Ministry on-tour teaching the rights of landlords and tenants

Nithya Mascrenhas will be conducting the sessions and she says for tenants it’s all about having a peaceful place to call home, and if necessary, using law enforcement officers to get it.

“If a tenant is faced with a landlord who is not doing what they’re suppose to, that’s where they can come to the Residential Tenancy Branch and we can give them guidance or options to take it a step further if the landlord is not honouring his obligation,” says Mascrenhas.

She says there are often cases where more than one piece of law may apply to any given confrontation.

“Municipalities have noise bylaws, the Residential Tenancy Act have rules about quite enjoyment [and] the police have rules about disturbances,” Mascrenhas goes on to say. “So a tenant can call the police and the police have to decide how to intervene, but at the same time, there still could be an issue that the landlord could deal with even if the police are involved – so those two things that have happened at the same time…could overlap.”

From the landlord’s perspective, there are often issues associated with criminal activity, and therefore, eviction notices.

“With criminal activity, there are a couple of different avenues that could be taken,” explains Mascrenhas. “One is the one-month notice, but if the landlord is faced with a situation that is urgent because the property or another person in danger or at risk somehow, the landlord could ask for an…early end-to-tenancy as we call it, and the landlord cans straight-away apply for dispute resolution, and they will have to prove to us that this situation is so unreasonable or significant that it can not wait for a one-month notice to take affect.”

The sessions, which begin Monday night in Mackenzie, will be held in a dozen different communities, including Fort St. John on the 27th and 28th of the month.

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