Public Statement on Residential Tenancy Decision Released Today

Public Statement on Residential Tenancy Decision Released Today

Public Statement on Residential Tenancy Board Decision Released Today

I am releasing public remarks and reaction to the decision made by the BC Residential Tenancy Board arbitrator today in the dispute between myself and my former landlord, Edward Cheung. 

I received word today of the decision that was reached in the matter I brought forward to the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Board. I would first like to thank the impartial arbitrator for her application of the relevant law and for the thoroughness in analyzing the issues she had to decide in this case.

I am releasing a public statement in the spirit of what my former landlord told me several months ago via E-Mail:

I cannot see how the RTB will look at your claim favourably if the RTB sees that they are being used to extract more money from a landlord when the landlord has provided compensation in the amount that a tenant has requested.  All submissions to the RTB that move to a hearing are recorded and archived in the public domain.  Should this be the impression you wish to leave of yourself to the RTB, that is your choice.

Edward Cheung, December 28, 2016 — via E-Mail

In light of that sage advice, I have made available a link to the PDF version of the decision. There are times in which landlord/tenant disputes are a valued item of public interest, and on this, both my former landlord and I agree. That much is noted above.

I had no desire to escalate the case to that point. My interest was in resolving this dispute outside of any quasi-legal mechanism and to preserve a landlord-tenant relationship. It became clear to me quickly that this individual did not share my sentiment, and was active in shirking his responsibilities as the landlord.

This case has been a lesson for me personally in vetting and scrutinizing a landlord as much, if not more, than they scrutinize me. This was also about seeking some measure of justice. I am thoroughly satisfied with the arbitrator’s ruling.

In the coming days, I will be formally serving my former landlord with the monetary order with the hope that, in light of this judgment, he will come to do the honourable thing. Of course, I stand ready to pursue further action should it become necessary. Whether this decision released today is the end of this dispute is a consideration that rests squarely on the shoulders of my previous landlord. I urge him to respect this decision, especially given his participation in the process.

This was never about money. The request for compensation was, and has always been, a secondary consideration. When faced with the demeanour of this landlord — the unprofessionalism, the deflecting of responsibility, the failed attempts at intimidation — I knew that any resolution between us would lend itself to this individual conveniently forgetting his responsibilities. I wanted this to be made public, for the matter of compensation to be determined by an outside, third-party arbitrator. I am perfectly comfortable with the impression I have left of myself not only with the RTB, but with anyone reading this.

I’d also like this case to serve as a guide to anyone facing difficulties with a landlord. Tenants have rights; legal rights. Landlords, particularly in British Columbia, have been taking advantage of renters in various forms, and this should serve as a testament to the need for tenants to be informed of the rights, responsibilities and mechanisms they can utilize to have their voices heard. Being informed as a tenant is of paramount importance when entering into a legal contract with any landlord. The Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre is a great tool for information and guidance in this area. I’d also like to thank TRAC and their volunteers for their assistance in this regard.

The first step in the vigourous defence of one’s rights is to know what they are. Get informed and seek what’s just.

Patrick Vaillancourt

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