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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 85434
Experience:  Lawyer
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can a renter stop paying rent while a dispute resolution has

Customer Question

can a renter stop paying rent while a dispute resolution has started
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question.

Before I begin I want to explain a bit about how the site works.

It may be that I will find that I need to gather further information from you. As well, it's quite possible that you may feel the need to ask me additional questions for further clarification.Please do not worry that you will be charged additionally if I ask you questions or if you need to ask me questions. That is not at all how the site works.

As well, please understand that as a careful lawyer I will always give you an honest answer even if the answer is sometimes not what you were hoping for.

Finally, as we go through the process please do not feel rushed if I ask you a question. You are always free to take your time to gather more information before you post back. As well, please understand that even after you rate me the post will not lock and you could always come back for further clarification if you think of something a bit later on down the road.

Yes the tenants must still pay rent.

When they dispute resolution proceed the tenants can ask for an abatement of the rent and even a refund but they cannot decide on their own not to pay full rent.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 85434
Experience: Lawyer
Legal Ease and 3 other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

the renter says that the residential tenancy branch said that he did not have to pay rent while this is in dispute

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
That is not true.

You can call them on Tuesday but I would be shocked.

I've never heard that before and it's simply not the law.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

On August 26/2013 I received a Notice of a Dispute Resolution Hearing.


Date and time of hearing Oct 8 2013 at 09:30am. I understand this notice and will comply. The renter said that the office of Housing and Construction Standards Residential Branch at PO Box 9298 Stn Prov Govt Victoria BC V8W-9J8 has instructed him not to pay the the rent for Sept/2013. I believe he is making this up. Should I still give him a 10 day notice to vacate because he is refusing to pay the rent for Sept/2013

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
Yes.

He is making this up.

And if he doesn't pay rent then he can be evicted for non-payment of rent, without a doubt.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you Debra; I am a new Land lord and this renter may be smarter than I am about the laws. He started renting on August 1/ 2013 and paid rent of 500 dollars for this month. Within days he has threatened myself with violence on at leased 4 occasions, because of this the renter was given a 1 month notice to End Tenancy For Cause on August 18/2013. The renter then filed a Notice of Dispute on August 26/2013. Now the renter said that the Office where he filed has told him not to pay rent. Should I still give him a 10 day Notice to End Tenancy for unpaid rent. If I do so can this cause me problems.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
He must pay the rent.

He doesn't know the law or if he does he's hoping you don't.

If he threatens you call 911.

They will remove him, charge him and place him under a restraining order.

He can be evicted for non-payment of rent unless there is an order which says he does not pay which is not the case nor would it ever be.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hello again Debra. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. The new renter started a fire in the back yard of the rental property right in the middle of the grass. This fire was started without any consideration of the damage being done to the grass and no precautions where taken should the fire get out of control. The police had to be called.


To complete our online conversation I have one final question to ask if I may. When renting the property I did make one mistake. The amount of rent was $500 dollars per month and I thought that the damage deposit should also be $500 dollars. The renter agreed to this and signed the rental agreement. He did pay the deposit.


Now after reading over the rental agreement again I understand that I have made a mistake, the damage deposit can only be half of the rent amount. Understanding my mistake I would like to return the $250 that the renter has overpayed. How should I do this to protect myself. Thank You Doug C.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
At this point I am not sure you should do a thing.

It was a honest mistake and you can offer this money back later but they owe you rent and have caused plenty of damage so I think you should hold off for now.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Dehra; Understanding that the renter has already filed a Notice of Dispute Resolution can this mistake cause me grief at the time of the hearing. The last thing that I want is to give this renter any ammunition that he can use against me in the hearing.


Again, Thank You

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Debra; I am sorry for asking so much from you. If you can answer the last question I will of course offer a bonus for the answer.


Thank You

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 10 months ago.
I know there is a Dispute Resolution process that has been instigated.

If you are that worried then why not write a cheque and in a covering letter with the cheque simply say that you discovered your error and are reimbursing them for the portion of the deposit you took in error but that this reimbursement is in no way an admission of liability or an acceptance of any responsibility in any way. It is being offered irrespective of any of the ongoing issues simply as you realized you erred in taking a larger damage deposit.

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