Friday, August 1, 2008

Everything You Need To Know About Tenant Occupied Properties

Investor update on where you stand with tenant occupied properties and how they affect your investment. First things first, the law. The Residential Tenancy act applies to residential tenancies in British Columbia. It contains exceptions for tenancies such as not for profit housing cooperatives, accommodation provided to students or employees and living accommodations occupied as vacation or travel accommodations. However, the residential tenancy act should not be used for commercial properties as it dos not apply. Also tenancy?s occupied by a mobile home park are regulated by the Manufactured home park tenancy act and not the residential tenancy act.

Here?s what you need to know:

Written tenancy agreements have been in effect since January 1st, 2004. Every agreement between an landlord and tenant must be in writing. The act requires that the tenancy agreement set out the standard terms which are included as a schedule to the Residential Tenancy Regulation. Remember to use legal names of the landlord and the tenant with the address and rental unit, date of tenancy agreement and all agreed terms included into the contract. You could use your own contract. However, if you phone a property manager in the British Columbia or Calgary area, you could obtain a contract from one of them. They can also offer several advantages to managing your property. Re-Keying Locks is a job that must be preformed by the landlord, if requested by the tenant. The landlord MUST re-key the locks as to prevent the previous tenant to enter into the rental unit. The cost of the re-keying or altering the lock must be paid by the landlord and under no circumstance be paid by the tenant in British Columbia Rentals or Alberta Rentals.

A Landlord may also require an additional deposit if the tenant wishes to have a pet. This deposit permits the tenant to keep the pet in the rented property. This deposit may not be greater than the equivalent of one half of one months rent.

A Landlord may also require a deposit for keys or access devices. For example: garage door openers or security keys.

A landlord can increase the rent annually after giving three months notice. Rent may be increased by a percentage equal to the consumer price index plus 2%. This dispute can be made by a tenant in arbitration. However, if the landlord is within the permitable increase then the landlord is within his rights.

Landlord may enter the property but must provide 24 hours notice to the tenant. However, if the tenant gives permission, the landlord may enter at the time requested.

An investor or landlord is not required to have pets in his or her investment. Pets may be restricted or prohibited by a landlord. Although a landlord can require a pet deposit, the landlord cannot request more then one pet deposit. The landlord is only allotted one pet deposit which should cover all pets owned by the tenant. Also a tenant can end a tenancy agreement for illegal activity being carried out by the tenant or guest of the tenant. If this illegal activity has caused or might cause damage to the landlords property then the landlord may end the agreement. All advice given should not be relied upon in any legal manner and you should always approach your lawyer, realtor or property manager for help in these manners. They are the professionals.

Shane Toews is a Licenced Realtor who helps others to educate themselves on current real estate issues. He also provides assistance on how to locate quality homes, apartments or vacation rentals in Canada's Fraser Valley area. Visit his website for more information on Canada's Fraser Valley Real Estate Market

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