Posts Tagged ‘renter’s rights in Canada’

BC Residential Tenancy Branch – making the illegal, legal

I am going to get to the point as the documents that I am sharing by images will include a lot of reading.

I rented this duplex in March. I was forced to move quickly as the place that we were living in sold very fast on today’s hot market. I had real estate agents trespassing and pressuring me to let contractors in to let the new owners measure for renovations. I am a working single mom and I was training to compete in a Woman’s Figure competition. When I came to view this place I was in a line up with 3 other women waiting by the door. The property management lady didn’t show us the basement as she was running us all through as quickly as possible. She told me if I paid an extra 2 weeks rent it would put me a head of the others..that is what the ” Landlord” had asked for. I could afford to so I did. I didn’t know the basement wasn’t a basement suite until we did the walk through a week later and I got the keys from her.

Fact – the wording in the tendancy agreement defines it as a basement suite.. fact is it isn’t..and isn’t yet, as right now they are intending to create an illegal suite from an unfinished basement.

” Click on images to enlarge ”

Fact – even though I sent these images of the basement to the Tendancy Branch through the BC Resources Center the arbitrator stated to me that he did not have them as evidence before him at the arbitration hearing. That is why he calls it ” red paint” when it is clearly chalk.

Fact – when the arbitrator states on page 2 ” The tenant testified that she assumed, at the time that she was viewing it, that the basement portion was a separate self-contained unit that was going to be rented out to other renters.” I never said that. I said ” When I viewed the unit I assumed that the entire side of the unit was a duplex and was ours to rent, including the yard” it wasn’t until I signed the lease a few days later that I was told about the ( ” basement suite ” ) and it wasn’t until getting the keys and doing the walk through that I found it to be a basement that was the same address that I was renting. I told the property management lady ┬áthat I felt I had been lied to. I told the arbitrator of my shock and fear for my children.

Fact – the arbitrator totally ignored the fact that I had told him that I had contacted The City of Kelowna Bylaw, and that I was told by them the suite on the other side of the duplex was an illegal suite that the previous landlord had constructed. I told him that I was informed by the city that he could not repo a part of the property that had the same address to create and illegal suite and that his permits were for renovating existing plumbing at my address not for construction. But when you read his ruling you can see that he left this out for his own convenience.

Fact – during the hearing I asked the arbitrator if he was trying to establish my guilt; going by the questions that he was asking me. He said he was not but for the majority of the 2 hrs of the hearing I was the one that most of the questions were directed to. He asked both the other landlords about two questions each while he had me explain to him as to why I broke with the tendancy agreement by not allowing the landlord in after he had trespassed on the 20th; after he had given me 2 weeks legal written notice. I told him it was because the city had told me, that what he was attempting to do was illegal and that the law was on my side. I told him that I had been lied to by the landlord and his property management company as to the wording in the clause as it clearly was not an existing basement suite up for renovation but a part of the address and duplex I was renting. I sited this to him from the city ” It has been zoned RU6 as a duplex and cannot be rezoned as a 4 plex the service file is ( service request -374875 ) he chose to ignore these facts as they are not a part of the law in regards to the tendancy act.

Fact – he seemed to be protecting the landlord that had the property management company put in the deceiving clause for him as he said ” he is not the landlord the property management company is or was your landlord.” I told him that was nonsense as the property management lady called him my landlord and the he hired the company to manage his property for him, but he kept insisting that the property management company was my landlord. I thought that to be insanely stupid and manipulative of the arbitrator.

Fact – on page 7 of the ruling were he doesn’t clearly define a time frame in that the landlord can do his illegal construction he gives the landlord power over me and my children to make our living space a living hell because it can take up to 3 months to get another hearing and clearly the arbitration favors the landlord. The police have told me over and over again when I have a called them due to the landlord trespassing onto the property ” It is his property he can do what he wants, stop calling us and figure it out with him. You both are being immature. We have more important things to do.” clearly the landlord can continue to trespass and harass us as he just did today entering the residence to change the lock on the basement door without 24 hrs notice and when I was not in the home. I didn’t call the police as clearly they will just ignore mine and my children’s rights to privacy and dignity or basic human rights. The arbitrator left out my specifications to times to proceed to do the work from 9 am to 5 pm, 5 days a week .. leaving the weekends noise free.

Fact – The arbitrator told me that if the landlord didn’t comply with breaking the tendancy agreement by notary that we could be fined by the branch for moving away before March. By doing this and by not clearly stating boundaries of conduct to the landlord and by the police and bylaw enforcement not enforcing the law the arbitrator has in essence made us the property of the landlord. We have been stripped of our basic rights to safety and privacy. This is sexism.

Fact – the arbitrator’s ruling towards $250.00 for a summer of pure emotional hell for me and my children is a slap in the face. This affirms that greedy and powerful men can continue to manipulate the laws and systems and to abuse women and children. The arbitrator clearly doesn’t have the common sense or decency to understand or acknowledge that emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse and clearly the police force isn’t trained into acknowledging this as well.

Fact – The bylaw officers showed up here to inspect the property after the arbitration. I was told by them that they were going to fine the landlord for the illegal suite on the other side of the duplex and that he wouldn’t be given permits towards construction on my side. I was called by bylaw Sunday Oct 2 nd 2016 at 5 pm to be told by an officer to disregard the ruling because he had told the landlord that he couldn’t do the work or even put a lock on the basement door. But he has been away from his desk and without this in writing the landlord has taken over the basement and locked the door with police approval by showing them the tendancy ruling.

How will this affect you as a Canadian Citizen? Well if you are a renter and if your vulnerabilities are used against you as a renter by a landlord.. you can see that the tendancy act and the police will not protect you. The law favors the wealthy and especially wealthy men against single mothers.

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