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Old 06-16-2012, 06:20 PM   #1
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Another tenant/landlord question

Got a question on which rental agreement governs:

This is within Alberta, but my issue is somewhat general and should have the same answer in BC, if you have the BC specific answer.

BACKGROUND:
I am renting a room within a townhouse. I signed a month-to-month rental agreement with the person (will be referred to as 'landlord' in this thread) who is leasing the townhouse from the true owner. According to the landlord, his agreement with the owner is a fixed term lease.

ISSUE:
I have never met the owner, but the landlord has told me that the owner has asked us to vacate by July 1st (2 weeks from now). His reason is that he would like to sell the house this fall. I have checked the RTA for Alberta.
For month-to-month rentals (my agreement with Landlord), 3 months notice must be given.
For fixed term leases (landlord's agreement with owner), no notice has to be given.
So. Which agreement governs me? My stance is that I signed a month-to-month rental, so I need 3 months notice, not 2 weeks to vacate. This is quite important, because it would put me in quite a tight spot to find a new place.
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Last edited by chr1s; 06-16-2012 at 06:22 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:31 PM   #2
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Did the owner allow for subletting in his lease with the "landlord"?
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:38 PM   #3
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Just curious, but was the "landlord" only just made aware that you will need to vacate in two weeks?

The story doesn't really add up, why would the Owner give the "Landlord" two weeks notice to vacate if they're planning on selling the property in the Fall. I bet the "Landlord" didn't pay June's rent.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Great68 View Post
Did the owner allow for subletting in his lease with the "landlord"?
Exactly lot's of rental place don't allow subletting.

If I were you I would tell him according to the RTA there is a 3month notice must be given. See what his reactions are at that point.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:40 AM   #5
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I have no idea if subletting was allowed.
The landlord said that he was told on July 15, same day that he told me.
He is not giving me the owner's contact info or lease agreement, so I suspect that something fishy is up.

Something that crossed my mind - The total rent for the whole house is 1500. My end is 450. Maybe it's possible that the Owner gave 3 months notice, but as my agreement is with the Landlord, it would be the Landlord who would be on the hook for 1500 rent for each month. So thoughts? Probable that the Landlord was given 3 months notice, but is trying to get us out within two weeks so that he is not responsible?

Thanks!!!
Update. Landlord's agreement with owner IS a month-to-month rental.

Last edited by chr1s; 06-17-2012 at 06:41 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:14 AM   #6
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Honestly, residential tenancy acts and agreements differ GREATLY b/w provinces (shockingly so, sometimes), that you best bet it to call the Alberta Tenancy Board. I can almost guarantee that there is little to NO similarities b/w the Acts in BC and AB.

This situation has too many variables to come to some type of summation. Without knowing the law/regulations/guidelines in AB, I can't offer a lot of help.

My only advice:
-Read the AB tenancy act and/or call an information officer
-define you landlord/tenant/owner relationship
-investigate subletting and you rights...landlord rights....owner rights....fuck, is it even allowed?
-Get contact information for the owner. If your 'landlord' won't give it to you, find it somewhere else....be resourceful! Introduce yourself to him.

Good luck and don't forget to update us
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:18 AM   #7
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I second the notion that he failed to pay rent, pocketed yours and is now getting kicked out.

I don't want to re-emphasize what dino said, but you will have a hard case of getting proper notice if he himself no longer has that room to offer you, and he's going to tell you to pound sand before handing you cash in lieu of notice.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:49 PM   #8
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sorry.. something is not clear.

if the owner wants to sell the house, he has to give you NOTICE to leave. he can give it 6 months ahead of time or whichever province you are in, he has to give you notice.

if someone failed to pay rent, you do not get KICKED out. you get served a NOTICE stating you have FAILED to paid rent or utilities. You then have 10 days to resolve. THEN the landlord will take you to court and get a court date BEFORE a decision is made.

You don't get just kicked out after 2 weeks. There's a law protecting tenants to prevent people being kicked out on the street in -40 weather just cause you were late in rent.

don't trust anything until you have htings on paper.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:02 AM   #9
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^um, no, that is not how a 10 day notice works (If you are talking about BC).

Tenant fails to pay rent. Landlord issues a 10 day notice.

Tenant has 5 days to pay rent or 10 days to move. Tenant pays rent within 5 day? notice goes away. Tenants doesn't pay within 5 days? they move within 10 days.

Tenant wants to fight it? TENANT pay $50 at the RT branch to file and appeal. TENANT needs to prove they paid within the 5 days.

Tenant doesn't move within 10 days? Landlord files an Order of Possession and gets a bailiff to kick them and their shit out. Tenant tries to fight that? Branch tells them, tough shit....you had 10 days to fight it.

End of story.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinosaur View Post
^um, no, that is not how a 10 day notice works (If you are talking about BC).

Tenant fails to pay rent. Landlord issues a 10 day notice.

Tenant has 5 days to pay rent or 10 days to move. Tenant pays rent within 5 day? notice goes away. Tenants doesn't pay within 5 days? they move within 10 days.

Tenant wants to fight it? TENANT pay $50 at the RT branch to file and appeal. TENANT needs to prove they paid within the 5 days.

Tenant doesn't move within 10 days? Landlord files an Order of Possession and gets a bailiff to kick them and their shit out. Tenant tries to fight that? Branch tells them, tough shit....you had 10 days to fight it.

End of story.
But what if you tenate is su-leasing (Ie OP's case) but the OP have no idea.... then what happens........
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:35 AM   #11
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^ Like I said in an earlier post, he is going to have to take a look at the Alberta RTA. Rental guidelines/laws/rules differ GREATLY between provinces...so much so, it is almost like a different language. Some provinces don't even a allow subleases, some don't have month-to-month contracts, and even some require tenants to find new tenants. In Ontario, you aren't even allowed to have "no pet" buildings.

Any advice regarding his specific situation given in this thread is irrelevant unless someone knows the system in Alberta, unfortunately.


Something does not seem right with this subleasing situation. I just briefly read the "subleasing" section of the Alberta Tenancy Act and it says that the Landlord (ie. owner of the property/original landlord) must give WRITTEN permission allowing the unit to be subleased). IF this OP (and the original lease holder) has written permission, then the same rules apply in regards to proper notice. However, this does not appear to be the case....my guess is, the original lease holder did NOT get written permission, and therefore, the OP is shit-out-of-luck. I don't want to say this is the OP's fault, but he should have been aware of the rules and regulations pertaining to this situation. He should have been paying the landlord/owner directly.

As others have pointed out, the original lease holder most likely never passed on the rent to the owner. To sound a little harsh: too bad, so sad, next time know you shit before handing a stranger your money.

Last edited by dinosaur; 06-18-2012 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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sorry.. something is not clear.

if the owner wants to sell the house, he has to give you NOTICE to leave. he can give it 6 months ahead of time or whichever province you are in, he has to give you notice.

if someone failed to pay rent, you do not get KICKED out. you get served a NOTICE stating you have FAILED to paid rent or utilities. You then have 10 days to resolve. THEN the landlord will take you to court and get a court date BEFORE a decision is made.

You don't get just kicked out after 2 weeks. There's a law protecting tenants to prevent people being kicked out on the street in -40 weather just cause you were late in rent.

don't trust anything until you have htings on paper.
Here's the whole rent thing in a nutshell.

Ok. You are late with rent. First time, never been late before. Normally, a landlord will call you, or put a warning letter under your door as a "reminder". Please note, rent is due on the first of EVERY month. Holidays, sundays, all of them. Midnight on the first.

If you do pay rent: everyone stays happy. This counts as a late payment of rent, even if I didn't make a big deal of it.
If you don't pay rent: the landlord could, and should serve you with a RTA-10, what we call the "10 day pay-to-stay" order. This gives you 5 days to pay rent, or 10 days to move out. If the tenant is not home to receive that order(which they, surprise! never are) and you leave it on the door, they effectively get 3 days to receive that notice. All of this is described on the form.

Please note, both of these options count as a late payment of rent.

So, execution of the 10 day notice:

You didn't pay. Eight days went by as you 'weren't home' and they taped it to your door. Now, you have to move.

You can: move.

Everyone stays a bit happy. YOU STILL OWE RENT! Landlord's far and wide do not seem to understand this. Tenant's especially do not understand this. It's not like declaring bankruptcy. You don't wipe the slate by moving. As a landlord in BC, On a year's lease, I am entitled to one year's worth of rent. I can get it from you, I can get it from a variety of 'yous', but by signing that lease with you, I am saying, you are entitled to this place for a year, and I am entitled to rent for the year. I don't, and should not, bend over and take it. Ultimately, this ends up in arbitration, which is beyond the scope here.

You can: not move.

We aren't happy now. Now I have a squatter. This gets way more complicated, and a little out of scope, but now we need to involve the branch, get orders of possession, and if they still don't move, ultimately spend a lot of money on bailiffs and force you out. I've never had it go this far, and hope to never be there. Suffice it to say, the landlord is out a lot of money, its aggravating and there is nothing at that point you can do to re-coup.

Repeated Late Payments:

Here's where things get interesting. Let's say you are occasionally late, but pay multiple times.

Kind of the standard is 3 times in a calendar year. After we've established a trend, we can issue you a 30 day notice to move for repeated late payments. AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO. If you can't prove that rent WAS paid on time, or the landlord doesn't have it documented, then you are out(cold weather be damned)

Here's the unwritten rule:

There are varying degrees to how people are treated in these situations, at least, in my world.

If you are a longer term tenant, and your rent is below market standard, you get treated to within the letter of the law. This isn't a matter of 'liking' you or not, its business. If a tenant is below market rent, but keeps to themselves and is nice and friendly, and keeps their apartment nice, you are way less likely to get these notices-I have nothing to get you on. You win. Even if you are occasionally late, I may let it slide just because you win on the other fronts.

BUT

If you are below market in rent, you aren't particularly nice to deal with and your apartment is a disaster, why wouldn't I try to use your own failings(ie rent payment) to rectify the whole situation?

And these are the people that scream bloody murder when they get these notices. I have a memory. From day one, we're keeping score. Suddenly, you're in shit, and now we're all buddy buddy? No, it starts when something has gone wrong, and you aren't the person that's in my face because I failed to provide something for you(occasionally water tanks break, furnaces break...shit happens).

My main point is, we don't ALWAYS want you to move just because of late payment. Most times, there is something more to it.

In the grand scheme, if, in what dino and I share with people on RS regarding tenancy, IF I can get basement suite landlords to think a bit more like a business, and less like "some dude in my basement", I'll be happy.
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
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^um, no, that is not how a 10 day notice works (If you are talking about BC).

Tenant fails to pay rent. Landlord issues a 10 day notice.

Tenant has 5 days to pay rent or 10 days to move. Tenant pays rent within 5 day? notice goes away. Tenants doesn't pay within 5 days? they move within 10 days.

Tenant wants to fight it? TENANT pay $50 at the RT branch to file and appeal. TENANT needs to prove they paid within the 5 days.

Tenant doesn't move within 10 days? Landlord files an Order of Possession and gets a bailiff to kick them and their shit out. Tenant tries to fight that? Branch tells them, tough shit....you had 10 days to fight it.

End of story.
WOAH WOAH WOAH.
back up buddy, this is TOTALLY wrong. Say June 1, 2012 is rent day

1) Landlord issues a 10 days to resolve the issue after the landlord delivers the unpaid rent paper work
TENANT doesn't have to MOVE AT ALLLLL or do dick squat.
2) IF the landlord wants them to move out, LANDLORD has to FILE for paper work at RTB. Landlord pays 50 bucks.
3) Once approved, a court date is issued usually 3 weeks.
It's usually June 20th by now
4) Evidence has to be PERFECT and submitted IN PERSON by the landlord or Registered mail to both parties.

Court date
5) IF YOU DO WIN, the judge will ISSUE a court date which is usually 7 days - 10 days to move out. (upon the verdict by the "judge")

6) After date occurs, and he still doesn't move out, YOU have to proceed ot the next step. which is another thread.
Cliff notes, TENANT doesn't have to fight shit. It's the Landlord's job to submit paper work if they want the tenant to pay up.

I'm talking about BC by the way.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chr1s View Post
Got a question on which rental agreement governs:

This is within Alberta, but my issue is somewhat general and should have the same answer in BC, if you have the BC specific answer.

BACKGROUND:
I am renting a room within a townhouse. I signed a month-to-month rental agreement with the person (will be referred to as 'landlord' in this thread) who is leasing the townhouse from the true owner. According to the landlord, his agreement with the owner is a fixed term lease.

ISSUE:
I have never met the owner, but the landlord has told me that the owner has asked us to vacate by July 1st (2 weeks from now). His reason is that he would like to sell the house this fall. I have checked the RTA for Alberta.
For month-to-month rentals (my agreement with Landlord), 3 months notice must be given.
For fixed term leases (landlord's agreement with owner), no notice has to be given.
So. Which agreement governs me? My stance is that I signed a month-to-month rental, so I need 3 months notice, not 2 weeks to vacate. This is quite important, because it would put me in quite a tight spot to find a new place.

So let me get this straight.

Person B rents from Person A(legal house owner)
Person C(you) rents from Person B

If that is correct, you (person C) would be governed by the contract that is made with person B. If YOU sue person B for lack of notice, person B should sue the legal owner for lack of notice as well.

This seems like common sense.

Why does it matter to the OP that person B is subleasing the unit? As far as OP care's person be is his lanlord.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not an expert in rental law. Feel free to school me
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 6793026 View Post
WOAH WOAH WOAH.
back up buddy, this is TOTALLY wrong. Say June 1, 2012 is rent day

1) Landlord issues a 10 days to resolve the issue after the landlord delivers the unpaid rent paper work
TENANT doesn't have to MOVE AT ALLLLL or do dick squat.
2) IF the landlord wants them to move out, LANDLORD has to FILE for paper work at RTB. Landlord pays 50 bucks.
3) Once approved, a court date is issued usually 3 weeks.
It's usually June 20th by now
4) Evidence has to be PERFECT and submitted IN PERSON by the landlord or Registered mail to both parties.

Court date
5) IF YOU DO WIN, the judge will ISSUE a court date which is usually 7 days - 10 days to move out. (upon the verdict by the "judge")

6) After date occurs, and he still doesn't move out, YOU have to proceed ot the next step. which is another thread.
Cliff notes, TENANT doesn't have to fight shit. It's the Landlord's job to submit paper work if they want the tenant to pay up.

I'm talking about BC by the way.

Um...well, yeah. you don't have to do anything....much like you don't have to pay you taxes either....but it comes back to get ya.

The ONLY time I have to file with the RTB is if you turn into a squatter and don't fucking leave to get an Order of Possession. If the TENANT doesn't want to leave THEY have to file a dispute resolution case. But, I'll tell ya one thing, if you don't pay rent....you don't exactly have a case now, do you?

Here is the form. Read the second box that is in yellow.

http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/documents/RTB-30.pdf

Pretty straight forward, no?
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:23 PM   #16
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You guys are arguing a fine point in how it works.

Landlord serves tenant.
Tenant either pays, disputes, moves or stays
The only time the landlord needs to involve the branch is in obtaining an order of possession. If the tenant wants to pay, or move on their own, all of this happens without the branch's involvement. The only way they can dispute is if they have proof it was paid, or fraud. All other cases are not heard.

So yes, a tenant doesn't HAVE to do dick alllll, but realistically the system isn't really designed for tenants to game it now is it? (I could argue that point, but that's another discussion)

I can tell you that there are a group of tenants that go around doing this time and time again, and its people trying to rent shit units, and not calling references and using a sanity check on said references.

If I'm renting an "average" unit, and the person looks "average" but the reference call paints this person to be Mother Theresa and the best tenant since Jesus himself rented that 2 bed/1bath condo near the manger-well, this doesn't really pass the sanity check now does it?

One lesson learned the hard way is its damned near impossible to rent a shit apartment to a great tenant. You get out what you put in.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #17
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Why does it matter to the OP that person B is subleasing the unit? As far as OP care's person be is his lanlord.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not an expert in rental law. Feel free to school me
Most (if not all) rental contracts have clauses pertaining to subleasing. This is to prevent a whole host of issues.

Example:

Person B rents from person A for a 1 year lease. Person B is going to school, but goes home in the summer (say, out of the country). Person B does not want to pay rent for the summer and can not break the 1 year lease. Person B finds some dude (person C) to sublet his apt. Person C is a dick. Person C has shit credit, he is a crack head, bad references, etc....Person C would never normally be able to rent a place. Person C destroys Person A's apt. Problem is, Person A has a contract with Person B for the rental unit. Because Person B is out of the country, Person A is now left to deal with Person C even though they have no contract...Person A is at risk of not being able to recoup any money for damages, will have problems evicting a non-tenant tenant, and the whole thing turns into a cluster fuck. Person B is blissfully unaware and will never be heard from again.

Now, say Person B wanted to sublet to Person C. B would have to get written permission from A as A would probably do the exact same thing to C that he did to B (credit check, reference check, interview, etc) and amend the tenancy agreement so that is person C turns out to be a dick, person A is protected.

Does that make sense?? It sounds confusing
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