings which they stated were very disturbing. ” on shaky ground – f airness at the residential tenancy branch” nothing was considered in this report by the liberal govt and the RTB is just as flawed today if not more. The report stated the DRO’s who did these hearings were rude, aggressive, did not conduct fair hearings and made serious errors in the law. The RTB also does not protect tenants from landlords who harass and retaliate and evict me for seeking a remedy or to prevent them from doing so. EVen though this is an offence under the RTA. My landlord has illegally evicted me three times now ever since I contacted the city inspectors re the ant infestation in my unit. the RTB has given him a free pass every time even though it was proven in every one of these hearings. one of the DRO’s was so abusive during the second eviction hearing, it was proven the landlord had no grounds to evict me whatsover but this DRO was having a bad day and she actually disconnected the hearing after one hour and 20 minutes and evicted me claiming my supposed interuptions made it impossible for her to continue the hearing when at this time it was concluded and proven the eviction was unfounded. I was lucky enough to be able to file for a judicial review and won but most tenants are not. I would have been homeless on the streets unfairly due to this abuse of authority. my landlord illegally evicted me again after this. I reported to the RTB before the heairng took place that he had provided false evidence for the upcoming hearing, I provided proof of this and the office did nothing, I further proved this in the hearing the landlord did not dispute it yet this is nowhere in the decision. I have been to 4 residential tenancy hearings with 4 different DRO’s and all 4 decisions contained serious errors and did not deal with the issues that were in my application. 3 of these DRO’s were so rude and yelled and had no interest in conducting a fair hearing. these 3 DRO’s also blatantly lied in their decisions. The RTB and this failed process has not protected me whatsoevver and has allowed my landlord to illegally evict me 3 times and lie and just get away with it. I have no security whatsoever and just sit here on pins and needles waiting until he does it again. The entire purpose of the RTA is to protect tenants from landlords like mine and the RTB has failed me greatly. The last eviction when I complained again that the landlord was given a free pass the Director replied stating all my complaints had been put in a file and once they got around to forming a compliance unit they would look at it then. they have been supposedly intending on forming a compliance unit for 12 yrs now. A tenant is supposed to be safe for asking the landlord to fulfill their legal obligations and with the current process at the RTB they are not. If a landlord evicts a tenant in retaliation or lies about the reasons for eviction its an offence yet the RTB does nothing and this needs to change. The RTB also needs to make monetary awards higher they rarely award tenants more than a few hundred dollars for their quiet enjoyment being affected. tenants would have much higher monetary awards in bc small claims court. the liberal govt was pro landlord and the polices of the RTB was not to punish landlords. I have gone through all of this because my landlord does not want to pay for pest control there are ants crawling all over my bathroom wall as I type this.

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    [-] Lacey

    I find many landlords aren’t aware of their rights or responsibilities, which causes issues for tenants (both ones that know their rights/responsibilities, and those that don’t). Specifically, I’ve dealt with landlords trying to take advantage of me as a renter (making up reasons to keep deposits, increase rent without warning, etc.). I believe it is important to educate landlords and tenants on these so as to avoid tenants and landlords being taken advantage of.

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    [-] Jessie

    The new regulations have to be fair to both the landlord & tenants! It seams like the newly released regulations rather favouring the tenants ( 4 month notice with 12 month rent penalties for landlord using property with bad faith), because in the past a few years the house price had gone up significantly but the rent has not increased much at all especially if the landlord has long term tenants , so their rent is substantial lower than the market level, they will never have a chance to catch-up if they are only allowed to increase by the annual allowable percentage!!!

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    [-] Elsa

    The new tenancy laws also need to protect the landlords. I have had horrible experience in the past where tenants have refused to pay rent and refused to leave until an order was applied. This took months before the tenants finally left and in doing so, left the state of the house in such disarray and dirty state that I had to spend thousands of dollars to fix the house in which she rented for a few months. The tenancy act needs to be more efficient at removing bad tenants. The process should 1 week max, not months before you can evict someone for non-payment of rent.

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    [-] Gabbie

    I know that BC Housing, Landlord BC, TRAC, and BC Non-Profit Housing Association are all pushing for building capacity in owners and property managers. Building Capacity is the fancy way of saying that there are poor, unprofessional owners/landlords with positions of power who clearly do not have the skills, knowledge and attitude for these positions. So the problem is known. The problem is known to the people overseeing the sector. Education, training, and even certification is in place. All good. That’s great. But it’s voluntary.
    So do you need more personal stories. Or is the data, the evidence already available, not mined, and not utilized.
    I was moving from one city to another, had lived in the apartment for almost 5 years, and had a good relationship with the landlord. Upon giving my notice, the landlord said not to shampoo the carpets, that they would be replaced with new flooring. I said I need it in writing, and it was done. When my security deposit didn’t arrive, I contacted the landlord only to find out that the carpet was so dirty it had to be cleaned several times and so the security deposit was being kept. I said I have a letter instructing me not to clean the carpet, it was being replaced. This fact had been ‘forgotten.’
    In another situation, the ventilation was clearly spewing out mold, and you could see it inside the device – in the hallways and in the elevator. First line, report it verbally. Denied, without investigation, and based on the fact that the landlord could not smell it. Superior nose. So a close up photo showed it really well. Imagine how fast that got cleaned. The thing is, with all the security cameras in sight, I am seen to be taking pictures, so I often do not have to do anything. Which brings us to the misuse of security cameras, which is rampant, and openly so. We live in a time and place where technology is available- pictures, video, and audio. I have download, sent by email, printed and handed over the OIPC report on security cameras to landlords. So maybe someone could check to see how frequently the tapes are viewed, and under what circumstances, and does it coincide to the purpose of security cameras, and who has official authority to view them, and when. Maybe it’s time that the only people who have keys to the camera security system is the RCMP. Tenancy agreements should have a paragraph stating that there are security cameras, and that they are only viewed under these specific circumstances. Landlords have the ‘right’ to inspect suites yearly. Perhaps, landlords need to be inspected yearly.

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    [-] Desiree

    I’m currently feeling helpless as a single mother with a daughter on the spectrum that needs extra care, I’ve lived in my place for 5 years and thus it’s affordable enough. My landlord is seeing all the places charging more and wants more so threatened I sign a brand new rental agreement for way more money or he’d family evict me which as I said I wouldn’t sign because that’s not legal so he has given me eviction notice. Apparently it’s not illegal for him to ask me to sign a new rental agreement, but I suppose I’ll see what happens after my second arbitration hearing.

    I’ve never been late on rent, I’ve painted and fixed up the place. Now I find myself 5 years later looking at rental options and seeing nothing is in my budget and I feel helpless. I’ll have to get a one bedroom to share with my daughter even further outside of town.

    I don’t know what the answer is to fix these issues that seems rational as we continue to hold onto housing as financial assets instead of a necessity for all. But outside of my own issues of stress and lack of access to a decent simple home I can’t help but think about every person staying in an abusive relationship to avoid homelessness, every disabled person, we shouldn’t have to fight and work this hard to simply survive and have a roof over our heads. This is a basic right for all people regardless of how much work we do, everyone deserves shelter, a home. EVERYONE.

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    [-] Michael

    I grew up in poverty on Vancouver Island with a single mother requiring welfare and lived in low income housing. I desire nothing more than tenure. To try and achieve this I was the first in my family to get a post secondary education. I had to take out student loans and graduated with debt. I was required to start repaying this six months after graduation regardless of employment status. Since there were only unpaid internships in Canada, I left the country. The cost of living in Asia was so much more affordable I was able to pay off $40,000 (CAD) (plus prime+4%) interest of student loans in three years. After three years in Asia, I decided to apply again for a job in BC and got it. However, the rents have increased so much higher than wages that I am thinking that it was a mistake to return to Canada. Of the places that rent for a reasonable price the units are often in disrepair. They say you get what you pay for, but I have been trying to get ahead in life. If local rents in decent condition don’t match local incomes then working professionals will have no other option but to leave. That or what every other society has done when the the haves keep the have nots from improving their lot in life: revolt/civil war.

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    [-] Kerry

    In my experiences this year, I have to celebrate the new removal of vacant clauses. I was evicted last year for landlords use (of course it was re-rented for way more after I moved out) But, when I searched for a new home similar to the last, I was without much choice, and had to sign a term lease with a vacant clause. Well let me tell you all how much of a relief it is to not have to move again, or sign a new term for way more, but before the legislation changed this in Dec 2017 I will admit I had sleepless nights, anxiety daily, no security at all. My only concern now is the 4 percent increase this year, why is it so much now, and a housing crisis. We cant move out if we dont like it during the three months notice because all is expensive, I thought the choice would be if we cannot do more rent with the advance in notice was that time to decide to move and of course give a months notice, but nowadays no where else is better. Can I also request the government to build affordable housing for moderate incomes please?, not these lavish expensive buildings that we see going up and charging way too much rent. What happens to BC when everyone leaves this province or GVRD to afford the rent elsewhere? who will live here, just the rich, the ones that don’t want to pay more taxes, they might be stuck paying if all us lower to moderate income earners leave.

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    [-] Rosanne

    The easiest thing that the provincial government could do to provide more rentals is to amend the Strata Property Act which allows strata councils to restrict rentals in their building to 0. There are many apartments owned by locals and non-residents that sit empty because no rentals or only a very small number or percentage are allowed in the building. If the Strata Property Act was amended to allow strata councils/bylaws to restrict rentals to at least 50%, there would be many more apartments available to rent. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer. My husband and I have bought and renovated apartments in the past but were forced to sell them because the building didn’t allow rentals. If they allowed rentals, we would have kept them as an investment and rented them out.

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    [-] Dianne

    My experience as a tenant? One of my worst involved a retaliatory eviction after I sought arbitration over the landlord’s refusal to deal with a noise problem. The eviction notice came the day after he received my served documents on the noise problem, and it was soon followed by a bunch of letters he’d canvassed from other tenants, this being his ‘evidence’. The fact is I didn’t even know these other tenants, and their complaints were thin and absurd. Until I filed for arbitration, neither the landlord nor any other tenant had ever had a complaint against me.

    Arbitration turned into a gong-show. The arbitrator set aside the real cause – arbitration on the noise problem – giving me leave to reapply at a later date, and proceeded to take seriously the eviction notice. The landlord had no idea how to handle himself, and spent the hour defending himself on the noise issue. The arbitrator let this happen, observed at the end that the landlord hadn’t proved his case for eviction, and scheduled one more arbitration session to give him another kick at the can. I figured the landlord would come back and overwhelm the apparently biased arbitrator with these fictitious stories about my bad behaviour, so I negotiated an end to the tenancy in order to control my leave-taking, and got out.

    What would have helped? I believe when a tenant flags the fact of retaliation in his or her response to a landlord’s eviction notice, a landlord should have to submit all his or her evidence to be reviewed by an arbitrator prior to hearing to ensure that eviction notices without any substantive evidence don’t proceed to hearing. A substantial monetary penalty for issuing a retaliatory eviction notice, whether found to be retaliatory before or at hearing, would also help to ensure that landlords think twice before issuing one.

    I also think arbitrators need to have previous legal experience, proper training in the legal principles they’ll encounter in their work with the RTB, and current knowledge of case law. They must be given adequate time to prepare their caseloads, and adequate hearing time to fully review evidence and consider their decision.

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    [-] Dianne

    My experience as a tenant? One of my worst involved a landlady who rigged the downstairs suite to run off my electricity and gas accounts. I learned of this only after two years, and she refused to negotiate her way out of the mess. Of course I won at arbitration. After that I had to suffer four years of hatred and petty harassment before she finally sold the main house along with the two-suite carriage house.

    The new owner and his partner felt they absolutely had to leave their 2000-sq-ft luxury townhouse (outdoor kitchen, the whole works) to occupy my super basic 500-sq-ft unit while they renovated the main house. I suspect they never did move in. I think they wanted to jack up the rent of my super wonderful downtown unit from $700 to the-sky’s-the-limit, but I couldn’t prove it.

    What would have helped? RTB information officers empowered to resolve disputes so the landlady and I would not have ended up in the adversarial environment of the hearing. A shift in the burden of proof so the new owner would have been responsible for showing that he really did use the unit the way he said he would. Absolutely monumental penalties for bad faith evictions.

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    [-] Dianne

    My experience as a tenant? My current experience is pretty fantastic.

    Right at the Beginning, the rent got jacked up sometime between having an oral conversation and signing the contract.

    The landlord insisted on running a credit check, and also insisted on payment by automatic withdrawal from my bank account. Is the Rental Task Force clear on what that involves? I sure wasn’t. It turns out it involves my agreeing with the landlord’s bank (not my own) to go into my account every month to take out the rent amount. That authorization can’t be cancelled unless the landlord tells his bank to cancel it.

    The place was supposed to be “professionally cleaned,” particularly because the last tenants had a cat they didn’t take care of, but it was filthy when I took possession. The resident caretaker (who was new on the job) cooperated with me to do an honest move-in inspection, but our inspection was rejected by the company. We weren’t allowed to use the category “dirty.”

    The stove was a 50-year-old relic that didn’t work properly. After four days, the company was still telling the resident caretaker he had to sit in my apartment and run tests to determine whether the heat intermittently cut out as I said it did. I read the writing on the wall and went out and bought my own second-hand stove.

    What would have helped? I don’t know. I’m exhausted by bad landlords. I’m just hoping for an agreeable Middle and End, whenever those come.

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    [-] Lyn

    Unscrupulous “property management companies” should be held accountable.

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    [-] Jack

    The new changes proposed to the Mobile Home Parks can not come soon enough. The old regs. about what happens and compensation when a mobile home park closes has ruined many people. We have no long term guaranties. I am in a situation where tenants are afraid to report inadequacies for fear of reprisal by the landlord and threats of closing the park down. With new regs. for compensation if parks are closed down would certainly help people continue on with their lives. I imagine the moibile park owners are also watching this closely and could be on the verge of closing down parks before the new legislation is approved. As I said before the sooner the better. I could tell you more if I had 3 more pages ! I would like to be kept informed on your progress. Thank you.

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    [-] Jennifer

    It’s extremely sad that so much of my income is going toward rent, and it’s so precarious that I don’t feel I can have kids. On top of that, I can’t even have a pet, because landlords never allow them.
    Please allow landlords to charge a larger safety deposit for pets, but don’t allow them to ban them. This is such a standard of life difference. You’ve made me give up retirement, owning a house, children. Don’t make me give up pets, or I will indeed leave Vancouver for Kelowna for that tech job offer (data analyst) I got.

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    [-] Peter

    I find it totally unreasonable that I as a landlord, must store a tenant’s belongings that have been left behind after providing notice and moving out. Not only do I have to pay for storage of these items for 60 days, I must then advertise in the local paper about disposing of these items. I would like to see the Premier store someone else’s belongings for 90 days! In my recent experience the items left behind include 2 vehicles and many boxes of personal items. 90 days! Does that seem reasonable to do? And do you really think a previous tenant is going to pay storage fees?

    Another tenant refused to move after all of the proper eviction notices were provided for lack of paying rent for 2 months. He refused to move and continued to live at my property for another 2 months while I tried avenues to have him leave on his own. In order for him to be removed I would have to hire a bailiff to oversee the packing up of the house at my expense, not to mention having him actually removed. The closest bailiff is over 5 hours away. I would be responsible for wages, transportation and accommodation for the bailiff. Really? And I am told I can get this money back from the tenant. Really?

    How does this seem fair to a landlord who has followed the rules but is inconvenienced by storing belongings of others for 90 days, paying for the storage and/or paying a very large bill to have someone removed who will not leave your premises.

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    [-] debra

    I have been a landlord for over 20 years. I have had both good and bad tenants. Overall I would say mostly good. The problem is when you get bad tenants it takes years to recover.

    Tenants should be required to hold a type of insurance that covers damages, late rent or utilities. Once a landlord has this guarantee (must be easy to access funds within 30 days) then it makes it easier to accept pets, smaller damage deposits (could be eliminated).

    If tenant insurance is not an acceptable option, then monetary orders must be enforceable without going to small claims court. Monetary orders must be collectable – if you have outstanding monetary orders owing to landlords, new landlord should be informed (yes this would mean a registry that can be searched by landlords and tenants).

    Small landlords and commercial landlords should have a different set of regulations. Removing the vacate clause for small landlords is unreasonable. We will no longer rent out our short term rental (6 months a year) due to this clause being removed. It is not worth the hassle.

    Taxes and repairs go up every year, rent increases are nominal every year. How do you make is so small landlords can afford to rent out their suites?

    RTB is too slow and information received is inconsistent. Setup RTB offices again – going to a service BC office does not work. I am not interested in waiting hours on the phone or in person.

    As a small landlord, government should not be telling me how much I can rent my suite for. I should be able to rent it for market value. This would include increasing the rent when a tenant moves out.

    Allowing pets into a home should be up to the landlord. Not all pet owners are responsible and the damage deposit does not cover the repairs.

    If landlords cannot raise rents based on the number of people in a suite, then tenants should not be allowed to rent out rooms.

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    [-] v

    I as a tenant cannot understand why is rent is allowed to go up and up for in the last 1.5 to 2 yrs??? pretty soon all the renters, and people who dont have the ability to buy are going to leave BC and then this province will have to tax the people who buy but dont actually live here, OH wait, they dont work here either so they dont pay any taxes, can this province survive on speculation tax only? and fighting the rich to pay when they clearly wont pay more?

    RTB is allowing rent increase at 4 % for the first time ever!! during a housing crisis so that makes absolutely no sense. and I cant see how it makes sense to stay in lower mainland, and pay 50-70 percent of income to rent, and if this province wants to help keep us, then change this fast by locking rents as it use to be cheaper to rent then buy, and now its bad both ways. and then build us affordable rentals, and make a decent income off us, but be a fair rental price, and not some luxury condo that is way to fancy or expensive for the average person here. and TO ALL THOSE HOMEOWNERS who rent a secondary suite, I will never rent from you people, because you all think you are more important then others around you, and your high expectations for the rental business is why you find bad tenants, they seek you out, did you hear about the “professional tenants” they find the landlords that act this way and con you to rent to them, ahh so thats what happens, I do not rent from small homeowners, they cause too much trouble dictating and acting superior to me, all because if you own a house and rent a suite you are all of a sudden are better then me?! no you are just acting that way, I will never rent if you live upstairs, period! Please stop whining to get more rights then tenants, that is going to cause you more bad tenants and I would be scared to see those results, if you think its bad now, watch if you get more rights then us, it should be equal in which it is now. IF you charge a decent rent, and do not dictate, or discriminate, etc etc you will find a good tenant, and know the RTA line by line, you will not fail if you do this.

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    [-] Lyn

    the current high cost of living also affects working professionals, e.g., health care workers, teachers, doctors, public servants….all who provide services essential to the public. It is crucial to address housing affordability for all.

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    [-] Lyn

    In addition, it is inexplicable how many homeowner landlords are ignorant of the Residential Tenancy Act.

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    [-] Serena

    Comments for Task Force on line June 14/18
    I am now 74 years of age. I’ve rented in same apartment for 3 years now, since April 2015. In August, 2017 August I complained to the Apt. manager that my apartment had bugs. He verified that the bugs were “silverfish” after I managed to get one in a paper towel. I had found one bug that dropped from my headboard onto my newly purchased bed. Then I found some in my cutlery tray on spoons, and in plastic utensil holders, in bowls, etc. It was fairly disgusting. I keep my apartment very clean and have a large art collection and good furniture. (I have photos.) He said it was my problem, and handed me a card with the name of PSI exterminator on it. The manager said he would not pay for the spraying. So I hired PSI and paid $147.50 to have my apartment sprayed professionally.
    He also told me to remove all items in all lower cupboards in all rooms including closets. So, I hired a cleaning lady to help me, and she came over the day before the spraying for 3 hours, emptying all the cupboards as told. She found many many bugs in all rooms including my buffet with all my good dishes. She killed many of the live bugs, threw away these and dead ones she found. She and I put all the items into large garden-size garbage bags setting these in my dining area.
    The PSI man told me that he had been in the business for over 20 years (I believe he said 25 years) and that I would have no more problems. And if I did to call him and he would return and respray for free. This man told me to stay out overnight, so I did, going to a local inexpensive hotel, plus buying meals out. Another cleaning lady came over to help me wash all dishes, pots, pans, bowls, cutlery, etc. and put everything back. She was with me for close to 4 hours. $65 for the traps at Home Hardware.
    In April 2018, again I found bugs in the kitchen and bathroom. I called the PSI exterminator and he finally gave me the date of May 8, 2018 to come back and re-spray my apartment. Again, I hired another cleaning lady to come over to help me put all the items in lower cupboards, etc. into garbage bags as I did in August, 2018. I again stayed overnight in the same hotel as before. A few other rentors in this building have told me casually while in the laundry room that they too have had or have silverfish. These bugs are disgusting to see and who would want to eat from a spoon when this bug has been on them. I am so frustrated and annoyed by all of this as the apartment manager will do nothing to help.
    Finally on May 23 I wrote the apartment manager/owner asking him to spray the inside of the building by July 15, 2018 and to return $511 to me to cover the 2 hotels rooms, the spraying and the current cleaning lady. (I have receipts.) This manager then sent me a letter dated May 31/18 and for the first time said that he undertakes regular inspections and spraying and yet no mention was made of spraying or returning money to me. I live on pensions only.
    I called the exterminator about a week after the spraying to ask how much it would cost to spray the entire inside of the building. The call was not returned but the exterminator called the manager telling him I had asked about the price of spraying. The manager then told me “I want to speak to you.” He was not happy that I had called the PSI exterminator but told me that it would run about $7,000. To spray the entire building. He also said there were 92 suites in this building. I told him that at an average price of one thousand dollars per suite per month, the owner was getting close to or over one hundred thousand dollars each and every month for rents.
    I asked the manager if he would spray the inside of the entire building. He flatly refused. Then I asked him if he would at least spray the storage room which buts up against my walls (where the 2 closets are, the bathroom and my bedroom walls are.) Again he flatly refused. However during this conversation, he told me that these bugs have been on the Earth for millions of years, and that they won’t hurt me. He also said that the building had silverfish all over and that they were even inside walls and looking up, pointed to the fact that there were dead bugs now sitting inside the ceiling lights in the hallways, which I hadn’t noticed before.
    I visited the Residential Tenancy Branch in Burnaby and got information on how to make an applicate for a dispute resolution. The lady there was most helpful and explained how to get the apartment owner’s full address, which I did. I then sent copies of my signed letters to this address but the letter had been opened, and resealed, and taken to the post office and was returned to me. The post office here has now advised me to send the letter with my two letters inside back to the owners “registered” so that the letter can be tracked even if the owner refuses to accept it.
    Meanwhile I have to live with these disgusting bugs. On June 13, I again hired the same cleaning lady as on May 13th to return and help clean and check all of the traps. I had found a live one on June 12/18. She found several on traps in all rooms.
    This is the situation now and I am very stressed out by it all, and by the stark refusal of the apartment manager and possibly the building’s owner to refuse to deal with this situation. I gave them until July 15/18 to have the building sprayed everywhere and to return the money to me. I would move in a second but can’t afford the moving costs right now nor can I afford to pay over $1,000 which a similar suite would now run me. So I am stuck here living with disgusting bugs. I also mention that I have lived in older buildings in Toronto (on Yonge Street across from the Rosedale subway station), in Calgary, in Edmonton, and in Winnipeg, and in an older 1970’s condo in Greater Vancouver and have never in my life had such a problem in any of those buildings.
    Assuming that the manager will not spray the inside of this building and return the money to me, I will file an application through the BC Residential Tenancy Branch in hopes that they will order this building to be sprayed and treated properly so that renters here (many of them seniors) don’t have to put up with living with bugs.

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    [-] David

    U have been a landlord for 20 years and currently own and manage two apartment buildings

    Many of the changes the past government made were positive

    Counter orders for unpaid rent etc

    Dealing with drug dealers fights with weapons extensive property damage unpaid rent refusal to move out evictions etc etc make this a challenging profession

    Please do no lean heavily in favour of more tenant rights

    They seem to have enough rights already

    The recent removal of fixed term tenancies has had the opposite effect you were likely wanting

    Decreased supply and increased cost in small communities

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    [-] Lyn

    Very sorry for your experience, but you know that there are many respectful & responsible tenants: perhaps if a through background & reference check was done you would have avoided such undesirables.

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    [-] Jennifer

    I’m an active NDP volunteer, voter, and renter. I’m disappointed Carole James was so quick to dismiss changes to the homeowner grant program – there is no reason why it shouldn’t be expanded to include renters; its current form is regressive. The homeowner grant should be changed and extended for renters. Please ask the Finance Ministry to reconsider their dismissal of the Task Force’s recommendation. http://vancouversun.com/news/politics/task-force-recommendations-to-be-ignored-again-by-govt

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    [-] Doris

    As a single senior female renter living in Victoria, I would like very much to see “affordable” housing for those who try to survive on one income. “Affordable” needs a definition. Living on one low 5-figure income, I cannot pay rent in excess of $1000+ a month and still buy medications, food, electricity, clothing, etc. An annual 4% increase in rent creates a tremendous burden, forcing some of us to seek accommodation in someone’s home or leave the province altogether. We need housing now, not in ten years when most of us will either be homeless or dead. We need the $400 rebate promised, we need to have rents frozen, we need to be able to claim a portion of our rent for a tax credit. As renters we get no perks, i.e., can’t defer our rent the way homeowners can defer their property tax, do not qualify for any grants. We need relief and need it now. The B.C. Seniors Poverty Report Card states that senior women in Canada have continued to have higher rates of poverty when compared to senior men for the past 37 years (1976-2013). A single senior is more than 3x as likely to be poor than seniors in couple families. A safe injection site is given more priority than housing for independent single senior women. We need a place to live that is within our budget, is not assisted living or offering 24-hour nursing care, but a place where we each have our own space in a building in a convenient location that offers a community without enormous cost. I am so sorry I was not able to get a seat when your Task Force is in Victoria as the voice of senior women needs to be heard.

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    [-] Lyn

    It should be acknowledged that this housing crisis affects middle- and working-class people as well, not just the very poor. While there are many welfare and social programs to support those in poverty, there are none to assist those who make the supposed “living” wage.

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    [-] jennifers

    my issue as a tenant is scum/abcuive landlords who know they can get away with things couse there no one around to inforce any so called laws (like making repairs and so forth) i like to see that loop hole tightened and landlords held accountable if they dont do what they are supose to do!

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    [-] Lyn

    with a 0.7% vacancy rate in Victoria, landlords know they have the upper hand: they don’t care if they evict you; they can find another desperate renter and increase the rent by 100s of dollars

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    [-] jennifers

    me and mom being on social assitance we cannot afford more than what they can give us ($375 per single person) and the mega homes that are charging $800 $1000 $2000 or more on one or two bedrooms how can any one supose to pay that and eat the food bank gives out hardly any good food mostly junk (sweets)

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    [-] leslie

    hi there i am or was a landlord and would like to tell you what the new rules that the new government has put in place has actually done. it has made the tenants think they can do anything they want and get away with murder. not paying rents -not cleaning apartments at end of tenancy ECT ECT ECT…. you have empowered extremely bad behaviour in tenants. I HAD NEVER TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THIS END OF TENANCY CLAUSE AND HAD NEVER OVER INCREASED RENT, SO YOU LUMPED ALL THE GOOD LANDLORDS IN WITH A FEW BAD ONES AND the end of tenancy clause in a lease could of been changed to add new lease would still only be able to increase rent the normal amount but it still gave landlords away to get rid of tenants not paying rent etc… SO what myself and 4 others in my family have done is SELL ALL OUR RENTAL PROPERTIES and all the buyers were personal buyers who were not going to rent but were going to live in them instead. THAT TOOK OFF 6 RENTAL PROPERTIES JUST IN ONE FAMILY IMAGINE HOW MANY OTHER LANDLORDS HAVE DONE THE SAME THING!!!!
    1-rental rates have gone up by 10-20 percent
    2- way less rental properties on market as landlords are selling instead
    3-YOUR STRONG ARMED TECHNICS AGAINST LANDLORDS HAVE BACKFIRED AND YOU KNOW IT NOW
    4-IF YOU REALLY WANTED TO MAKE MORE RENTALS AVAILABLE YOU SHOULD TREAT LANDLORDS WITH RESPECT TOO AND GIVE THEM SOME WAY TO MAKE SURE TENANTS PAY RENT AND THAT THEY CAN REMOVE BAD TENANTS SOME HOW
    5-IF YOU REALLY WANTED TO PUT A-LOT MORE RENTAL PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS DEAL WITH THESE TERRIBLE STRATA MEMBERS IN ALL THE TOWNHOUSE AND CONDO MARKETS WHO REFUSE TO ALLOW RENTALS EVEN IN HARDSHIP CASES- IF YOU CAN VOID EXISTING LEGAL BINDING LEASES THAT LANDLORDS HAD YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO VOID STRATA BYLAWS TOO THUS SEEING A HUGE INCREASE IN RENTALS ON THE MARKETS

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    [-] Lael

    My daughter provides quality rental housing (house in a good neighbourhood, well maintained, new appliances) and it’s been a financial disaster. Tenants don’t report leaks for repair causing expensive repairs. Worst is, tenants don’t have to clean for the duration of their tenancy and the labour to scrape grease off the stove and cupboards is greater than the damage deposit, let alone the stained carpets, scuffed walls and disgusting bathrooms. I’ve cleaned suites after tenants departed and wonder why landlords bother. Not wear and tear, but wilful disregard. If landlords were better able to protect their property, perhaps more rentals would be available.

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    [-] Fred

    As a renter here in the Lower Mainland, I have had difficulties with landlords when trying to have them enforce the Reaidential Tenancy Act in regards to protecting the peace and quiet of my home. When I made a formal complaint to the landlord, he denied there was any problem and evicted me for complaining. The tenants upstairs were so disruptive to my life that I had trouble functioning due to lack of sleep. The landlord who didn’t want to deal with my complaint labeled me as a trouble maker and took actions to move me from his property. My efforts to stay were not effective as I was unable to correctly apply for and complete a dispute resolution. With the Reaidential Tenancy Branch. They accepted my application at a late date as I presented proof that I had been hospitalized which caused me to be late. However upon hearing my dispute in hearing, I was unaware that I needed to them present the same proof in evidence along with all of the other evidence that I presrnted and the adjudicator dismissed my application. I feel they were very prejudiced for the landlord in this case and all of my efforts were wasted due to the bureaucratic system that favoured the owner. Why would they accept my application and then deny it for being late? Why was I not informed explicitly that the evidence of being hospitalized was required to be part of my evidence for hearing? Why was the landlord not simply told to enforce the right to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the home I lived in and paid rent for? Why were the upstairs tenants allowed to terrorize us in the downstairs for well over a year expressly to force us to move and had no consequences for that? I had videos evidence if the upstairs tenants threatening me in comin areas and claiming that I was threatening them. Try frequently called police and made false complaints about me after I initially made a complaint about them that the landlord did not want to deal with. Now the only remarks available are basement suites and I cannot live in another one where I may be subjected to further disruptions of my life with no recourse.

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    [-] D

    I am a landlord. I truly appreciate my tenants. They take care of my home and help me to pay the mortgage. I have increased the rent once in 4 years by 10% when my tenant moved her boyfriend in (changing terms of the agreement). If something needs fixing I take care of it straight away. If you cannot afford to take care of your rental home then you should not be a landlord. This includes taking care of your tenants and their in a respectful way. They are paying your mortgage and paying for your asset after all.

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    [-] Sarah

    I’ve been living in Victoria for two years. I am a Canadian who lived abroad for many years and have found it very shocking to find myself in the vulnarable position of being a tenant here. I think there are a lot of issues in play here: an out of control housing market that prices a huge amount of people out of that market as well as a forcing people to make the choice of renting out a suite in order to enter that market, not enough rental housing, particularly for families, stagnant wages that have not increased with inflation. When I graduated college, I had a temp job but could afford my own apartment, now I’m professional adult renting with my boyfriend, and his parents in order to try to save a little. I don’t know how we would be able to afford anything if we had kids, we could barely afford a one bedroom. We were renting previously with just the two of us. The landlord was awful. He lived above us and was constantly calling if our windows were steamed up (we were canning, cause he was convinced it was our house plants. He actually threatens to evict us if we didn’t get rid of our plants and stop making wine. TEN told us he couldn’t do this but we felt we would be taking a risk of being forced to move quickly if we lost so we found a place with my boyfriend’s dad. Also he was clearly crazy and we were afraid to stay. It was so stressful I still feel sick when I think about it and am terrified of ever being in that situation again. I felt so helpless. I think for the long term we need to see more afford able rental housing built that is not privately managed, like co-op housing as well as co-housing to prevent speculation. This has been a successful model in Northern Europe. Also, we need to start talking about universal basic income, although I do think the rental issue could get worse if more housing isn’t created first.

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    [-] Melissa

    I’d like to see faster means of having bad tenants removed and a way to actually COLLECT when you win a judgement again a tenant.

    We had to leave our first home and move to Alberta for school after a sudden layoff in a small BC town. We were unable to sell our home so we rented it out to two different tenants. The first tenant had a grow op in the house and it took us three months to evict him. We won a judgement for damages but weren’t able to collect because he was on welfare and then later jailed. Quoted damage was around $10,000. The second tenant we had in after fixing the place up caused more than $30,000 worth of damages. These tenants stopped paying rent and it took us several weeks to get them out. A clearer, MUCH faster way to remove bad tenants is needed. Much of the damage to our home could have been avoided had we been able to evict quickly – MOST of the damage happened after they knew we started procedures to have them removed. There were verbal threats and vindictive damages in the weeks leading up to both tenants finally leaving.

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    [-] Tina

    1) There are no controls on rent increases!!! Study those of Montreal.
    2) Landlords can and do sell the places on short notice and leave, with no responsibility to compensate for lost housing or to provide references or assistance in any way.
    2) Old houses are divided into rental units without adequate soundproofing or ventilation.
    3) Zoning laws need to encourage affordable live/work space for artists, using appropriate design and ventilation to allow natural light.
    4) Emphasise the importance of public transit, and develop affordable housing near transit.
    5) Consider green space and community garden space.
    6) 1% of all construction costs dedicated to art! See the Seattle legislation.
    7) Cut down on transit loads even further by changing zoning laws, and refurbishing buildings, to allow living in workspaces, and/or build green roof apartment/gardens on all buildings.
    8) Controls on marina rents as well, to encourage houseboat use.
    9) Protect agricultural land!!!

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    [-] ncjr

    My husband and I rented our house out (small landlords) to our tenant. While we are happy that a home we once lived in and cared very much for is home to a new family, we are very concerned about our rights.

    In particular, we feel it is important to provide people with nice places to live, and have made sure to be present to help care for the property (recognizing it is a big task). In our agreement, we describe addition requirements of renting and caring for the house as part of being in our community (such as pets are welcome but must be registered and licensed in accordance to the bylaw).

    With that being said, we have found that often rent is late, the house is not kept clean, parts of the agreement are not being adhered to and tenants are allowing others to move into the rental house without first communicating with us.

    We are torn. We want renters to have a nice, safe place to live- and we want our investment to be safe and our agreements to be respected. The landlords Pay property taxes, ensure units are safe, and coordinate rental pickup and other needs as necessary- so to not have an appropriate way to deal with challenging circumstances in a timely manner puts landlords at risk of financial strain, and reduces the likelihood for small landlords to continue renting out units without adequate consequences should agreements and/or property be ignored/damaged. A fixed term rental was one way for both a landlord and tenant to end the contractual agreement. If the tenancy is going well, likely there is no need to end it, however if not going well, it is a great check-in to add. It keeps everyone accountable (good landlord and good tenant). A unit is still the property of the landlord, who (at least for us) want to provide rental opportunities without putting ourselves at risk.

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    [-] Thomasina

    I strongly object to renters being pitted against landlords and owners in these kind of forums. Most landlords I know have been renters and most renters I know would like to be owners, and there are good and bad on both “sides.” The issue both renters and landlords have are with the government and politicians to provide more housing choices and better regulations. Vancouver is in a state of transition now regarding housing its citizens and needs to look to other jurisdictions for solutions. The idea that this is some special Vancouver issue is what is holding back progress. We would benefit greatly with more means-tested housing options across the low and middle income spectrum. I rent out a basement suite and I will not be renting it out again when my current tenants leave. I have kept my rent low, allowed pets, and meticulously repaired and maintained the suite (which includes utilities, internet, laundry, dishwasher) but feel I have no power to remove problematic tenants, so unfortunately I am taking a desirable unit off the market for my peace of mind.

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    [-] Lyn

    Very sorry for your experience, but you know that there are many respectful & responsible tenants: perhaps if a through background & reference check was done you would have avoided such undesirables.

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    [-] Charmaine

    We’ve been landlords for many years. Our experiences range from good to oppressive. One year we suffered losses of over 10K due to individuals committing downright FRAUD, yet somehow still have rights to MY private property….and no criminal recourse. Its hilarious to me that we have a housing crisis, yet huge inventories of short term rentals….and “people” dont understand how to fix the problem. Its simple: make it less of a risk for landlords to open their properties to Tenants who have MORE responsibilities, as adults, as neighbours and of respecting the property they let out.
    We’ve had amazing tenants who used our homes as stepping stones to their own homeownership. this is how it should be. Its also of note, these tenants we NOT native British Columbians familar with their entitlement under the tenancy agreement. They paid rent timely, treated all neighbours as they’d like to be treated & kept the property as if it was their own.

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    [-] Shawn

    I own two rental properties in Vancouver and have both just listed then for sale. Remarkable that tour government feels landlords rights should be returned to the tenants. Like going back 50 years in time. Your a terrible government and I will be moving millions of dollars of investment money away from your province

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    [-] A

    I got my first apartment with my boyfriend (at the time) when we were 20. It was the landlords first time owning a home. We were his first tenants ever. This landlord was beyond accomodating and went above and beyond for us. I wish there were more landlords out there like him.

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    [-] Mike

    Of the two residences I have previously occupied in 8 years as a resident of British Columbia, I left one voluntarily after a multi-year tenancy – the other I was given notice of eviction promptly after the house in which my basement rental unit was located was sold. Only weeks after having being assured that the buyers would keep us on as tenants (and therefor having not been prepared to seek out new accommodations), we were served formal notice to vacate so that the buyers’ family of two adults and one child could take over the full-sized two-bedroom basement suite in addition to the portion of the house previously occupied by the sellers’ family of four. During the notice period prior to vacating the unit, the new owners undertook extensive renovations which created both an unreasonable level of noise and toxic fumes that permeated our suite from the use of paint and primer which explicitly specified that they were not to be used without vacating all interior areas where they were being applied. While far from the worst case of eviction connected with a housing market increasingly catering to the very wealthy (the very house sold for $1.6million to be occupied by 2 adults and a child), I think this experience exemplifies some obvious problems with the housing landscape in the Lower Mainland in particular.

    While I now have a really wonderful rental suite in East Vancouver (albeit renting at around 40% of my income, a proportion that in the past would have been considered excessive), I am very conscious of how lucky I was to find the place – and am perpetually anxious that should the owners choose to reap a windfall profit on the valuable real estate I occupy, I will not find acceptable accommodations that I can afford in the neighbourhood that is my home. I’m in my mid-30s, and almost everyone I know (except for the one person in my circle of friends and acquaintances in Vancouver who actually owns a small condo) has been evicted from a rental accommodation (often multiple times) within the past 5-8 years.

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    [-] severine

    After 7 years of renting the same duplex, we are losing the only home my daughter has ever known.
    The landlord, has requested to move back in and we have 2 months to find a safe place. Rental vacancies are at less than 1%, actually 0.7, where we live. My daughter attends a special school and I am at University, I cannot just pick up and leave, like a 20 year old without any obligations. There is no safety net, there is just me and my child.

    I do have a glowing reference letter from my current and only landlord, so I am very grateful to have that. We always paid on time, are very clean and quiet. However, 2 months, 60 days, is not enough time to find a home. More than likely, we will wind up technically homeless, couch surfing with family until we can find a safe haven. I believe the rules should be extended to a minimum of 90 days to find a replacement place to live.

    Rents are out of control, affordable housing is scarce and now we are in a time-crunch to find something. It’s wrong and it feel very punishing to be in my situation. Nobody is winning here, absolutely no one.

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    [-] Nicole

    there is a housing crisis, I am currently a landlord but had always been a tenant until I bought my house 4 years ago. I had to work 3 jobs in order to save up money to purchase and had wanted to be a good landlord with the suite that came with the house. THe governement has made it almost impossible to be a landlord. Our housing prices are skyhigh so our mortgages are ( however you are called greedy if you try and cover your costs), porperty taxes are insane high and as a result so is home insurance. When we get someone in our house who does not pay rent or keep it clean it is IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of them, you end up supporting them while they live for free thanks to the regulations made by our Governemnt, meanwhile, you do not get the luxcery of putting off your mortgage or tax payments while you support them and wait for the province to finally allow you to pay more money to a balif to move them out. After all this you wonder why landlords are choosing air bnb, its not that difficult of a question.

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    [-] Kiah

    I was born and raised in North Van, the same as my parents were and I am no longer a resident mainly because of the insane traffic and out of control development. I feel that living in North Van is the same as living in a home under constant construction, the quality of life we all once had is now diminished.

    The second reason I left was affordability, when I did have own my home which I sold in 2016 after
    12 years of ownership it contained an ‘illegal” suite which as far as I could tell had been providing safe and affordable housing for at least 30 years. The CNV was mysteriously notified about it one day and they came with 4 staffers to inspect and close it down. Luckily my terminally ill father was occupying it at that stage and not a renter or they would have had to be evicted or lose their cooking facilities.
    As a result I went through the permitting process and spent a few thousand dollars trying to legalize it but the alterations they wanted were too onerous. There was discussion about blocking off the only window in the kitchen, raising the entire house to get another .5 feet of clearance in one room…etc .This standard is not enforced on older rental homes on upper floors, my home was built in 1912 and we were not about to do any of this. What became clear during the process is that even though I did not install the suite and even though I was trying my best to correct the permitting issue there is a culture of neighbors reporting suites to the city over disputes and the city acting like henchmen. I was treated as though I had an illegal grow op as opposed to a clean and safe suite for people to live in. I’d recommend making suites easier to permit and changing the culture at city hall to behave like the police when a suite is reported. These issues made me stop providing a nice basement suite that had been rented 30 years before I ever bought the home and I think other home owners of older homes feel the same way

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    [-] Janice

    My current landlord has never adhered to the BC Residential Tenancy Act or the BC Human Rights Code and yet receives millions of dollars in public money through a vast array of financing incentives and grants. The abuse of power is so frequent and flagrant that I am unable to lead a productive life and I live in fear. What is remarkable, is there are no performance monitoring mechanisms that detect compliance breaches and prevent harm to residents. Arbitrary rules are the norm and include; no hanging pictures on the wall, no overnight guests allowed more than 2 weeks a year, no drying laundry in the sunshine, no barbeques, no gardening or growing food, no pets, and no feeding the birds. Residents are encouraged to stay in their apartments with the curtains and windows closed and socialization is frowned upon. Flooding is common and my hot water tank has exploded twice from lack of maintenance and is currently perched on cement bricks on top of my refrigerator. So far flooding has occured on six occasions from bursting pipes and an overflowing toilet. I keep drip buckets strategically located to catch the leaks and use duct tape to protect my property from damage. The black mould and asbestos are know health issues which are exacerbated by poor ventilation. My landlord will actually benefit from creating dilapidated housing conditions and receive even more public money to demolish my home and involuntarily displace me to make room for more “affordable housing”. The institutional housing model is outdated and puts residents in danger of high mortality rates and abuse. Further funding is strongly discouraged by International human rights bodies and should cease immediately to prevent further risk of harm. Unless the BC Government radically transforms human rights laws to protect the right to adequate housing, my life will remain in imminent danger. Residents need full participation in housing reform to ensure fairness and justice.

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    [-] Alice

    As a landlord in Victoria, our experience is that trying to do the right thing- prioritizing health & safety of tenant in building our secondary suite in our home– isn’t necessarily the same as building a legal suite. We used professional tradespeople for every aspect of the construction, but did not go through process of permitting with the City. Is there a way to reduce costs/red tape (eg municipal permits etc) for people like us? If not, the gap will keep expanding between the few legal suites & many illegal suites, the latter making it difficult for homeowner landlords to get insurance.

    Contractors might provide helpful insight into this discussion, as no doubt they see/ build/ rennovate all kinds of suites.

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    [-] Cheryl

    I am a senior with a son on disability living in North Vancouver. We are living in a 2 bedroom apartment in a very old building. Our rent has been increased to $1575 per month. This is not affordable housing and we can not find any affordable housing. All the new apartments are considered high end and priced for high income families. North Vancouver needs to build affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities.one idea would be for developers to designate a few suites for lower income families at below market prices. If every developer had to follow this rule it would help alot of people.

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    [-] Freyja

    Hi!
    I own a large property on Salt Spring Island, BC and after being a renter for many years have been in the position of being a landlady for the last 4.
    While I have had some wonderful people living here, I also have some very bad experiences with tenants that abused the situation, parked junk cars on the property, charged us for unneccessary repairs and upgrades to the suite at an unreasonable rate without prior discussion, got outright nasty, stopped paying rent, trashed the place and left garbage etc. costing us thousands.
    I feel that wile it is good to have laws to protect tenants, there also need to be more laws to protect landlords. now that fixed term leases have become illegal, there is really no way to make nasty tenants leave, and there is no way to recover damages done by tenants beyond the damage deposit which really is rarely enough to cover more than additional cleaning fees. How can landlords be protected too as they have all the investment and risk in opening their property to others?
    The other thing is that affordable housing is being impacted by the amount of bureaucracy attached to any kind of housing and building permitting – the building code is so complicated and all the hoops to jump through to be allowed to build or renovate anything are so much that it becomes too expensive to build housing, owned or rental. I agree with keeping things safe, but it feels like there is overkill of regulations nowadays that are a big contributor to the housing crisis we are facing.

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    [-] Sandy

    As a renter in BC, first I would like to congratulate the BC Government on the recent changes to the BC Tenancy Act to add housing security for renters. In particular, restricting the use of fixed term leases has greatly improved the stability for renters.

    I am writing to raise concern about the formula for allowable rent increases that remains in place today. Using a formula of inflation plus 2% actually adds to the inflation rate in BC, makes housing less affordable, and unfairly rewards landlords. For example, a tenant that stays 4 years in a rental unit, would actually pay 17% more in rent due to compounding, as landlords increase rent to the maximum every year. This is not consistent with wage growth in the region, reducing affordability steadily over time. As this has been going on for many years, this is a key factor in the housing affordability crisis in BC.

    This is a leftover of the time when real estate developers and landlords held great sway over the government of BC and should be re-examined. Few provinces in Canada give an automatic profit increase to landlords annually, and BC is out of step with modern landlord-tenant legislation. There is no justification for rental increases beyond inflation.

    Related to this, is the interest rate paid to renters in BC on damage deposits. This has sat at 0% for many years, so the landlords are able to invest that money, and make a profit. When the deposit is eventually returned to the tenant, due to inflation (currently said to be 2%), the tenant has actually lost money. So in summary, landlords are guaranteed a 4% increase annually, plus investment returns on the damage deposits.

    These two items indicate that the system is still tilted financially to landlords and away from tenants.

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    [-] Ross

    I see so many complaints regarding Landlords/Owners not doing maintenance, yet you suggest that the 2% be eliminated. How is the owner to do upkeep and upgrades to the homes and property being rented. We spend many thousands of dollars yearly on upkeep and new renovations. Do away with the 2% and watch the maintenance fall off completely.

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    [-] Aman

    Half a months rent is not sufficient enough and does nothing to cover any damage costs incurred .

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    [-] Oubliette

    I am seeing a lot of landlords here complaining about not being able to kick out tenants whenever they want, or damage deposits not being enough, or not being in control “of their own home”. But the thing is, landlords are choosing to operate a business where they rent their property. By making that choice, they must abide by the laws of that business. Tenants have no choice; it’s either rent or live on the street, especially with a .6% vacancy rate. If you are a landlord and you can’t handle the risks of running a residential property business, then don’t do. But stop acting like you’re so disadvantaged. Landlords hold all the cards and have renters over a massive barrel. Landlords aren’t doing a public service – you’re making money off of other people’s misfortune and misery. It’s time the world gets back to thinking of residential property as homes to live in, rather than magic money making machines.

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    [-] mabel

    For several years I worked as an advocate for safe affordable housing for people living on low incomes. Now I am retired, and rely on rental income from an apartment on the lower level of my home. So I have some knowledge of both sides of rental housing realities.
    I would like to offer two suggestions to add to the Task Force Discussion:
    1. Today I am very fortunate to own my home. I would like to see a campaign to encourage retired people to bequeath their homes and properties as a legacy to their community. Like me, many people do not have adult kids who need to inherit all our assets. Rather, my home could be left to a local non-profit housing provider to manage and rent it, or perhaps to sell it in the manner of Habitat for Humanity. Then people who are struggling on low income, perhaps new immigrants, or a single mom, or a person with a disability, will have a home. My community will benefit from diversity, and a family will be part of my welcoming neighbourhood.
    2. The annual maximum allowable rental increase is made up of two parts: the CPI for the previous 12 months (inflation), plus 2% for maintenance and capital expenses. I have come to realize that the annual inflation increase is necessary to keep up with the rising costs of managing my rental unit. However I do not always ask for the additional 2% increase if I am not investing in major maintenance or capital work.
    Some landlords may choose to accumulate the 2% increase over time for a later planned large investment. However if that is not forthcoming, and if tenants complain that there is no evidence of reasonable maintenance over time, then the province should have the right to look at the books. Landlords claim property expenses against rental income on their tax returns, so the accounts should be kept for at least seven years.
    If there is evidence that a landlord has not invested an average of 2% of the rental income in maintenance and capital expenses, then the province should penalize the landlord, or at least disallow him from charging further increases above CPI until the outstanding amount is spent on the property.
    Please contact me if you have any questions about my suggestions. Thank you for your thoughtful examination of this critical housing issue.

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    [-] JL

    I have recently become a landlord. Roughly 8 months and my tenants are terrible with paying rent on time. The pendulum has swung so far in favor of the tenants now, I can’t even evict them now that their contract has expired. There are so many hoops to jump through as a landlord.

    Being empathetic, every month, my tenants would give me some sob story and I gave them extra time. But recently, after coming close to not being able to pay my mortgage, I decide it’s best to get rid of them and get responsible tenants who would be more respectful of my livelihood as I am of theirs. I rely on my tenants to help out with my mortgage so you can kind of imagine the financial burdens they have brought about. They would pay rent anywhere between 5 days to 3 weeks late; whenever it was convenient for them. Worst of all, they expect me to chase them to get it. When they finally pay, it is never in full. They would only pay a bit here, and a bit there.

    I operate on very simple rule principles. You pay your rent on time and treat the place well, you’re welcome to stay for as long as you need a home. I am not like some of the other greedy landlords who wants to jack up rent like crazy. It’s better for me to keep the rent the same and keep a good tenant. When my tenants have issues, I am there within 12 hours trying to figure out a solution for them and usually have things rectified in a very timely matter. usually within the day.

    I see a lot of great tenants on this board and am grateful that they are expressing their concerns. It gives me something to learn from the perspective of a tenant.

    I am in the middle of the eviction process now and it is so convoluted, not to mention, lengthy. I have no idea how long it will take, but rest assured, the likelihood of me renting out my suite again is going to take some serious convincing. When i say serious convincing, I mean to have the tenancy act balance out a little more among tenants and landlords….

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    [-] Cindy

    We definitely need far more Landlords like you.!!! Signed a great renter!

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    [-] Jill

    I have three cats and have been renting for 20 years. I have consistently found it difficult in Vancouver, Kelowna and Prince George to secure long term housing with my pets. I live with the fear that one day I will need to chose between having a home and keeping the pets I love.

    I would very much like a balanced and fair approach to allow sustainable pet ownership for tenants in BC. Over 50% of BC families have a pet, and nearly 2000 pets were surrendered to the SPCA in BC as a result of housing restrictions in rentals. Pets contribute to the health and well being of their owners and we need policy to address this issue. I fear we are operating from a place where the worst of the worst tenants are dictating the rental rules. I appreciate landlord’s concerns about pet ownership and damage but there needs to be a mechanism to incentivize landlords to rent to good pet owners. I favor an approach that does not allow commercial landlords to refuse to rent to a pet owner as long as key criteria are met. I would suggest my approach as a tenant can work. I encourage a landlord to rent to me by providing references specifically about my pets and how they were in previous rentals. I also carry rental insurance, pay a pet deposit and permit more frequent inspections to verify the property is not being damaged. I would suggest this approach might be considered.

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    [-] Andrea

    The session you are holding on Salt Spring Island is 3 hours in the middle of a workday so I and most working people cannot attend.

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    [-] Paul

    We are a young family. My wife and I both work great jobs but we don’t have retirement plans and years ago we made the decision to own property as our investment. We are fantastic landlords. We take older properties and fix,clean and style them up so that our tennants have a great place to live. When a tennant moves out we do a minor reno to make sure the place is perfect for the next tennant. We don’t force our tennants into long leases because we used to rent as well and when life forces you to move it sucks to have to deal with a lease. We invest in our properties and when we have great tennants we don’t raise the rent and we ask them once a year if there is anything major they would like us to change. If something needs fixing it is done asap. This is our money, our blood,sweatband tears poured into these properties and if we have a bad tennant we should have the right, and the means, tonremove them immediately. It is not our responsibility to provide bad tennats with a place to live and the way the current act is worded we have little to no rights as the owner and it is very difficult to remove a bad tennant. To be very blunt – this is my house, bought with my hard work and I should have every right to protect it. No tennant should ever be evicted unfairly and for sure there are some terrible landlords out there. But when good landlords are penalized by the rules that are aimed at the bad ones we stand to lose money, time and potential investment.

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    [-] Lyn

    A renter’s perspective:…
    … single middle-aged female educated medical professional renter…
    …grew up in Victoria so I have deep roots and support system but the vacancy rate is approximately 0.7%…
    …this city needs workers like me — I specialize in diagnostic testing and care of patients, from trauma to emergency cardiac episodes, to cancer…
    …priced out of the housing market because I grew up poor, have no family or spouse (I work SO HARD)…
    …renting an apartment in a run down 1950s-era building laughably cared for by a “property management company” for the owner who lives in California….
    …despite living here for over 12 years and never damaging my precious living space, my suite has never been painted, the filthy, bird-excrement-covered exterior windows have only been washed twice, the building’s security is non-existent, and the ventilation system rumbles loudly twice a day (try sleeping through that while working nights and being on call: can’t wear ear plugs for fear of not hearing the phone ring in case the hospital calls)…
    …”property manager” does the minimum to collect the rent: constantly have to remind him of my rights under the Residential Tenancy Act as well as the rental agreement, e.g., heat is included, but I & my neighbours had no heat in October & November; when I complained the tyrannical “property manager” suggested I find elsewhere to live (he would love for me to move out so he can increase the rent by hundreds of dollars)…
    …my rent goes up 4% every year (along with every other living expense) but my wage doesn’t because I work for a hospital and the provincial & federal governments only agreed to a 1% increase in 4 years as part of our collective bargaining agreement…
    I AM A RESPONSIBLE TENANT AND CONTRIBUTING MEMBER OF MY LOCAL COMMUNITY but I live in a dump I’m embarrassed to call home and my situation is precarious due to the high cost of housing and an unprofessional slumlord property management company that doesn’t value me as a good tenant but is more interested in doing the minimum effort for maximum cash grab of us working-class folks.

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    [-] Matthew

    We rented at a place for r years, always paid on time. There had been some mold issues and we asked the landlord to test the mold for toxicity, his reply was that the mold was a result of our “living practices,” and ergo upon us to test. We argued against this and filed for arbitration. As we approached the arbitration date the landlord sold the building and we started looking for a new place by drop the hearing. The night of the last day to file evidence the landlord came by the a mutual agreement to end tenancy, and while we were more or less alright with letting the case go, we felt we were bullied into signing. He gave us a line about either we do it this way or he had to file a counter – suite against us, and that it was in our best interest to sign. We did but we felt really taken advantage of. We moved into a smaller space that das more expensive – a house in place of a townhouse – still when we moved into the new place the present landlord didn’t tell us about how to manage the propane account, that propane company reposed their tank because no one told us that we had to pay rent for it, and then we were out 345$ for refilling a tank. Plus out 6 dates of hot water in the time it took for the tank to be replaced.

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    [-] Bill

    The function of a rental housing industry is to house people, but not in a capitalist system.

    For capitalism the function of rental housing is not to house people but to make piles of money held in private hands bigger by: building housing for which the highest possible rents can be charged; charging the highest possible rents for existing rental housing; and increasing rents as often and by as much as possible.

    Since housing is a necessity of life, these strategies transfer large amounts of money from renters’ hands to those of rental housing developers and landlords, who therefore spin elaborate tales as to why as much money as they can extort from renters must continue to flow in their own direction. They also use their disproportionate wealth in comparison to renters’ to fund the campaigns of politicians who believe their tales, or simply like holding elected office, and will therefore implement policies that maximize developers’ and landlords’ returns.

    The process by which rental housing is built today begins with private financiers designing a project that will make themselves the most money. They then present their plan to a city council, at which point neighborhood groups fight, usually in vain, to prevent what has been presented from being built because rents will be too expensive and what is proposed does not address the community’s actual housing needs.

    A rational rental housing development process would begin with a community deciding how much of what kind of rental housing it wants built where and for how much it will rent. Local government would put out RFP’s to developers, and the selected builder would be offered low-cost financing using public money to complete the project.

    Not only would this process result in rental housing that communities actually want, but it would also, because it would lend-not-spend public dollars earmarked for rental housing development, enable public money to be reused because it would be paid back, exactly like top-dollar financing by private money is paid back today: with rents.

    Eliminate private financing from the rental housing development process, and rents will immediately be more affordable.

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    [-] Rafael

    I would like to share my recent experience with the Residential Tenancy Branch that highlights many extremely important issues demonstrating that at the least, the present system, and set of policies and procedures at the Residential Tenancy Branch are not balanced at all, and do not genuinely represent the best interests of tenants. In an effort to keep things as simple and easy to understand as possible, I will summarize the situation briefly.

    -Tenant has resided in a completely separate rental unit for 4 years and paid monthly rent.
    -Landlord issues a 2 month notice to vacate rental suite for the use of the landlord
    -Tenant disputes this and it goes to an RTB hearing just before Christmas 2017.
    -RTB arbitrator incorrectly assumes landlord is owner, without ever asking if they were during the hearing. Arbitrator then issues an order of possession for end of December 2017

    -Tenant was not aware that landlord needed to be an owner until after the hearing unfortunately
    -After a title search proving landlord is not the owner and cannot therefore issue 2 month notice, Tenant files a reconsideration to the RTB based on the grounds of new information that was not available at the time of the hearing AND fraud (the landlord had asserted they had the authority, whether through negligence or intentional deceit)
    -Even with new evidence, RTB denies a reconsideration of their decision.
    -Tenant files and successfully wins a judicial review. The primary reason was centered around the fact that the original 1st arbitrator made a completely incorrect assumption that the landlord was the owner.
    – It is discovered in the affidavit that the landlord rented without the true owner’s knowledge.

    -Fast forward to present…..tenant still resides in suite. The judicial review sent the matter back to the RTB for a new hearing, which has not happened.
    -The RTB now says in an email that because the landlord said in the court affidavit that he rented without the true owner’s knowledge, the tenant has no rights under the Residential Tenancy Act all because the landlord was never acting as an agent on the true owner’s behalf.

    There are a few major flaws here on the part of the Residential Tenancy Branch.
    The first being, shouldn’t there be a basic set of procedures and questions expected from the arbitrator with relation to 2 month notice to vacate?? Is it not important to first determine whether the landlord has the authority to be issuing the 2 month notice to vacate??

    In this case, the arbitrator never once asked the landlord’s agent at the hearing, whether the landlord’s were the owners or not? Isn’t that a pretty important question to ask??
    She asked many other questions but never even asked this basic question to determine if the landlord even had the authority to issue this notice.
    Unfortunately the tenant did not see until after the hearing that the definition of landlord takes on a completely different definition with respect to a 2 month notice. You must be part owner in some sort. Furthermore, how the heck would you even make a complete assumption that the landlord was the owner??
    This type of incompetence on part of the RTB and arbitrators causes more problems than it solves, wastes the time and effort of many people, and wastes Canadian taxpayer’s money.
    This alone already highlights the type of incompetence and lack of consistent procedures that appear to be common at the RTB.

    In addition, although it has not officially been decided to be outside of their jurisdiction, the RTB senior advisor has said that it is likely I have no coverage under the RTA because my landlord illegally subletted to me. As this is a completely separate suite and entrance, with no shared facilities whatsoever, the RTB is now implying that in the midst of a housing crisis, tenants should ask for proof of authority from potential landlords when renting a separate suite or you may not be covered, even if the landlord acts and purports to be the landlord.

    This is insane!!! This is not a roommate situation. The Residential Tenancy Act is not working in cases like this and must be amended to cover tenants even if the landlord acted without agency from the true owner.
    If this is not amended, it allows a new loophole to exist where a landlord can CLAIM that they rented without the owner’s permission. By just claiming to the RTB that they don’t have the authority to rent, the RTB will most likely refuse to make a decision and it is left for the courts to decide. It does not appear to be a requirement for the landlord to provide evidence to show they do not have an agency agreement with the true owner/landlord. This creates a very slippery slope for this loophole to be exploited, and it is possible that may already be happening.

    Mr. Spencer Chandra Herbert, I hope at some point in the near future you are able to read this.
    My two major concerns are amending the RTA to ensure all tenants that rent a separate suite are covered under the act, even if the landlord was not acting on behalf of the true owner. If this is not amended, it essentially implies a tenant should request proof of authority or agency from every potential landlord. Most landlords are not be bothered to spend the time and resources to prove that.

    In addition, would you agree that a basic standard set of questions should be mandatory for an arbitrator to ask with respect to dispute resolution hearings??
    With this situation, the arbitrator never even asked the landlord if they were the owner or held a reversionary interest. This is a basic requirement to being able to issue the 2 month notice. I’m sure you would agree it is completely negligent, incompetent, and irresponsible for an arbitrator to make any type of assumption. Especially when that assumption concerns the grounds of authority required to issue the notice. As a result of an incompetent arbitrator that made this critically incorrect assumption, the tenant was almost left homeless on the start of a new year.
    I truly hope you will look into this matter.
    Thank you.

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    [-] DA

    We have had a suite in our house and well as rented out a house we bought to live in once we retired. We have always followed the residential tenancy agreement and been respectful of our tenants.

    Our problem is that the damage deposit does not cover the damage tenants without pets do. We had pets on 2 occasions and their incontinence wrecked wood floors so we will never again allow pets. We have had problems with tenants cleaning properly when they leave, especially if they don’t hire a cleaning service. We think the damage deposit should be greatly increased to several months rent and we would like to be able to collect a cleaning deposit. We have also had tenants bail on us for the last month rent so would like to be able to collect first and last month rent. In our Vancouver home where we live, our tenants have always been polite and well mannered. We rented our retirement home in Nanaimo for 7 years, the first 3 sets of tenants were belligerent and the last family was belligerent and thrashed the place. It makes being a landlord unaffordable so guess whet is happening in Nanaimo now? Landlords are selling their rental places and tenants can’t find places to rent.

    I think one of the big problems for renters, is that the feds and province sold off social housing and now blaming landlords for the problems.

    We need to be assured our tenants will be respectful and take care of our place for us to continue to afford to provide rental housing. At this point it is a lot of work, a lot of aggravation and not worth It financially.

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    [-] Rossgo

    I am a landlord of a Manufactured Home Park. There are many of these “Parks” in BC which provide an affordable housing alternative to about 60,000 BC households. Living in these parks is a very affordable option when compared to renting residential housing or apartments. In a manufactured home park, the tenants own their home and rent the site or pad in the Park. Manufactured homes are often inexpensive depending on the age and the size of the home and the location of the Park. Many seniors take advantage of this option when downsizing from their family home and living on pension income. Unfortunately, the increasing maintenance costs and property taxes, coupled with the legislation regarding rent are resulting in very few new parks being built. More rental controls will result in investors building apartments or condos on their property as a far better return on investment.
    The Rental Task Force must realize the advantages of living in a Manufactured Home Park and treat them differently when making recommendations to the Premier and Minister Robinson. The following changes should be made concerning Manufactured Home Parks;
    1. The ability to submit to the RTB for a general rent increase to bring all the sites up to the same rate as other homes in the Park. Often home owners live in a Park for 15 to 20 years and under the present rent controls, limited to 2% plus the cost of living index, result in a very low rent after a long term.
    2. Allowing a new purchaser to “assume” the old tenancy rent is very unfair to the landlord in a manufactured home Park. The sale of a home is the only opportunity where the rent for the new owner can be brought up to what other homes in the Park are paying. Just as the tenant desires to get fair market value for his or her home when they sell, the landlord should be able to get fair market value for renting his property. Rents on assignment should at least be allowed to be increased to the average rent in the park.
    3. The requirement that new purchasers be interviewed by park management. Finding the right fit of tenants in a Manufactured Home community is very important, especially considering the length of most tenancies. It is essential that new tenant applications be reviewed in depth.
    Many postings to the rental task force ask for a different approach to legislating landlord requirements. Renting a property in a Manufactured Home Park is very different than renting someone else’s apartment or home. Please take the time to study the benefits of living in in these parks and treat them apart from other housing solutions.

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    [-] TA

    I live in one of these parks ,own the home and rent the lot, the park I moved into was one of the nicest parks in the whole fraser valley, the pad rent went up once in 3 years by $5.00 a month, we had an onsite manager who worked dayly with owner to keep the park in top condition…. then it sold to a numbered company , not sure who owns it now but the park went downhill almost immediately while the rent went up every year and as many times as they could get away with in between. Our manager was immediately fired and the suite was rented out. Lots of problems, 4 arbitrations , all went in our favor , but nothing has changed .The park continues its way down and the landlords rent money continues to increase. All because of greed and poor maintenance. People like this should not be allowed to have rental property.

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    [-] Dan

    My wife and I rented for 6 years in the lower mainland before moving to Northern BC where we could afford a house. During our time renting we were lucky to never have any real conflicts or unfair conditions with our different rental units or landlords. Now that we are homeowners we have been renting 2 tenant suites in our home. We have previously had 1 good tenant and 1 bad tenant. We are currently lucky to currently have 2 good tenants that we want to keep as long as possible.

    The recent changes to the tenancy act that no longer allow fixed term rentals essentially results in landlords no longer having any convenient way of evicting problem tenants. In the past, we used the fixed term options to create a 3-month “trial” period for all new tenants and if there were no problems we would extend the fixed term to 1-year and renew it annually without raising rent. We understand that some landlords were using this fixed term option to unfairly raise rents above the annually allowed percentage for “month to month” rentals, which is why it was removed when the Act was updated. However, it would be nice to have some sort of fixed-term clause in place so tenancies can end at an agreed upon fixed period. If fixed-term rentals area allowed again, maybe have some clause that states that fixed term rent prices can’t be raised over the regular allowed annual percentages when renewing or having new fixed-term rental agreements.

    Because we no longer feel like we have adequate means to test out or evict new problem tenants in a timely manner, once our good current tenants choose to leave, we will likely convert our tenant suites into short term vacation rentals. Unfortunately this would then reduce the number of long term rentals in our community.

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    [-] R

    I very much agree with the above posting. Small landlords must be able to end tenancy after a fixed period if the tenants do not work out. The Act was updated to end fixed term tenancy agreements because of the abuse of some slumlords. Please amend the Act to reinstate fixed term tenancies but with safeguards to prevent rent increases at the end of the tenancy, except on a year to year basis and only to the allowed amount. I too am considering changing my property to a short term Vacation Rental.

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    [-] Mark

    Continued housing speculation and the fact that housing is being used more than ever as a means to make money (vs. treating it as a human right and basic need) is deeply distressing to me – as is the complicity of many developers. So far, developers offering to build a paltry amount of social housing in cites like Vancouver has done very little to solve the crisis, while condos continue to sell for overly inflated prices. Vancouver’s living wage in no way reflects the current cost of rental housing, which is much needed. I believe only stringent regulation and conscientious future planning can address this.

    I have long felt that different levels of government have failed to plan and control development effectively and that we are seeing the results of this playing out in the current crisis. Development must be far more regulated if we are to prevent this crisis deepening.

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    [-] Sheila

    I rented the same place since we arrived. Then I found out I am entitled to apply for a rental assitance. It was a huge help for my family since were still new here. After a year of the assistance we had. I am requesting for a new contract and receipt to our landlord as part of renewing our assistance but he refused to give it and told us that we put him in a hassle because later we knew that the basement isn’t declared and we need to vacate the property. ☹️ He don’t want to pay additional tax he said. I am clueless that he said it was my fault. I don’t even know that there is a legal and an illegal basement since were new immigrants. Now we are in a rush to find a new place again.

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    [-] Christine

    I have lived in Vancouver for over 40 years and am horrified at the blatant disregard for the general population by the wealthy and the way our city and Province have collaborated in this hardship for the average citizen. The previous provincial government was in the pockets of the developers as well as the mayor of Vancouver, which has allowed an unrestrained development of wealthy real estate that only the rich could afford. Government’s purpose is to support the majority of the population not the cream at the top. Because these outrageous buildings are still being built (e.g. Vancouver House), the surrounding properties take their cue from that wealthy standard so sale prices and rents go up to match it. Why? Because they can! What we need is a government that has the will to support its citizens by building rental housing that is affordable for the average wage earner and putting limits on what landlords can ask for rent. Many of the older buildings in the West End were built 30-50 years ago and have been paid off ten times over. They have old and tired facilities where people have to share laundry facilities, barely have one bathroom, old appliances, etc and they charge the same as the newer flashier buildings that have all the mod cons. The government could create a value chart which could be used to create reasonable rents. Things like age of building, square footage, bathrooms, laundry, kitchen appliances, view, sound proofing, pets, etc would be assigned points and rent would be based on the accumulation. Another issue is pets. Pets are a very healthy and necessary part of city living especially in today’s anxiety ridden society. Apartment buildings are vertical communities instead of horizontal ones so why are they not allowed to have community norms like playgrounds, pets, etc. Why? Money, that’s why. It’s all about landlords making as much profit as they can. Another thing government can do is to review income made by landlords and see how much real hardship they would experience if rents were lowered. I know not all landlords are greedy but our system makes it too easy for them to go to the greedy side. Our governments have been too unwilling to challenge this wealthy trend because they make money from it too! One of the biggest causes of the increase in prices is the catch 22 policy of the city raising property taxes, which increases the value of the property, which in turn raises the property taxes and then raises the property value and so on! This causes increase in rent as well as the cost of housing which the citizens of Vancouver on low wages just cannot afford. However, city coffers are nicely increased! As this Task Force only concerns housing, I will not address the issue of the crazy low wages in Vancouver, which was caused by the previous provincial government’s refusal to raise the minimum wage for 10 years so all wages were kept down, as well as employers’ greed. I saw, at least ten years ago, that a revolution was coming as is always the case when you have an educated poor but, as with most revolutions, the greedy are too blind to see until “Madame La Guillotine” arrives! PLEASE be a government of compassion and insight. Don’t let this happen. Thank you for listening.

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    [-] Oubliette

    Our family of three has rented a two-bedroom apartment on downtown Vancouver for seven years. We lived in a one-bedroom until our daughter was almost two-years old before we could find a decent two-bedroom we could afford. We have been model tenants. No complaints from our neighbours or strata, have never missed a payment, don’t smoke or do drugs, or have wild parties. We put up with the owners’ negligent attitude to maintenance. Then last year we were advised through the owners’ real estate agent that they were thinking of moving their adult daughter into one of the apartments they own (they own quite a few). The agent told us that as we paid “below market rent” (by virtue of the fact we’d been here a while and their annual legal rent increases did not keep up with the insane rise in rental prices in this city) that the owners would likely use “family-use” to evict us. But they did not serve us with a notice, but instead the agent again contacted us and said that we agreed to 62% rent increase (taking us from $2050 a month to $3300), they would not evict us. We said there was no way we could afford the rent increase. The agent advised us that during a recent inspection of our apartment (which was supposed to have been about maintenance issues), he had done a market rental assessment, and figured they could $3300 a month, but they would “be kind” and agree to $3000 a month (as 46% increase). Again we said we could not afford the increase – our rent was already 50% of our family income – and we expected to be evicted. But then they came back and said “how about $2650”, and we realized that they were trying to scare us out. We advised them that family-use eviction must be made “in good faith without ulterior motive” and queried why they had run a market rental evaluation when the only real options were us, the current tenants, or their daughter, whom we assume they would not be trying to gouge for maximum rent. We offered them $2350 (a 15% increase) though only because we did not want to put our young daughter through the stress of moving if we had gone to the tribunal and lost. The agent agreed to 15% only if we moved from ongoing to a fixed term lease, which we reluctantly did. Its now been a year (during which time none of the maintenance we discussed with the agent has been carried out), and in that time we have looked for a new apartment we could afford, that would allow our daughter to stay near her school, and would allow pets (getting a pet, not allowed by the current strata, is our promise to our daughter), but have found nothing (It is now very obvious that pets are now a luxury for the rich real-estate owners of this city and no one else). Luckily for us, the new government changed the law regarding fixed-term leases. However, the agent was hoping we did not know about the changes when he contacted us recently to ask how our plans were going to move out at the end of our fixed term lease. When we said we planned to go month-to-month as per the new laws, then the coercive tactics began again. He once again talked about how we “paid below market-rent” like it was some kind of moral failing on our behalf. He said that the owners would likely sell the apartment if we didn’t “negotiate” a better rate than the legal 4%. We’re not going to agree to an illegal increase this time. Even if we did agree to an obscene 50% increase, what would stop them selling anyway? They are trying to scare us out so they can get new tenants in at a higher rate. We are renters, like the majority of Vancouver’s population. But because of the scarcity of rental accommodation, we are the portion of the population without power or leverage. The landlords have the power to leave us homeless on the street, so there can be no balanced negotiation between two equal parties, THERE IS ONLY COERCION. And that is why rental increases must be tied to the apartment, and not the tenants.

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    [-] Kelly

    Being a renter has been a constant battle. Starting with landlords not fixing areas of your home. Then trying to blame you for the damage when you move. Or having a landlord that wants to repair what needs replacing and constantly going without a dryer much needed when you have 4 children. Having to lie about having pets because landlords don’t allow them. Having rat infestation in your attic and the landlord not making it sanitary. And competing to find a home always being passed up cause your low income or have kids. And now the biggest problem of all having to find somewhere affordable to live when all rents are out of financial reach.

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    [-] Kadri

    I was a renter and now a landlord for a few years. I follow the residential tenancy act and often educate tenants about it as well. In 2 occasions after a tenant has lost a job they had turned into not so favorable tenants (aggressive, not co-operative, etc). For most of the tenancies, I was never able to return the damage despot, mostly due to lack of cleaning. For one occasion tenant has left me almost 10K in damage (pet damage), it took 8 months to get an arbitration date. And I just had a hearing recently, but RTB did not schedule enough time for it, so now I have to wait 2 more months for another hearing. So far the arbitration process itself seems fair, but I hope I will be able to collect the money once I am awarded the order. Collecting and enforcing the decision is my biggest concern right now. One bad apple can do a lot of damage. I hope Rental task force is able to come up with some solution to cover the cost of damages better (either increased deposits, insurance plan, or other).
    Another concern is the pets. One of our tenants had a big aggressive dog. I’ve never felt so scared in my life while doing a condition inspection. I will never again rent to somebody who’s pet is making me feel intimidating. It is a big concern for emergencies. Imagine if I had to enter the unit for an emergency to turn off the water main. I would not be able to do it with a pet like that residing in the property. Landlords need to be able to decide what kind of pets they allow, and if they allow at all. In certain cases, it is a safety issue.

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    [-] carolann

    I have a basement suite that I would like to rent, but the horror stories I hear from other landlords are keeping me from doing it. I realize that there is a housing crisis, and want to help, but I worry about disrespectful tenants in my home. I have some pretty severe allergies, and can’t have people breaking what might seem to them to be silly rules. My understanding is that I have little or no recourse regarding what tenants do in my home, (like make popcorn – which I am severely allergic to) so I don’t rent it out, and it makes me sad. I want to help.

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    [-] Cindy

    This is sad for you, yet I must ask and wonder, would you be charging “current” rental rates? If you were to do that, rather than rates 3 years ago, then you would not be helping the current crisis, and would come off as you were only helping yourself. I standby “any” landlord who has had difficult circumstances, but currently our main problem stems from greedy landlords, claiming they can charge market value, yet do not upkeep their buildings. I know you’re a different scenario but many of us renters (the good ones) are running into these issues.

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    [-] ds

    Dear Rental Housing Task Force, I would like to share my experience as a tenant.
    More than a year ago I was looking for a non-smoking suite for well over one year. 90% of ads are specifically looking for non-smokers but very few suites, if any, are truly non-smoking. They are often in buildings where smokers still live and freely smoke inside or outside of their rental suites.

    Managers and landlords appear to be hungry for non-smokers trying to clean up their smoked up buildings by putting non-smokers between old renters who still smoke. In most cases viewing apartment building where smoke is still lingering in hallways it’s pretty obvious to say no to and leave. It’s harder to detect the hidden surprise in freshly painted place soaked up in air-freshener.

    Misleading advertisements are putting non-smokers in danger of second hand smoke.
    https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/smoking-tobacco/avoid-second-hand-smoke/second-hand-smoke/dangers-second-hand-smoke.html

    Residential Tenancy Act needs to have smoking disclosure by landlord as mandatory requirement.

    Vancouver and lower mainland are full of empty suites and illegal suites, and many are in questionable living condition. One landlord, when asked, told me that “dirty stove is good enough for Canadians” and he was not planning to have it cleaned before renting it out.

    Rental Housing website needs to be created where illegal suites and unhealthy conditions can be reported.

    Rental Housing could use health inspectors unit. Every rental suite should have mandatory health inspection before renting, paid by the landlord. This would cut down on illegal rental opportunist.

    Hard working British Columbians deserve better living. Rents are high and the places are resembling third world country living.

    Thank you for your time.

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    [-] Don

    I recently attended one of the Renter Task Force Forums and it was an eye opener for me. Up until recently, I have always had a great relationship with my landlords and when I attend the forum, I heard of so many horror stories that really left my jaw in awe of how tenants really have to know their Landlord and Tenant Act.
    In my situation now, My landlord/property manager, does not follow the Landlord and Tenant Act and I have heard from my neighbors, that the previous Landlord did the same thing, which makes me believe that this directive is coming down from the building owners. They enter someones apt when they are not there, but also let in any contractors hired by the owners, and letting them work unsupervised. He lets them in and leaves and people have come home to unlocked doors. I have just purchased some surveillance cameras to protect myself. He has also been bullying and intimidating senior tenants, into climbing up on chairs or ladders, to clean out the space after they remove the bathroom ceiling fan. A lawsuit waiting to happen, in my opinion. Should that be his job as caretaker of the building. Apparently, he doesn’t like to do any work as I have seen other residents, vacuuming, clearing snow and working on light fixtures, even though they are not certified electricians.
    I have also seen a trend of them not giving 24 hour written notice, to want access into the apt to do any repairs, but to just give you a phone call, when the service person is in the building to do multiple projects, as they stack them up to save on service call charges.
    In closing, I did read the recommendations of the Vancouver Tenants Union and agree with accepting them. It would be step in the right direction in protecting both landlords and tenant, through education and fixing an outdated system.

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    [-] Gerald

    Dear Minister Simpson: I understand you are my MLA, as I just moved into a house near Nanaimo and 1st. I am now renting from the original renter of the house, who together with his wife and six kids is now sharing the house with myself and three other renters. As you may know this sort of rental agreement is not covered by the Residential tenancy Branch guidelines, so I am trying to fashion a private rental agreement with the original renter. Anyways, my new situation has exposed me to some new issues in renting, which concern me and I am not only wondering about the ethical nature of them but also the legal standing. As it turns out the original renter is in the process of renting out every available room to rent. Recently he rented out our dining room, so there is less common space for the rest of us now, and has still more plans on renting out the basement, in what they know is an illegal suite. In the process the other renters and I are now paying a greater and greater percentage of the overall rent and the original renter is getting a freer ride. So I am wondering, since this renter is not the real owner of the building why is it legal, let alone ethical for them to be taking way more and more of our common areas of living and imposing more of the issues of loss of space and more noise etc that comes from more and more people living in a building, and at the same time getting the rest of us to pay a greater and greater percentage of the overall rent? I can see how the original renter may incur more lost time and effort showing empty rooms to prospective tenants during a month, but not while the rooms are full. So why are they allowed to get a free ride off of other renters when it is not their building in the first place. I realize that moving out is an option but in this rental environment it is hard to find a decent rent for tenants and landlords or original renters have no trouble finding new tenants. I must admit another rental option I turned down was also utilizing illegal suites, not declaring income and charging a higher percentage of the original rent to the other renters. So if this sort of thing proliferates, and in this market the money hungry people have more and more incentive to do so, then renters costs will keep going up, they will get less and less for their rent and original renters who have no ownership over the property are getting a freer ride at others expense. So is there anything you can do about all of this?

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    [-] anne

    My story-I am paying higher rent as I could not find a lower price place due to having 1 cat. I owned a house for over 20 yrs. before renting. My real estate agent gave me a great reference as to how clean with no cat damage or smells and well kept my house was. I was refused over and over by landlords because of having a cat. I am a senior on my own, quiet, so would have been ‘easy’ on any dwelling and know how to take care of a place. Not only do I pay higher rent each month but paid a damage deposit and a pet deposit equal to one month’s rent.
    Also had to find a place further out of of town that allowed pets so transit is not frequent or convenient as I would have liked. During the winter I stay in after 4 p.m. due to the darkness and time it takes to use transit.
    We have been here for about one year. The place is clean, tidy and my cat has not damaged one thing. This ‘no pet policy’ is discriminatory and is especially cruel to seniors. Seniors should not be forced to make a choice between an affordable place to rent or keeping their loved and needed animal companions.

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    [-] Cindy

    Even studies done right here in our Province clearly state that “our” Healthcare System would be greatly alleviated if seniors were allowed pets in their homes. This is something that is well studied and proven to be very effective in terms of keeping seniors in their current homes, healthy!

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    [-] Sandra

    The protection for landlords who share a building with their tenants (ie rent a basement suite) are inadequate and I believe this is driving many homeowners with suites to offer their suite as a Air BnB rather than a long-term rental. Air BnB requires payment up front and a credit card to guarantee for damages, residential tenancy laws cap the deposit for both damages and non-payment of rent at a half-months rent. Tenants have the right to peaceful enjoyment but owners do not, and it is very hard to evict a long-term tenant for nuisance. Also rental references are basically useless because there is no way to verify that you are actually speaking to the past landlord, whereas Air BnB has a rating system that gives both renters and owners confidence that they will have a good experience. I was able to finally evict a tenant for nuisance only because the upstairs tenants were willing to go on record as to his behaviour, and he caused a number of damages out of spite. If I were living upstairs I would avoid this situation entirely by getting a business license and using Air BnB instead.

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    [-] Mark

    I and my neighbours personally experienced the full effects of “renovicting” landlords in 2008-2010. We waged a two-and-a-half-year battle that took up almost all our spare time, energy and emotional health, trying to avoid planned renovictions, and later 75% “geographical” rent increases. Other landlord tactics included:

    • removing all the building carpeting,
    • taking away tenant storage and parking,
    • putting construction fences and dumpsters outside the building,
    • tearing up ornamental shrubbery,
    • trying to individually evict two individual tenants for various, spurious reasons,
    • and finally evicting myself, my wife and our 7-year old son on the pretense that our apartment was needed for a building manager, when the building was not being maintained and there were two other vacant apartments available. We fought the eviction on grounds of bad faith, but lost at the RTB. We were given 9 days to find another apartment, pack up and leave our home of 11 years.

    Following our eviction, the landlords tried again to renovict all the remaining tenants, but lost on the grounds of bad faith at the RTB (with a different adjudicator than the one who had not accepted our bad faith argument). The landlords immediately sold the building and moved on to use the same renoviction tactic with other buildings, as they had done in the past. They also began using fixed term leases.

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    [-] RANDY

    I am a landlord and there is a sure fire way to increase the number of rental units on the market, and that is to offer more protection to landlords in getting rid of “professional tenants” that are looking for a free ride and in many cases can destroy a place or end up with 3-4 free months by the time the case works its way through the system. I have 3 friends with beautiful basement suites in their homes in Victoria. They refuse to rent them because they are afraid of getting a nightmare tenant that ( because of the current laws that protect bad tenants )they could have a terrible time getting rid of. I hear this same story from many others. We need a list of bad tenants that have not paid rent or destroyed places. The eviction system is flawed. An eviction case for a landlord can mean taking the tenant all the way to supreme court in order to rightfully claim his property back. Until the laws change, there are many suites that sit vacant.

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    [-] Cindy

    I am dependent on Government pensions, CPP, OAS, GIS , cannot work and prior to turning 65 was on CPP disability. With constant rent increases after being in the same building for 18 years I can no longer afford my rent, let alone anything else on top of that. Applications to BC housing are proving difficult as there is just not enough rental stock. I proposed to my MLA and others that “subsidies” need to be given to those who have been long term tenants in their “current units”, until more infrastructure is built. Many including me will be virtually homeless in short order if there are no safety nets. This as we all know puts huge financial burdens on the whole system, yet this idea could in fact offset these current problems. None of us after working our entire lives should be in this perilous place.

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    [-] Kevin

    We have lived in BC for the past 23 years and have been renting for all of them. It will be 20 years that we have been in our current suite.
    Our experiences with landlords have been generally a positive one , we’ve had great relationships with previous landlords except for a period of approximately 2 years when new landlords purchased the building in which we live and wanted to raise our rents by approximately 75%
    It’s a long story and it was an unnecessary one at that.
    Our neighbors came together as a group and fought our case in court and am happy to say that we won the right to stay in our homes
    Those landlords sold the building and moved on to unfortunately give other tenants a hard time.(in my opinion)
    Our current landlord is a lot different, he is responsible, respectful and guy that you can approach any time.
    All that being said I’m would like landlords to have their justice as well in that fact that if tenants don’t pay their rent they have the law on their side to quickly remove that tenant, or the tenant that willfully damages the property to be removed and for the tenant to be legally responsible for their actions.
    I guess if there were clear laws that were part of rental agreement both the landlord and the tenant could have a harmonious relationship.
    Just our 2 cents

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    [-] Kim

    You should speak to David Eby ( was with Pivot Legal Society ) years before he was I politics he did a talk sponsored by Cope. He had some interesting ideas about low income landlords who are caught up in red tape as well as information about slumlords and thier antics.
    And how difficult it is for people once the become homeless to go after these landlords.
    Also there needs to be easier access and more clout to help both landlords and tenants.
    Also disabilty issues need to be considered also as they are often low income and often end up in sub standard conditions..

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    [-] Curtis

    As a young landlord, I had the unfortunate experience of renting to a couple of young people early on. They ended up getting busted for trafficking drugs and ended up skipping out of town without paying their last months rent. They never even acknowledge the evection notice for unpaid rent so I couldn’t go into the suite for almost 2 weeks. There was a ton of garbage left over crappy furniture etc. that I had to clean and dispose of in addition to losing a months rent and utilities. I tracked these boys down as best I could after they left, and even though I have “legal recourse,” there is nothing practically speaking that I can do to get my money back without likely wasting more money in the process of trying to get a RTB order, small claims court fees, garnishing wages orders, let alone where to even find them to serve the papers.

    I understand that many tenants have had bad experiences with landlords, but all of the landlords I know were very reasonable. I feel that the media draws too much attention to bad cases only. And while every other set of tenants I have had has been great, it would’ve been nice to have had some extra security against these boys. My suggestion is that a damage deposit should be two full months instead of 1/2 month. I understand that many tenants have had bad experiences with landlords, but all of the landlords I know are very reasonable. I feel that the media draws too much attention to bad cases. And while every other set a tenets I have had has been great, it would’ve been nice to have had some extra security against these boys. My suggestion is that a damage deposit should be two full months instead of 1/2 month. That way you have time to evict someone within the month, and not lose any income from unpaid rent or utilities, with the balance then paid back to the tenants after the fact. This might help to encourage good behaviour on both sides if there was more on the table upfront. Either that, or I’d suggest some sort of provincial landlord registry and tenant registry where specific histories of both are viewable to the public domain so that both parties are held accountable for actions.

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    [-] Theresa

    Please get rid of “Tenancy Agreements” and use standard lease forms. The term, “Agreement”, in this case, is a misnomer. Allowing for the use of, “Tenancy Agreements” also allows for the imposition of ignorant restrictions such as 1) not being allowed to put nails into the walls to hang pictures, not being allowed to put things onto the balcony for which rent is being paid, having to vacate by noon on the final day of the month, enfacing unreasonable cleanliness standards on moving out, and having to pay rent by noon the day before the first day of the month for which rent is due. It’s actually a, “Tenant Coercion”.

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    [-] Carole

    I am a tenant but I have also worked in real estate and property management and am currently in a position where I am a decision maker on the renting of over 100 units. I believe we are an excellent landlord and treat our tenants exceptionally well – but even we get abused by tenants and our property is not respected by some of them.
    I think that all landlords should have to be licensed and in order to get that license they should have to attend & pass a course on the Act and get some education on how to select tenants, screen them, check references and do credit checks and basic maintenance of an apartment. The complaints about (small) landlords are usually rooted in their ignorance of the Act and their inability to recognize that if they rent apartments in their homes, they are giving something up as well as acquiring the extra income. I had a landlord with two preteens who were so rude and loud and was basically told to put up with it. I found somewhere else to live.
    On a frequent basis I talk to tenants who are being evicted because their landlord wants to put his house on the market and I spend a lot of time explaining to tenants why they cannot be evicted just because the house is going on the market. Many tenants are totally ignorant of their rights in these circumstances. There is good reason for a landlord not being permitted to evict a tenant just because he/she is selling. What is to stop him putting it up for sale, getting rid of the tenant and then taking it off the market and jacking the rent $500? That is why you cannot be evicted just because it is being listed. Having lived through 2 such situations, I am very familiar with what a tenant’s rights are and having worked in real estate I know what the landlord / REALTORS must do as well, and an eviction notice cannot be issued until the sale is unconditional and the buyer requests vacant occupancy for immediate family (parents or children) use.
    I believe that some organisations do run renter education programs too and this is a good idea. Perhaps the RTB could do that and provide a certificate for renters who pass it as an incentive for licensed landlords to rent to them. It will not eliminate all the bad tenants and the bad landlords, but it will go a long way towards improving the situation.
    I also think it needs to be written into the Act that landlords can hold back up to $100 from damage deposit for dumping fees, without a tenant’s signature. So often tenants dump piles of things by garbage containers that cannot be removed by the garbage pickup and and landlord incurs huge dump charges to dispose of couches, TVs and other trash.
    As a renter and a quasi-landlord, I see both sides of the issues and both can be at fault. Mostly it is ignorance and lack of consideration; education on both sides could solve many issues. I believe the biggest issue facing us at present is renoviction due to the condition of the rental stock and lack of building over the past 30 years. Protections need to be put in place for long term tenants who are suddenly faced with their rent increasing by 50-100% while their incomes remain the same.
    Unfortunately there will always be slum landlords and crappy tenants. You cannot adequately legislate to solve all issues.

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    [-] Carolina

    We are renters and have found ourselves in a vulnerable position since the house we have been renting for 10+ years is being put up for sale. I would love a province wide plan for people who suddenly find themselves no longer able to live in a place they have rented for 5+ years… any move we make from here represents $1000/month increase in rent – at a minimum.

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    [-] Celena

    Being a renter (tenant) in Vancouver BC has been an extremely stressful experience for a variety of reasons. I would strongly recommend that the task force implement the following:
    -Rent Freeze. The current 4% annual increase has not been keeping up with wages.
    -Mansion Tax. We need more affordable homes.
    -Equal treatment of renters. Currently each tenant in an apartment buidling is treated differently. This leads to sexist and racist experience. For example, my current building manager currently makes special acceptation for the men in the building, while bullying the women. Some tenants are allowed pets, while others aren’t. Some tenants are subject to constant “inspections” while others are. Likewise, some are subject to rent increases while others aren’t. I would love to see equal treatment of tenants in buildings.
    -Also, I would love to see pets allowed in building within reason (ie: if the building is infested with mice.. the tenants should have the right to a cat as a preventative measure).

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    [-] K.S.

    When renting a secondary suite in our home our tenant went from day shifts to nights (even though she assured us prior to taking the suite that she didn’t work nights). Her shifts were on weekends which was the only time we were home with our children – she began to complain about normal household noise and we started to feel stressed and uncomfortable in our own home but there was nothing we, as a landlord, could do that wouldn’t further sour relations. We have others who have frequent guests, some climbing through windows in the middle of the night, have started topless bathing in the yard with young kids around. This is why I think fix term leases should be allowed. Both parties can test the waters. So to speak. Sure if another fixed term is signed then the rent should only rise per legislation but making the changes you have simply means we won’t be renting our suite again …everything is in the tenants favour (and we’ve been tenants too)! You want to open up the rental supply then give the landlords, particular those who live/share the home, some sort of control over who is sharing their space!

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    [-] Caitlin

    I have two large dogs and it is incredibly hard with size restrictions everywhere. I would like to see a push for less restrictions on size.

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    [-] Anna

    as a monthly and long time supporter of the SPCA I am very sad to see many animals surrendered or abandoned in some cases because of lack of pet friendly housing. /This has to stop. Good responsible pet owners and foster owners love their pets and want to give them long term loving homes.

    Bad tenants wind up costing the good people out there. Most landlords I dealt with in the past were very nice and did not mind pets. moreover they didn’t charge me for a pet deposit. That needs to be removed. or reduced considerably. One last landlord I dealt with wanted an indemnity agreement and an 1100 dollar deposit for two cats I have,

    Please put an end to gouging of tenants who have no choice but to rent. Please stop the unfair treatment of people who have pets that do not want to lose a member of their family that they are committed to.

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    [-] Jessica

    As a landlord and a tenant, I felt that I found out the hard way what my rights are. I have a masters degree and sometimes found the information on the website not clear or hard to find. The tenancy branch over the phone was super helpful but it would be great if there were maybe in person workshops at libraries for first time landlords. I made many mistakes, which caused unnecessary issues. Also the legislation can be a bit vague or not practical – ie, determining the amount to deduct from a damage deposit at the time of the inspection. Sometimes you don’t know how much something will cost to repair or replace. As a tenant, I would have liked to see protections for people with pets. Finding a place to rent with a dog was incredibly difficult. Even as an owner, so many apts had strata bylaws that didn’t allow pets. This shouldn’t be allowed. Would like to see similar protections for those with pets as with Ontario.

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    [-] Sheila

    Good Day:
    I would just like to express my opinion as a landlord that I allow pets in my rental properties and the tenants that care about their pets, care about their living arrangements as well. I have never had any issues with them.

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    [-] dora

    As a mother with two children, who has always rented -buying is next to impossible for us-, one of my brightest wishes is that we were allowed having pets, namely a cat or a dog. While growing up there was always a dog in my life, and from about 7 to 16 she was my dearest and best friend. My life was so much better because of her. I wish my kids had the chance to know such a friend, and to learn how to care and respect those creatures. With pets in our life -assuming we are responsible and aware of their well being- we are richer, and they seem to love it too. There are challenges to owning pets, like pooh! and pooh in plastic bags is even worse!, yet, i believe there could be much better ways for good pet owners to enter a contract in which they will take good care of the properties and take responsibility for any damages.

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    [-] Betsy

    I am a pensioner and live with my mother, as her caregiver. We had to move last year, as our rental home was sold. Our landlords were Great and we treated their home as our home, but they had to sell the house. We have two dogs and it was IMPOSSIBLE to find a place to rent, that would accept two dogs. We were saved when friends bought a house in this area, as a future retirement home, and we rent from them. I don’t know what we would have done if they hadn’t come to our rescue. I looked for months, and even put ads in the local papers and magazines to find a rental that would accept two dogs. Not one reply to our ads. I was terrified of being homeless with my 90 year old mother!! There is not enough affordable housing for seniors in this area – even if you don’t have pets!!!

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    [-] Joanne

    I have had dogs for two decades. I have been renting for over 5 of those years now. I have been fortunate to rent from a friend, but watch the rentals for cheaper rent and its nearly impossible to find a rental at all, let alone one that allows my big dog, even though she’s elderly. I have been watching the real estate in Vernon BC as well, and anything that is nearly affordable is in a strata that does not allow a dog over 15″. The limitations make housing difficult, whether renting or buying. This issue, and the fact that there is far too much age-related housing (over 40 or 55 yrs only rentals/sale homes) make life difficult for anyone who wants to afford a decent rental or sale home.

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    [-] Melanie

    I feel like I’m at the mercy of my landlord and afraid to stand up to any actions of lack of actions taken by him because it is so difficult to find pet friendly housing. In the past have stayed on way past the point of being comfortable to avoid having to give notice and then find somewhere suitable within the timeframe. Which is made especially difficult when landlords will only take applications fromrenters willing to sign up within the month so unless you give notice and hope you find somewhere you end up paying double rent for a month. The crazy idea of rental terms starting on the 1st of the month but ending on the last day of the month is another nightmare. Where are my pets and I (and household furniture, belongings, etc) supposed to spend the last night of the month.

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    [-] Daljit

    #1 30 day storage period for tenants after moving out
    The current act allows renters to store their belongings on the landlord’s property for 30 days after moving out. This should not be allowed. The renter is no longer paying rent to use the property. It is the property of the landlord. The landlord is paying property tax and mortgage. This should be classified as illegal dumping. We are all adults and should be responsible for our belongings. The tenant can rent a storage locker. Think about this-we can’t leave our belongings at a hotel after we check out or park for free on private property so how can a tenant still use the landlord’s property?

    #2 Landlord’s losing/paying hundreds and thousands of dollars due to a bad tenant and no consequences for bad tenants
    If the renter does not take their belongings after the 30 days has past, why am I responsible to pay for the costs incurred for junk removal?
    It seems the landlord is always penalized-having to lose rental income due to renters not paying rent, having to pay for damages above the damage deposit, having to pay for dispute resolution, having to pay for BC/supreme court fees to enforce the RTB’s decision, having to pay for a bailiff, the list seems never ending.
    Meanwhile, the renter’s get away with not paying rent (sometimes for months!) and damaging the landlord’s property, never being penalized.
    They should be charged criminally for stealing-not paying rent and vandalism-for damaging the property. The police should be able to enforce the RTB’s decisions.

    #3 Eviction notice timeframes and reasons
    The tenant is able to give one month notice move out for any reason. Meanwhile, the landlord can only evict a tenant in certain cases and some require 2 months notice and/or one month’s free rent. How is this even fair? The landlord owns the property and pays property taxes and mortgage. The landlord should have equal rights and also be able to give a one month notice eviction notice for any reason.
    I need to give 2 months notice and a month’s free rent if I want my family member to move into the unit. This is absurd! How can I not choose who I want to live in MY house?

    These unfair rules make me not want to rent out my unit. Then renters and the government wonder why there is not enough rental housing available.

    Like car insurance (ICBC), there should be renter’s insurance for landlords to recoup costs for unpaid rent and damages. This would be fair as claims would be reviewed by an unbiased third party.

    Also, after the dispute resolution and enforcement of the court, if payment cannot be collected from the renter, then it should prevent the renter from renewing their driver’s license or recouped from any GST or CCB benefits, income tax refunds, etc.

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    [-] Linda

    I have been a landlord renting two rooms and the people had full use of the common area. To make a long story short they moved in their drug addicted family, took over the garage, became habitually late with the rent and when asked to leave with 6 weeks notice they refused. The only way I could get them out was to call their bluff and to have several big young men come and offer to move them. Of course Police came and they then agreed to leave! Because I was renting rooms they didn’t come under the Rental Board ACT which is a nightmare for landlords! If you evict them and they don’t take their things you have to document and store for 60 days and then sell their stuff….that is ridiculous! These people were hoarders…it would have taken 60 days just to document what they had and the condition of each item! The Rental’s Board definitely needs to give their head a shake on that one! Especially for small Landlord situations. These people caused thousands of damage because they ruined brand new laminate floors and they have no money so it’s blood out of a stone to get restitution through the courts. The floor expert that looked at the damage said this was deliberate and not caused by furniture! He said they used a chisel and hammer to do this damage! Would I ever rent again….no not ever!!! No wonder the housing crisis just keeps getting worse! I understand why the Rentals Board has tried to protect Renters. I have been a renter and left each place in better condition than when I moved in and still some landlords never returned my damage deposit. The last person I rented from wanted me to stay and was honest and did give me my money back. My point is that there has to be a balance in the rules for both sides! Having 1/2 months rent when the renter can cause damage in the hundreds of dollars is just not right. I also think we need a registry for good renters so the bad ones can’t get away with going on to damage every suite they move into and closing more doors for the good renters.

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    [-] Gail

    We have a four-plex in another town. Our long-term tenants have had dogs one small, two very large, and we recently agreed to a cat in a third suite. The only damage that we have had to repair has been caused by the humans who did not have any pets.

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    [-] Sarah

    As a landlord (and former long term renter) I would like the rental contract updated around pet deposits amounts (one per pet, with additional deposit per pet paid if tenant brings in additional pet or ends up rearing puppies or kittens during the tenancy); I would like clarification around the landlords responsibility to provide a space for dogs to go to the bathroom on the property; and I would like to have dog licensing a requirement for any dog living on the property. I would also like some sort of wording around having outdoor cats that use gardens as little box (tenant required to pick up) and also cats using wood fencing or poles for scratch poles (tenant required to repair(?).

    Additional consideration to add wording around is what happens if the pets are neglected or are heard suffering in the unit? As an animal lover I’d like a legal clause that allows me to enter unannounced in emergency care sake -perhaps record cell phone video as proof of needing to enter? I’ve had 2 separate instances of dogs getting penned when home alone and hearing them getting jaws stuck in wiring of the pen and screaming in pain, and have had concerns with tenants leaving pet food out when going away for the weekend, leaving pets unattended in the suite for multiple days. I had one tenant whose puppy got into the tenants poisonous hair care products and died in the suite.

    As a former tenant, I would like some sort of wording around changes or update to the property and how to handle when those changes impact the use of the property by the approved pet. For instance, we had a front deck that was rotting, landlord repaired/had resurfaced, only to tell us when done that the dogs and cats can no longer use it due to their nails possibly puncturing the vinyl… the pets had been using the deck for 6+ years when we got this verbal request from the landlord (and no damage cause by their nails).

    Another example as a former tenant in a two story home with a ground floor basement suite (we lived upstairs): a tenant moved into basement with one dog, had her boyfriend virtually move in with her (6 days a week on site) including his two large dogs, one of which was extremely aggressive and large and would bash against the bay window at the front of the home every time someone walked past the house, which happens frequently. As the renter and her boyfriend weren’t home most of the time, all three dogs were frequently left home for long periods of time, with high potential to damage the property (not to mention very scary having aggressive dog constantly lunging at bay window every time entering the home). Visitors with pets needs to be defined more clearly on the rental contract…as what point does this visitor become a tenant, and at what point does that visitors’ dogs require a pet deposit to be paid to the landlord?

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    [-] Karina

    Despite being an extremly responsible tenant I almost faced homelessness because I couldnt find a rental that would take my 2 dear cats that I have lived with 24/7 for 12 years. I couldnt live on my own without the love of my 2 pets.

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    [-] Erin

    I have been a tenant in British Columbia for the past 3 years. My partner and I moved here with a cat and large dog. We were expecting the rental market to be saturated, but we were shocked by the discrimination against pet owners, particularly owners with large dogs and/or multiple animals.

    We found it so difficult to find a place that would accept our dog that we ended up having to commute 2.5-3 hours per day. We moved from Ontario, were the Residential Tenancies Act prohibits landlords from including a “no pets” clause in the rental agreement.

    In reviewing and modernizing BC’s tenancy act, I hope there will be more consideration for those with pets. Other provinces can be studied as precedents.

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    [-] Heather

    I am a homeowner with rental accom. in my home. Renting to someone who does not share either a kitchen or bath leaves the landlord in a precarious situation as it is often hard to get rid of bad tenants. Have occasionally rented to tenants with both good and bad results. It totally depends on the person, not so much the pets. I think it is imprtant to let people share their lives and homes with their animal companions. the younger people people I have rented to have been less responsible about pet care than more mature people, but I myself even as a young person was very dedicated to providing good care for my pets. That said, sometimes damage does occur from pets, and there should be provision to recover damages. The normal damage deposit is so minimal that it will often not cover the cost of repairs. I am lucky that right now I have had the same tenant for over 15 years.

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    [-] no

    Knowing landlords may soon not have the right to decide if they want other peoples pets in their home…………. I have taken my suite off the market. If renters want pets >> save your money like I had to do, & but your own house!

    Its bad enough cleaning up behind irresponsible renters, without having to repair my rental property after some fool infests the place with fleas, or never takes dog for walk which results in a dog that barks all day & deficates/urinates all over the carpeting, wood & floors.

    Given that the Rental Board sides with tenants, more often then the owner anyway, might I suggest each employee take on someone else;s pets & see what they think after they are forced to see their property devaluated all the time.

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    [-] Elinore

    There is a need for more pet-friendly housing in B.C. In the past, this has been an issue for me, having cats and a dog. I now own a house, but for many, they have to leave their pets in someone else’s care. Pets are a part of the family, and provide emotion stability for many seniors and children.

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    [-] Gilllian

    The decision to remove fixed leases is a double-edged sword. Where landlords are unsure of a tenant’s true behavior, or where a landlord is taking a chance on a tenant with limited rental experience, a fixed lease can be the safety net that can remove a disastrous tenant. Legislation that allows a tenant to stay on essentially until death is too onerous for a landlord.

    Although I understand the need to remove a clause that allows unscrupulous landlords to jack up the rent above RTO limits, this penalizes good landlords. When my current good tenant leaves, I will not be re-renting my house, as under an ‘in until death’ clause I could be held hostage by a tenant who may make my life a misery. This is further complicated by the fact that arbitration hearings and actual eviction of nightmare tenants is a long and convoluted process: I have heard horror stories from other landlords about tenants that work the system and it takes a year to remove them, often while they are not paying full rent or inflicting further property damage. I know at least three landlords who have given up renting as a result of bad tenants being protected by long and arduous RT proceedings.
    If you are going to further constrict a landlord, you must ensure speedy service with the RTO regarding eviction notices and other actions. As tenants and landlords both tell me, the tenant is usually in the driver’s seat under current legislation.

    I would suggest instead that fixed lease be allowed, with the provision that a subsequent rent on the next lease not be allowed to increase above the prescribed amount, thus eliminating the onus to evict a good tenant. I have used a fixed lease on at least four occasions, and each time after I had assured myself of the character of the tenant, we have proceeded to the standard rental month-to-month rental arrangement, with no accompanying rental increase.

    On another issue, there should be better regulation of student housing. It is a minefield. Over the last twenty years I have viewed rental properties for students in Victoria, I have observed through my own children’s experience and that of their fellow students some appalling sanitary conditions in rental units and lease conditions I would term as intimidation, including:
    • A landlord who cut off internet access illegally when he went to bed, leaving students working on papers no internet
    • A landlord who required students to do free construction labour on the landlord’s house renovation, claiming it was part of the rental (of course it wasn’t)
    • A landlord who frequently came downstairs yelling and banging on the suite door late at night, threatening bodily harm, “I was in the Shah’s secret police”.
    • A landlord who trained a video camera on the door of the tenant and told him he would be evicted if he brought a friend home
    • A landlord who refused to return a $600 damage deposit for a few small scratches on a wall (normal wear and tear).
    • In the last two years my daughter has rented in Victoria, each of her successive landlords have violated the RT regulations with regard to rate increases, lease lengths and illegal evictions to raise rents (first serving notice of eviction and then promptly offering them another lease at a higher rate).
    These sorts of incidents are alarming enough to young people, often away from home for the first time in their lives, with a parent close by; but consider how young international students, perhaps struggling with English, or other students also alone in the city, often very vulnerable to depression and anxiety to begin with, could find these types of incidents and difficult living conditions so frightening and disheartening. As students are often easily intimidated, especially when they are busy with exams and little time for such details, I would suggest that RT rules should be clearly explained in a handout and required as attachments to rental agreements, with suggestions for responses by these young renters.

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    [-] Jill

    It is near impossible to find housing that allows dogs, especially dogs over 30 pounds and even more so if the dog is of a bully breed. Landlords should not be able to discriminate based on pets.

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    [-] Rachelle

    Been a tenant for over 15 years in the city of vancouver. A pet owner for 5 years and always so stressful! Less options and size restrictions for larger breed dogs.

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    [-] T

    It’s absolutely disgusting what landlords think that they can do! I was violently forced out of my home because of supposed allergies that came on 6 months after I moved in! They were fully aware that I had a cat! I was forced to move locks were changed! I truly cannot believe the lack of heart and compassion that people have for animals… I was told to get rid of my cat… I said I had my cat for 14 years that’s older than both your kids put together..!! How about you get rid of your kids and your wife

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    [-] Carolyn

    As a owner of three rental units I would like to see more housing available to pet owners. We advertise as open to pets and get on overwhelming response. It is a definite benefit to us but I always feel terrible for those we don’t choose as many are desperate.
    We have not had issues that cannot be resolved with the dogs and cats in our tenants’ families and find our tenants likely stay longer in their housing because they are happier with their animals.

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    [-] Ginny

    I currently am not living with my fiancée because we cannot find a pet friendly suite and I cannot move into her current pet friendly suite because it is too small for my elderly mother that I have to care for. So three suites are currently being occupied when we could take up just one pet friendly two bedroom.

    In my previous relationship, I was stuck living with my ex for more than a year because we couldn’t find a cat friendly suite. I was lucky in that our relationship remained amicable, but I know a few women who’ve remained in abusive relationships because if they moved out they’d have to leave their pet.

    My fiancée’s mother currently lives in an uninsulated garage because that is the only place she can afford on disability that will let her have a dog. For someone on disability, being able to keep their pet is about basic dignity.

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    [-] Denise

    Perhaps John Horgon should take on a tenant with a pregnant pit bull & he will learn why landlord do not want pets.

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    [-] Gay

    Agreement to Above Guideline Rent Increase process

    It is a long and complicated and costly process for a volunteer Board for a not for profit housing complex. This voluntary process can create two tier rents which causes unrest with the tenants who,do agree to the increase. Changes to the act in November that disallows the use of comparable rentals in the application for the Addiontal Rent Increase for those not agreeing in the first step, makes it even more difficult to provide needed information for the RTB decision making.
    The need to pay the fee for filing this application before it is accepted by the RTB, could result in lost funds if it rejected before a hearing..

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    [-] Lauri

    As a long time tenant in Victoria I find owning a pet to be problematic. Most landlords that accept pets and there are few, charge high rent as they consider it a privilege to rent to pet owners. I urge this government to finally allow tenants to own pets. For seniors, low income renters, owning a pet should be a right, not a privilege.

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    [-] Jenny

    I rent my apt to pet owners only. I believe they are more friendly somehow. Myself has dog and cat. Yes they do some small damage to the wall or carpet. But not a big deal for me. Pets are welcome.

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    [-] Leslie

    A Plan for Seniors moving from rental to Residential Care.

    We provide rental accommodation to those 55+, some of our tenants are 90+.

    Landlords need a process to work with Health Authorities to aide a tenant who requires more that rental accommodation and does not have family or an advocate.

    There have been occasions where tenants have been at risk and have caused damage to rental property and out other tenants at risk. Our staff has been called upon to deal with fires, floods, bed bugs , doing laundry and other unrelated tasks to help out our tenants. Having to End Tenancy with cause doesn’t feel very appropriate. It would be more respectful to Senior rentesrs to have a process in place to move them into appropriate care.

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    [-] Tamara

    This system has to change!! I was forced out of my hometown of 25 years because of the discrimination of the no pet policy, besides the gross overcharging of rent by the landlords in Penticton.. That policy needs to be changed too.. there needs to be some regulation, some cap based on area.. they are raping tenants with rents because they can with the less than one percent rental rates.. that and the unregulated vacation rentals by the City of Penticton..
    My story is I am a 50 yr widowed woman, I sold my home, and my two 4lb yorkies and I had to rent for the first time since my college days.. trying to find a rental to accept pets was like booking a trip to the moon.. if it were not for a couple house sitting jobs, and off season motels, we would have been homeless.. then for 6 months we got caught in the seasonal rental game where we continuously had to move as the landlords doubled and tripled the rent in the summer rents (some illegally), all of which is supposed to be regulated to help renters like me, but the City of Penticton task force cant be bothered to do their job.. oh what revenue those fine could generate for the City if they did their job..
    The houses and basements suites that did allow pets should not have passed building code and be considered habitable let alone charge $2000 a month for it.. but those were few and far between.. I could not find anything that would allow my lapdogs even though by this time I had letters of recommendation from the motels I had stayed at saying how well behaved they were.. but no one would give us the opportunity. After having to move 7 times in less than 2 years and on permanent disability from a work injury, I couldnt afford this anymore. The landlords and their discrimination against pets forced me out of my hometown and forced me to look all over the Valley.. I looked from Keremeos to Vernon and finally found a place in West Kelowna which allowed my little ones and I have been here happily for 2 years with my landlords above me. So many times I was told that I could get a place if I got rid of my pets.. I think that is disgusting.. I would like to see what they would think if someone took away their pets or loved ones away, not to mention the ones that are forced to part with their furkids.. how much trauma it causes the family and the pet. The animal does not deserve to be abandoned at a shelter or worse on the streets so that someone can get a home. This policy has to change. The majority of us that have pets have them because they are our family and we take care of them so they would not do damage.. There will be the odd one that would not take care of them and would do damage, but that is what the additional deposit is for and that is why the landlord is entitled to periodic inspections.
    Please change this policy so that our families dont suffer.. a pet to most of us is a dog or cat.. but some it is a lizard, spider or whathave you and we are discriminated upon.. it needs to change.. its no different than children to us, and they wouldnt ask us to get rid of our children.. I would hope not anyway!

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    [-] Gail

    I am very happy to share my thoughts and experiences about this issue. I am currently a landlord, but for a significant time, I was also a tenant. I longed to have a cat but was very afraid of being evicted. Almost all rental buildings were clearly NO PETS ALLOWED, especially the nicer ones. When finally, lonely and depressed, I couldn’t stand being without a cat companion any longer, I snuck a female kitten in.
    During a fire alarm, my deception was uncovered. Fortunately, the building manager was kind and gave me a pass. Now both a homeowner and a landlord, I this 19-year-old cat is still with my husband and me. We now own a rental condo and a second one is under construction. Our current tenant is an senior. When her elderly dog passed, I encouraged her to get another if she wanted, and I would waive the pet deposit (she had proved she was responsible with the first one). In fact, we originally looked specifically for a tenant with a small pet. Why? Because they make for reliable long-term tenants. Period.
    Our other rental unit, once completed, will also welcome a tenant with a dog or cat (or two).

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    [-] Cathy

    I own several rental properties with good long term tenants. I am a good and fair landlord but with the new rules, I cannot keep my rents even close to market. And, of course, my tenants won’t move because they cannot replace the low rent. New properties coming online are priced at Kelowna’s fair market value and mine are priced some $400-500 below market. There has to be a way to allow landlords to keep their rents current without having to wait for tenants to leave. I would never boost my tenants rent an unreasonable amount but the current 4% does not keep up with my increased taxes, water, sewer, insurance and mortgage costs.

    I also no longer have a easy way to get rid of ‘bad’ tenants. I used to have one year leases with a ‘must move out clause’ at the end of the lease but have never in 15 years used that option. But, it was there if I had a tenant who was a consistent late payer or who did not maintain the yard which is part of the our agreement or was regularly disruptive to neighbors, etc. I had this clause in place to remove them. Now I really have nothing. In kelowna, if a tenant breaks that noise bylaw, a fine is issued to the landlord yet I can’t get rid of the tenant. How is this fair?

    These rules are making is less profitable to be a landlord and less desire able. Let’s not forget who had to come up with the deposit to purchase the home and who is at risk – the landlord — yet I have so little say about my own property!!

    As always, there are bad landlords who tenants need protection from. I venture to say that more landlords are good and they are paying the price for those that are not.

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    [-] Nora

    There is bias at the RTB in favour of tenants, sometimes extremely obvious. They seem to have lost their ability to use common sense. Believe me when I say that no LL wants to evict a good tenant in fact will often offer incentives for them to stay! So if an issue lands up at the RTB and a LL wants to evict it is usually quite bad.

    Having a one sided system where the balance of power laying with advocacy groups advocating for bad tenants is having a direct result of low vacancy rates. THIS is why there is low vacancy rates! I personally know several LL who now refuse to rent out suites. Due to being powerless in bad tenancy situations.
    Look, at the end of the day, it’s the LL property. Make evictions easier when warranted, don’t make LL pay for bailiffs which are expensive. If you have tenants damaging property they need to go immediately, they lose their rights to notice when they chose to destroy rental units. Make LL come back into the rental pools by showing support and your vacancy rates will increase.

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    [-] Rina

    Please consider moving to the Ontario model when it comes to pets in rental housing. It is far too hard to find housing with a pet, especially a large dog, even though I am a reliable and responsible renter with great references and a steady job. I am lucky to have a great place now, but have paid over market value for a mouldy and mouse infested slum in order to keep my dog…and our landlord took advantage of how bad it is for pet owners and never fixed anything. I’m an educated professional with a well paid job and could afford to buy a condo but choose to rent since most condos would limit the size of dog I could have and I am committed to rescuing large senior dogs no one else wants. Luckily I make enough that I have been able to find places to rent thus far, but am constantly worried that my current landlords will sell their home and I will have to find somewhere else to take me and my dog. Having a pet shouldn’t be a luxury or something only for those who can afford a house. I 100% agree that there should be pet deposits and mechanisms for landlords to deal with issues.

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    [-] Pauline

    I was kicked out a house for taking in a new dog (the landlord was aware when renting that I had two big dogs). My husband and I ended up living in a van, having to get rid of all our belongings and lived like this until getting into student residence where we snuck dogs up 15 flights of stairs. The landlord caught this and I had a serious talk with him and he agreed not to get us in to trouble over pets in student (married) residence. We were always responsible pet owners and caused no damage or problems with pets. I am well aware people can be irresponsible and allow damage and nuisance situations with both children and pets. It is fair to have rules that protect both landlords and tenants.

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    [-] Ricki

    Tenants have taken total advantage off my rental to the point of not paying rent and requiring a bailiff to evict. This cost me $4500 over 3 months to remove the tenant. I am just fortunate there was no damage to the unit or the bill could have been much higher. I have had tenants who were irresponsible and caused damage to my unit, the damage deposit did not even come close to covering what I had to spend on repairs.
    I have also had tenants who were concerned for their welfare living in my unit because of the actions of other tenants, when I tried to evict the offending tenant they disputed the eviction and it took 3 months to get them out. In the mean time my other tenants decided to move out and this caused me a whole lot of challenges.

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    [-] K

    My neighbors and I were given eviction notices in the entire apartment building we live at. A few months after the property was sold we were “renovicted”. The owner stated the renovations were strictly cosmetic. They had no permits for any of the work that was being done either. They are an investment company whose sole purpose is to break our leases and increase the rent to maximize their profits. Now because the owners have evicted 3 different apartment buildings at the same time in the lower mainland there could potentially be 100+ people displaced in a few months. These type of business practices are highly unethical and need to be put to stopped immediately.

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    [-] Webb

    I live in city of Vancouver, I used to be tenant myself and now I own my family house and become a landlord. No doubt lot has changed in our region, population growth, urban development, cost of living, taxes, rental market condition, etc. From my own observation the challenge is mostly lack of rental housing supply. The Residential Tenancy Act is actually fair and balanced, for the most part) therefore I hope our government can uphold current RTA, only make some much needed modifications to better balance both sides and better reflect current reality. Here are some of ideas:

    First, I want to talk about increasing security deposit to one month. Given today’s high cost of everything, the current half month deposit is simply too low to recover the damage and repairing cost if tenant caused serious damage, or tenant not honoring their lease obligation and move out early. Personally I have been lucky it only happened to me once but I end up spent 3 times of deposit to replace damaged flooring. Many other homeowners I personally know share the same view point, fearing that half month deposit is not enough to encouraging them to rent out their homes. Therefore, I would like to see the change of RTA, allowing landlords charge full month of security deposit, index to government required interest earning to tenants. That’s a small step to remove some of biggest fear among home owners, and also encourage tenants to treat their rental residences with respect and care. Currently Ontario RTA allows 1 full month deposit, but tenants and landlords often agreed on 2 months total deposit as common practice. It’s time for BC to get on with full month deposit policy.

    My second idea would be the availability of vandalism or property damage insurance offered to protect rental property. Currently there is almost no insurance company offer this type of coverage. Landlords are completely left on their own when serious damage occurred with amount greater than security deposit. If our government truly wants to encourage homeowners make more rental units, government should consider setting up such insurance for this specific purpose. When we have this kind of insurance, among with full month deposit, fear of bad tenant would be greatly reduced and therefore help to keep rental price affordable.

    Third, if there is dispute between tenant and landlord that escalating to Residential Tenancy Branch, under the the current rules tenant can continue occupy premise while making no rent at all. The dispute resolution process are known to be extremely lengthily, while landlords receive no rent tenants can continue their occupancy with no cost. That’s very unfair to landlords, and only encourage some “career bad tenants” to exploit current RTA loophole. I would strongly suggest mandatory rent payment even during dispute process. After RTB’s final decision, all awarded amount would be adjusted, approved, and enforced by RTB or court order.

    Fourth, similar to recent government’s effort to uncover true ownership information behind corporation and numbered companies, there is equally a need for both landlord and tenant accountability and transparency. Any dispute record should be available and accessible by the public, so bad landlord or bad tenant will have no place to hide. It’s worth pointing out that, majority landlords and tenants are law abiding and reasonable, extremely bad cases are relative rare but they truly cause large damage, make victim vulnerable, and spreads fear to landlords in particular.

    Lastly, local municipal governments should ease bylaw restriction allowing more secondary suites to enter rental market. Some cities only permit secondary suites in certain zoning, some cities (such as Surrey) impose “owner-occupancy” requirement in order to rent out a secondary suite. This kind of backward bylaw really restrict many otherwise available units into rental inventory. Cities like Vancouver have no such restriction and already proven higher density and multi-unit rental properties can make neighbourhood just as save and friendly as other cities if not even better.

    Tenants and landlords are both vital parts of rental housing market. Bad landlord and bad tenants can both be toxic in rental market, each side has something to fear. One side “peace & security” should not be established at expense of suppressing other side rights and benefits. To govern rental market, the key word is Fair. Fair play with fair policy.

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    [-] Elle

    I am an excellent tenant with pets. Always pay on time. I’ve read some landlord comments here and they and the RTB seem to be biased, in favor of landlords. That feudal term makes me sick! Receiving a 2 month notice to vacate for “landlord use” is such a scam! One month free rent is NOT enough! When you consider the exorbitant and still increasing rental costs, plus another security deposit (before you get the existing one back – if ever) and moving costs, it is set up to put renters further back and it is financially crippling! 1 MONTH FREE RENT IS INADEQUATE! It used to be that owners needed tenants to pay their mortgage for their investment, now with the real estate prices so completely out of whack, they sell, sell, sell in a hear-beat to scoop more money up! I LOVE the landlord “commandments” that a poster below noted – PERFECT! Don’t do anything in my home, don’t even breathe, just pay my bill! IF the landlord does not use the property for “owner’s use” as they claimed (on a signed, sworn document) then it is up to the TENANTS to police them? We have lives to live and this makes us have to devote a huge amount of time to investigate them and recoup our expenses. Also for RTB to say that NO ONE can challenge an arbitrator’s final decision is not conducive to the right of recourse for tenants! They are human like everyone else and to claim that they don’t make mistakes is another government scam. My landlord made the mistake of saying he wants me out to move in his girlfriend. What did the RTB info line say? “It will be up to an arbitrator to determine if the girlfriend is a spouse? Really? He then backtracked , realizing his mistake, and what does the RTB say? “Oh well ok then, he made a mistake”!! The government got us into this mess by not listening or believing us until it was too late. I was a homeowner. The landlords on here crying for themselves please give me a break! Then get out of the landlord biz! Investments are risky so suck it up! They allowed foreign investors to buy our land and homes?!?! Tenants must be given the right to investigate prospective landlords just as landlords have the same right to ask that information about prospective tenants! This is ALL the government’s fault and to try to deflect it to the fault of bad tenants is a “spin” and an attempt to divert the blame from themselves. The government only acts dependent on the number of lives destroyed, it is not preemptive but always too little too late!

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    [-] Sarah

    As a tenant, I feel like I’m “stuck” in the apartment building I am in. I am disabled and collect government assistance…my rent goes up every year, but my cheque does not. But I’m stuck here because I have pets.

    It was hard for me to find a place to live for me to live where I could have my small dog and two cats. I purposely chose not to have children because I knew if I had a child it would be a drain on the system. I compromised and have pets instead.

    Most properties would not deny me being able to rent if I had children, but they can because I have pets. This needs to change for people like me who have chosen not to bring children into an already over-populated world, and choose pets instead. Pets who are well taken care of ought to be a right, not a liability when it comes to renting.

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    [-] Markus

    When my family and I first moved to Richmond, BC, we found only a few pet-friendly rental units. Relatively new units were even close to impossible to rent. Older ones were more available.

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    [-] Shakdena

    It is about time that animals can remain with their owners in housing.

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    [-] AR

    I bought a condo last year, but for many years I was a renter in Vancouver. My experience was largely negative. I only had one landlord who followed the RTA. The other landlords I had committed a number of illegal acts, including threatening to evict me because I had a boyfriend who stayed overnight. There were no noise complaint issues and I paid for all the utilities, so there was no impact whatsoever on the landlord. He violated my quiet enjoyment of the suite, and he had a reputation for doing this to others. I knew I could win the case, but the weekly harassment was too much to take, so I left rather than deal with the stress of an illegal eviction notice. This landlord also ripped down asbestos ceiling tiles himself with no protection, and left them exposed, thereby exposing all of the tenants to a serious health risk.

    I had another landlord let the building lapse into serious disrepair – a broken sump pump flooded the basement, and no fans were brought in to dry out the carpet. The mould was horrible. No repairs were made and the sump was not even replaced/fixed, so it will happen again. He also raised the rent two months too soon per the regulations, but because he didn’t speak English I knew I had no chance of explaining the rules to him, and he would interpret it as me not paying the rent.

    I think all the landlords should have to register for a course and understand their obligations under the RTA before they can rent out any property. Renters are vulnerable and I have seen far too many people taken advantage of. I’m an educated person with a solid middle class income, but I still felt powerless against my landlords. For vulnerable low income people the situation is even worse.

    There also needs to be some sort of standards for rental properties. Many are not safe and pose a health risk. Why are landlords not required to keep their properties up to code? I’ve seen tons of rental suites that don’t even have smoke detectors! They should be forced to invest some of their profits into the building. Paying only the property taxes and then collecting thousands in rent without maintaining the building is not okay. Flooring, paint, appliances, etc do not last forever. They need to be redone periodically. It is obscene that landlords let their properties lapse into such disrepair, and because it is “normal” in this city they all get away with charging high rents. Also, landlords insisting on keeping energy inefficient appliances, lighting, single pane windows, and high flow toilets costs for decades costs their tenants money (since the tenants often pay the utilities), and harms the environment. There needs to be legation that requires landlords to upgrade to the new efficient products.

    Also, I firmly believe that landlords should not have the ability to discriminate against pet owners. Pets are family members. Tenants should have to provide a substantial pet deposit and the type of number of pets should be limited, but there is nothing wrong with having a well behaved dog or two cats. There is hardly any pet friendly housing, and that is a real shame as this leaves people homeless and places a large burden on charities like the SPCA and VOKRA.

    The vast majority of pet owners are responsible, clean people. Any tenant can cause damage if they are careless. If landlords are worried about damage, they should use their existing right to inspect the property with proper notice, and ensure that the suite is clean and in good shape. I have never had a landlord inspect my suite. Landlords can’t complain about damage when they can’t be bothered to check in on their investments once a year.

    I hope that Premier Horgan and Minister Robinson will seriously consider requiring mandatory a education course for landlords, creating minimum maintenance standards for rental properties, and banning discrimination against pet owners.

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    [-] Kayoko,

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    I have a family of 3 my husband and daughter 9 yrs, living in west end since we had a daughter, still rent for 1 bed room because hike of rent couldn’t find 2 beds in west end area or downtown, now we had to look for other area still closer to work, we have only one Car, I drive to work for home supprt my husband doesn’t drive works at Hotel early morning shift, not transportation available sometime.
    When we found out Railyard co-op in Olympic Village. Opening for 2,3beds, 3 beds Craig list saying 3beds $2050, we knew this is fixed one then applied with application forms, then approved but the realtor told me based on the out income 30% is 2300-2500, we said can’t afford it but 2 beds we can, but the realtor gave other already in 2 days, saying first come first, we are so disappointed how fast they grabbed other one not even taking time of priority of Family with middle income. I called Chf bc they said can’t help of this just “it is what is”. Only i put out name is waiting list.
    Basically we are limbo middle income with family cant find 2 beds affordable range around $2000. We both working and paying taxes.

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    [-] Carole

    In terms of having pet friendly housing I believe the gvt should be more proactive on this issue. I live in a 15 storey high rise building in New West that is very pet friendly and so far the year that I have been here has seen no issues. I cannot hear dogs barking nor do I smell any bad smells. Occasionally on the rainy days there is that “wet dog” smell in the elevator but that goes away soon enough. I smell more pot smoking on the balcony then anything else! As far as I can see all of the pet owners here are very responsible and clean up after their animals.

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    [-] Jenny

    I am a landlord. I have good relationships with my tenants. I am worried about the long four months notice to vacant the property. What if i need funds urgently i need sell my property for a quick completion? Also four months long completion may cause the potential buyers away from my property. I think the previous 2 months or even 3 months is good enough for tenant to find a new place. The mortgage rate is getting higher i guess someday i can not afford a rental property anymore. I need sale it.

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    [-] Dede

    As a tenant with children and animals, finding affordable and appropriate long term housing is near impossible. Landlords so not be able to screen tenants based on their family make up. We treat our house as if we own it, make repairs, upgrades, gardens, etc. We have been able to get our rental homes by showing potential landlord pictures of our current home however some still say no as soon as they know we have pets or kids. We want long term, we want to be part of the community and we want to bring our pets along with us. Houses being treated as stocks for profits has caused us to lose every rental home we have had to leave. They have all been sold and knocked down. Help families stay together and stay in a community they love. Protect tenants from unfair restrictions and constant evictions.

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    [-] Celine

    1landlords shall have rights to decide if they’d like accept tenants who have pets. 2And rent froze for 4 years is not reasonable, given the living cost increase in all aspects. Plus that will encourage landlord will maintain / repair the rental unit, which will provide better living space for tenants too。3The deposit should be a month rent, if the tenants are not good, the landlord will get lost and nothing can protect the landlords.

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    [-] Crystal

    As a tenant I have 2 cats and 2 dogs. They are messy. However, I have a full time government job and prefer to rent. I would love to be recognized with my working status that I can clean up after myself and repair any damages my animals make.

    I have always went above and beyond to keep my rental space clean. I would rent monthly a carpet cleaner to deep clean the carpets and treat them like new.

    If my dog scratched the door, I made sure I repaired the damages myself before my tenancy agreement is up.

    I don’t expect the Landlord to fix up their place because of my pets. My pets are my responsibility, therefore, as if I owned the place, I would fix it.

    It’s like in a store, if you break it, you buy it. So my pets damage, I fix out of my own pocket.

    If a landlord wants to take a pet damage deposit one time at the beginning that is fair price, not a monthly price, but a one time, I am more than happy to pay it.

    It is their place and they worked hard for it and should be respected. However, that trust should go both ways. So if pet owners are responsible, landlords should be kind enough to assess the damage and be fair to give the money back if they see the damage is not expensive to repair.

    But people who own pets, have enough money to care for the place and their pets. They should not be forced to make a decision. It’s just as cruel as separating kids from parents just because.

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    [-] Henry

    I think the rent deposit is too low, it is only half of rent which is not enough to cover the tenants who damaged the property and fail to pay the rent. The landlord will take more time and be charged a lot of money to evict the bad tenants. Even if the landlord can get the monetary order from RTB and enforce by small court, but it is very difficult to obtain since the londlord and sheriff can not find them. Please increase the rent deposit to one month of rent. By increasing the deposit, tenants will be more responsible of their rent unit, house , property and RTB act. Or I suggest let all the tenants buy an insurance which can cover the vandalism and etc, if they had previously claimed for damaged or vandalized their previous location of rent, their insurance rate will be increased or not be allowed to buy anymore. It will push all the tenants to be more responsible. Thanks.

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    [-] Diane

    As a senior renter it is hard to meet the living costs with all the high rents in Condo’s and apartments. Often times basement suits are not ideal for the comfort of living for seniors. It is also difficult to have to move from place to place in a constant turmoil to find a comfort zone. Landlords often say they want to have family move in, yet in reality they want more money for the suit. Rents increase yearly but the rate of pension does not increase to the same level. More tiny houses would be a great way for seniors to have a community and live in comfort.

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    [-] Lucy

    Hello everyone,

    I would like to say,
    The law of rental properties for landlords are so very upset.
    I don’t know what is wrong to working hard, save money to buy a house for rent and keep my old life well.

    Thanks.

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    [-] George

    When a lease expires, it expires. Currently when a lease expires, tenant can choose to move out or not, but the landlord does not have the right. This is a joke and must be changed.

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    [-] Dawn

    It is my experience that pets should be allowed to stay with their owners. If landlords want to have a limit then that would be reasonable, but the majority of landlords do not allow any pets. Many people live alone, they are seniors, or singles with mental health issues, or singles without family living close by and not a strong support system of people. Animals (pets) have been shown in scientific research to bring significant feelings of well-being and even purpose to pet owners. Loneliness is one of the biggest problems in our current society. I think the law should be more compassionate and allow pets to be in any rental unit. If the landlord wants a deposit that is fair. If the tenant is low-income and/or fixed income then there could be grants made available for renters to apply for that would provide those deposits.

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    [-] Sophia

    More and more carryon cost to keep a rental property.

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    [-] Jim

    My previous tenant was a very bad professional tenant. He replaced range, toilet, furnace, washer and dryer without any notice and requested to offset the cost by rent.

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    [-] Erika

    I have difficulty renting because I have pets.

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    [-] linda

    Case One:
    My renter suddenly disappeared with his belonging . I tried to call him, but there was no answer. Meanwhile, He hadn’t paid me one month rent yet. The Reason? He told me that he has no money.

    Case Two:

    We signed a contract for no pet and no smoking. The renter agreed. After he moved in two weeks later, he told me that his monther will travel out of town for one week and ask me to allow he bring one cat temperoty. Unfortunately, After the cat came in , she never moved out. I gave him 24 hours notice and want to check inside house , But he never let me in. After he moved out, I found he had 5 birds, one cat, one dog. And my door scratched by the cat and dog.

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    [-] Angelina

    Being a renter in Vancouver is nothing short of hell. Landlords, who are already rich be definition, wield their power over you like they are literal lords. You get a total dump for 80% of your salary, and now landlords are actually dictating the lifestyles of the people they live to (no kids, no pets etc). The government has done nothing to help renters, who are the people who hold no power in this scenario.

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    [-] Scott

    My experience is that of renter.I have been a renter my entire adult life and the overwhelming aspect felt by me is powerlessness even with what”safeguards”that are in place via the residential tenancy act.As long as I rent from a private landlord they have the power to render me homeless.If on the other hand the community that I live in were the landlord,I feel there would be a more balanced power dynamic and I would not be at the mercy of some individual person who likely already owns a home of their own and has bought other home/s solely to increase their personal wealth and as long as that model is allowed the most vulnerable in our society will suffer from a personally very debilitating anxiety which only exacerbates any mental health issues those real people may already suffer.In short help local communities to own the rental housing that they need to have in their community

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    [-] Shelley

    Today I called the Residential Tenancy line only to determine that as a Landlord I have no recourse for the multiple issues with my tenants.
    1. Received only 2 days notice June 28th for June 30th and then took until July 2nd to move – so loss of rental income for 1 month
    2. Destruction of property and theft – cut down 20 trees from our property and removed the wood from the property
    3. Non-payment of bill for maintenance on snow plowing equipment agreed to in the beginning of the winter
    4. Non-payment of utility bill
    5. Refused to provide forwarding address

    Since we can not serve them any notice we have no recourse to recoup ant damages or lost rent. All this results in is for us to remove our rental unit from the rental pool, making the tight rental market even tighter. It seems that the rental rules are built for profit businesses that rent and not for the average landlord who has one or two rentals.

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    [-] Ann

    The city should make it easier for homeowners to have a legal rental unit. We want to renovate and rent the ground floor, but with all the permits and requirements ($$$$ and waiting time) we’d rather leave it empty.

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    [-] Leah

    1. End the blanket no-pets policy that is currently allowed. There are already avenues to get rid of problem tenants who are problems due to their pets, and this policy only unfairly discriminates against pet-owners.

    2. Give protections to roommates in shared housing – force landlords to sign an agreement with multiple people within the house, not just one.

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    [-] Dwayne

    Fair and balanced system.
    Hardly…
    “Fair” First meeting June 4th, Changes to the mobile home tenancy act June 6th. I don’t call that an open discussion.
    “Balanced” Operating affordable housing as a passive business the land value is all I have. You just gave almost all of that to the tenants in the form of assed value payouts. this is not balanced when the investment, risk, work and all the costs are mine.
    I just want to let you know these changes have destroyed my investment. Not only am I faced with how or why I will continue to provide affordable housing but now so are my Tenants in fear that they may loose the affordable housing they are receiving and have been enjoying knowing the challenges I am faced with.
    “System” For the most part it was working fairly for both Landlords and Tenants alike it just needed some minor changes mostly in letting Landlords operate a lively business as they need to and not one on a decline as forced by operating within the act.
    You must immediately make changes that allow myself and others to increase revenue by either dramatically raising the rent increase amount and/or by allowing me to pass on increased operating expenses that I incur. This is a must for me to continue.
    This comment is a serious and real situation your are creating you will loose landlords and affordable housing by doing things like this. In no way will your negative changes help inspire housing.

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    [-] Lindsay

    I am one of the lucky ones! From a young age I found my passion to be around animals (all animals), and since then I have aquired quite the little zoo of my own. Living in a world where owning your own house at 22 is next to impossible, I’m forced to rent. I have (luckily) never had a problem finding a place due to some awesome references and my winning personality, though my dog used to be somewhat destructive. I have personally ensured that each landlord I rent from gets a signed contract stating that I will either A) Pay for the repair of any damages caused by us or my dog OR B) Pay an additional pet deposit that they can keep if they aren’t satisfied with the state of the place when we leave. Because of this we have had no issues at all. I think creating a policy that makes it illegal to deny renting to pet owners could work as long as something like the agreements that I make with my landlords is worked in to protect both tenant and homeowner.

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    [-] Larenzo

    Being kicked out due to Reno’s and then rent going up almost 600 more has to stop

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    [-] Andrew

    Fair rules= more rental units=cheaper rent
    Unfair rules =less rental units + strictly requirements for tenants= rising rent +less choices for tenants
    Today situation is very difficult for single mother and disability to rent a home on market because of more protection by rules. Fair is the most important factor.

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    [-] Gordon

    I am speaking on behalf of my parents. I have been in numerous arbitrations on behalf of them with present landlords. Whenever landlords have done something wrong they have gotten a slap on the wrist and made lies that most of time would not be able to disprove due lack of evidence present at moment. The house is in such disrepair from landlords not promptly fixing things that it now needs to be condemmend and maybe demolished due to mold issues and structural integrity concerns, from leaks not being addressed. I can take it to another arbitration but for what? Landlords will get a slap on wrist at most, these landlords are multi-millionares and do not care about tenant health and well being. And working on another arbitration is something I cannot afford the time to do. Especially when landlords will only get slap on wrist. The parents have been in this place for three years before the present landlords took possession (old landlord lost property in bankruptcy). The new landlords illegally took away parents rights to pasture lands and attempted to take away more. They got a slap on wrist for that. we fought for some repairs to be done shortly after that was dealt with and after arbitration they did cheap bandaid job that lasted couple years…, or fixed leak after damage was done but did not asses damage already done… ” It has been said just move.” Well although have been looking when we can and nothing has come up or respond too late, I am at opinion why should parents have to move just cause landlords do not want to fix up things properly?? Ever since landlords lost couple arbitrations they have been doing everything in their power to make parents lives and mine by association, miserable through forms of harassment and not complying or promptly compling to fix things. yes we are still trying get parents out of that situation, but I have not gotten any answers… Doubt anyone reading this can help, but if you know who can, please help! Cause I think in truth I have given up with arbitrations along with facts parents will have to relocated during repairs and with these landlords I would not be able to trust that stuff would be stolen weather valuable or personable info. according to some of past people landlords hired…

    Suggested Changes: much steaper penalties for landlords knowingly not abiding by residential tenancy laws or landlord/tenant agreement.
    severe penalties for landlords subjecting tenants to unhealthy living situations
    Harsh penalties for landlords being caught in lies in arbitrations.

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    [-] Janet

    I have some experience as a landlord. Fortunately, I did not have any bad tenants. I think it is important for landlords to be clear about their expectations of tenants, especially with regard to relationships with other tenants. Encouraging “good neighbour” policies would be a big help.

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    [-] Alex

    After almost four years of living in our last unit (two sons and husband and wife), and doing most repairs ourself or not requesting assistance our landlords have decided to take us for dispute for ourtrageous circumstances – most of which is from an expired never resigned lease… 3 yrs expired. Requesting we pay more Hydro ($230 on day we moved out for our supposed final bill), wanting us to repaint, one key was lost (buried under hundreds of feet of dirt at this point) and charging for lock replacements. The week we moved out the fire alarm went off but we are being slapped with fire alarm repair fees for supposed tampering. Absolutely outrageous that there is no common sense of knowing what is and isn’t allowed. Waiting over a month to give back a written reply and following rhat with continuous bills. On that note we moved out in April.. We have to wait til next week (mid July) for our tenancy dispute. Ridiculous.
    The landlords were wealthier and we once again see a picture of a young family being screwed over by wealthy landlords with no regard to caring for there own properties instead delaying payments that would have been extremley helpful for a family moving out.

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    [-] Stan

    My wife and I have been both tenants and landlords. In our experience, about half of tenants are bad and about half of landlords are bad. So there is a 25% chance of a happy relationship. The problem for landlords is that they are in effect lending a multi-hundred-thousand asset to a tenant with no collateral. a risky proposition. The problem for tenants is that their lifestyles are subject to the whims of their landlord.

    I think that the only satisfactory situation for a landlord is to buy a run-down house, fix it up yourself to the minimum standard, and maintain it as inexpensively as possible. Rent that house out, not part of your own home whose condition you really care about. Also, you then don’t have to live with your tenants.

    The only solution for a tenant is to find a job in a region with reasonable house prices, buy a place, get a floating-rate mortgage, and live a low-cost lifestyle.

    We finally got tired of being tenants and borrowed from one set of in-laws, went in halves with another set, and bought a house; later buying our own house. We were house-poor for years, but free to live our own lives. Through good fortune, we are now mortgage- and tenant-free in our ’60s. Part of our good fortune was to refuse to even consider looking for work in Vancouver, and to move upon retirement to a very pleasant part of the province with reasonable house prices, where years before we had bought a very small second home 100% on low-cost bank credit. It pays to maintain an excellent credit record.

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    [-] BE

    With the expansion of the Broadway subway to Arbutus, what provisions are being put into place to prevent the owners of the numerous small (3-4 story) rental apartments in the area from selling and being replaced by 12 story non-rental condos? Will areas around stations or along Broadway be rental only building zones? If so, how many streets from Broadway (or around stations) will the zones include?

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    [-] Lillian

    I have been a landlord for 10 years and owning a few rental properties in lower mainland. I treat this as business and select my tenants carefully. All though I don’t have problem with my tenants paying the rent on time, I did encounter a few problems with my tenants before.

    1. Damage deposit not enough. I think the damage deposit need to be increased to one month rent instead of half month of the rent. A lot of tenants are taking advantage of that. For example: Given half month notice, and moved out 15th of the month, and use deposit money to pay the rent. If we dispute, the time spend for evicting wouldn’t make sense. Most likely, we will have to give up and let it be. Most time the suite left not cleaned, and damages can not be claimed. Also half of the rent is too little to cover the damage in most cases. If the damage deposit can be increased, it will make a big different. A lot of landlord having bad experience with tenants, so they don’t want to put house for rent anymore, it will increase the rental shortage problem in the city.

    2. When tenants break the contract. For example, moving out earlier before the fix term ends. The current tenancy act is hard to enforce. It is very hard to get tenants to pay the lost rent for the vacant months. If the tenancy states that if tenants who break the lease, then they don’t get the damage deposit back, and also need to pay one more month rent, this will avoid grey area and easier to enforce.
    It will be much fair.

    3. The dispute processing time is too long. Some bad tenants are taking advantage of it, and staying in the house free for many month. That’s not right!

    Most landlords would like to keep good tenants for long time. The problem is that we are very helpless with bad tenant. We feel the tenancy act is not doing enough to protect landlord in this situation.

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    [-] Joel

    1. RTB as currently operating provides a fair and reasonable way to govern both landlords and tenants.
    2. Rental imcreases are critical to maintaining rental properties. If increase rates are frozen then we would certainky expect our property taxes, municipal levies and fees to be frozen as well. If that does not sound reasonable then i suggest the province fundamentally does not understand how a rental housing MARKET operates, and should certainly not be directing legislation that undermines the ability of investment makers and risk bearers in providing affordable housing.

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    [-] kevin

    My spouse and i have been subjected to a “reno–vction”
    We had been living in an apartment in the West end of Vancouver for approximately 10 years and had a very positive relationship with our landlord.
    He and his partner were responsible and had always kept their building in great shape. We and everyone in our building paid annual rent increases and generally cared for our unique community.
    When they decided to sell the property the new owners immediately issued rent increases with the residential tenancy board of 73%.
    When we appealed they took the stance that because of the scope of renovations needed that the building had to be empty.
    We offered to accommodate any renovations needed. I had previously been in the construction business had seen buildings re -plumbed, electrical work done, whole buildings rain screened that involved literally opening suite walls to the outdoors so as to replace rotting walls and for wet drywall to be removed all with the contents of the suite (furniture , appliances etc) moved to the center of each room and covered with tarps while the work was being done, nobody had to leave.
    So after we appealed and got to stay, they removed the washers and dryers, storage lockers, parking, they even ripped up the flooring in the common areas and left the place in total destruction trying to get us to be fed up with the tactics and leave.
    They targeted a family who had been vocal in our fight and issued them an eviction under the falsehood of needing their suite for a manager. Well this manager certainly did not live in this suite, it was vacant. (it was not hard to tell)
    This was very obvious and this loophole needs to be scrutinized in each case.
    The whole renoviction clause needs to be thrown out, if it is left in the act, it will be a giant loophole for the shady landlord.
    We finally won our appeal when it had judicial review in supreme court.
    The landlords sold the building to a new company which is much much better. That was 8 years ago and we still respect our home and treat it like it was ours and continue to pay annual rent increases

    i think landlords that act in bad faith and the ones that have ulterior motives for renovating their suites should be stopped.
    The tenants that disrespect their suite, cause damage , are a nuisance to others, not pay the rent on time should also be held accountable.
    Perhaps some way of determining good/bad landlords and good/bad tenants that is easy to look up through a website that will follow them in this province may have some impact.

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    [-] Janet

    Thank you for the public discussions.
    Please look at the contribution that manufactured homes make for affordable housing. Please don’t make disincentives for this affordable type of housing.
    The RTB does a good job of managing owner-tenant issues.

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    [-] Gabriela

    We were on a month to month lease in a suited mansion with a Coach House in the back. The landlord evicted everyone on the pretense of his son moving into the house. All along the landlord wanted the house torn down but was refused because the house was designated a heritage home. We went through arbitration and the landlord won. Five families were removed from their homes while the house still sits empty till today. Shortly after we all moved out squatters moved into the home. The police were called so their is a record of this incident. The landlord and tenants act didn’t help one bit. How are you supposed to prove the landlord never occupied this house.

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    [-] Melissa

    I live in a building that fought eviction for 3.5 years in the west end. The landlords who bought it acquired the building specifically to evict the tenants who lived here using the loopholes in the residential tenancy act to raise the rents. I believe that most landlords are fair and reasonable people, but the laws as they stand today reward predatory behaviour. This must be stopped. When determining the changes we need to make to the RTB to make the law more fair for both landlords and tenants, we should consider how to incentivize both parties to engage in socially conscious behaviour. For tenants, this means incentivizing paying on time, taking care of the property, respecting other neighbours, and raising issues to the landlord promptly. For landlords, this means incentivizing providing safe, long-term housing, maintaining the property so that a “renoviction” is never needed in the first place (I don’t believe a renoviction is ever warranted), allowing pets and children without discrimination, and providing security of tenure to people. The government can do more to facilitate a fair system: provide incentives to create and maintain rental housing, collect and make accessible data about RTB disputes, etc. to help both landlords and tenants do better research, make the process more accessible (offices located downtown).

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    [-] Lisa

    I am a tenant who is in the process of moving through the housing spectrum from having been homeless for over 15 years off and on to being currently stably housed in market rental housing. I have been navigating the rental market system for 20 years in various regions of B.C., but primarily in Vancouver and Victoria. I have not lived in supportive housing, and so can not speak from personal experience to the issues that exist in that realm of the housing market. However, I would like for the government to be aware of the seriousness of the health and safety issues in relation to low income market rental housing.

    The health and safety issues are too great a topic of discussion to list here in detail for the purposes of this short note, however, they need to be addressed. My question is: There is a health inspector assigned to inspect businesses that contain working kitchens on policies and procedures related to safety, cleanliness, and FoodSafe standards. Why is there not a health and safety inspector to help to monitor and advocate for tenants and landlords in relation to health and safety violations in market rental housing?

    People are paying for a service to live in market rental housing, and so the type of service they receive, ie: a healthy and safe place to dwell and live should be provided by landlords. Similarly, tenants are required by law to maintain the health and safety of their rented dwelling while they are under contract. If we have health and safety mandates around food distribution, I am really confused about why we also do not have health and safety mandates in place around places of residence, as especially in a shared dwelling or apartment building, issues in one residence can greatly impact all other residences surrounding that. For those of us who enjoy living in healthy and safe places, this is an extremely great issue for all market rental housing at all levels.

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    [-] Noortje

    We’re tenants who have both a cat and a dog, and have found it incredibly difficult to find housing in Vancouver. Not only are there very few pet friendly rentals, but the buildings that do allow pets have been substantially more expensive than non pet friendly buildings. We would really like to see some steps taken to make it more attractive for landlords to allow pets. Incentives to land lords would help, or very clear rules about tenants being fully responsible for any damage caused by pets (which rarely happens anyway!) I’m fairly sure that pet owners would be very willing to agree to stricter rental terms if that meant they could keep a pet. Size restrictions on dogs seem very odd to me, as nobody but the tenants have to deal with their size.

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    [-] John

    My wife, son and I moved into a two
    bedroom rental apartment in 2006, it was newly painted and had brand new carpet throughout, new appliances and a group of friendly neighbours. Little did we know how much we would relay on these new neighbours. Our rent was more than other two bedrooms in the building, but not by much, and we had all new appliances etc. Everything was fine until the building was sold to a new landlord. They said they were going to renovate the whole building and we had to move out, but if we signed a new rental agreement they would put off the renovations for a year or two.
    This is when our neighbours really helped. We all got together and decided to find out what our options were. We had to go to the RTB to get more information.
    We would not sign new agreements, so the landlord tried to evicted us all.
    We had to move so they could renovate. We all got eviction notices.
    We all decided to fight this and took them to the RTB.
    This led to a two year fight which involved the RTB and the BC Supreme Court. The landlords took out laundry facilities, removed good carpet and underly from all common areas, surrounded the building with security fencing and more. This was a deliberate attempt over a two year period by a landlord, management company to put their profit over the rights of tenants to have secure and peaceful enjoyment of their homes.
    We would not have been able to be part of this fight, if it was not for our neighbours and friends. The amount of work to take these eviction notices to the RTB 4 times, and the BC Supreme Court twice. Took all of our combined time and resources, I do not know how any individual could do this on there own.
    All the landlord had to do was pay $50 dollars to register an eviction notice for each tenant.
    We certainly need change, there are good landlords out there, we have one now and had one before when we lived West of Denman. They were a well known commercial and residential management company.
    We had been in that suit only two years when we got notice that maintenance need access to our unit during the day do do upgrades.
    The workers came in shortly after 9:00am and left before 4:00pm all work areas where left clean and tidy.
    They where in our apartment for less than a week, we got new counter tops, tiles and faucets in the kitchen and bathroom, they also replaced all major pipes going through our unit. This was done, as explain by our manager as a routine 10 year upgrade. Our rent never changed apart from the regular increase. This landlord deserves the 2% above inflation rent increase. I cannot say the same for a lot of landlords, Management Companies out there these days.

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    [-] will

    Too long to receive a hearing date
    Tenants on disability and cheques mailed to landlord for rent should be notified that the tenant has stopped payments. A better communication system needed so landlords have the opportunity to be aware of tenants intentions. More than not tenants are looking for the next best spot at the expense of the landlord.
    Recovering payments form lost rent or from a RTA order is next to impossible to get, as the tenants do not forward their new address. Instead they change locations, will not forward their new address, and it is up to the landlord to track them down if they want to get lost payments. I recommend that the tenants be forced to provide landlords change of location, and unpaid rent won from a hearing be forced to pay from social assistance/income tax and or from their employers payroll.

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    [-] Jay

    I have been insanely lucky for most of my life having decent landlords and having good relationships with them all. I know many people who have not had that luck. The issue I face now is the terrible lack of pet friendly housing. Many people who have pets have them because they are family to them. I feel that people are just automatically saying no because they heard a made up story from a friend of a friend about how one time one animal wrecked something and most of the time, the stories sound so inflated that It’s hard to believe. Pet interviews should be allowed and those who are willing to rent to people with pets are well within their right to ask for a pet deposit but also, give that animal 10 mins of your time. That’s all us pet owners are asking for!

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    [-] Kayla

    Pets must be discussed – either the tenant agrees and signs to repair any damage caused outside of deposit, or tenant provides references for pet. So many pets are being surrendered because landlords are scared of what a pet may do. Pets are the single most powerful companion for seniors, singles, children with disabilities, single parents, etc – other counties (and provinces) have mandated ‘no discrimination’ policies in regards to pets – why not look to other places doing it well and implement their strategies?

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    [-] Ren

    I write on behalf of my elderly parents who previously were living in a less than desirable Senior Citizen Apartment in the Mount Pleasant area. As of recent I moved them out as this building posed many health related risks to their well-being. I write the Rental Task Force today informing you and describing what they experienced during their 4 year stay. My parents are well into their senior years, formerly home owners for decades they decided to sell, downsize and move into a retired community with hopes of continuing to meet their needs as they further age. However this did not happen. The seniors home they chose management was negligent in many areas. To name a few areas: not holding up to meeting the needs of their senior population by no timely maintenance repairs, no continual professional pest control services, no appropriate emergency preparedness locations , no annual suite inspections, no thoughtful renovations, no scheduled tenant meetings. Living in such inadequate conditions caused my parents much anxiety and unnecessary stress. Managements answers were” if you do not like it here, then move”. This was told to my parents and other residents at many occasions, completely unacceptable. Intimidation and bullying are still evident for those residents that still live there. Rent at this location is affordable.. however at what cost? My parents suite was infested with feral ants. Current residents continue to have this problem. Managements attempted solution to this; they stated this is part of living in an older wood constructed building. They placed ant traps and powdered borax on their floor, which proved unsuccessful. Their counter tops, stove, bathroom vanity and tub and flooring areas continued as problematic. Feral ants would crawl into any food left out, and run throughout their suite. Devastating! This building has ongoing further infestations such as bed bugs, cockroaches and carpet beetles. My recommendations to the Premier and Minister Robinson are to further investigate the inappropriate conduct of this seniors building, and hold those accountable for causing such discord and trauma to seniors. Those that reside are living in fear, the fear of if they speak up they could lose their housing, so seniors have just accepted this current state.. being silenced by intimidation. How can this be? My background is with Seniors. As you do, I also advocate and share my voice for the vulnerable, especially our seniors who are a viable part of our community, enriching our lives through their profound life journeys and experiences. It is beyond my comprehension the goings on in this building. Seniors deserve respect, the ability to talk freely, their autonomy, and trust that their government will take necessary steps towards an action plan that will drive and positively champion successful sustainable change. It is sad that such a beautiful location and building are being left in such an undesirable state. I am hopeful that this Task Force will provide better change for our BC Seniors.
    Thank you

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    [-] DWong

    I wear multiple hats within the Vancouver real estate landscape. First and foremost, I am a renter of an apartment unit that I live in as my “home”. Secondly, I work for a Vancouver based real estate group that is active in commercial/residential property ownership as well as residential development. And lastly, I own a home that I rent out to arms length tenants. As such, I believe I bring a holistic perspective to this topic of discussion.

    All in all, I do not feel the proposed changes (or some of the enacted changes) are fair or equitable to landlords/owners. I feel that the equation is too heavily weighted in favor of renters/tenants and that the process needs to more actively engage landlords to ensure there is a fair balance of regulations put in place. If not, I feel this will detract significantly from one of the cities/provinces objectives, which is to building additional rental housing for those that cannot afford home ownership.

    The province must takes steps to ensure all stakeholders are adequately represented and heard from and that from this process, fair and reasonable steps are taken to address issues and promote the future growth and viability of the rental market.

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    [-] Jason

    The challenge I face as a landlord and potential rental housing developer are:

    1) there is no actual zoning/bylaws to encourage rental housing development. The city only recently launched a pilot project but it’s just that… a pilot project. There needs to be a concerted effort from all levels of government to have CLEAR zoning/rules/regs for this type of development. The incentives and parameters are not large or clear enough.

    2) the second issue at play is the issue of ‘renoviction.’ If the process of moving tenants out to upgrade a building or living quarter is too arduous or expensive, there will be no incentive to upgrade living quarters. If the rules are made too restrictive landlords won’t renovate current rental stock and we’ll risk creating a large pool of dilapidated rental stock.

    In my opinion the biggest issue we face is lack of supply. A lot of problems can be solved by increasing supply. The challenge is that even if the switch is flicked today, we’re still at least 3-5 years away from building significant rental supply. I believe Seattle is engaged in some creative ways to increase supply quickly.

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    [-] Karsten

    I spend most of my time renovating existing buildings. Most of them are 50 + years old. These old buildings make up the vast majority of the rental market in the West End. We need landlords to continue investing in their buildings. Any changes to the residential tenancy laws which prevent or deter investment would be catastrophic to the livability of our city.

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    [-] Matt

    The eviction process for troublesome tenants is so ridiculous for Landlords. The cost for a full eviction involving getting a court order then hiring a bailiff is outrageous. In some cases the tenant is holding MY PROPERTY hostage.

    If there are proposed changes limiting rent increases after a renovation then why should I re-invest in my property if the return is minuscule?????

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    [-] Shivonne

    We rented our townhouse out to a single mother (she was about 50) and her daughter and signed a one year lease. We live in the same complex so we were aware of everything that was happening during their tenancy.
    The mother would throw massive parties and smoke weed in the house, and she consistently tried to bring groups of friends to the pool in the complex (while high and drunk). The strata managers eventually deactivated her fob so she couldn’t party, drink and scream in the amenity space anymore. We gave her notice that we would like to check out the property and she accepted. We arrived at the house to dog poop smeared into the carpets, lipstick written all over the walls, holes in the drywall, she removed our chandelier and just had a light bulb hanging in its place.
    We were shocked and called the rental tenancy board to see what could be done. They were absolutely no help. They told us we wouldn’t be able to evict them as we had a one year lease that we had to abide by even with photographic evidence of the damage (before and after).

    Not all landlords are jerks, but there needs to be a way to evict tenants who damage our homes. It costs us thousands to rip up the carpet and repaint the house, plus two carpet cleaner treatments in hopes that we could clean out the damage without replacing.

    We have a new tenant with a young family and they have been fantastic.

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    [-] KN

    I am a landlord of a Vancouver home. I rent out my basement suite and laneway unit and so far it has been relatively peaceful; however, my experience spans back to assisting my parents with their rental units when I was a teenager. We have always tried to be fair and diligent. Many negative instances have happened in the past. Some of which consisted of tenants leaving in the middle of the tenancy agreement with no notice and subsequently forcing us into a hearing for the damage deposit (they lost obviously), or late rent payments that send one of my family members scrambling to deal with potential eviction notice every month, or damages like bleach stains on new carpets that cannot be repaired through just the security deposit. All of these experiences have always made us think of the “bigger picture” – that doing business means spending money and dealing with a few bad people. But it shouldn’t be this way. We download the province approved tenancy agreement, review the terms, write receipts, make necessary declarations regarding taxes, yet we are always receiving the short end of the stick as landlords. It’s a small business at the end of the day for individual landlords and we also have jobs and a schedule to stay on. We make it a priority to address a leak right away so that the tenant can carry on with their lives, but we get very little support and protection. Renters should not be seen as disadvantaged individuals who require all protection from the all-mighty landlords. If we want to shift to a more equitable model, we should consider the other side of the equation – the landlords who are regular people opening up their homes and sometimes they need the help to get rid of illegal activity in their homes, squatters, and or tenants who just won’t pay on time.

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    [-] L

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    My husband and I have taken the risk of investing our savings into owning a rental apartment building as a means to provide income for our future. We value the responsibility of providing affordable and safe housing for our tenants. In our building that we have recently purchased, there is mold and water damage that we feel is unsafe for the health of our tenants and the long term safety of the building. To repair and provide a safe dwelling requires investment and thoughtfulness. With increases in taxes, building costs, and permit requirements, we are penalized for trying to make improvements not only for ourselves but for our tenants. We would also like to convert the main floor, which was once commercial, with studio suites for students or singles. In dialogue with The City of Vancouver, they have created restrictions, onerous red tape and personalized suggestions on what we should do with the vacant space that is actually impeding our desire to create more safe and comfortable new units for rent.
    With the changes proposed, we are incentivized to not make improvements, which will only reduce the value of our investment and the quality of the living conditions for the rest of our tenants. As landlords, we feel a responsibility to our tenants and do not want to be penalized by mounds of procedures and paperwork to reallocate a commercial space to 4 additional apartments. The protection of tenants is profoundly important, but to prevent upgrades and improvements to the envelope and interior of the existing building stock, reduces the opportunity to ensure the safety and quality of the building for its tenants.

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    [-] JP

    I’m a landlord with a small one bedroom condo where I used to live before I moved to something larger (when I met someone and eventually had kids).
    I rented the suite to a nice person who paid promptly and keep the suite nice and in great condition – that is until the person lost their job. The tenant from then on was always late but since the person took care of my suite I ‘forgave’ the lateness and I did not increase the rent for the entire time the tenant rented from me. After about 3 years I had enough and while the tenant still had not secured stable full-time employment my compassion had run out. I felt it was no longer my responsibility to shoulder the tenant’s problems.
    I ended up evicting the tenant for repeatedly being late for rent and the tenant ended up leaving early one morning without notice or paying the rent. Since the tenant was not responsive to any correspondence and left all of their belongings I had to wait 30 days to be sure the tenant wasn’t coming back and lost another month of rent.
    The tenant left all of their belongings except for the most valuable items but since it exceeded the $500 threshold I had to pay for packing and moving all of the items left behind, storage facility for 4 months and $400 for a newspaper ad. All in the cost was close to $5000 to deal with
    someone I had felt compassion for and was burned at the end. Sure, the law permits me to pursue the tenant for costs but I don’t know where they live and even then it seems like a fools game to try and recover money from someone who probably doesn’t have the money anyways. It’s better just to move on and rerent at a higher rate to recover some of the loss.

    From my experience I take issue with two things:
    1. Capping rental rates from old to new tenants. In my case I was compassionate for the tenant’s situation and didn’t increase the rent for 4 years so my suite was $400 below market rate. Should the ability to rerent at market rate be limited I would have increased the rent each year therefore good tenants would never get a break or be ‘rewarded’ for being good tenants by not having their rent increased if the ability to increase in the future was taken away from landlords.
    2. Abandoned property. Tenant should have to let the landlord know within 15 days if they plan to come back for their belongings or the landlord can get rid of it in whatever way they deem necessary. If the tenant doesn’t think their belongings are important or valuable enough to take with them then the landlord should not be the caretaker of their belongings either and pay the costs associated with it (medical or other emergencies notwithstanding).

    Sure, I could have done things differently but I can assure you that from then on I’ve taken a more business like attitude and not given any leverage or leeway to someone’s situation for risk of being taken advantage of again.

    The tenant I have now is awesome by the way so I know there are lots of great tenants out there. It’s just terrible that the bad ones ruin it for the other honest, hardworking ones.

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    [-] Douglas

    I a landlord in Vancouver. The recent amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act that state a fixed term tenancy converts to month to month tenancy at the end of the term are very problematic for me.

    The problem applies to all of my expensive suites (ie those I have spent in excess of $30,000 to renovate). I know from past experience, if these expensive suites go month to month at the end of the initial fixed term (virtually always an initial 1 year term), then I will be forced to reduce my rents significantly (ie by about $200 – $400/month) just to get them rented if the tenant exercises his/her option to terminate the month to month tenancy (which came into effect after the initial fixed 1 year term) outside the Summer Month (ie May to September).

    My son is a better example. He owns a home in Port Coquitlam close to Simon Fraser university. He rents his basement suite to students on a fixed one year term, which to date has always commenced in August or September, as that is when the school year starts. If he can’t have a fixed term tenancy with a vacate clause (so he can re-rent the suite to other students the next August or September), then at the end of initial one year term a tenant can take advantage of the fact that his/her lease automatically converts to a month to month tenancy. After staying in the suite for September, the tenant can vacate at the end of October or November. By then my son will have virtually no chance to rent his basement suite to tenants, as all of them will have found accommodation by then. So he may have to reduce the asking rent on his suite by $300 to $400 per month just to get it rented. Once he does that, the new tenant continues to have his/her rent protected so if the new tenant decides to stay, my son can never recover what he reduced his rent by, as all increases for the new tenant are based on the reduced rent he was force to accept just to get the suite rented in the “off time”. THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM as it means he will have difficulty paying his monthly mortgage!!! The same problem exists for me.

    Is there any way that this problem can be fixed? I am not wanting to use a fixed term tenancy with a vacate clause to unreasonably increase my rents. I just don’t want to have to reduce my rents by a significant amount just because the suite comes vacant at a time when it is really hard to rent (ie for my son, in anything other than August or September, and for me, for any month other than the Summer Months).

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    [-] kim

    The best way to ensure fairness in housing is to maintain a good market supply.
    1. reduce upzonings which evict thousands of low income tenants a year
    2. retain good affordable housing
    3. remove the ability for strata corps to disallow rentals
    4. improve the ability of municipalities to allow infill and additions. Now in Vancouver it is almost impossible with the requirements to upgrade existing structures . Cheaper to bulldoze so thousands of less expensive properties are removed, being replaced with expensive town homes. No more people are housed. More smaller units but the actual number of people occupying is the same.

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    [-] John

    I am a longtime NDP voter and also a landlord. I have always honoured rent increase limits for tenants that renew, but every time someone moves out I need to spend a serious amount of money upgrading a unit.

    I can’t imagine being forced to keep rents the same when a brand new tenant moves in, especially if I need to spend thousands of dollars in repairs and upgrades to flooring.

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    [-] John

    I have a 2 bedroom rental suite in a strata, that rents for $944. The 4% rental increase allows me to raise the rent by $38. The strata fee was just raised by $36. Property taxes have gone up and I was assessed $15000 to repair the parking garage. I cannot afford to keep this property as a rental so it will be sold and another rental taken off the market. Residential tenancy has to look at both sides of the situation.

    Tenants are not paying market rates.

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    [-] Crystal

    My landlord has been good in terms of extremely reasonable rent. However, the price paid for this has included all of the following: Entering my premises without proper notice including when I’m present at home using their key; stealing money, toilet paper, food, clothing, bedding, nick-nacks, parts of my vacuum, scissors, Christmas paper, going through cupboards and drawers, using my bathroom while I was working the night shift and I cane home and caught tem in my bathroom, allowing their workers access to my suit with out my permission to use my bathroom, giving my phone number out to the neighbors because I was supposed to be the neighbourhood watch dog without asking e or telling me, leaving Christian tracts in my home, lying to my face when caught red handed and claiming Christian faith, disturbing my quiet enjoyment daily by knocking on my door for no reason other tan to annoy, failing to fix broken oven, taking 28 years to repair leaking dripping ceiling issues, failing to repair water leak in shower stall, cracked toilet no repair, i had to rebuild wall and ceiling in bathroom with my own money and with friends help because the black mold and rot were so bad and ten they tried to triple my rent, any little thing done and they want huge rent increases, plumbing and electrical are not up-to-date dating to the 1950’s but f i report i lose my home and there is literally no where to go. Been on bc housing list for twenty years never once offered anything. Have medical and all supplemental paperwork in. Oh and housing providers aren’t taking any more their lists are full. My landlord wants me gone so they can up the rent a lot but I’ve got no where to go. lots of mold in here. Carpets over thirty years old. Single pane windows cold in here. Patio door for entrance. Nailed shut emergency fire door on their side. Have sign posted with rules on them as reminder. They find embarrassing. But they behaved themselves into it. Affordable rent and i know this devil as they say….you never know what you’re going to get with the next. No laundry facility. I have done no damage either beyond reasonable living. no visitors, no pets, don’t shower go the community center, for a long time they told me i couldn’t cook at home either, i became disabled and wasn’t allowed minor modifications that wouldn’t damage her property (bars put on my suction) even though she is a nurse. very passive aggressive personality.

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    [-] Maria

    Rental agreements that have a clause allowing rent increases for additional residents in the unit can be highly discriminatory. I’m currently renting an apartment where I live with my husband and 2-year-old son. The rent has just gone up by the maximum rent increase ($100). If we decide to have another child, our landlord is allowed to increase the rent by an additional ($200). If this happens, we will no longer be able to afford the rent and will need to move out. For now, we realized that we cannot have more children as our options are limited. This should not be happening.

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    [-] Elisabeth

    back in February, I had to look for an affordable pet friendly apartment for my two rescue cats. Let me tell you this: it was impossible to find anything. I eventually found my apartment, were I do not only pay a pet deposit but pay pet rent. Pet rent for what exactly? Not like my pets have an income.

    Most landlords and building managers straight up say no when you mention pets. They didn’t want to hear my side at all. They didn’t care that I was a clean and responsible tenant and I have clean cats. They just think my cats will destroy their apartment.
    They are wrong!!! Human tenants can cause if not more damage then pets! Often times, pet owners are tenants that are cleaner and more responsible, and they tend to stay in rentals longer. They take better care of rentals.

    Pet owners shouldn’t be ruled out. We should be given the same amount of chance as any other tenant. Don’t rule a pet owner out just because they have a pet. For all you know they are cleaner and more responsible than another tenant without a pet that you are considering. Give them a chance. Ask for pet references. Ask for pet deposits. That is what a pet deposit is for: just in case of damages. I mean you ask every human tenant to pay a damage deposit. So why not the same rights for pets and allow pet owners to rent without hassle!

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    [-] M.

    The current system of regulation and rent control has worked well in the Province. The key to adequate housing supply is to encourage the suppliers…i.e. the landlords. No, not the ones who take advantage of tenants and raise rents at ridiculous rates but those, the majority in our part of the industry, who have never exceeded the general rent increase provided for in the regulations and have good relationships with their tenants .

    Our family owns and operates four Manufactured Home Parks on Vancouver Island. We have 250 tenants and at annual BRBQs get the chance to talk with our tenants about the issues that are of concern to them. Mostly, if there are concerns, it is not about the rents. The reason is that they know that while the land values all around our parks have sky rocketed their rents to us have gone up only a few percentage points a year. Their fees to government like water rates, property taxes and school taxes have gone up much more quickly in most cases. We have great pride in our parks and regularly maintain the infrastructure and get 90 percent approval ratings from our tenants when we conduct anonymous surveys of their satisfaction and whether they would recommend our parks as a good place in which to live.

    We do not think that the current system of rent control should be changed but caution that it currently keep rents to a bare minimum. If rents were to be more tightly controlled the pressure on landlords to convert their land to alternative uses would greatly increase . While the current government has made conversion much more difficult the current government should set policy that would be retained by a subsequent government since our tenants tend to live their whole lives in our parks and anything which government does for temporary gain puts their long term tenure as home owners at risk. So the true test of any changes made now should be….will this policy be upheld by the next government. If the answer is no, please do not tamper with a system that works.

    By all means, enforce the existing rules and stop the irresponsible behaviour of landlords who try to skirt the rules. But do not try to fix a system which is not broken.

    The previous government made a policy that strives for a happy median outcome that protects both land lords and homeowners . In our case, we have had almost no complaints from tenants in 20 years and the few we have had were not found to be valid by the arbitrator.

    Those who are concerned about providing lower cost home ownership should look closely at this form of housing. The homeowner owns – for as little as $90,000. for new and much less for used – and manages her home and we provide the services. Each tenant has a “piece of ground” and a home which compares favorably with any condo or townhouse product any where. And the land rent that they pay is controlled by the government! Where is there a better deal for those with limited income who want to have their own home and their own garden.

    We would be pleased to show the committee members our treed and green spaces where our families live in quiet and secure surroundings.

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    [-] Korry

    The Province needs to adapt the allowance of Pets in all rental properties, as they have in Ontario. The sheer amount of Family Pets surrendered and or put down all because of this archaic law needs to be changed. If thag means a standard pet deposit and insurance, then make it mandatory. I have been trying to find a rental unit for my 15 year old Son, as we want to get a puppy and a senior dog from the bcspca, but when we go to look at a place, there are at least 100 other people trying to rent it, because there are just so few rentals that allow pets. We need to allow pets and a clear set of guidelines for pet owners to follow. This change needed to happen years ago. Please allow my Family and thos thousands of others that want to havd a pet in their lives. But are unable to because of the outdated pet rental laws.

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    [-] R

    I own a 1 bedroom apartment in Surrey, which I rent out.

    I have been lucky so far to have good tenants resulting from careful selection, and the rent we earn is enough to pay for the mortgage and upkeep of the unit. I was surprised when I started to look at rental investment how difficult it is to make an investment that can pay for itself without very large amounts of capital, and how little profit there is. Rents are high, but so is the cost of investing in a rental unit. The only way to get relief for both renters and small landlords who want to invest in rental units, is to get a significant increase in rental supply and balance the demand, which will also allow input costs to soften.

    Since the 1980’s small landlords renting strata units or homes has become a dominant part of the rental market. most of these landlords are individual small owners who are trying to build an investment for their families, not some distant massive corporate entity.

    Personally, I would like to invest in another rental unit in the future, however, the recent changes to the Residential Tenancy Act scares me. Having to pay 4 months rent to a tenant to do renovations to a unit is unaffordable for most small landlords, and it will lead to a reduction in the quality of rental units as some owners allow their units to decay. Not being able to sign a fixed term yearly lease makes it hard to get rid of problem tenants. It can take months to evict somebody and it is a difficult and expensive process, after which the landlord may have to deal with repairs resulting form deliberate damage from an angry evictee.

    Fixing the loophole where landlords used fixed terms to create unreasonable increases in rent was the right thing, but in the process it also made the it much harder for good landlords to have that safety valve of a fixed term, where you could grit your teeth with a bad tenant, sit it out and just not renew at the end of the term. Maybe a better way would have been to allow the option for a fixed term tenancy to remain, but simply to tie the rent increases on fix term renewals to the tenant, like it was on monthly contracts.

    My biggest concern going forward is that additional constraints like a rental freeze or connecting the rental increases to the unit instead of the tenant will make its way into the RTA. Either of those ideas will disconnect rental units from the real estate market and will be fatal to the creation of new rental supply, which will simply cease. I will likely cause most small landlords like me to exit the rental market altogether, since the cost of the rental units will not be covered by the rent anymore.

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    [-] NES

    In the city of Burnaby the housing rules are atrocious. You wonder why there’s no rental stock available it’s because duplex r5 zoned properties are not legally allowed to rent their suites out. The city will come full force and shut you down even if you paid taxes. They’d rather residents secretly rent and avoid tax collection than let this happen. This city also does not allow laneway housing it’s very unprogressive collects one of the highest property taxes amongst the cities.

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    [-] Tania

    Hello,

    I am writing as a pet owner, who also rents. I have always been a renter, and in that time, I have always been a pet owner. I have experienced how difficult and challenging it is to find a nice home, where the landlord allows pets. None of my past or current pets ever caused damage to where I was living. Yet, it seems that nowadays, most of the rentals are no pets allowed, which forces pet owners to have to give up their pets, who they consider family. I speak from experience that is a very heartbreaking, difficult and stressful decision to make. If a tenant is quiet, responsible and respectful, then why keep them from keeping their pets, who could be the only companionship in their lives, just by not allowing people with pets to rent a home. I have personally seen more damage caused by children or irresponsible adults than by any pets.

    With the extremely small amount of pet friendly rentals available, it forces a more competitive process for pet owners to obtain pet friendly accommodations. You end up having more people try to get the rental because it’s pet friendly. You also have landlords asking for a higher rent just because it’s pet friendly. And based on the cost of living and the wages in the Lower Mainland, not everyone can afford the sky rocketing rents

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    [-] AK

    As a landlord I took a chance on buying a property 15 years ago. I leveraged myself to my eyeballs, and assumed the risks with an old Vancouver character home. I’ve done a substantial amount of maintenance and have watched property taxes and expenses sky-rocket beyond my control. Getting permits from the COV to do any renovations is paralyzing and it takes an unreasonable amount of time. They expect a home built 100 years ago to be brought up to today’s standards which is cost prohibitive or impossible. I’ve had tenants decide they want a door between them and their kids room, so they cut a door opening without my consent. I’ve been left with flea infested suites because of pets and lose 2 months rent to treat the suite and clean it up. No one ever does an awesome job cleaning their suite when they move out. They often abandon furniture and possessions in the lane. None of the tenants EVER cleans anything beyond their door step. They don’t sweep, shovel snow, rake leaves, cut the grass, or trim a bush. The majority do not pay rent on time (they feel better hanging on to the rent for 5 days). One of my tenants was always 3 MONTHS behind with rent (I was compassionate with him and he ended up catching up with rent and leaving). They do not respond to communication unless it benefits them. Tenants bring their boyfriends/girlfriends in and I ‘inherit’ new tenants without screening them. They break up, and I’m stuck trying to get their exes out. I’ve also had EXCELLENT tenants that are great at everything. They don’t stay long… they get married, have children, and keep upgrading until they buy their own homes. I keep in touch with them on social media. About me??… I smile, speak politely, respond to messages and phone calls IMMEDIATELY. I take action right away when plumbing leaks occur, appliances break down, repair broken windows or changing locks etc. The risks, money, and effort that I put in as a landlord are NOT charity. If you want an awesome brand new suite, it’s going to cost the landlord and the tenant. Nobody owes you anything and you are not entitled to anything in this world. You have to pay market rent or feel free to buy your own home and join the rest of us homeowners. Cheers!

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    [-] Devin

    I currently have a unit that I am renting out in a duplex. The tenant had an incident where he threatened the other tenant and police were involved. I served an eviction notice to him for disturbing the enjoyment of the use of the other tenants home. He filed for arbitration which still has not occurred and our date was 2 months away from the incident. During that time, he has damaged the unit, not paid rent (which I served a 10 day notice for which he arbitrated as well) and is still living there. Not only am I not receiving the money I need to pay expenses, but even if the arbitration is on my side, I will not receive restitution for my time, nor increased rent I could receive when I renovate the unit. All this because a tenant wants to arbitrate something he does not have a defense for, he just wants to have 2 more months in the unit.

    I have had a terrible experience being a landlord and as someone with 20+ properties I am thinking of selling all. The government keeps saying they want landlords, but are making it more difficult to be one. You have to rethink the whole system, you are letting bad tenants stay in homes and fighting well-deserved eviction that good tenants could be staying in.

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    [-] Joel

    At present, tenants who fail to pay rent remain in their rented units for not just weeks, but several months. The process of eviction, with many extensions provided by the RTB and judicial process, and getting an order of possession finally enforced, means the landlord forgoes collecting rent from the delinquent tenant. During this time, the landlord still has his/her many costs to pay (those debts accumulate and delinquent tenants are not valid reasons for being late or having penalty costs waived), and there could have been a paying tenant in the unit. Those costs ultimately are borne by the next and subsequent tenants, and the landlord becomes reluctant to rent to other tenants (or invest in offering more rental units). Make the eviction process much faster (in the order of several days, or a couple weeks at most).

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    [-] Toby

    From the Landlord’s point of view:
    We live in a free market. Investors put up their hard earned money (or retirement money) to invest in real estate. They need a fair return to subsidy their pension. These are cold hard facts.

    If the government starts acting like the Communist by enforcing un-reasonable regulation against Landlords, most Landlords may not participate in all these surveys., and they will simply stop investing into rental housing thereby reducing the supply. With less supply, the problem will get worse, not better.
    Fixing the rental crisis should not be transformed into an Attack-the-Landlord campaign. Give investors more good reasons to invest in rental inventory., instead of taking away the reasons to invest in rental inventory. More supply will reduce the rental cost due to competitions. Less supply will drive up the rental cost to renters. More legislation, levies, red tapes or discouragemement to rental supply providers will make the situation worse.
    I know of several landlords ready to throw in the towels. Demolish the rental building to cut their losses. Tenants will be evicted, and landlords will flip the land or build luxury condos. Furthermore, value for rental buildings will decline if the government places more rules to inflame this negative message to Landlords.

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    [-] Monika

    I am writing as a concerned citizen and Vancouver born resident regarding certain changes in legislation proposed by the Provincial Rental Housing Task Force in April 2018. Having been a renter and now working for a Landlord, I have a unique perspective that is especially pertinent to the current housing situation. In times of crisis, it is natural to want to pass the blame on to Landlords because it is easy. However, this superficial response does not address the underlying cause of the problem and will ultimately bring harm to the parties it aims to protect.

    There are two components that affect renters’ ability to find housing: supply and affordability. In a natural supply and demand based economy, these two factors have an inverse relationship. If supply exceeds demand, rents come down. The opposite is true if demand exceeds supply, which is what we are currently facing. I respectfully ask the Task Force to consider that the reason for our beloved City’s current situation is because the Province has suppressed the ability of Landlords to respond in a timely fashion to the needs of the rental community. The notoriously slow rezoning and permit process has meant that new supply has simply not been able to keep pace with the increased demand. If the Province could address the supply issue such that all renters looking for a home could be satisfied, the affordability factor will naturally respond by curbing rents. No Landlord wants to have vacancy and will compete with other owners by lowering rents instead of having suites remain vacant. More importantly, renters will have choice.

    Although the idea of controlling rents may seem like a solution to the problem of renters, I suggest that such an initiative would be very short sighted with serious negative long term effects. The reason for this is because restricting rents will completely discourage owners and developers from building new supply, which is in essence the root of the problem. Why would anyone invest any money to upgrade their buildings or construct altogether when there is no incentive to do so? Rental development in this city would come to a halt and existing inventory would slowly deteriorate. So while you may have some renters enjoying lower rents, rental suites would become more run down over time and there will simply not be enough rental apartments available in this city to accommodate the growing need. Without enough homes, the obvious net result will be a combination of people leaving the province or an increase in our homeless situation, which is something no government has yet been able to eradicate.

    Regardless of whether someone is a Renter or a Landlord, everyone has concerns about the housing situation in Vancouver. The main difference between these two groups is in how they propose to resolve the issue. I respectfully ask that you consider the long term effects of implementing legislation that is so punitive to Landlords and instead, look to streamline and improve the efficiency of the various Planning Departments. I also suggest that the province investigate additional measures to incent developers to invest in rental housing (especially affordable housing) by offering property tax and other credits plus reducing the fees it charges developers in order to offset the ongoing escalation in land and construction costs. Only by partnering with Landlords in a collaborative way can the real issue of a lack of supply be fundamentally addressed.

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    [-] Patricia

    Re: Pet policy- Vancouver.

    Dear Task Force people,
    There needs to be a shift in the policies regarding renters having pets in Vancouver. My Standard Poodle has enriched the life of family and friends for 12 years now. Everyday as we walk ( a reminder of the benefits of excersize as I age ), I stop and talk with other people who’s health and welfare has been enhanced by their dog. There was a time in ON where pet owners got $1000. tax breaks because of the beneficial effects of owning a pet. Physical & psychological. Most pet owners are responsible and those that are not can be dealt with. We need our pets!!! The rescue orgs and SPCA are having to deal with high numbers of pets who must be abandoned due to housing. Pleeeaaase
    be sensitive when considering the needs here. Sincerely, Pat Row

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    [-] Kevin

    My experience has largely been positive. Almost no conflict arose, except for when the landlord decided to sell. I am in favour of permanent rental schemes at different price levels. This cannot be left to private landowners. Public housing, along the lines of those in Singapore and Hong Kong, must be built. We don’t have to go all-in on high-rises either. Low/mid-rises are perfectly acceptable. Duplexes/multiplexes, row houses, townhouses, courtyard housing, etc. will all work, especially compared to single-family houses.

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    [-] Abhijeet

    The rents should be increased every year as the cost of borrowing goes up with the interest increase whenever the prime goes up, the property tax goes up every year, the cost of heat and hydro goes up every year.

    The overall cost of owning a property goes up by much more then the percentage of rent increase ( it was 4% in 2018) allowed as per Residential Tenancy Board guidelines. Once the tenant leaves the landlord has to spend thousands of dollars to get the property cleaned re-painted and sometimes upgrade the appliances.

    If a tenant leaves and a new tenant comes in he/she should be paying the rent as per current market rate. Properties have gone up by 100% in price in last 5 years in lower mainland and the rents have not gone up even by 20 to 25% which is not fair for the landlords. The landlords should be given enough consideration by law so that they can maintain their rental properties.

    The clause to end tenancy after a fixed period should stay as it is.
    There should be stricter measures for the tenants who damage the property or do not pay rent as the owner has to pay the mortgage and all the taxes and utility bills no matter what.

    Recently I had a tenant who stopped paying rent and also damaged the property badly, he even removed all the light bulbs completely. I had to go to Tenancy Branch to get an order for eviction and then for getting that eviction order implemented from The Supreme Court, hiring a court appointed bailiff and ultimately paying for all the repairs and renovations of the entire house. It costed me over 20K and also lost 4 months rent and rented the property again.

    Basically if calculated 1 full year rent was gone. I hired a private investigator to find that tenant but could not find him as there is no law which allows the landlords to have the tenant’s credit card, driver’s license copy or any other i.d. which helps find the tenant.

    There should be more favorable laws in place to protect the land lords which encourage them to create more rental units and also protect the landlord’s rights.

    Thanks

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    [-] Mrs.

    I am a landlord but love dogs, cats, animals and I know how heart breaking it it is to move and have to leave a pet behind as they are not permitted in the new home (a rental unit). I continue to be pet friendly for my renters but have pet friendly policies in place. We discuss them together, we inspect the residence together, both taking notes,. I ask questions: If both parties work, how long will the pet be alone, do they plan to walk the pet if a dog? I establish trust with the renter and offer to help – feed the pet, exercise. I discuss possible damage to the property and their proposal. I make it clear that the renter is responsible for any damage they or their pet causes. We keep lines of communication open and maintain a friendly relationship. I let them know I abhor animal cruelty of any sort. and work closely with the SPCA

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    [-] Monica

    I am a homeowner that choses not to rent my available suite. I will not rent my 2 bed unit as it is too costly and time consuming to evict a bad tenant. I also work for a private company that owns a number of rental buildings. I see, first hand, the issues that bad renters can cause and the difficulty and cost involved in evicting a bad tenant. Landlords need easier and quicker access to deal with bad tenants and bad tenants need to be made accountable for damage and non-payment of rent. Greater landlord protections will increase rental supply.

    Tenants need protection against redevelopment renovictions. Redevelopment creates more housing but it is done for profit so tenant protection needs to be done with both tenant and developer in mind. The developer should be required to replace the same number of units at the rental rate that was being paid by the renovicted tenant and the offering of that unit should be to the renovicted tenant prior to being listed to the general public. If the renovicted tenant declines the unit, it should be available for rental at current market rates.

    A developer should also be required to provide or find alternative interim rental housing for renovicted tenants and should subsidize the rental rate current to what they were paying until their “new unit” is ready for occupancy. People should not be left homeless but development is necessary and is done with profits in mind. There needs to be a balance.

    Rent rates should be regulated by the market. If emphasis is put on supply, the market will regulate itself. Legislating rental rate increases negatively impacts the incentive to create rental units, places the burden of increased living costs on the landlord and promotes regular rental rate increases.

    A ban on strata rental allowances should also be considered.

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    [-] Anna

    We had one set of tenants who were permitted to bring their one cat with them when they moved in. Within two months there were ten to twelve cats, abandoned, no food, water or access to litter boxes. The entire suite was damaged with cat urine, feces as were all the tenants’ belongings and furniture. We had to call in the SPCA to remove the animals who were in distress. We had to gut the entire suite and pay to remove the abandoned and damaged trash left behind.
    The experience was enough to make us rethink ever renting out any part of our property again. Especially to pet owners. The number of hoops we had to jump through to remove these tenants and their belongings from our house (we lived upstairs) was horrible. Despite having to call in the SPCA who served a warrant with RCMP assistance, we could not expedite removal of these people. We would have been financially better off not ever renting that suite than having to repair the damage they caused.
    Since then we have rented out our suite, but had two tenants leave just three to four months into a twelve month agreement. While we rented out the suite again fairly quickly there is little actual recourse for landlords in these situations. It costs far more to pursue the agreement breaker than it is worth. Good landlords and good tenants end up getting burnt because of bad tenants and bad landlords and the damage they do.
    As tenants we had fairly good experiences with our landlords except for one who at the end of the tenancy decided we were lying about having shampooed the carpets so he hired another cleaner to do the stairs only and held back cost from our damage deposit. Again fighting this wrong wasn’t worth the time or effort but it sure made us frustrated that he could just claim we didn’t do something and withhold the money. We had repaired damage in his walls caused by the previous occupants (he knew that) and save his washing machine because I knew how to sanitize it and remove mildew from the drum.
    All that to say bad tenants and bad landlords will always find a way around the rules and make life difficult for everyone else.

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    [-] Eilis

    My own experiences as a renter are that it is becoming harder and harder to continue to live in this province. Between the out-of-control real estate speculation and flipping and the explosion of Air BnB, it is almost impossible to find a home to rent, and increasingly impossible to even dream of buying. Add to that the fact many of us share our lives with companion animals, and it’s like there is no place for many of us here. The discrimination faced by pet owners in this province makes the already extremely limited and extremely expensive rental options almost impossible to achieve. I live in an area increasingly impacted by the madness of the Lower Mainland, as well as growing numbers of Air BnBs. I believe it is time to amend the Residential Tenancy Act to make it illegal for landlords to discriminate against people on the basis of pet ownership, and I believe it is necessary to take steps to regulate Air BnB (requiring licencing and limiting numbers in neighbourhoods for a start). I have no idea what can be done to address the casino real estate market but something has to happen to control the frenzy.

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    [-] Aman

    As a landlord I have lost over $10,000 in money owed to me, due to the fact that the Tenants were able to take complete advantage of the system and the slow process in which they move. Even with the decision in my favour at the end I was unable to track down the tenants to recoup what was owed.
    I’ve had good tenants which I’ve had great relationships with but I’ve also encountered a number of Tenants that cost me a huge amount of money.

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