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BC Landlords – Fixed Term Leases Are Out

January 2nd, 2018 · No Comments · BC Landlord rights, BC Landlords, British Columbia Landlords, British Columbia landlords association, Landlords BC, lease loophole

british columbia landlords fixed term lease loophole change

BC Tenants Voices Are Being Heard? Fixed Term Tenancies Viewed as a “Loophole” And Soon To End and a “Must See” Post at the BC Landlords Website!

Big Changes are happening in these days and there is a “must see” post at the BC landlords website from a tenant who is angry and demands changes. It’s a real eye-opener for landlords and shows how fierce some tenant activists are when demanding changes that might not really need to be changed.

Many British Columbia landlords know how important it is that we have the option to work with our BC tenants and both agree to a fixed term lease. On the official lease form landlords and tenants have the option for tenants to have a fixed term lease and move out when the lease term ends.  The other option is for tenants to continue on month by month when the lease officially “ends” like what Ontario landlords face.

Why Is Having The Option to Have a Fixed Term Lease Important for Landlords?

It’s very important! It provides landlords with some certainty when running a rental business. Both landlords and tenants would need to agree, up front, on this option. The tenants would move out at the end of the lease and if they wanted to stay they would negotiate with the landlord for a new lease.

This is how most US states operate. It’s a normal and fair way for landlords to make sure they can keep up with any increasing costs due to market changes. It also works for tenants because if the market drops they can negotiate a lower rent.

How Does A Fixed Term Lease Help Tenants?

It helps BC tenants because with the vacate clause they do not have to give the landlord notice to move because the lease will expire. They will then have the option to either negotiate a new lease or they can simply move out.

Why Are So Many BC Tenants Demanding This Be Changed?

There has been some cases where tenants on a one year fixed term lease wanted to stay and faced some large increases by landlords who want to make sure their tenants are paying current market rent.

There are also some tenants out there who feel it’s an injustice for BC landlords to charge market rent for tenants and want small private landlords to subsidize their living conditions.

You can see this type of attitude at the BC Landlords site where a tenant speaks their mind and seem almost radical in their views that landlords should not be able to have fixed term leases and be able to raise rents at the end of a lease term:

“The system allows unscrupulous landlords to gouge hard working BC Tenants by allowing them to bypass the annual rent increase guideline.

After doing some research it looks like a landlord group called ROMS BC lobbied to get this “little box” added to leases.

I don’t know if it’s true, but if this is so it makes the situation even worse because if landlords specifically made this happen it’s not fair because tenants didn’t have a say in the process.. It’s really shocking and every BC landlord and BC tenant should read it, if that’s how things really happened. The weird thing they say the fixed term lease box actually helps tenants.

Maybe the “box” makers had good intentions, but at least in my honest opinion and experience it’s being abused.

You can read the full article at: BC landlords tenants speak out.

Why Is This Important Option Being Changed? How Is It Justified?

It’s being called a “major loophole” that is affecting many BC renters. With tight rental markets in Vancouver many renters are afraid of being priced out. Some are saying it’s a way for landlords to get around the annual rent increase guideline.

Is It Really A Loophole?

It’s actually not, it’s a rule that has been in place for a while.  All it means is if a landlord and renters agree to a termination date in the lease, it means the contract has an end date. It what other industry do you sign a contract and one side can continue the contract terms…forever.

Are Fixed Term Leases Common in Other Places?

Yes.  For example most US states have fixed term leases. In Canada Alberta Landlords have fixed term leases where the tenants have to agree to what they signed on for.

What About The Accusations of Landlords Raising Rents High On Existing Tenants?

This isn’t correct. If tenants move out the landlords would advertise and find new tenants at the latest market rent. Landlords have to keep up with their costs and raise or lower rents according to the market. We are running a business and have a lot of expenses to be paid. If tenants want these changes the government should focus on building more low cost social housing and not put new burdens on hard working small landlords.

A Vancouver landlord wrote in to us about this issue:

I’m expected to rent out safe and well maintained properties. To do this I need to be able to keep the rent updated every year to cover my costs.

BC Landlords Are Facing Big Changes In 2018

It’s more important than ever for BC landlords to be careful and aware of the changes that are coming to our regulatory environment.

It’s also important for small British Columbia landlords to make our voices heard, loud and clear. It far to easy for some tenant activists to bash landlords in the media with no reply back. Landlords need to speak out and you can do so by joining the BC landlords group.

BC Landlords Need to Speak Out!

The reality is British Columbia landlords are facing a lot of big challenges and even more to come. We need rules that encourage investment and to persuade more people to invest in BC rentals.

We need more BC landlords to share their voices to make positive change in BC!

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