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Landlording Problems - Landlord's Entry

Q: My landlord is giving me a very hard time on a number of issues.
This is quite a long story, so please bear with me for I will try my best to make it brief!
First of all, she is forcing me to hire a professional to clean our two-bedroom unit to "brand new condition," which she claims was the original condition of the unit before me and my roommate moved in roughly nine months ago. (We did not even do the condition inspection at the begining of our tenency) And, even though our rental agreement will be terminated on coming June, she wants us to get the cleaning done by this Friday (February 25th), on the notion that 'the unit must be kept in a reasonable cleanliness by law' and that she has to start showing the unit to the future tenents begining next month(March).
(However, even though such standard of cleanliness is very subjective, our unit is not dirty at all!)
She first visited the unit last month, where she called and informed me of her intention to do so only a few hours prior to arriving at the unit. I refused, since I obviously did not have a fair time to clean the unit properly, but she told me that it was by law that she has all the authority to come and visit the unit at her suggested time.
Also, when I expressed my concern of not being able to properly clean the unit, she said it was "okay" if the unit was dirty and she was just coming to look around and to sign a piece of document which I was supposed to sign for the Strata.
However, upon arrival, to my unpleasant surprise, she was with a guy who I had not seen in the duration of my tenancy, and who had no leagal ties with me, the landlor, nor the unit. (She introduced him as her "boyfriend.")
They came into the unit, went through everywhere with a fine-tooth comb. The male also went into the room of my roommate, who was not present at the time, and claimed he could smell a "joint." (Both of us do not even smoke cigarette.)
After that, they talked about how I am very lucky to have this unit at such a price and how they can rent this unit out to the olympic visitors for so much money.
Do the landlord have rights to demand me, with these circumstances, to clean the unit within a date of their choosing?
This time she wrote me an email stating her intentions to "reinspect" the unit this Friday. However, since I am extremely busy at the moment, I informed her that I already set up an appointment with a professional cleaner on March 8th, and I would like her to come after then. I notified her of this in an email which she now claims to have never received.
Now she claims she would still come in to the unit even if I am not present, or even if the unit is not cleaned. When told that unit would definitely not be cleaned if she insist on coming this Friday, she said if that is the case, she will "take action."
Am I not able to choose or slightly delay the time of the landlord's visitation?
Next issue is that even though me and my roommate received a verbal confirmation that we could indeed have a dog of a reasonable size as a pet if we clean the carpet when we move out, (we even asked if we should put a pet deposit and she said "it is fine.") now she says that having a pet was never in the terms of agreement so my dog should be out of the unit.
Do I have to comply with this request?
Lastly, I have a lot of furnitures from my previous place, and there was no where to put it so I gather them on an unused space and covered the space up with large curtains. When she saw this, she said she never rented this apartment to be "the storage" and I should get rid of the furnitures.
Is this true?
A: Hey ‘realbe…@...’, here is the real deal – your landlord is way, way out to lunch. She obviously does not know or appreciate that there are rules for both landlords and tenants, and that these rules are substantial, compelling, and enforceable.
When a tenant enters into a tenancy agreement, he/she gets exclusive use of the joint in exchange for rent money. The landlord hands over the keys to the premises and can only enter into the premises by invitation, in an emergency, by order of a specific authority such as a dispute resolution officer from the RTB, with authority granted by a real Judge, and/or in compliance with the legislation.
In the circumstances you describe, the landlord does not have a leg to stand on. She is blowing smoke up your dress. The Residential Tenancy Act prohibits the landlord from entering into rental premises except in accordance with the legislation. The landlord has no authority to rummage through your home and possessions. The landlord cannot compel you to clean the premises to her satisfaction and on her terms. The landlord cannot invite big ugly brutes into your rental unit. The landlord cannot enter your premises without notice in compliance with the legislation [by advance written notification of at least 24 hours and no more than 72 hours, and only for specific written reason(s)]. Furthermore, the landlord cannot dictate what furniture you can or can’t have in your rental premises.
You likely will wish to set out in a strongly worded letter to the landlord that she is apparently acting contrary to the legislation governing landlord – tenant relationships, as set out in the Residential Tenancy Act of British Columbia. You may wish to advise the landlord in writing that you insist she act within the prescribed terms of the legislation from this moment on. You may wish to state in no uncertain terms that you will be seeking further advice from the Residential Tenancy Branch information officers as to what rights and remedies you have under the legislation, which may include seeking an order to change the locks, seeking an order compelling the landlord to respect your right to quiet enjoyment, seeking a rent reduction, etc.
In short, you may wish to advise your landlord that there are laws governing how a landlord can act, and you intend to make sure she abides by them. Then make sure she does.


 
 

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