I want to share a letter that I wrote to our MLA, Steve Thompson, regarding the Residential Tenancy Board and its antics:
I have contacted you several times regarding issues pertaining to the Residential Tenancy Board and its policies and procedures and, to date, I have not had any response on behalf of landlords.
I am once again faced with a situation where the board is thwarting my efforts to evict a tenant for unpaid rent.
In this case, we entered into a tenancy agreement with the tenant July 15, 2012. This person paid rent until October and then stopped.
We commenced action against the tenant Nov. 17 and have followed board policies and procedures only to be horsed around by its "arbitration" process.
We received a hearing Jan. 7 - seven weeks later and two more rent payments lost. The hearing resulted in our favour and an attempt was made to evict the tenant.
We issued her notice to vacate by Jan. 11.
I then find out she has the right to a "review" of the decision which, in essence, buys her more time as a review can be done at any time for it has no mandated time frame.
As of Jan. 17, I had still not received word from the RTB, and the tenant was still in place.
Does this seem right?
As a landlord, I have placed hundreds of thousands of dollars into this property, only to lose control to a person who doesn't have a pot to pee in.
I can't believe that there isn't some burden of proof required before an issue like this goes to an arbitrator. You have either paid your rent or you haven't. Do we really need someone to say "Yes, I agree with you Mr. Landlord, she hasn't paid her rent."
The whole Residential Tenancy Board system needs to be reworked and streamlined. The RTB is dealing with people's assets and, in most cases, mortgaged assets that could be jeopardized by frivolous delay tactics brought about by manipulations of an overly complex system that tenants can exploit.
If your income stream was suddenly cut off for three or four months, could you pay your mortgage? Most couldn't.
The tenant has nothing to lose. They don't own property, they have no fixed assets and, in many cases, they are transient, so a landlord can't collect on any monetary awards for lost rent.
Something has to be done to change this system.
Landlords must unite to change these laws and force government to give back our rights as property owners.