Tenants Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry
As part of our “Let’s Improve the Alberta Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Alberta Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Alberta rental industry. Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tenants Speak Out: “It’s Time to Make Security Deposits Illegal in Alberta! Make Sure To Negotiate No Security Deposit!”
I’m very happy to have a way to express my opinions as a Tenant in Alberta. I’m a Tenant in Alberta. I moved here about five years ago to find a good job and lay down roots here. It’s been okay.
I dislike the total lack of respect for the environment, total lack of animal rights, and a feeling that women are second class citizens. But overall my job is pretty good and the taxes are low. The biggest problem has been dealing with so many rotten landlords who think they are “so much better than us” and use the system to rip us off.
As a Tenant in Alberta there really has been no where to turn. The media are all bought and paid for by the big oil companies. Our so-called elected representatives have made it clear they don’t care about Alberta Tenants.
I was told it’s because we are often “transient”. Yeah, that’s because we are looking for jobs and have workers have no security here.
We are told we don’t vote so one listens. Yeah, like we have any real choices and anyone to vote for.
I’ve heard that we should organize but we are too busy trying to pay the ridiculous rents here to have time to do anything else but eat, work, sleep and hope the landlord will actually fix things in the rental apartment we are paying for.
Since moving to Alberta one of the worst things about my life is renting. The landlords all feel they are ‘better’ than renters because they have a house and we have to rent. Well, landlords should realize we are the ones paying your mortgage.
But really the worst thing is the archaic and predatory way landlords charge damage deposits. It’s bizarre how landlords can get away with the things they do regarding damage deposits here. This needs to change and I hope enough people read this to start the process of making damage deposits illegal in Alberta.
Landlord Damage Deposit Demands are Insane
If you are new here the fact landlords demand so much money up front is shocking. If you dare consider yourself privilaged to actually own a pet the landlords will use this to up the demands. Are we dealing with landlords or with the mafia…or are they one and the same here?
Tenants Don’t Have So Much Money Up Front
Landlords get what economists call “passive income.” Probably most here, especially the lesser educated landlords, won’t understand this but “passive income” is what highly educated economists say when they mean people who collect money but don’t even actually have to work to get it.
Highly educated economists say tenants have to rely on our own labour power. This means we have to sweat it out to make money unlike landlords who can sit back, do nothing, and the money still rolls in. Because we have to work hard to save, tenants don’t have huge bank accounts like landlords do so paying these huge deposits is very tough for us.
Paying Big Deposits Means Less to Spend on Our Families, Educations, and Survival
Because hard working tenants have to give so much of our money to the landlords it means we have less money to spend on our families. It’s not easy to buy clothes and high quality fresh foods when so much of your pay check goes to the landlord and they have so much of your money up front.
It makes it harder for us to pay tuition so we can do new training for better jobs. It makes it difficult is any unexpected emergencies happen like if our pets need to see the vet or we need to buy new winter boots and coats to keep your children warm.
In What Other Business Do Owners Get To Collect So Much Money?
Only here do tenants have to pay so much up front just for the right to pay a huge portion of our monthly salary to a landlord who just sits back and collects it.
If you go to the supermarket to buy your kids groceries for their survival the grocery store doesn’t demand you pay thousands of dollars just for the right to buy fruits, vegetables, kraft dinners, and milk.
Landlords Our Pets As A Weapon To Demand More Money
How many times have I been told to pay thousands of dollars more because I have dogs and cats. If I told them I had pets, I could see the cash registers in their little minds ching-ching-chinging. It’s ridiculous!
How many tenants who can’t pay landlords these thousands of dollars have had to make the nightmare choice of giving up their pets just to be able to have a home to live in? For many of us it’s a choice of our pets or putting our children on the street.
Many Landlords Never Pay Back the Deposit
If all of this isn’t bad enough, the reality to be explained to you know is enough to demand we end the collection of damage deposits in Alberta now!
Many tenants move out and the property is in perfect condition but the seedy landlords don’t pay us the money back! Some will just ignore us and others will make stuff up about so-called “damages” or “stains” or other stuff that is just normal wear and tear.
Let’s Make Damage Deposits Illegal in Alberta
There is no need for landlords to collect a damage deposit at all. Tenants already pay our rent and if we don’t pay the landlords can evict tenants.
Let’s make it illegal for landlords to collect a damage deposit and if they demand one we should be able to go to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service to immediately get it back.
Landlords who break the new law should also have to pay a fine and also pay whatever they demanded before to the tenant in certified funds.
Just because you are renting doesn’t mean you should be able to be legally abused and exploited by people who look down on you.
Let’s change this now!
This is only one of the injustices tenants here face. I will be sending more in and hope they actually get published and not just vanish to whitewash how tenants really feel here and the changes we need.