Vancouver Apartments For Rent: A Rental Dispute Over Heat

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The landlord’s building manager said the tenant texted them saying, “I hate Vancouver and can’t wait to move.”

Have you ever had a heating problem in your building? Was it ever bad that you left?

A frustrated former tenant in Vancouver says their landlord left them out in the cold for the duration of their tenancy and they were forced to move out.

But the landlord argued the tenant didn’t leave because he was uncomfortable – and said he also left the place rather disheveled and damaged when he left.

It is not uncommon for rental disputes to involve damaged property and difficult living situations. In fact, these two issues make up the lion’s share of cases in the Residential Tenancies Branch (RTB). What’s rare, however, is for tenants to keep a detailed problem log with evidence, such as photos, videos or tape recordings – and that’s unfortunate when they try to make a claim.

According to Section 32 of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), landlords are responsible for providing and maintaining their residential properties in a condition that meets the health, safety and housing standards required by law. .

Tenants also have a responsibility to keep their rental units clean. At the end of a tenancy, their apartment must be in a condition similar to the one they found it, but with “reasonable wear and tear”.

Vancouver Apartments For Rent: A Rental Dispute Over Heat

In a rental dispute in Vancouver, a former tenant said he repeatedly spoke to the property manager about a heat problem and it was never resolved. He alleged that some mornings the air in his room was so cold that he could “see his breath” and that his unit’s thermometer sometimes went as low as 10°C.

The landlord argued that the tenant had left the unit dirty and “unleased”. They said the wall had been painted bright orange, pink and black and the tenant hadn’t repainted them in a neutral color. Due to the high gloss paint used by the tenant, the walls had to be painted in several coats. Additionally, they said there was a “sticky black substance” on the carpets and “concrete pavers and gravel” in the bathroom. When the building manager tried to remove some of these materials, the floors were also “dirty and stained”.

The building manager added that the tenant texted them saying he wanted to move out as soon as possible and stating, “I hate Vancouver and can’t wait to move out.” Additionally, he was also allegedly looking for schools in California.

While the tenant said he left his temperature complaints via a drop box in a common area, rather than text communication, the property manager never received them. They added that the tenant was still communicating by text.

In the final judgment, the RTB notes that the burden of proof was on the tenant since it was he who claimed that there was a lack of heating throughout the tenancy. In this case, they found that they had failed on the ‘balance of probabilities’ to prove that there had been no heating during their entire stay. The plumbers also found the heat to be around 22C when inspected.

The landlord, however, discharged the burden of proof of damages and loss of rent. They received $2,106.64.

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