Tenancy Advice - Arbitration

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Tenancy Problems - Arbitration

Q: Dear Mr. Watson,
My wife and I rented a suite in downtown Vancouver for a month. We just needed a place to stay for that period of time as we were waiting for a Townhouse we just bought. The place was a studio flat and we paid for both the security deposit and the months rent. The landlord?s agent was notified before we moved in that we would only stay for one month. He said that a written contract was not necessary and "he was not going to boder to write one for such a period of time?. When we moved out he participated on the inspection of the premises and he agreed to return our security deposit (one months rent). He didn't do it so I filed for arbitration and I won, I have an order pending and he has not paid yet but he filed for a new arbitration and he wants to keep the security deposit (which he was already ordered to return) and some cleaning costs.
As there is not a written contract and I didn't give him a written notice that our stay was going to be only one month it comes to my word (and my wife's) against his. Do you think the arbitrator is going to believe me or him?
I understand that a verbal contract is valid in BC but the contract was for only one month. Needlessly to say the agent is a real piece of work and he lied continuously about returning our deposit (he gave 10000 different excuses before I filed against him) and he promised various things in the flat that he never complied with.
Thank you very much
A: Your question for me is: "Do you think the arbitrator is going to believe me or him?" A Johns Hopkins study I once ran across said that knowing the background and predispositions of a decision maker allowed an 84% predictor as to how he would decide any given case. Makes you think of the O.J. Simpson trial doesn't it? The O.J. defence team went out of their way to get people on the jury they thought they could count on. They were right. Yeah, but, you say. What about the DNA evidence? What about the bloody glove? Well, what about the evidence in that case? It was a distant second to jury selection, most agree.
Landlord-tenant arbitration is no different than real life. Who you draw as an Arbitrator, what his or her predispositions are, what the evidence is, how it is presented, it all factors in on how the decision goes. The one constant though is the Act - an Arbitrator?s authority comes only from the Act. An Arbitrator can't find outside the legislation nor do what it doesn't permit. Other than that, some say, "if it wasn't arbitrary they wouldn't call it arbitration!"


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