Real Estate

Help: What happens once the building manager disagrees to add a new tenant to the lease?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 12th, 2019 5:39 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 10, 2019
5 posts

Help: What happens once the building manager disagrees to add a new tenant to the lease?

Hi there,

I live in BC, Canada. I moved into my partner's apartment suite 2 years ago. By then, he has already been living there for about 5 years.
My apartment building manager (not the land lord) told us that we need to sign a new lease. When we went to her office, she asked why I was there, and stated that it would be a bad move for us to sign a new agreement as it would mean we will have to pay a higher rent.

Before I go any further, I have to clarify that she told us to sign a new lease, and then later told us it is unnecessary.
She has a history of changing around her words depending on her mood, writing public announcements about which tenant is behind on rent, and making false accusations against the tenants.
I have photographic evidence of her abusive messages, and witnesses (other tenants) who can back up my claim about her erratic behaviours. Unfortunately, I am told that these behaviours are not illegal.

Back to the issue on hand...
After being told that we do not need to sign a new lease, we went on with our lives. But recently, new problems started to arise.

There has been a construction happening on our building facade for the past month. The construction workers built scaffolding, which stands right outside my bedroom window and balcony door. We live on the second floor and normally there would be no way to access our unit from the outside. Last week someone stole a bike from my balcony. I contacted the building manager about the theft and she stated that she has no responsibility in resolving the matter.

It was upsetting, but I understood that she had no legal responsibility regarding the theft. But then yesterday, she disabled my FOB without any warning. Without the FOB I have no access to my apartment building.

From what I understand, Section 30 of the Residential Tenancy Act states that a landlord must not unreasonably restrict access to the residential property. In the absence of concrete evidence that the tenant was engaged in illegal activities, the landlord has no grounds to limit the tenant’s access. However, as an "occupant" who is not under the lease, I have no legal protection.

This finally brings us to my question. I want to be included in the lease so that I would have legal protection, and to be able to file disputes should any problems arise.
However, considering that she did not want to include me in the lease when I first moved in, I don't see why she would want to add me to the lease now.
My partner is in the process of sending her a formal letter about the cancelled FOB and the new lease agreement.

What would happen when the building manager disagrees to add me to the lease? Would my partner and I be allowed to continue to live in the apartment as tenant and occupant? Or does our intent to start a new lease automatically give her the right to dissolve the current agreement, allowing her to kick us out?

If anyone could point me to some resources, or have any answers, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Last edited by VanJuke on Nov 12th, 2019 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
12 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
10005 posts
6333 upvotes
Edmonton
Nobody can give meaningful advice without knowing your location (province). But all jurisdictions should have a local Landlord/Tenant Board that can give you insight on your status.

C
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 14, 2003
10442 posts
302 upvotes
Mississauga
VanJuke wrote:
Nov 11th, 2019 7:05 pm
Hi there,

I moved into my partner's apartment suite 2 years ago. By then, he has already been living there for about 5 years.
My apartment building manager (not the land lord) told us that we need to sign a new lease. When we went to her office, she asked why I was there, and stated that it would be a bad move for us to sign a new agreement as it would mean we will have to pay a higher rent.

Before I go any further, I have to clarify that she told us to sign a new lease, and then later told us it is unnecessary.
She has a history of changing around her words depending on her mood, writing public announcements about which tenant is behind on rent, and making false accusations against the tenants.
I have photographic evidence of her abusive messages, and witnesses (other tenants) who can back up my claim about her erratic behaviours. Unfortunately, I am told that these behaviours are not illegal.

Back to the issue on hand...
After being told that we do not need to sign a new lease, we went on with our lives. But recently, new problems started to arise.

There has been a construction happening on our building facade for the past month. The construction workers built scaffolding, which stands right outside my bedroom window and balcony door. We live on the second floor and normally there would be no way to access our unit from the outside. Last week someone stole a bike from my balcony. I contacted the building manager about the theft and she stated that she has no responsibility in resolving the matter.

It was upsetting, but I understood that she had no legal responsibility regarding the theft. But then yesterday, she disabled my FOB without any warning. Without the FOB I have no access to my apartment building.

From what I understand, Section 30 of the Residential Tenancy Act states that a landlord must not unreasonably restrict access to the residential property. In the absence of concrete evidence that the tenant was engaged in illegal activities, the landlord has no grounds to limit the tenant’s access. However, as an "occupant" who is not under the lease, I have no legal protection.

This finally brings us to my question. I want to be included in the lease so that I would have legal protection, and to be able to file disputes should any problems arise.
However, considering that she did not want to include me in the lease when I first moved in, I don't see why she would want to add me to the lease now.
My partner is in the process of sending her a formal letter about the cancelled FOB and the new lease agreement.

What would happen when the building manager disagrees to add me to the lease? Would my partner and I be allowed to continue to live in the apartment as tenant and occupant? Or does our intent to start a new lease automatically give her the right to dissolve the current agreement, allowing her to kick us out?

If anyone could point me to some resources, or have any answers, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
I'm curious - there's no requirement to be on the lease if you reside in the apartment. Further, she has no basis for restricting your access on those grounds.

Think about it a different way: if you were a dependent (like a child) vs. a partner, would they need to be on the lease too? Of course not.
4chan melts your brain.
Banned
Aug 23, 2019
899 posts
450 upvotes
I can’t understand why you would need to be on the lease.

Pretty sure you don’t need to be.
But call the tenant board
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 10, 2019
5 posts
Thanks for pointing that out. I live in British Columbia.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 10, 2019
5 posts
I contacted the Residential Tenancy Branch and was told that as an occupant I have no protection under the Residential Tenancy Act. Therefore I can do nothing about her actions (such as cancelling my FOB). Taking into account my building manager's erratic behaviour, and seeing how much more frequently she has been displaying hostility towards the tenants recently, I want to be prepared for the worst circumstances. Should bad things happen (i.e. I get kicked out for no apparent reason), I want to be able to have legal protection and rights to start a dispute as a tenant.
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2010
4699 posts
1509 upvotes
Toronto
VanJuke wrote:
Nov 12th, 2019 3:22 pm
I contacted the Residential Tenancy Branch and was told that as an occupant I have no protection under the Residential Tenancy Act. Therefore I can do nothing about her actions (such as cancelling my FOB). Taking into account my building manager's erratic behaviour, and seeing how much more frequently she has been displaying hostility towards the tenants recently, I want to be prepared for the worst circumstances. Should bad things happen (i.e. I get kicked out for no apparent reason), I want to be able to have legal protection and rights to start a dispute as a tenant.
But surely your partner, who is on the lease, can do something? Your partner was given (I assume) two access passes in exchange for rent, based on a contract. One of those access passes no longer works. Your partner is the one who needs to be following this up to get what was paid for. Likewise your partner is the one who needs to be lodging complaints about security if things get stolen, because that's who the contract is with.

Don't forget adding yourself to the lease gives you responsibilities as well. Right now, touch wood it doesn't happen, but you could just choose to leave for any reason or not pay for anything. If you get added to the lease, you will be 100% responsible for everything (you both will be).
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 10, 2019
5 posts
Yes, I am aware that he is able to do something. He is currently in the process of sending her a formal letter about the cancelled FOB and the new lease agreement.

I am aware of the responsibilities that comes with being added to the lease. I don't intend on moving out of the apartment nor separating with my partner any time soon. What I'm interested in is being added to the lease, and having legal protection that comes with the tenant status.

My question is about what would happen when the building manager disagrees to add me to the lease. I am wondering if my partner and I would be allowed to continue to live in the apartment as tenant and occupant. Or if the disagreement in signing a new lease render the current one obsolete, allowing her to kick us out?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 14, 2003
10442 posts
302 upvotes
Mississauga
VanJuke wrote:
Nov 12th, 2019 4:43 pm
Yes, I am aware that he is able to do something. He is currently in the process of sending her a formal letter about the cancelled FOB and the new lease agreement.

I am aware of the responsibilities that comes with being added to the lease. I don't intend on moving out of the apartment nor separating with my partner any time soon. What I'm interested in is being added to the lease, and having legal protection that comes with the tenant status.

My question is about what would happen when the building manager disagrees to add me to the lease. I am wondering if my partner and I would be allowed to continue to live in the apartment as tenant and occupant. Or if the disagreement in signing a new lease render the current one obsolete, allowing her to kick us out?
IANAL but I would presume the lease would supercede the one you currently have (as long as there's text in there to that effect).

There's no advantage to having you on the lease - except for your rights to the space. Conversely, there's lots of responsibility should something happen between you and your partner. Plus, there's the possibility your landlord will not sign to the same lease rate.
4chan melts your brain.
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2010
4699 posts
1509 upvotes
Toronto
VanJuke wrote:
Nov 12th, 2019 4:43 pm
My question is about what would happen when the building manager disagrees to add me to the lease. I am wondering if my partner and I would be allowed to continue to live in the apartment as tenant and occupant. Or if the disagreement in signing a new lease render the current one obsolete, allowing her to kick us out?
No, entering into negotiations for (but not executing) a new lease will not invalidate the existing lease. The landlord would have to use whatever measures are normally available in BC to terminate the contract, if she wants you out. Having mentioned that you want a new lease should not have any bearing on this.
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2006
1672 posts
1636 upvotes
Toronto
I had similar situation in Toronto.
Property management did not want to give a extra fob to someone who is not on the lease.
I just made an amendment and added that person as occupant, then they had to give them a fob.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
5423 posts
2487 upvotes
Thornhill
I'm with doebird on this. The lease isn't going to give you any extra protections. The only thing it would give you is the right to deal with the landlord directly.

It should be noted that as an occupant you don't have the same rights to call on the tenancy board to assist with any dispute between you and the landlord but you in fact do have a specific right - the right to not be 'kicked out for no apparent reason" as that happens when you have been found to have violated stated tenant and guest obligations such as no criminal activity, or overcrowding or interference with others.
VanJuke wrote:
Nov 12th, 2019 3:22 pm
I contacted the Residential Tenancy Branch and was told that as an occupant I have no protection under the Residential Tenancy Act. Therefore I can do nothing about her actions (such as cancelling my FOB). Taking into account my building manager's erratic behaviour, and seeing how much more frequently she has been displaying hostility towards the tenants recently, I want to be prepared for the worst circumstances. Should bad things happen (i.e. I get kicked out for no apparent reason), I want to be able to have legal protection and rights to start a dispute as a tenant.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 10, 2019
5 posts
Thank you all for your answers. My question regarding the existing lease has been answered. I will look deeper into the rights I have as an occupant as well, cheers.

Top