Primer for prospective landlords

Primer for prospective landlords

Vancouver is a city ripe with real estate investment opportunities, whether it’s in the form of property flipping or housing rentals. If the latter is an avenue you are considering pursuing, be aware that it is no different than running any other kind of business. Before going any further, first have a look at the quick list we’ve compiled below of a few things prospective landlords should know about.

Residential Tenancy Act

There is a law that deals with the relationship between landlords and tenants, which is called the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA). The RTA lays out the rights and responsibilities of the two parties in the province of B.C. Study this document.

Types of rental

It doesn’t matter if you’re renting out the basement in your primary residence or an entire apartment building — both are bound by the same set of rules as per the RTA. In addition, the unit(s) in question is required to meet the British Columbia Building, Plumbing and Fire Codes.

Things to avoid

Landlords are prohibited from having tenants agree to any terms in conflict with the RTA. Although they may own the property, they cannot tell tenants what to cook, limit their electricity or water consumption if it is within reasonable use, dictate or restrict the entertaining of guests unless warranted (i.e. occurrence of property damage) or neglect maintenance of appliances and other basic equipment.

Residential Tenancy Branch

This government office provides assistance when issues arise between landlord and tenant. Staff can explain regulations and hold dispute regulation hearings should the situation escalate. A chosen branch representative examines individual cases, similar to a judge in court, and makes a legally binding decision.

Tenancy agreement

A tenancy agreement is a legal written contract detailing the rights and responsibilities found in the RTA, agreed upon by you and your tenant whom must also receive a copy. Sample agreements can be found on the Residential Tenancy Branch website.

To learn more, read the full Residential Tenancy Act here.

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