CONTRIBUTION · 25th January 2011
Q: Can I withhold my rent because the Landlord has not done repairs?
A: Absolutely NOT, without a written order from the Residential Tenancy Branch Dispute Resolution Officer to do so. You MUST pay your rent. There are proper steps to take to get repair done. I can help you with this.
Q: I was told I can not be evicted in the winter months, is this true?
A: This is FALSE. You can be evicted ANY month if you fail to meet your requirements under your tenancy agreement.
Q: My landlord turned off my utilities because I am late paying my rent?
A: Your landlord can not remove or suspend any services for any reason without proper written notification and comparable compensation or an Order to do so from the Residental Tenancy Branch.
Q: My landlord will not give me back my security deposit because they say I caused damage.
A: A security deposit can only be retained if you agree in writing, if the landlord has an order to do so from the Residential Tenancy Branch or if after 1 year you have failed to provide your landlord with a forwarding address. In fact, if the landlord has failed to return your deposit or file for hearing within 15 days of your providing your forwarding address or vacating the unit whichever is later, you are entitled to 2x the security deposit. It is the landlord's responsibility to prove you created damage.
Q: My landlord suddenly decided they will no longer pick up the rent, that isn't fair.
A: Paying the rent on time is a tenant's responsibility. If suddenly the landlord wants you to bring it, that is their right. However they should provide you with different options... post dated cheques, mailing a cheque or money order on or before the 1st of the month etc...
Q: My landlord will not address my concerns about the property. What do I do?
A: Put your request in writing, sign it, date it and keep a copy. I can not stress this enough, for both Landlords and tenants. Though people seem like good people, and you want to believe everything someone tells you, when it comes to business a paper trail is essential. This IS business afterall, money is being exchanged for goods.
If you have further questions or are interested in workshops relating to Landlord/Tenant rights and responsbility please contact me by email or telephone:
TDCSS Poverty Law Advocate
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 26th January 2011
There was tons more I could have posted. What you are talking about is called a conditional inspection report, it is now a legal requirement that the Landlord do this upon new tenants moving in and when they move out. It is also a tenants responsibility to attend these walk throughs.
Comment by Denise Manion on 25th January 2011
Also, when you first move into a place, thoroughly go through each room and make a note of ANY deficiencies, even the marks on the wall, small stain in the carpet, etc. You should always do a walk through with the landlord at the beginning and end of your tenancy. I've seen landlords successfully claim for damages that were caused by previous tenants. Take pictures of the deficiencies and the entire place before you move in and after you vacate. Sometimes, a picture can be your saving grace.