Landlord registry set to launch in Vancouver in 2017

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      Renters will soon be able to check their prospective landlord online.

      They’ll know whether or not the property owner understands and commits to abide by the Residential Tenancy Act. It will be as simple as typing in a name to see if a proprietor is listed on the website to be launched by industry association LandlordBC.

      In order to be included in the registry, a house owner must complete a Landlord 101 course online and pass a test. Upon completion, a lessor gets an ‘I Rent It Right’ certification.

      According to LandlordBC CEO David Hutniak, the registry will let tenants know if a property owner took the time to learn how to become a good landlord.

      “Say two landlords renting out a basement suite: if the guy with one basement suite has completed the program, has secured the competency certificate, his name is going to show up in there. The other guy’s won’t. So who are you going to rent from?” Hutniak asked in a phone interview with the Georgia Straight.

      The registry is meant for landlords in the secondary rental market, which consists of houses, suites, basements, and condos.

      “This is about education for the landlord, first and foremost,” Hutniak explained.

      According to Hutniak, teaching landlords about their and their tenants’ rights and responsibilities will reduce disputes and, ultimately, save time and money for both sides.

      “The business of being a landlord effectively, that’s what the material is going to cover,” he said.

      Landlords listed in the registry will also be required to use a standardized set of industry forms developed by LandlordBC to meet provincial requirements. These include tenant application forms, tenancy agreements, and rental-condition inspection reports.

      Although the registry will not be a marketing portal for rental properties, Hutniak said that it is going to provide some landlords an opportunity to differentiate themselves from others.

      The landlord registry will serve as the first comprehensive landlord database in B.C., according to a concept paper by the Vancouver-based industry association.

      Set to be launched at the beginning of next year, the registry follows the Certified Rental Building program rolled out by LandlordBC in November 2015 for big property companies.

      A rental building gets certified under the program after an audit by J. D. Power and Associates. This means that the building and staff meet legislative requirements and provide good service.