Because of the weird scheduling at work, today is my Friday, and I get Monday off, which makes this the end of the week for me. It has been a trying week because of the “special” projects that needed to done at work, and on top of that my own personal pet project, that took a lot out of me. I’m tiered, but I still feel good as everyone around me seems to be getting some sort of flu-bug. It’s awful knowing that I’m next….
Anyway, my personal special project involved a friend who was faced with the Landlord vrs Tenant dispute. In her case, she was the tenant or occupant who rented from a landlord who was not the friendliest guy in the world. As we went to court, this guy managed to prove just how low a person can go when telling fibs and doctoring evidence. The dispute was a claim against the occupant regarding damage to the dwelling after the termination of the agreement. In other words, he refused to give up the damage deposit.
What saved her “bacon” was that she followed the Safe Renter’s Guide, which regrettably I cannot find a link to it at this time, but it is a great document for both Renters and Landlords in British Columbia. She took lots of photos and signed an appraisal document, with the wife of the Landlord, before she moved in. The guide suggests that a walk-through be done before the Rental Agreement is signed. It should be noted that back during the housing shortage, many agreements were done informally and because of this today many of those disputes are going through arbitration, there is a long waiting list to get your case in. With her photo album and documents she walked into arbitration and went through the proceedings just as we rehearsed.
How did the proceedings go? In short, the Landlord was unbelievable and “stupid” for lack of a better word. He actually took “white-out” and covered key words on his copies of the documents. I saw one of the Arbitrators as looking positive, or understanding, during the Landlord’s explanation as to why his document looked so different from the Tenant’s. Fortunately that quickly changed when it was our turn for questioning.
I know this is cheep advice, but don’t give up if you are getting ripped off in a Residential Tenancy dispute. Keep trying. Make your case and stand by it, even when it looks like the most bizarre is taking place and the system seems like it is going to buy it—keep trying. She only talked for one eighth of the time during the whole two hour hearing, meaning that more fact than fiction is the way to go. Keep all of your records—everything–even photos. And if one party does not give you your documents, then keep hounding them for it. Never talk to them, always write letters! Verbal agreements are the stuff of Hollywood because Canada seems to be taking a different direction in these types of agreements now a days.
So from pencil-pusher to steel construction worker, my week took me all over the endless duties that I need to perform in my employment. I spent part of the last two days working on shelving for our warehouse. That is always a treat to do because it takes us so long, and none of us are any good at it. Picture two guys in clown suites with pipped circus music playing as they try to erect a steel “Conex” structure with no instructions and correct tools. Yes, that’s how I felt—foolish. ..but somebody’s gotta do it, right.