A tenant whose landlord has implemented several steep rental increases has asked the YourProperty expert for help as the landlord is making life extremely difficult for his family.
The reader explains that he, his spouse and two children were offered a flat to stay in during a tough financial period.
The flat was initially offered to them free of charge by concerned family members and was gratefully accepted by the reader.
The landlord only started charging rental after the first month, and this was increased by 20 per cent after the first year. A further 30 per cent hike was instituted the following year.
Although the rental eventually constituted 60 per cent of his salary, the reader accepted the arrangement as it was close to his place of work.
The tenant says that his monthly payments are up to date but that the landlord is mistreating his family, which is having a negative effect on the children.
He has now been given 30 days’ notice to vacate but he and his family are not in a position to afford to move. The reader asks what his options are in this tricky situation.
See the reader’s question here.
It is unclear how exactly the family is being mistreated but it seems to be a case of general unpleasantness, harsh words and the like.
Although the seemingly steep escalations appear to be unfair, we are not advised of the monthly rental payable after the first free month.
The terms of the arrangement may have been negotiated and agreed upfront, whether in writing or not.
Regardless, this all seems to have been accepted by our reader and it is the current situation of having to vacate the flat that he is concerned with.
The Rental Housing Act provides some assistance in protecting the tenant’s privacy.
For example, the landlord’s right of inspection must be on reasonable notice to the tenant.
Furthermore, the interference and mistreatment by the landlord may constitute “unfair practice” under the Act.
This would be any conduct that unreasonably prejudices the rights or interests of the tenant.
The Act also recognises the landlord’s right to the reasonable escalation of the monthly rental.
The reader does not say what the monthly starting rental was so, depending on the circumstances, the steep increases could be regarded as unfair.
Suspected unfair practice could be referred to the relevant provincial rental housing tribunal, who could make a determination on the matter.
With regard to the notice to vacate, the reader doesn’t have too many options.
Unless the notice is in contravention of a lease agreement – which does not seem to be the case as it appears to be on a month-to-month basis – there may be no grounds to challenge it.
If the reader fails to vacate, the landlord may press forward with legal means to try to evict the family.
A certain procedure must be followed, which takes a fair amount of time to implement, assuming that the landlord is successful in his bid to evict.
The reader should, however, consider that his mistreatment by the landlord may escalate in the interim and it could make staying in the flat very unpleasant.
Ask the YourProperty experts a question.