Landlord B.C. launches online registry
Online registry aims to improve tenant-landlord relations, non-profit says
A new optional landlord registry aimed at improving tenant-landlord relationships launches today in B.C.
The registry, which is the brainchild of non-profit group Landlord B.C., aims to help educate landlords on their rights and responsibilities under B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Act.
CEO David Hutniak told CBC's The Early Edition landlords will have to complete a course on the Residential Tenancy Act and achieve at least 80 per cent on a comprehensive quiz on the course to get on the registry.
"This is where prospective renters come in," he explained. "If they're considering renting from an individual who's renting from a basement suite, for example, they can put that landlords name in and if they come up, [they know] this landlord has satisfied the requirements to get the competency certificate."
Part of the impetus for the project, he said, is B.C.'s rental housing industry is disproportionately represented by smaller landlords who rent out basement suites and condos.
"We know as an association ... this landlord constituency don't necessarily appreciate that they're in a business," he said. "And if you don't know the Residential Tenancy Act, you're going to creating really huge risks, frankly, for yourself."
With Vancouver's hot rental market and vacancy rates below one per cent, critics have wondered whether landlords who have their pick of tenants would participate in the optional registry.
Hutniak acknowledged supply is an issue but expressed confidence landlords would take part.
For one, he said, being on the registry is a great marketing tool for landlords trying to attract prospective tenants. Furthermore it makes good business sense, he said.
"If you understand the Residential Tenancy Act, that's a game changer in terms of how you manage your business, and how you manage your relationship with your customer, the tenant."
The cost of the program is currently $39 plus GST for a three-year certification.
With files from The Early Edition
To listen to the interview, click on the link labelled Landlord B.C. launches online registry