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Small Claims under $5,000 Coming to the CRT on June 1, 2017

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Al's Almanac

Current information and tips about the BC residential rental industry.  

Almanac | Special Issue by Al Kemp - AG Kemp and Associates

We all know May 9th is election day in BC.  During every election, I hear from at least one client who is unhappy that a tenant is putting up “Vote for XX” signs, particularly when the building rules do not allow signs of any kind.
The client is usually surprised when I tell her or him that the BC Election Act overrides the tenancy agreement and park rules in allowing tenants to display advertising during a provincial election campaign.

Section 228.1 of this Act states:

Tenant and strata election advertising

228.1  (1) A landlord or person acting on a landlord's behalf must not prohibit a tenant from displaying election advertising posters on the premises to which the tenant's tenancy agreement relates.

(3) Despite subsection (1) . . . a landlord, a person, a strata corporation or an agent referred to in that subsection may

(a) set reasonable conditions relating to the size or type of election advertising posters that may be displayed on the premises, and

(b) prohibit the display of election advertising posters in common areas of the building in which the premises are found.

Subsection 3 is important.  I interpret “reasonable conditions” to mean you can restrict signage to the professionally produced signage that each candidate supplies.  This avoids something hand drawn and ugly, or worse: a sign denigrating a candidate or party.  I also think it’s reasonable to restrict signage to inside windows of the rental unit or home, not on balconies, although technically the wording in section (1) would allow signs to be placed on the balcony.  

Finally, if the rental is a single family dwelling, duplex, etc. signage can not be placed outside the home, say on the front lawn, as any area outside the home is residential property, not “premises."

Al Kemp's regular monthly publications are available to members only.

Almanac #44

. . . what a 55+ designation really means?

I get questions like: Do they both have to be under 55? What if he’s 57 and she’s 24? Can her 32 year old daughter move in with her? Will I lose the 55+ designation if I rent to someone under 55?

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Almanac #43

Do you know...  what will be in the “Recreational Marijuana” legislation?

Neither do I.  However, there is so much misinformation (alternate truth?  fake news?) out there that at least I can clarify some aspects.

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Almanac #42

Do you know... This month I turn the tables – I need a solution from you!  A client recently sent this email:

How far are we allowed to go with tenants who will not stop smoking in non-smoking rental properties?  We have a long-term tenant in a rented strata unit who was permitted to smoke on his balcony. The tenancy agreement is silent on smoking. Then, the strata corporation voted in no smoking in strata lots, on balconies, or any common area, including the parking lot. This made the whole place – inside and out – nonsmoking for our tenant. We sent him a copy of the bylaw changes, of course.  Last week we received a notice from the strata property manager that our tenant was smoking “at the door” of his balcony. We sent him a caution notice reminding him that he could not smoke anywhere on the complex or in his unit.

Now, the owner has decided to list the condo for sale and the selling agent has informed me that she must report to the owner that the unit reeks of cigarette smoke. She advised our owner that as a result, the place will not sell. 

Are we allowed to ask the tenant to remove himself from the unit for 24 hours while we send in an ozone machine to clean the air, and can we charge this to the tenant?  Or are we stuck with issuing his 2nd caution notice that he may not smoke?  Can we issue a notice to end tenancy?   Read more

Almanac #41

Did you know...

. . .  what to do when a resident passes away?  Not a pleasant thought of course; however, it happens and we need to be prepared.  Here is a recent email from a property management client and my answer.

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Issue #41, January 2017

Did you know...

...  what to do when a resident passes away?  Not a pleasant thought of course; however, it happens and we need to be prepared.  Here is a recent email from a property management client and my answer.

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Issue #40, December 2016
Did you know...

. . .  that several changes were made to the Residential Tenancy Act and Regulation earlier this month.  The major change now allows tenants to end a fixed term tenancy (lease) early without penalty where the person is fleeing family violence, or has been admitted to or assessed as requiring long term care.   See the December 7th 2016 “Special Issue” of Al’s Almanac for details.  There is also a comprehensive FAQ document
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Special Issue, December 2016

Government Proclaims Provisions Allowing for Early End to Fixed Term Tenancies (Leases)
Although passed over a year ago, on December 6, 2016, the BC Government brought into force changes to the Residential Tenancy Act and Regulation that allow tenants with fixed term tenancies to end those tenancies early with proof from an authorized professional (“third party verifier”) that...
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