Archive for the ‘Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service’ Category
Alberta Landlord With A Kind Heart Got Burned And Wants To Warn Others To Be Kind, But Watch Out!
Several recent posts in the Alberta Landlords Association site have shocked landlords and made it clear that we face major challenges these days. We asked landlords across the province to write in and share some of their stories.
The goal is not only to create a way for landlords to get things off their chest and release their stress, but also to help others learn (and the same fate).
An Edmonton landlord wrote in:
“Really Convincing People With a Good Story Became Renters From Hell”
Really want to let everyone know the dangers of being nice and trying to help people. Don’t get me wrong, for sure there are really decent people down on their luck who will be great tenants.
The problem is if these people are liars or even if they are good people who “turn” you can be stuck with thousands of dollars in lost rent and even more in damages.
My property was one I invested in and was decently priced because it needed a lot of work. The area was good close to transportation, schools, shopping and I put in $40,000 dollars to make it really attractive.
Where did this money come from? Well, we maxed our our RBC and Scotia and MBNA credit cards with bank transfers to come up with the money as we are sure as heck not rich.
When we finally got the place done we advertised it and had some replies but not nearly as many as we hoped. Our place was nice and the rent was reasonable, but the economy isn’t that great so we waited weeks until we had even a few applicants.
One of the people who came was a young couple who had moved here from the East Coast. When they came they really praised the property and said “it was the best one they saw.”
She explained she had her first child at 20 and divorced at 22. She was a single mum for until she met her boyfriend and they came to Alberta to start their new life and eventually get married and buy their own home here.
“Applicant Reminded Me Of Myself During My Hard Times and It Really Hit Home”
Her background really hit home as a former single mum myself. Yes, that hot guy in high school who bathed me in romance turned into a dummy who didn’t give a crap our our daughter.
After years of hard work, education, new job, savings, part time jobs I eventually managed to pull myself up and find a great guy who shared my goals and ambitions.
When I asked them I would need references and a credit check she said one of the reasons they moved is because they faced ‘black mold’ in their last place and the landlord did nothing so they had no reference. She explained the move from Nova Scotia cost them a lot and they had a bad credit score.
As someone who faced similar challenges in my life I believed her and my heart really wanted to help her like others helped me when I was struggling. And they were such a nice couple and loved the property so I rented to them.
Since they were so sincere they paid first month rent and told me they would pay a 3 month deposit once they moved and were on a more solid financial footing.
I rented to them with a one year lease. Not only was I happy to finally rent out the property to cover my mortgage, I was also happy to help a young couple who reminded me of my difficult situation years before.
I Felt Great With This Win-Win Situation
I really felt…great! Like a win-win situation. I was covering my mortgage, and also helping this couple and their child. It felt good The renters moved in and all was well. I was now a new landlord with paying tenants.
Then, and the end of the month she left a message for me saying there were mice. She said the mice were coming at night and accused me of “not disclosing this” from Day 1.
I came and didn’t see anything and she said because they come at night she needed a professional to come to protect her child. I agreed and booked a guy to come after the 1st (rent not paid).
The exterminator came on the 5th and said he didn’t see anything. I told her about this and she said the exterminator was not professional and she would need a “true professional” otherwise she would report my property to the city. I was stressed about this and wanted to fix it and got another exterminator to come on the 7th. He reported no problems.
She said the mice only come and night and even texted me a picture of a mouse. She said “let’s give this some time and if it continues we will move out to protect our family!” I agreed and told her to let me know.
Mice And Now Mold (So Who Caused The Mold?)
A couple weeks went by and rent was due again (after they didn’t pay last month). She said not only was the mice issue “a frigging nightmare” but there was mold in the shower and she was scared this would cause her “child to die!” I took this very seriously and hired a mold guy to measure the air quality.
We booked an appointment but she said she was going work and she demanded to be there in person to ensure they were professional as her child’s safety was at risk.
The next first of the month came and she told me she would move unless the air quality/mold person came and assured her and her boyfriend the property was truly safe. The next month rent was due I texted her and she said she still felt unsafe. I tried to be reasonable but said they had not paid rent for 3 months.
So Now I’m a Slumlord (Me? Shocked!)
Her reply was to accuse me of renting a horrible house and being a slumlord and to “not contact her until the safety issues were resolved.
Another month went by and no payment. I texted her and said if she didn’t pay I would have to evict her. She said she was still waiting for me to fix the mice and mold issues and it was illegal for me to harass her.
I was told if you come here the cops will be called on you for harassment when we only want a safe place to live with our child.
I was scared and waited until the next month and it didn’t come in. I went to check out the property and saw no one was there. After looking in the windows there was almost nothing there but trash, wood, papers, and the walls looked weird. I went in and saw the place was abandoned.
There was no way anyone was living here. And the condition of the property was shocking.
The carpets were destroyed. The walls had scratched and huge dents like people were partying and throwing things. The whole place stank like marijuana and the new appliances I bought were not only filthy but damaged. The fridge door didn’t close, the stove was soaked in grease with the burners not working.
I Got Burned Because I was Too Trusting
Where did I go wrong?I guess it was because the renter reminded me of myself. It wasn’t too long ago when it was hard for me to pay the bills and those who gave me a break and trusted me were so appreciated.
What Lessons Did I Learn?
Being a landlord is a business. Like like if you own a restaurant, or a contracting company or whatever. You can’t let personal feelings get i the way of good business sense.
Screen Your Potential Renters Carefully…and Coldly…Like Mr. Spock!
You really have to take your heart out of it. Now I’m an Alberta Landlords Association member and one older landlord told me:
“Did you ever watch the old Star Trek. Not the crappy new movies but the classic shows with Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, etc. You have to be like Mr. Spock. This might sound corny, but it’s a good reminder to keep emotion out of your decision making and be cold as ice.”
No emotion and base your decisions on things like credit checks, criminal checks and the cold hard facts.
If Issues Come Up Deal With It Fast And Get Help From Experienced Landlords
When this was going on I felt I had no where to ask for help. Now I know I’m not alone and have a big support network.
This Won’t Make Me Give Up
There are really a lot of great landlords all across Canada who are so supportive and warm at the Alberta Landlords Forum. They told me there was no need to take this “personally” (which I did!) and this often happens to new landlords.
Share your stories by emailing us as firstname.lastname@example.org or posting on the Alberta landlords forum.
Tenants Speak Out: “Don’t Argue With Your Landlord, Take Your Landlord To the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) Where Tenants Have Rights And You Will Win!”Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
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 email@example.com
The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service Really Does Protect Tenants. Don’t Fight Your Landlord Directly If You have Any Problems With Your Rental Home Take Your Landlord To the Residential Tenancy Dispute Service
This email is to help Alberta Tenants like myself know our rights which are often covered up in Alberta.
Anyone else have lots of arguments with their landlords these days? I bet a lot of you have!
In my case let’s see some problems since I decided to pay her mortgage for her while she dreams the property will up in value next year and she will sell, lol!
There are probably good landlords around but I find the landlords here like to “bully” tenants so it’s basically impossible to work things out, as they are unreasonable and often act like psychopaths. Not everyone, but in my case it was like dealing with the Tasmanian devil you see in the Bugs Bunny cartoons!
At the Residential Dispute Tenancy Dispute Service the Landlord Can’t Bully You and Must Treat You With Respect
I had a big bully of a landlord who was so proud and looked down on me as a renter. We had problems and she treated me with no respect. She failed to realize that my hard earned rent money was paying her mortgage each month and I was someone who wouldn’t put up with her treating me like anything but the A+++ tenant I am.
I took her to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service and she was polite and weak…and I won! No bullying, no bullsh*t and no threats.
Avoid Face To Face Interactions and Just Go To Landlord/Tenant Court (RTDRS)
I found landlords here like to try to intimidate tenants. So just avoid them and take all your concerns directing tot he RTDRS. This is a legal court and the landlords have to behave or they can be punished!
Tenants Make Sure You Use The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)
I contacted the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) directly and asked them to provide some details to us.
The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) offers landlords and tenants an alternative means of resolving serious disputes outside of court.The RTDRS is designed to be faster, more informal and less expensive than the courts. The RTDRS can help tenants in four main ways:
Damages – This means the landlord will be ordered to pay the tenant for any financial losses because the landlord didn’t follow their legal obligations.
Rent Abatement – If the landlord doesn’t take their responsibilities laid out in both the lease and the Residential Tenancies Act they will be ordered to reduce the rent for the tenant.
Compensation – If the landlord doesn’t do needed repairs to keep you safe and comfortable in your home you can apply to get money from the landlord.
Termination of the Tenancy – You file and will get to move out early
Let’s look at some of the issues me and the landlord right out of Game of Thrones had.
1. The frickin shower is moldy and the landlord is responsible to fix it
I told my landlady aka “the landlord from Hell” about this and she said it was because of my long showers and not turning on the fan. My reply is: like hey, I turn on the fan and it just isn’t strong enough because you went ‘cheap’ on buying the fan and it won’t stop mold! And what I did doesn’t even really matter because the landlord is responsible for repairing mold.
2. The people next door are noisy are smoking weed and it bothers me and the landlord is responsible to protect me and my enjoyment
I have the right to peaceful enjoyment to the property. So Ms. Moneybags tells me “her hands are tied and there’s nothing she can do.” Well you need to follow the lease and it’s not my problem!
3. This rental isn’t safe
If you don’t feel safe you can make the landlord put in locks, security cameras and more. If they don’t you can apply to the RTDRS to MAKE THE LANDORD MAKE YOUR HOME SAFE!
4. Maintenance issues galore
The drains are filled with hair or something and it’s almost impossible to even have a normal bath! I’m paying for this property and paying for your mortgage and I need to be able to have a bath!
The fridge and washer and dryer are too old You expect me to pay for power when you give me these old crappy appliances? That’s not right and if you aren’t at least going to buy new appliances you legally need to keep the old ones in good shape.
5. Landlord won’t pay back the deposit
This problem is so common. Tenants need to go to the tenant-friendly RTDRS to seek justice!
Alberta Tenants Need to Avoid Your Landlord And File At Court Where A Judge Will Stop Their Bulling and Intimidation
Don’t argue with your landlord directly, always go over their head and have an official with legal power be an impartial judge. This way you don’t ever need to feel intimidated.
(a) Demand the Return of Your Security Deposit
So many tenants struggling to survive face evil landlords who refuse to return their security deposits. Tenants can apply at the RTDRS and get you money back.
(b) Ending the Tenancy Due to the Landlord’s Breach of the Rental Agreement
This can mean lots of things such as not maintaining the property or you have to put up with noise or eve the bathroom clogs. You are not handcuffed to a bad rental property just because you have a lease.
(c) Financial damages form the Landlord’s Rental Agreement Breach
Did you have to move when you didn’t want to because of problems with your rental property your landlord didn’t fix? Take your landlord to the RTDRS and “sue” them for all the money you had to spend to move. If the landlord doesn’t pay you then garnish their wages or put a lien on the rental property.
d) Reduction of rent for loss of benefit of a rental agreement
If you think the landlord broke the lease in any way, take them to the RTDRS and you can get a decrease in rent.
(e) Compensation for performing the landlord’s obligations as outlined in the rental agreement
If the landlord didn’t follow the lease as you see it, you can make them pay you money.
Where Can Tenants Get More Information About These Services?
Detailed information and downloadable tip sheets about using the service at their website at www.servicealberta.ca.
There Is No Need To Argue With Your Landlord Directly. Avoid Intimidation and Harassment Taking Any Issues Directly to the RTDRS
Being a tenant can make you feel lonely and scared. Landlords can come right to your door and they even enter. By putting them in an “official court” they have to behave and follow the rules.
It was amazing to how my super aggressive landlady turned into a soft-spoken and careful person when I took her to court.
The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service is Fair and Protects Your Rights!
Some of you might be thinking it’s complicated and time consuming. But it’s not that bad at all. And remember you are fighting for your home and your rights as a Tenant under the Alberta Residential Tenancies Act.
Alberta Tenants have rights must you must stand up and demand them!
Who Can You Contact For More Information?
If you have further questions, please contact the RTDRS at:
Edmonton: (780) 644-3000
For toll-free access within Alberta, first dial 310-0000
Alberta Tenants Wake Up: The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service is Fair And You Will Win!
Under the fair NDP government Tenants Have Rights In Alberta! Just the media won’t tell you that!
If you have any issues with your landlord take them to landlord and tenant court and defend your rights!
Get Real World “In the Trenches” Advice From Experienced and Successful Alberta Landlords & Property Managers
Experienced and successful Alberta landlords know there are a lot of great renters out there. For years Alberta has been a place hard-working people from across Canada want to come to.
Even with the recent economic downturn people see Alberta as the ideal place to find a job, start a business, put down roots, start a family, and invest in the future.
What Makes A Great Renter?
Long time landlords know the key to being a successful Alberta landlord is finding good renters. These are people who pay their rent on time, take care of the rental property, and respect their landlord and other renters (if it’s a multi-unit rental).
An Edmonton landlord wrote about her great tenants saying:
“They are a couple who moved here from Nova Scotia and found work. They keep the property clean, pay the rent with post-dated cheques and are just wonderful people.”
A Calgary landlord who rents his basement wrote:
“There are still good renters out there if you have an attractive place at the right price. I rent to a younger guy who is working two jobs now and also studying at night! He says his goal is to land a good job and be a landlord himself one day!”
Be Careful Because Bad Renters Are Out There Too!
A recent story on the CBC news site is about a landlord named Jennifer Leeming who owns a rental property in Calgary.
Jennifer did all the right things. She had a bright and spacious rental property on the market and had the best intentions to be a super landlord and rent out her beautiful rental property. It sounds so simple, right? A caring landlord with a wonderful rental property just waiting for good renters. It should be so simple…but it isn’t!
Tenants From Hell
Jennifer ended up with “Tenants from Hell” who played the system and ended up costing her huge financial losses.When the renters asked for a break this landlord tried to accommodate them and work something out. This was a big mistake as it only led to more damages to the rental unit, more non-paid rent, and bigger problems.
The new flooring was treated like an ashtray. The renters didn’t even have the common courtesy to buy an ashtray at the dollar or go outside to smoke.
There were many holes in the drywall all over the property. And the stair railings were ripped out making it dangerous to go up and down the stairs.
The nicely renovated bathrooms were destroyed.
These “Tenant From Hell” caused tens of thousands of dollars in damages!
Just Follow the System, Right?
Wrong. Look what happened.
When Jennifer started the eviction process the renters challenged her and said: “I’M NOT MOVING UNTIL YOU PROVIDE A COURT DOCUMENT! “ Unfortunately this type of rude and aggressive behaviour is common with bad tenants who are going to rip you off.
Tenants Finally Left…Then Vanished Without Paying a Cent
And when Jennifer used the RTDRS and got them out what happened? She got paid by the tenants for the amount the RTDRS ordered right? Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.
After she served the tenants, they did a midnight run and took off to Saskatchewan. They did all the damages and it will be basically impossible to ever to recover her losses from these “Tenants From Hell”.
Dealing With Alberta Tenant Challenges
When you rent to tenants you need to be aware of the system and the rules. The old saying “Knowledge is Power” really applies to being a landlord in Alberta these days.
And as Jennifer found out, just going through the system often isn’t enough and leads to huge headaches, drawn out evictions, and even bigger financial losses.
According to landlord Jennifer:
“I feel it’s so unfair. I’ve worked my entire life to provide for my family and my child’s future and people have come along and taken that all away and that’s just so wrong”
Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault
In order to help Alberta landlords succeed we asked experienced and successful landlords and property managers to come up with tips and strategies to help small residential landlords succeed.
Don’t Be a Victim of Bad Tenants
It’s more important than every before to learn tips and strategies to make sure your rental business is successful. The harsh reality is there are lots of bad renters out there and they can cost you thousands of dollars and months of headaches and heartaches.
Successful Alberta Landlords
There are a lot of great tenants out there. And there are also a lot of potential “Tenants From Hell”. With the Alberta Landlord Vault you can get the tips and strategies you need to succeed.
The Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault
We asked some of the most experienced landlords and property managers to put together a vault of answers to help other landlords succeed.
And they came through big time – and we put their knowledge together in a professionally recorded audio CD that helps you through all the steps to running a successful and profitable rental business, in good economic times or bad.
Here are some of the issues answered in the Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault to help you succeed as a landlord in Alberta.
What you get is a “start” to “finish” guide to becoming a successful Alberta landlord and how to deal with situations fast and effectively before they become like cancer and grow. No marketing hype, only real work “in the trenches” advice to help small landlords succeed.
Questions and discussion includes the following:
What really are the best ways to prepare my rental to attract the best renters out there looking for a place?
How can I convince the best tenants to rent from me over other landlords? How do successful landlords do this?
Do I need to get any type of special insurance for my rental to protect myself and my financial future?
What are good potential renters really looking for these days and how can I make my rental property special?
Is it a good idea to pay for a property manager or manage things myself?
I hear stories about some bad property managers out there! How do you choose the best property manager?
Is it a good idea to hire a real estate agent to rent out my property?
How do you set the best rental prices for your rental to advertise at attract premium tenants?
How do you do expert market research on your local rental market?
How do you ultimately decide how much the rent will be?
How do you pre-screen tenants to not waste time with bringing people you won’t don’t want to see the apartment?
How do experienced landlords really successfully screen tenants who want to rent from you?
How do you set times to show your rental property?
Tenants keep cancelling appointments on me and it’s driving me nuts. How do you fix this?
Do you screen everyone who is going to move in or is that not the way to do it?
Why is asking what renters are currently paying for rent important for me?
How do you avoid applicants who are just playing games and not serious?
How can I make sure the applicants say who they say they are and not playing games?
My applicants want me to explain to them! Do you tell your potential renters how you are screening them?
What’s the best way to verify if they are working or not? I want to avoid renting to scammers!
How do you go into really “in-depth” checking of their employment information and avoiding lying tenants?
How do you screen self-employed applicants to make sure they are financially sound?
How do experienced landlords screen applicants moving to Alberta from other provinces?
How important are personal references for Alberta landlords? How do you know if a reference is fishy or valid?
What do you do if the applicants refuses to give their current landlords information?
What do you do if an applicants refuses to provide their SIN number?
How do you run a credit check on a potential renter to find out the most important information?
How do you read a credit check to determine if you should rent to them or not?
What do you do if their credit history shows late payments?
What do you do if the credit check shows a lot of debt?
What do you do if there is a collection on the renter’s credit report?
What types of credit scores do experienced Alberta landlords demand?
How do you really choose the best tenants to put into your rental?
If you have two really good applicants, what is the real criteria to choose one over the other?
What do you do if the applicants have no credit history but seem like good people?
How do you avoid renting from professional tenants who will cause me to lose thousands of dollars?
How the heck do you notify the person you want to rent to?
Are there any tips or strategies when telling your applicant you will rent to them?
How do you make sure the renters are clear on the rules from day 1 to avoid future problems?
What types of leases do you use?
What’s a period tenancy?
What’s a fixed term lease?
What’s better, a periodic tenancy or a fixed term lease…and why?
What information should I include in my lease to protect myself. I’m looking for the most protection!
Does the lease have to be in writing?
Can I require proof of insurance as a condition of the lease?
Is it okay to say no pets are allowed in the lease?
Can Alberta landlords change a pet fee or not?
What happens at the end of fixed term lease?
Can I charge a security deposit? How does that work in Alberta?
Can I charge a non-refundable pet fee and also charge a security deposit?
Can I deduct money from the security deposit for carpet cleaning, painting, and other damages?
If two tenants are renting my place and one moves out do I have to return half the security deposit?
Do you do an inspection when renters move out?
What happens if the tenant doesn’t show up for the move out inspection?
What do you do if your tenants don’t pay rent?
Can I best do an eviction if the renters don’t pay rent? I need to get this done fast!
What do you do if the tenant breaks a rule in the lease?
What types of notices are available if your renters are breaking the rules of your lease?
What are the reasons I can use to evict a renter?
If the renters are damaging my rental what can I do?
If tenants are threatening me or other tenants in the building what can I do?
My renters are playing their music super loud so what can I do?
My renters are dealing drugs what can I do? This is a very troubling situation!
The Tenants are leaving garbage all over the place so what do expert landlords do when this happens?
If the tenants refuse to leave at the end of the lease what do you do?
Can my tenants have lots of guests over at all times?
My renters want my contact information. Should I give it to them?
I don’t want to give my personal information for safety reasons but do I have to provide it to tenants?
One group of tenants is complaining other tenants are noisy so what should I do? It becoming a nightmare!
I’m selling my property so do I have to tell my renters?
The new buyer of my rental wants to keep the tenants so how do I handle this?
I live with my tenant and she is nuts and argues with me about everything so what can I do?
How do you fix problems with tenants who live in your house with you?
Can I go to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service for problems with renters living in my house?
How to you handle renters who want to sublet?
Can I refuse a tenant who wants to sublet my rental property?
How do you reply to a renter who wants to sublet?
My tenant says he wants to assign his apartment so what can I do?
What are legal grounds to refuse a sublet or assignment as I don’t feel comfortable with it?
My tenants did some repairs and now are charging me! Do I have to pay?
The new people I rented to brought in bedbugs so what can I do?
How do you give notice if you are going into the rental to do repairs?
How do you give notice to your tenants to enter the rental property?
Can a contractor enter the rental property without the landlord being present?
My tenant said she doesn’t have to pay rent while I’m doing repairs. Is this true?
How do landlords deal with tenants who are smoking or growing marijuana?
My tenants are fighting over their shared laundry do I have to get involved?
My renters go laid off and want to break the lease so what should I do?
How do you deal with tenant vs. tenant issues?
Do I have to give my tenants who are moving a recommendation?
My renters got laid off and want to break the lease so what can I do?
My tenants want to change the lease agreement and say I have to, is this true?
The current rent check is NSF what should I do and they didn’t move out! What can I do?
My tenants are rude and aggressive to me. I’m scared and wonder how I should deal with them?
I think I have “Tenants From Hell” and need help! Renter trashing the unit, cops won’t help, drunk. What should I do?
Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault – Get Help From Experienced and Successful Alberta Landlords and Property Managers
The Alberta landlord vault is designed to help landlords succeed. Make sure you run your rental business the right way by knowing your rights and responsibilities and being ready to handle any challenges that might arise in a fast and effective manner.
Knowledge is power and by knowing how the industry works you can take control of your rental business! Get access the The Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault in the Intermediate Services for a one time fee.
With Big Changes Happening In Our Province Let’s Make Sure Small Landlord Concerns Get Heard!
Things are going to change in Alberta with new leadership that is on the side of business owners and investors. We need to support everyday folks who are entrepreneurial and want to invest in our amazing province.
It wasn’t that long ago when there was huge net migration in Alberta. People from all over Canada came to Alberta for a better future.
There were lots of high paying jobs and landlords could rent to good tenants (who paid the rent on time and respected the landlord and the rental property).
But over the past four years small residential landlords have faced lots of challenges. Some have even been financially destroyed.
We need more protections for when times are good and when times are challenging.
With a new pro-business government let’s make sure we get our opinions and suggestions heard to fix the Alberta Rental Industry and protect small landlords!
Please share your ideas, experiences and opinions by taking our survey and it will be sent to the Ministry To Help Small Landlords Succeed.