Welcome to ROMS BC's blog. Here, you can read about issues, stories, updates and events for BC's residential rental industry.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Democratic Surprise!

As you know the Liberals won a surprise majority on May 14th.  We expect Premier Clark to announce her Cabinet by the middle of June.  

Rich Coleman, Deputy Premier before the election, has been responsible for residential tenancy legislation since 2001 and we expect him to continue with this portfolio, along with another major Cabinet post.  As always in politics, there are no guarantees!

-Al Kemp

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Composting Options

More and more people are trying to find ways to reduce their household waste. We all want to leave a smaller carbon footprint, and one of the easiest things we can do is compost.
The most common method is to have a compost bin outside your home or apartment building. If you are lucky enough to have the space for one, it can also be the simplest way of turning your orange peels and egg shells into soil. The downside to this method is that in an urban setting, it may attract unwanted rodents and takes up valuable space.
There are other options and they vary from “icky” to philanthropic. Worms are not generally something people like to have in their apartment, but it’s the new craze... For a fairly small cost, everyone can have “designer worms” under their sink or in a utility closet. The worms eat the waste and produce rich soil that can be used in any type of garden.
If the idea of worms in your building doesn’t work for you, there are other options. Several private companies in large areas provide composting services. You just fill up the bin, and they take it away! The cost over time definitely adds up, but you could save that money in reduced garbage fees. A way to simplify this is to find out if your municipality has a program, as they don’t always advertise this. If not, try to get on some type of composting program by writing a letter to a private company, the person in your municipality or regional district who deals with waste management, or a sympathetic elected official.
The most cost effective solution is donation. Within most communities (especially larger ones) there are people who call themselves “urban gardeners.” These guerrilla green thumbs are always looking for cheap ways to obtain good soil. Placing an ad on Craigslist or in your local newspaper for free compost might be your way of ridding yourself of those unwanted apple cores and coffee grounds.
Generally you would have to deliver the compost directly to the garden, but a small amount of travelling could bear the fruits of sustainable urban living.


Hunter Boucher

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What Have My Tenants Got Me Into Now?

Q: My tenants just sent me an e-mail that they intend to vacate at the end of October. I knew that the only way i could claim lost rent for November is if I tried to re-rent the suite right away, so I placed an ad immediately after I received the message. Now I have chosen tenant for November 1st and signed a tenancy agreement, but my current tenants have changed their mind. Isn't it right that I have to give consent for them to withdraw their notice?

A: If the tenant had given you valid notice, then yes; you would need to give your notice. there are two reasons for this - the first being that all necessary information would not be included. Notices to end tenancy must include both the tenant's and the landlord's names, the address of the rental unit and the date notice was served, the date the notice is effective and the signature of the person giving the notice. Of course a signature cannot be contained in an e-mail. Secondly , e-mail is not a valid means of service. Proper service (for most documents) can be personal on the tenant, person on an adult occupant, affixed to the door or other conspicuous place, left in a mailbox, sent via fax to a number provided by the tenant or in the mail. In this case, your present tenancy is still intact and you will need to either negotiate with your current tenants to move out or your new tenants not to move in! Either way it's likely to cost you some money.

 Al Kemp

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Changes to BC Hydro’s Power Smart Incentive Program for Stratas

As of January 1, 2013, all residential stratas applying for Power Smart incentives for simple retrofits to common areas are to apply through the Product Incentive Program (PIP) instead of Power Smart Partner Express (PSPX). 

Enhanced Product Incentives for the Power Smart PIP Program:
      • BC Hydro’s PIP provides cash rebates on more than 10,000 energy efficient technologies to reduce your energy costs including lighting, refrigeration, and commercial cooking equipment.
      • BC Hydro PIP participants can receive an additional 10% from LiveSmart BC.
      • For information on enhanced incentives through BC Hydro's PIP program, visit www.bchydro.com/incentives or phone 1-866-522-4713.

Customers with invoices which pre-date January 1, 2013 must proceed through PSPX and those with invoices after January 1, 2013 will only be eligible for PIP.  Applications for PIP must be submitted within 120 days of the invoice date, and only specified retrofits and products listed on BC Hydro’s e.Catalog are eligible for incentives. 

Before starting your project, please contact the Power Smart Business Helpdesk at 1-866-522-4713 to confirm your eligibility. To determine which program is right for you, check out the Program Eligibility Tool at www.bchydro.com. 

-- Jeff Chiu, Business Development and Partnership Manager, BC Hydro