Presentation on theme: "Webinar for Public Library Staff March 21 and 29, 2012 Presenter: Andrew Sakamoto, Executive Director, Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre Sponsored by:"— Presentation transcript:
Webinar for Public Library Staff March 21 and 29, 2012 Presenter: Andrew Sakamoto, Executive Director, Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre Sponsored by: o LawMatters Program, Courthouse Libraries BC Contact: Janet Freeman firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com o Libraries and Literacy Services, BC Ministry of Education
LawMatters at your local public library All public libraries in BC have increased their legal information collections through grants from LawMatters Libraries also receive training, legal information updates and reference back-up support See bclawmatters.cabclawmatters.ca LawMatters collection at Radium Hot Springs Public Library
1. Learn how to access residential tenancy law resources on TRAC and Residential Tenancy Branch websites. 2. Learn about some of the most common residential tenancy law issues, and the legal process for resolving tenant-landlord disputes. 3. Understand how to contact TRAC and the Residential Tenancy Branch when tenancy problems arise.
Story from TRAC’s Infoline TRAC resources Residential Tenancy Branch resources Dispute resolution RTA basics: start, during and end of tenancy Recap Contact info
TRAC receives roughly 7500 calls per year. We hear stories..
Educational charity that provides free legal information on Residential Tenancy Law to BC tenants. Public legal education workshops: 117. Advocate training sessions: 17. Infoline calls: 7,876. Repairs (33%), evictions (19%), quiet enjoyment (14%), security deposits (6%). Multilingual publications and videos: 20 languages. Website (www.tenants.bc.ca): 76,765 hits.www.tenants.bc.ca
Information Officers provide legal information. Write down the name of the IO, as well as the date and time you spoke with them. Dispute Resolution. www.rto.gov.bc.ca www.rto.gov.bc.ca Legislation, fact sheets, policy guidelines, forms, videos, past dispute resolution decisions, and more.
Formal hearing to resolve disputes between tenants and landlords. Most are held over the phone. Tenant and landlord tell their stories and provide evidence (letters, witnesses, receipts, etc.). Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) makes decision based on facts and the law. $50 filing fee… Can be waived for low income applicants. Can be reimbursed if you win.
Who’s covered? Always remember… put it in writing! Tenancy Agreement. Landlord’s contact information. Condition Inspection Report. Fridge, stove, plumbing, walls, electrical outlets, etc.
Verbal: Still protected by law. Landlord must provide a copy within 21 days. If no written agreement, write down the terms you agreed to and send a copy to your landlord. Written: Month-to-month vs. fixed term. Make sure to include the “extras” in your agreement Laundry, parking, TV, internet, storage, etc.
Guidelines from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC: No Social Insurance (SIN) number. No personal banking information. No credit card number. Landlords can only ask for a driver´s license as photo ID. Landlords cannot ask for a criminal record check. www.oipc.bc.ca/pdfs/private/PrivacyGuidelinesforLandlordsand TenantsFINAL.pdf
Legally binding contract. Must stay until term is finished. If you move out early, you may have to pay compensation: Remaining months (landlord must mitigate) Cost of finding new tenant (liquidated damages) Assignment and sublet Mutual Agreement to End Tenancy form
Security Deposit: ½ month’s rent Pet Deposit: ½ month’s rent No application fees No guest fees
Once every 12 months Not in first year of tenancy Limit set by Residential Tenancy Branch 2012: 4.3% www.rto.gov.bc.ca www.rto.gov.bc.ca 3 months written notice in a form approved by the Residential Tenancy Branch.
Pay rent in full and on time. Maintain reasonable health, cleanliness and sanitary standards. Follow the terms of your tenancy agreement. Notify landlord of any repairs or problems (don’t delay). Responsible for damage beyond normal wear and tear caused by you or a guest. Don’t unreasonably disturb others.
Provide copy of tenancy agreement within 21 days. Provide 2 opportunities to complete both a move-in and a move-out inspection report. Provide a receipt for rent paid in cash. Return deposits on time. Make repairs that comply with health, safety and housing standards.
Tell your landlord immediately when something needs to be repaired. If you delay and the problem gets worse, you could be held responsible. Put it in writing, get witnesses, and take pictures. Landlord is responsible for heating, plumbing, electricity, locks, walls, floors, ceilings, fire escapes, intercoms, elevators, bed bugs.
It’s important to know when to apply for dispute resolution. First, send your landlord a letter outlining your demands (TSG, page 32). What should it say? Address where you live What needs fixing Date you want it fixed by Current date Signature
Landlord must provide emergency contact number. What is an emergency? If the emergency contact cannot be reached after two tries, tenant can pay for repairs (be reasonable) and get money back from landlord (keep the receipt). BUT it’s always a good idea to speak with RTB first.
Reasonable privacy. Exclusive use of space. Freedom from unreasonable disturbances. Excessive noise, etc. Freedom from excessive interference from landlord.
24 hours written notice: Date Time Reason for entry Between 8am and 9pm. Emergency: entry is necessary to protect life or property. Flood, fire, water leak, etc.
Tenant must give forwarding address in writing. Once tenant has provided forwarding address and moved out, landlord has 15 days to: Return deposit with interest OR File for dispute resolution to keep deposit Tenant can agree in writing to landlord keeping some or all of the deposit.
If landlord doesn’t follow process, tenant can apply for double the deposit. If landlord refuses inspection report, they lose the right to keep deposit. If tenant doesn’t provide forwarding address within one year, they lose right to deposit.
Month-to-month: One FULL month written notice. 28 th, 29 th, 30 th, 31 st Tenancy ends at 1pm on last day of agreement. Fixed term lease: Legally binding contract. Personal problems do not have to be considered by landlord.
Must be in writing and include reasons for eviction. Must be in a form approved by government. 10 day notice: Non-payment of rent 5 days to pay rent in full (cancels eviction). BUT you can’t do this every month! One month notice: Cause Repeatedly paying rent late, disturbing neighbours, illegal activity, too many occupants, etc. Two month notice: Landlord use of property Landlord or their children or parents moving in, extensive renovations, demolishing property. 1 month compensation.
10 day notice 5 days to apply One month notice 10 days to apply Two month notice 15 days to apply If you have evidence that you were not evicted in “good faith” you can apply for compensation. 2 months rent
You can’t stop paying your rent because you have a problem with the landlord or other tenants. Apply for dispute resolution. Call the Residential Tenancy Branch. Write down the name of the Information Officer, as well as the date and time you spoke with them.
1. Make sure you’ve covered under the RTA. 2. Put it in writing! 3. Gather evidence: receipts, witnesses, pictures, letters, etc. 4. Common problems TRAC can help you with: repairs, deposits, quiet enjoyment, eviction, rent increases, breaking your lease, etc. 5. TRAC resources: Tenant Survival Guide, fact sheets, template letters, etc. 6. Find out about your rights and responsibilities through TRAC and the RTB.