New posts

Dispute with Landlord Questions

Aug. 4, 2016, 12:07 p.m.
Posts: 11502
Joined: June 29, 2006

Dear NBR Brain Trust,

I have just moved out of a rental and my landlord is claiming for $250.00 damage on the stairs. They are scratched up, but they are softwood with stain only, no clear coat, so I don't think we owe them anything for it.

I am deciding whether it is worth it to fight the claim, but I have another issue.

In April they advised us they were going to repair the deck. We had a large covered deck that was leaking on one spot and causing damage. It was estimated to take a couple of weeks. Shortly after that they increased our rent 25% (yes it was legal… fixed term lease) and so we decided to move out at the end of the lease (July 31st).

So we were instructed to remove all our deck chairs, table, my eliptiical trainer, etc from the deck on June 12th and they still had not installed the railings by the time we moved out. So we had no use of the deck for 50 days during the summer. We also had the sounds of construction on and off over that time including on the weekends because our landlords thought they knew better than the contractor they hired and would add screws and brackets while they were not there. I measured the noise at over 80 dB. Since my wife is either at home with our daughter or working from home this caused us problems.

Anyhoo, does anyone know if we would have a decent case for compensation. I don't really want to take this to arbitration but I will be firing it across their bow in order to get my complete deposit back. I also don't like them. LOL.

Aug. 4, 2016, 12:59 p.m.
Posts: 1036
Joined: Aug. 10, 2003

My understanding of landlords deducting amounts from deposits for damage is they can only do so if an inspection of the unit was done at the time of move in and time of move out, and the tenant has agreed to the deduction in writing. You should be able to make a claim for loss of use of your balcony too. This is an example given at the bottom of the first link below. Don't know how much you could claim. Maybe calculate area of balcony as % of total apartment area x rent x number of months.

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/ending-a-tenancy/claims-for-damages-or-loss

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/ending-a-tenancy/returning-deposits

Aug. 4, 2016, 1:29 p.m.
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Dear NBR Brain Trust,

I have just moved out of a rental and my landlord is claiming for $250.00 damage on the stairs. They are scratched up, but they are softwood with stain only, no clear coat, so I don't think we owe them anything for it.

I am deciding whether it is worth it to fight the claim, but I have another issue.

In April they advised us they were going to repair the deck. We had a large covered deck that was leaking on one spot and causing damage. It was estimated to take a couple of weeks. Shortly after that they increased our rent 25% (yes it was legal… fixed term lease) and so we decided to move out at the end of the lease (July 31st).

So we were instructed to remove all our deck chairs, table, my eliptiical trainer, etc from the deck on June 12th and they still had not installed the railings by the time we moved out. So we had no use of the deck for 50 days during the summer. We also had the sounds of construction on and off over that time including on the weekends because our landlords thought they knew better than the contractor they hired and would add screws and brackets while they were not there. I measured the noise at over 80 dB. Since my wife is either at home with our daughter or working from home this caused us problems.

Anyhoo, does anyone know if we would have a decent case for compensation. I don't really want to take this to arbitration but I will be firing it across their bow in order to get my complete deposit back. I also don't like them. LOL.

As for the sound of the construction, not sure you would have much that you could prove or argue. You are allowed construction noise Mon-Fri 7AM-8PM and 10AM-8PM on Sat. at a private residence.

http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/construction.aspx

As for the deposit, you either have to come to an agreement (maybe a partial refund just smooth things over?) or file for arbitration. You have to decide if it is worth your time and associated aggravation. :)

Aug. 4, 2016, 2:28 p.m.
Posts: 9747
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ0up_MjsLk

Aug. 4, 2016, 2:30 p.m.
Posts: 183
Joined: July 26, 2005

Check your lease and Residential Tenancy Act for provisions about quiet enjoyment of your rental. Just because construction is allowed during certain hours via City bylaws doesn't mean your landlord can impact your rights to quiet enjoyment.

Aug. 4, 2016, 3:09 p.m.
Posts: 5330
Joined: Feb. 3, 2006

Dear NBR Brain Trust,

I have just moved out of a rental and my landlord is claiming for $250.00 damage on the stairs. They are scratched up, but they are softwood with stain only, no clear coat, so I don't think we owe them anything for it.

I am deciding whether it is worth it to fight the claim, but I have another issue.

In April they advised us they were going to repair the deck. We had a large covered deck that was leaking on one spot and causing damage. It was estimated to take a couple of weeks. Shortly after that they increased our rent 25% (yes it was legal… fixed term lease) and so we decided to move out at the end of the lease (July 31st).

So we were instructed to remove all our deck chairs, table, my eliptiical trainer, etc from the deck on June 12th and they still had not installed the railings by the time we moved out. So we had no use of the deck for 50 days during the summer. We also had the sounds of construction on and off over that time including on the weekends because our landlords thought they knew better than the contractor they hired and would add screws and brackets while they were not there. I measured the noise at over 80 dB. Since my wife is either at home with our daughter or working from home this caused us problems.

Anyhoo, does anyone know if we would have a decent case for compensation. I don't really want to take this to arbitration but I will be firing it across their bow in order to get my complete deposit back. I also don't like them. LOL.

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/ending-a-tenancy/claims-for-damages-or-loss

"A tenant isn't responsible for reasonable wear and tear to a rental unit from normal usage over time. "

If the steps are soft wood and the 'damage' is just the finish wearing off from using the steps regularly, that's wear and tear. If the 'damage' was caused by carelessly moving a piano, or from your dog's claws, that's actual damage that you would be on the hook for.

Also, how did they come up with the $250 figure? Seems awfully arbitrary.

Aug. 4, 2016, 3:39 p.m.
Posts: 11502
Joined: June 29, 2006

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/ending-a-tenancy/claims-for-damages-or-loss

"A tenant isn't responsible for reasonable wear and tear to a rental unit from normal usage over time. "

If the steps are soft wood and the 'damage' is just the finish wearing off from using the steps regularly, that's wear and tear. If the 'damage' was caused by carelessly moving a piano, or from your dog's claws, that's actual damage that you would be on the hook for.

Also, how did they come up with the $250 figure? Seems awfully arbitrary.

They got a quote from a guy for $500 and thought $250 was fair. The stairs didn't have a finish, that is why I am fighting it. You could scratch them with your finger nails. My argument is that there is hardwood at the top of the staircase which is finished (as hardwood or laminate flooring is typically) and it is not damaged at all, but every stair is. The same feet crossed both yet only the stairs show damage.

She sent me before and after photos and you can see the scratches in the before photos as well, but they used stain to make them look better. The scratches are definitely from a dogs claws, but without a single layer of urethane I don't see how she has a leg to stand on.

The fact is they were terrible landlords so I want to fight them. We moved in and were told that the landlords came up and used the basement suite on the odd weekend. We thought "this won't be that bad, they probably come up in the summer and go hiking or whatever." Nope, they were there about 95% of the weekends (not an exaggeration) and took over the entire yard as soon as they arrived. It didn't matter if it was mid December and pouring rain, they were there. You couldn't go to your car without seeing one of them. They would fire up their dirt bikes, or lawn mower or whatever at any time they felt like it. Sunday night after dinner… why not start hammering on something at the side of the house. They were nosy in your face assholes for 2 years. It felt like living in someone else's campsite.

One time they hired a chimney cleaner and when my wife let him in the door to clean the wood stove the husband followed him right into our living room and started looking around uninvited. When I was moving out and they thought I had left because I parked my truck down the street but my movers were still packing stuff out the door, they sent their kids on our deck to look in the door and check out the house but I busted the little bastards and kicked them off. I know he was below the deck and heard it all too. They had no boundaries and drove us insane.

They are not getting a penny without a fight.

Aug. 4, 2016, 3:51 p.m.
Posts: 5330
Joined: Feb. 3, 2006

They got a quote from a guy for $500 and thought $250 was fair. The stairs didn't have a finish, that is why I am fighting it. You could scratch them with your finger nails. My argument is that there is hardwood at the top of the staircase which is finished (as hardwood or laminate flooring is typically) and it is not damaged at all, but every stair is. The same feet crossed both yet only the stairs show damage.

She sent me before and after photos and you can see the scratches in the before photos as well, but they used stain to make them look better. The scratches are definitely from a dogs claws, but without a single layer of urethane I don't see how she has a leg to stand on.

The fact is they were terrible landlords so I want to fight them. We moved in and were told that the landlords came up and used the basement suite on the odd weekend. We thought "this won't be that bad, they probably come up in the summer and go hiking or whatever." Nope, they were there about 95% of the weekends (not an exaggeration) and took over the entire yard as soon as they arrived. It didn't matter if it was mid December and pouring rain, they were there. You couldn't go to your car without seeing one of them. They would fire up their dirt bikes, or lawn mower or whatever at any time they felt like it. Sunday night after dinner… why not start hammering on something at the side of the house. They were nosy in your face assholes for 2 years. It felt like living in someone else's campsite.

One time they hired a chimney cleaner and when my wife let him in the door to clean the wood stove the husband followed him right into our living room and started looking around uninvited. When I was moving out and they thought I had left because I parked my truck down the street but my movers were still packing stuff out the door, they sent their kids on our deck to look in the door and check out the house but I busted the little bastards and kicked them off. I know he was below the deck and heard it all too. They had no boundaries and drove us insane.

They are not getting a penny without a fight.

I wouldn't pay, let them make the case that the damage was caused by negligence. The burden of proof is on them.

Aug. 4, 2016, 4:08 p.m.
Posts: 11502
Joined: June 29, 2006

I wouldn't pay, let them make the case that the damage was caused by negligence. The burden of proof is on them.

Exactly. I am not going to make it easy.

Aug. 4, 2016, 4:54 p.m.
Posts: 2170
Joined: Aug. 28, 2006

In my experience, going to the Residential Tenancy Board is a bit like fighting a speeding ticket. The odds are not in your favor. In fact, they are pretty heavily weighted against you. Good luck though. Sounds like your landlord is a douchenugget.

Aug. 4, 2016, 7:54 p.m.
Posts: 3
Joined: May 29, 2012

My understanding of landlords deducting amounts from deposits for damage is they can only do so if an inspection of the unit was done at the time of move in and time of move out, and the tenant has agreed to the deduction in writing.

At the point keys are handed over and if above procedure was not completed you are entitled to a full refund of your deposit plus interest after 15 calendar days.

Aug. 5, 2016, 11:32 a.m.
Posts: 2285
Joined: Feb. 5, 2005

I'd fight them. Fuck landlords.

I'm gearing up for a fight with my landlord when I move out over $600 in "non-refundable deposit / pet fee". Nevada doesn't allow any non-refundable fees unless specifically stated as cleaning fees in the lease agreement.

NV State law specifically says, "Except for an agreement which provides for a nonrefundable charge for cleaning, in a reasonable amount, no rental agreement may contain any provision characterizing any security under this section as nonrefundable or any provision waiving or modifying a tenant’s rights under this section. Any such provision is void as contrary to public policy."

Should be an easy fight. We'll see if I have to go to court over it or if the threat is enough. Like the OP said, this is mostly about them being assholes. Her brother lived out back in a 5th wheel the first year while we were here, constantly threatening that rent was going to go up, or if we were ever late on rent (I was typically about a week early) he would evict us that day. By the end I was getting pretty close to threatening him with a restraining order if the BS didn't stop, as his name wasn't anywhere on the lease, he just acted in place of the landlord since she lives in Washington. Fortunately he moved out, but the bad blood is still there.

That's the problem with cities, they're refuges for the weak, the fish that didn't evolve.

I don't want to google this - sounds like a thing that NSMB will be better at.

Aug. 5, 2016, 1:42 p.m.
Posts: 1186
Joined: Oct. 21, 2008

In my experience, going to the Residential Tenancy Board is a bit like fighting a speeding ticket. The odds are not in your favor. In fact, they are pretty heavily weighted against you. Good luck though. Sounds like your landlord is a douchenugget.

Really? Having been both a tenant and a landlord I am pretty convinced it's called the "Residential Tenancy Board" because, you know, they're primarily interested in protecting the rights of the Tenant and couldn't give a rat's ass about protecting the landlord.

If you don't believe it try going through the process required to collect the rent you are contractually owed if the tenant does not, or cannot pay.

Having heard stories about all the terrible slum lords and "renovictions" that take place I can see why Tenants need to be afforded protection for their basic rights.

But even when there is clear [HTML_REMOVED] obvious evidence that the Tenant has violated the contract, a landlord should expect next to no help from the RTB - other than being able to download and use their notice to end tenancy forms for free!

Aug. 8, 2016, 10:44 a.m.
Posts: 11502
Joined: June 29, 2006

Really? Having been both a tenant and a landlord I am pretty convinced it's called the "Residential Tenancy Board" because, you know, they're primarily interested in protecting the rights of the Tenant and couldn't give a rat's ass about protecting the landlord.

If you don't believe it try going through the process required to collect the rent you are contractually owed if the tenant does not, or cannot pay.

A buddy of mine on the Island just went through this and said the same thing. He couldn't even start the process of getting rid of his tenant until she had missed 3 rent payments in a row.

As an update the landlord was convinced that I did indeed have a case to be made and is giving me back my full refund.

As always, thanks for all your help and advise NBR.

Aug. 8, 2016, 11:11 a.m.
Posts: 16696
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

This the point where you get all angry because you were preparing for a good fight, but the opponent rolls over and admits defeat before you lay down the first punch.

Nothing left but to find some puppies to kick to get rid of residual aggression.

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.

Forum jump: