Thursday, March 08, 2007

New Landlord, New Issues

The new owners of the house have taken possession and came by yesterday to talk to us about our tenant agreement. We aren't all that experienced ourselves, and the new owners are obviously new to being landlords, and it led to some new issues being brought up.

The goal of our meeting was to get a tenant agreement done up. What we didn't realize was the the original one simply carries over and does not change. The problem is, the new owners want to start charging the tenants for part of the utilities. We weren't happy about it (and showed it, a bit), but we didn't think we had a choice and simply went along with it.

However, we've been doing some research, and discovered that the tenant agreement is to remain the same and the changes are not allowed to be made.

From the BC Residential Tenancy Act, Part 2, Division 1:

Changes to tenancy agreement

(1) A tenancy agreement may not be amended to change or remove a standard term.

(2) A tenancy agreement may be amended to add, remove or change a term, other than a standard term, only if both the landlord and tenant agree to the amendment.

It's possible we might run into trouble since we signed the new agreement, but there's a number of avenues we can go down that basically make the new one invalid. And if it goes as far as getting the government involved, we can say we were pressured into filling out the new one without the necessary information.

What we think is that the new owners have over-extended themselves with their $630,000 purchase, and are trying to figure out ways to cover the costs. However, it's not our responsibility to do so, and they should have taken the extra costs into consideration before buying. They told us they didn't even know how much the utilities were for the house.

Reminds me of a few Bible verses which apply in this situation:

Luke 14
28. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him

Ouch.

Anyway, we're going to try to deal nicely with the new landlords and get them to revert back to the original deal. If it becomes a big problem, we may simply consider moving to a new location. That in itself might help convince them, because if we move and they aren't able to rent right away, they'll be out even more money.

More problems which I don't need in addition to my job search, but we'll get through it, as always.

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4 Smart Remarks:

Anonymous e said...

I think it is time to BUY a place of your own !!!!

Real Estate is a good investment !!

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Trooper said...

I agree. We're taking loans from friends and relatives. $5000, $10000, or $25000, so we can put a good down payment on a house.

But really, we won't get started on a real estate conversation. It's possible, once I get a job, that we could afford a rundown-ish one bedroom condo, 700 square feet. Just enough room for us, no kids, and no visitors.

Or, we could rent, pay less than owning, and have a nice place anyway (or rent a small place and save a ton).

The housing market is at an extreme, and when it's like that, it's also risky. I don't know what will happen, but any change could topple the current climb. People say it's never coming down. It has before, and it will again.

And when it does, I'll scoop up a nice house for $200,000 when the owner is going back to renting because they couldn't afford the 1% rate increase on their maxed out mortgage. As I understand it, in the past housing market crashes, the prices have dropped as much as half.

Whoops, did I say no real estate conversation? Can't help it I guess...

5:35 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

It's tough for sure. Owning would be great - and good for your personal "value", but you're right, Andrew.

I currently pay $780/month for a 600 sq ft apartment, and it's just average-at-best. If I were to buy a similar place, there's no way I could pay so little monthly - plus I'd be out however many tens of thousands I put up for down-payment.

Strangely, the Vancouver market has become such that owning isn't always the best option!

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

It's awful how Real Estate is there! It makes new couples at such a disadvantage, nevermind older people.

Maybe a different location could help?! ;D

3:06 PM  

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