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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101445
Experience:  Lawyer
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I, the landlord have a signed contract residential lease to

Customer Question

I, the landlord have a signed contract for a residential lease to rent a house in West Vancouver. Time frame of the lease is from August 18th, 2016 to January 31, 2016. I desire to cancel the lease.
I have a rental company that has to the best of my knowledge completed the paperwork and taken a rental deposit, security deposit and pet deposit.
What are the legal consequences for the landlord if he cancels the lease at this point?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

You cannot cancel it. This is a binding contract. You would be in breach of the contract if you refuse to lease out the house. You can be sued to compel you to adhere to the contract and/or for damages.

I am sorry this is not the answer you were hoping for but I know you need the right answer so that my answer does help.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The reason I want to cancel the contract is a safety issue. I constructed a planter barrier around a drop off "fall zone" to meet safety requirements of
city of West Vancouver. Now 4 days before occupancy,the property manger called and said the tenants might move the planters for a better view. The property has a great view with or without moving the barriers. This very much concerns me if the fall zone area is again unprotected. I'm wondering if this could come under "special circumstances for terminating a lease". Not only can someone get seriously hurt but I also have liability concerns on my end beyond having liability insurance on the property.
I'm wondering also if this might fall under "doing damage to the property and threatening security, safety, or physical well-being of another resident or landlord".......Also: under same section..."causing major damage or put the landlords property at considerable risk for other residents".
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

These are not grounds for terminating the lease.

But you have to tell the tenants what you found out and if they want to get out of the lease you will have to let them.

I suggest having a lawyer tell them in a letter to protect yourself best.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I the landlord am the one who wants to get out of the lease. This is a house and there is only one family of tenants and they are the ones who want to remove the barriers.
The children are small and would be at risk unless the parents watch them all the time.
If they remove the barriers, is this not grounds for ending the tenancy under special circumstances because removal of the protective barriers puts anyone else on the property at risk. "threatens the security, safety, or physical well being of another resident or landlord" or removal of the barriers "causes major damage or puts the landlord's property at considerable risk"
I would also like to know how liable I am if they move the barriers I constructed and as a result someone is injured or killed.
Just for clarification the barriers have the same purpose as a railing on the balcony of a high rise building. There is quite a drop off.
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

Yes I know you are the landlord and want to get out. I am saying it's not enough for you to get out but if you tell them what your concern is they may want to get out.

I don't believe your saying they can put their own kids at risk if they move the planters is enough to get out of the lease.

I believe you can have a lawyer send them a letter and make it clear to them that this is what you discovered, you will agree to let them out but if they want to stay they need to understand that you are advising them of the risks and that you are not going to be liable but they are.

The lawyer will word the letter in a way that may scare them into leaving and if not at least will protect you from being sued successfully.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you! that was very helpful
This is a wonderful service
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

You are very welcome!