BC‘s Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) deals with disputes between tenants and landlords. It’s facing months-long wait times due to increased demand.
The province is pledging $15.6 million over the next three years to help shrink that backlog. It’s a move Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon says will get the tenancy branch up and running faster.
What is dispute resolution?
Dispute resolution refers to a wide range of processes used to resolve disputes without litigation. Often, these processes are more cost-effective and quicker than traditional legal methods.
Depending on the issue, dispute resolution can range from negotiation to mediation to arbitration. These processes can be used to resolve disputes involving family, neighborhood, employment, business, housing, personal injury, securities, consumer and environmental matters.
Negotiation is usually the first method to try, but it may not be appropriate for all cases. The goal is to find a solution that everyone can agree on.
A mediator is an independent person who works between the parties to help them reach a mutually acceptable resolution. The mediator does not take sides or decide who’s right and who’s wrong, but he or she can help them work out what they want to do in the future.
Mediation is a form of ADR and can be very effective at resolving some issues that would otherwise go to litigation. The main advantage of mediation is that it can be less expensive than other methods of dispute resolution, such as arbitration or litigation.
Summary Jury Trials (SJT) are another form of ADR. They are short trials that let the parties get a preview of what could happen in a more formal trial.
Getting a resolution to your dispute as quickly as possible can help you avoid ongoing conflict and distractions in the workplace. It can also help you show that your company is serious about resolving problems and ensuring the satisfaction of its employees.
How do I apply for dispute resolution?
Disputes can occur between landlords and tenants for a wide range of reasons, but they are usually resolved more quickly and less expensively by both parties working to resolve the dispute out of court. Landlords and tenants can resolve disputes themselves and can also apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) for a formal dispute resolution process.
Many disputes can be resolved through mediation, a voluntary process where both parties can discuss their issues with a trained RTB mediator. The mediator is a neutral party who helps to negotiate a resolution that works for both sides.
Another common way to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants is through arbitration, a legal tool that has rarely been used in residential tenancies but is frequently utilized by commercial landlords. Arbitration is similar to mediation, but the decision of an arbitrator is much more binding than in a mediation case.
One advantage of arbitration is that it can be used to resolve a monetary claim, unlike in mediation, where a monetary order is not issued. However, both landlords and tenants have to agree to the use of arbitration in order for it to work.
The simplest way to apply for dispute resolution is to fill out an application form and attach relevant documents. This can include photos, receipts or a log of events that may prove useful during the process.
Keeping good records and established procedures at each stage of a tenancy is a great first step for avoiding disputes in the future. This will ensure that you have a complete record of your correspondence with each tenant and the state of the property at all times.
It is also important to keep in mind that there are strict deadlines when it comes to applying for dispute resolution, so be sure to follow them closely. Missing a deadline can result in your application being dismissed, so always be sure to remember to submit any requested documents before the specified date.
What is the fee for dispute resolution?
Throughout your property ownership career, there will be times when you will need to resolve disputes with tenants. Whether it is an argument about how long repairs are taking, or a dispute over a missed rent payment, it is important to know what options you have for resolving these matters.
One of the most effective ways to resolve disputes is through the process of mediation or arbitration. These methods involve an impartial third party to help you and your tenant resolve your issue.
In most cases, mediation can be less expensive than going to court, as it allows you and your tenant to craft your own resolutions together. You can choose to have everyone discuss the issues in person, over the phone or by video chat.
Landlords and tenants who choose to participate in mediation typically find that they are able to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement for all parties involved. This can be especially true if both parties are willing to take time to communicate with each other and understand each other’s concerns.
Another benefit of landlord-tenant mediation is that it can lead to a legally binding Resolution Agreement. This means that if you don’t follow through with the agreement, your tenant has the right to go to court for breach of the Resolution Agreement.
As a result, it is always a good idea to have an experienced lawyer on hand to represent you in case the situation arises where you need to go to court. An attorney will be able to help you negotiate with your tenant or settle your matter in an expedient and efficient manner. Likewise, an attorney can assist you in preparing documents such as a lease amendment or termination agreement for your rental property.
Can I get a fee waiver?
When problems arise between landlords and tenants, the provincial government establishes guidelines to help resolve them. These guidelines include a process called dispute resolution, which can be used to resolve disputes without going to court.
While dispute resolution is often used as a last resort, it can be a useful tool when landlords and tenants are unable to resolve their disputes through negotiations or mediation. It allows an arbitrator to make legally-binding decisions about a range of issues, such as evictions, rent increases, notices to end tenancies and property maintenance issues.
Some renters say they are frustrated with the dispute-resolution process, which can take months to get a hearing and sometimes results in bad outcomes. For example, a landlord in Victoria says he had to wait months before he could finally evict his tenant who milked the system for all the rent-free time he could get while he sold the house.
The Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) is currently working to reduce the number of long waits for tenancy-related hearings. The branch has also recently hired a compliance and enforcement unit that will investigate serious, repeat or deliberate non-compliance with tenancy laws.
A new online application for dispute resolution is making it easier and faster for tenants and landlords to resolve tenancy issues. The application is designed to make sure that all the information is correct and helps to avoid adjournments or dismissals.
Low-income tenants can apply for a fee waiver, as long as they upload proof of income at the time of application. The RTB will then verify that the applicant has a low income and that they can afford to pay the dispute resolution fees.
What happens at a dispute resolution hearing?
There are many things that go on before a tribunal makes a decision, such as filing documents and submitting evidence. These steps help to ensure that the dispute resolution process moves as quickly and efficiently as possible.
When applying for a dispute resolution hearing, it is important to keep in mind that the adjudicator will decide your case based on law and previous decisions from other tribunals in cases like yours. This means that you should review the law that applies to your case and consult with a lawyer who can explain this to you.
You should also provide relevant evidence in support of your claims, including written communications, receipts, and photos or videos that show the issue in detail. Having all this information in a logical and easy-to-read format will make it easier for the Arbitrator to understand your case.
Having your case recorded can also help to ensure procedural fairness, which is one of the most fundamental principles of this country’s justice system. This includes rights to be heard, a logical procedure, and a well-reasoned decision at the end of your case.
The Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB), the government agency in charge of residential tenancy law, has made a commitment to improve access to dispute resolution services for small landlords and tenants. However, that promise isn’t always being met.
According to the Rental Housing Task Force, disputes between landlords and tenants are taking longer to be resolved at the RTB than they were a few years ago. For small landlords and tenants who can’t resolve their disputes on their own through negotiation or mediation, the wait can be incredibly stressful and financially devastating.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.