Landlords should rat out tenants over safety issues

Spring is the traditional season for landlords to visit their tenants to ensure everything is in working order, but with a recent case highlighting the need to regularly check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, one expert says it’s okay to rat out your tenants.

“We’ve called the fire department and ratted out our own tenants so that they understand the severity of this,” said Nick Vescio, an Ontario-based investor. The fire department comes in, reads them the riot act and threatens to issue a ticket.”

This may sound extreme, but Vescio only takes this path after he has noticed a tenant has left the smoke/carbon monoxide detector disconnect three times.

Victoria Martindale, a landlord in the UK, recently plead guilty to seven charges that she failed to maintain a gas boiler and other appliances at her property where one of her tenants died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Omer Quenneville, a broker at Real Estate Homeward in Toronto, encourages all of the landlords he works with to do their best to provide the safest situations for their tenants.

"I always advise my landlords to do their best to keep a property up to code and in good shape," he said. "It's important to understand that being a landlord isn't just about providing a service or a product; it's about shelter and safety and comforts that should go with that."

“As a landlord I know it’s my responsibility to ensure the property meets all safety codes and is in decent living condition,” added Tim Mangat, an investor and agent at CIR Realtor in Calgary.

Vescio, for instance, has all tenants sign an acknowledgement when they move in to say the smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detectors are in working order and that they will stay in working order.

“Having said that, every time I go in to collect the rent, if they’re not connected, we take a picture, we document it and we write it up so there’s a paper trail," he added.
 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate

Investment Hot Spots:
Boudreau West / Boudreau-Ouest, Lantzville, Frasers Mountain, Faro, Lake Pleasant

COMMENTS

  • by J 2015-04-22 1:35:57 AM

    Jennifer one of my acquaintances has just received notice from her landlord that her rent will increase %15 next month re. recent BC tax revision... this stipulation was in the contract she signed so it's lawfully correct. It's only relevant here because your post mentioned a landlords responsibilty to maintant a premises "in decent living condition,”, and I'd like to learn more. Could you elaborate on that statement or otherwise point me in the right direction. I'm concerned over a violation of her rights. I live in Vancouver if it's any interest. Thanks!

  • by Jennifer 2015-04-28 1:52:59 PM

    Thanks for your feedback and your questions, J. I'm not overly familiar with the B.C. market, but I would suggest you start with contacting Landlord BC for more direction: www.landlordbc.ca

Get help choosing the best mortgage rate

Just fill in a few details, and we'll arrange for a Mortgage adviser to help you find the best mortgage for your needs

  • How soon do you want a mortgage?
  • Name
  • Where do you live?
  • Phone number
  • E-mail address

Poll

Have your investment plans changed for 2017?