Real Estate

Being forced to change to 3 bedroom apartment

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 16th, 2017 8:26 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 1, 2006
1056 posts
161 upvotes

Being forced to change to 3 bedroom apartment

I currently rent a 2 bedroom apartment in BC with my wife and young child.

We've been living in the unit for a couple of years now.

I have two issues with the management of this apartment.

1. They are not allowing me to tick the box marked "at the end of this 1 year lease rental terms will convert to a month-to-month basis". They force
me to tick that I will vacate the unit at the end of the 12 month lease every year. When I ask them they say "this is for both of our protection" and "we do this with all our tenants." When I lived in Ontario I had no such problem and my leases would convert to month-to-month after the first year. I'm concerned that my landlord will one day tell me to vacate the unit at the end of my lease just to re-rent my unit at a higher rent.

2. The landlord recently inserted a new term into the lease stating that any new occupants to a unit would be subject to a $300/month charge. I though this was to deal with people taking in roomates and splitting the rent, etc. My wife and I are trying to have another child so we inquired if another child would be subject to this fee. "Yes" was the answer. I was very surprised and wondered if this was legal. So if my wife and I had 2 of our children in our 2 bedroom apartment the rent would increase by $300 per month. Then the landlord went further and said that we wouldn't be allowed to have 2 children in our 2 bedroom apartment. She would force us to move into a 3 bedroom unit in the building because "each child needs to have their own bedroom." I was incredulous. According to her 2 young children cannot share a bedroom. Meanwhile the 3 bedroom would be priced a market rent so we would have to pay about $200/month more than now.

Can the landlord really railroad us on these two issues? Is it legal for them to do this? What is my recourse?
6 replies
Penalty Box
May 1, 2012
6418 posts
2762 upvotes
Markham
minimalist wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 4:12 pm
I currently rent a 2 bedroom apartment in BC with my wife and young child.

We've been living in the unit for a couple of years now.

I have two issues with the management of this apartment.

1. They are not allowing me to tick the box marked "at the end of this 1 year lease rental terms will convert to a month-to-month basis". They force
me to tick that I will vacate the unit at the end of the 12 month lease every year. When I ask them they say "this is for both of our protection" and "we do this with all our tenants." When I lived in Ontario I had no such problem and my leases would convert to month-to-month after the first year. I'm concerned that my landlord will one day tell me to vacate the unit at the end of my lease just to re-rent my unit at a higher rent.

2. The landlord recently inserted a new term into the lease stating that any new occupants to a unit would be subject to a $300/month charge. I though this was to deal with people taking in roomates and splitting the rent, etc. My wife and I are trying to have another child so we inquired if another child would be subject to this fee. "Yes" was the answer. I was very surprised and wondered if this was legal. So if my wife and I had 2 of our children in our 2 bedroom apartment the rent would increase by $300 per month. Then the landlord went further and said that we wouldn't be allowed to have 2 children in our 2 bedroom apartment. She would force us to move into a 3 bedroom unit in the building because "each child needs to have their own bedroom." I was incredulous. According to her 2 young children cannot share a bedroom. Meanwhile the 3 bedroom would be priced a market rent so we would have to pay about $200/month more than now.

Can the landlord really railroad us on these two issues? Is it legal for them to do this? What is my recourse?
Well first of all I am very sorry that you've got a capital C ... as a landlord. Does BC not have a Landlord Tenant Board? Why don't you go there and ask? The people here are mostly from Ontario, Toronto specifically.

Having said that, I am pretty sure what this landlord is pulling is illegal. Don't be intimidated, go to the correct BC LTB and inquire about your situation. Don't let an online forum give you legal advise.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
4115 posts
1865 upvotes
Edmonton
You should talk to your local landlord tenant board, and see what they say. They're the ones that will have the right answers for you.

C
Deal Addict
Jul 18, 2016
1662 posts
598 upvotes
Here are the rules for you:

http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws ... 0_02078_01

44 (1) A tenancy ends only if one or more of the following applies:

(a) the tenant or landlord gives notice to end the tenancy in accordance with one of the following:
(i) section 45 [tenant's notice];
(i.1) section 45.1 [tenant's notice: family violence or long-term care];
(ii) section 46 [landlord's notice: non-payment of rent];
(iii) section 47 [landlord's notice: cause];
(iv) section 48 [landlord's notice: end of employment];
(v) section 49 [landlord's notice: landlord's use of property];
(vi) section 49.1 [landlord's notice: tenant ceases to qualify];
(vii) section 50 [tenant may end tenancy early];
(b) the tenancy agreement is a fixed term tenancy agreement that provides that the tenant will vacate the rental unit on the date specified as the end of the tenancy;
(c) the landlord and tenant agree in writing to end the tenancy;
(d) the tenant vacates or abandons the rental unit;
(e) the tenancy agreement is frustrated;
(f) the director orders that the tenancy is ended.
(2) [Repealed 2003-81-37.]
(3) If, on the date specified as the end of a fixed term tenancy agreement that does not require the tenant to vacate the rental unit on that date, the landlord and tenant have not entered into a new tenancy agreement, the landlord and tenant are deemed to have renewed the tenancy agreement as a month to month tenancy on the same terms.
I am not an expert on the BC rules, but it sounds like a lease agreement can stipulate an end date demanding a move out if not renewed. It's only if it fails to stipulate a move out requirement that it becomes a month to month.
Newbie
Jul 16, 2016
5 posts
1 upvote
The first part of your question: yeah, totally legal and basically every landlord in BC will do this. It's a loophole that basically means they can raise the rent by whatever amount they want every year, and that they can kick you out without having to go through the eviction process if they want. It's shitty, and stupid, but totally legal and totally normal. One of the BCNDP campaign promises was to get rid of this loophole, so hopefully we'll see it go soon.

The second part of your question I have no idea, call the tenancy board and ask for sure. If it does end up being legal though, wouldn't a three-bedroom apartment at $200 a month more than what you're paying be a better deal than your current apartment at +$300/month anyway?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
3296 posts
1260 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
teneues wrote:
Sep 14th, 2017 12:27 am
The first part of your question: yeah, totally legal and basically every landlord in BC will do this. It's a loophole that basically means they can raise the rent by whatever amount they want every year, and that they can kick you out without having to go through the eviction process if they want. It's shitty, and stupid, but totally legal and totally normal. One of the BCNDP campaign promises was to get rid of this loophole, so hopefully we'll see it go soon.

The second part of your question I have no idea, call the tenancy board and ask for sure. If it does end up being legal though, wouldn't a three-bedroom apartment at $200 a month more than what you're paying be a better deal than your current apartment at +$300/month anyway?
I lived in BC for 41 years and never had a landlord do that - ever. I also worked for a property management company in Victoria, BC and we had hundreds of tenants and never did this to anyone either. As for having the second baby, they cannot force you to move to a 3 bedroom. There is no rule about young children each needing a separate bedroom. Your landlord is a douche OP.
Newbie
Jul 16, 2016
5 posts
1 upvote
Chickinvic wrote:
Sep 14th, 2017 12:30 pm
I lived in BC for 41 years and never had a landlord do that - ever. I also worked for a property management company in Victoria, BC and we had hundreds of tenants and never did this to anyone either. As for having the second baby, they cannot force you to move to a 3 bedroom. There is no rule about young children each needing a separate bedroom. Your landlord is a douche OP.
I've lived in BC my entire life and never had anything different. Maybe things are different on the island.

Top