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Landlording Problems - Insurance

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Q: We have as a condition set out in our agreement that the tenant must hold and keep up to date a tenant's insurance policy. The tenant agreed to those terms and signed off on it. However, we are unable to secure a copy of his proof of insurance. Because of the tenant's stonewalling, I am now wondering if in fact this demand is legal and enforceable?
A: If the tenant obtaining an insurance policy is a material term of your tenancy agreement, and the tenant isn't abiding to it, you can issue him a notice to end his tenancy for breach of a material term, which is a ground found under section 49 of the Act. The proper form to use is RTO 3. The tenant will have an opportunity to challenge the notice if he chooses, and the two of you would be off to arbitration to argue about it.
My advice is to first put your concern or complaint to the tenant in writing, stating how and by when you want the situation remedied. I would indicate that the insurance policy bit is a material term that he agreed to on entering the tenancy, and I'd refer him to that part of the agreement that lays this out. I might also explain why it is required because he may challenge it as unreasonable or not so serious a failing on his part that he should lose his home over it.
If the tenant does not respond to your satisfaction, you may wish to issue him a notice to end the tenancy - and brace yourself for a fight just in case.


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