LandlordBC CEO David Hutniak, left, and Surrey Councillor Vera LeFranc at an Oct. 3 event at Surrey City Hall that officially launched LandlordBC’s translated registry. (Photo submitted)

B.C. landlord registry translated to Punjabi, Mandarin to encourage participation

LandlordBC says roughly 1,000 landlords have signed up, but that’s ‘nowhere near what we’d like it to be’

LandlordBC has translated its provincial registry into Punjabi and Mandarin, in an effort to encourage more landlords to sign up.

The group officially launched its “Tri-Lingual Landlord Registry” in Surrey on Oct. 3, after unveiling the English-based project last year, which is said to be the first in Canada.

The program’s online “e-learning tool” is now available in all three languages.

“It was a nice opportunity to make people aware of what we’re doing here,” said David Hutniak, CEO of Landlord BC, of the event held at Surrey City Hall. He noted that the expanded resource is particularly needed in Surrey, which has a large Punjabi community.

Since launching the registry in 2017, Hutniak said roughly 1,000 B.C. landlords have signed up. It’s hoped translation into new languages will help boost the count.

“It’s a positive result but obviously nowhere near what we’d like it to be,” he noted. “We started looking at, what communities do we need to better engage? What would that take? We realized two communities — the Punjabi-speaking community and the other is the Mandarin-speaking community. There are a lot of South Asian and Asian landlords, so we felt it was important to try and have a tool, to speak to them in their own language.

“Surrey and Richmond are the two communities we’ve had the least traction in, with this tool, at this point in time,” he elaborated. “And really, they’re the two we need the most. There’s a lot of secondary suites and not a lot of purpose-built rental there, or even on the horizon.”

Read also: B.C. introduces legislation amending tenants rights in demolitions, renovations

See also: New online registry lets renters screen landlords

The goal of the overall registry, said Hutniak, is “to allow all landlords to gain good knowledge of the Residential Tenancy Act legislation, and really, at the end of the day, it’s about knowing rights and responsibilities as landlords.”

The registry was designed to “professionalize” the rental housing industry throughout the province and to provide landlords with education and resources, allowing them to manage their business in accordance with the Residential Tenancy Act, and other legislation that governs the rental housing industry, such as the Human Rights Code.

“It helps them mitigates their risks, but the registry also has renters at the front of the mind,” said Hutniak. “If you’re a renter and contemplating a basement suite in Surrey, you can go and enter the name of a prospective landlord and if they show up, it’s going to give you confidence that this person has knowledge some others may not.”

He said while a landlord being absent from the registry doesn’t make them a “bad landlord,” it’s his organization’s view that those who go through the program “demonstrate they’re more committee to the business, and more committed to ensuring they provide high-quality rental homes.”

“We want to be cautious here,” he added, “and not be too critical of landlords who don’t register, but we think it’s important they do.”

Hutniak said landlords can be a “challenging group to engage.”

“One of the challenges we always have is many of these people don’t realize they’re actually running a business,” he remarked. “As soon as you take one rent cheque, you’re running a business, taking on risks and you need to understand those risks in order to mitigate them.

“We look at it from a common-sense perspective,” Hutniak added. “It’s surprising that people decide to do this, and don’t understand even the basics, then wonder why they end up in front of a Residential Tenancy Branch arbitrator and lose.”

Hutniak thanked the Real Estate Foundation of B.C. for a $25,000 that helped translate the program into the two new languages.

The cost of the program is only $39 and takes roughly two hours to complete. Once a landlord has completed the program and has scored a minimum of 80 per cent on the final knowledge check, they are listed on the searchable Landlord Registry.

Explore the registry, or learn more, at landlordbc.ca/landlord-registry.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Denesiuk announced as Liberal nominee for South Okanagan-West Kootenay

Connie Denesiuk ran for the first time in 2015, losing to current MP Cannings

VIDEO: How to roll a joint

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Demand for legalized cannabis in early hours draws lineups, heavy web traffic

Government-run and privately operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, eliciting a wave of demand.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set to make parole pitch today

Paul Bernardo, whose very name became synonymous with sadistic sexual perversion, is expected to plead for release on Wednesday.

Hero campaign raises $1.1 million for Canada non-profits

Lowe’s Canada Heroes campaign was held throughout September

Scope of Hurricane Michael’s fury becomes clearer in Florida Panhandle

Nearly 137,000 Florida customers remain without power from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia border

Streamlined pardon process for pot possession convictions in Canada

Feds say legalization is first step towards objectives of getting pot out of the hands of kids and eliminating black market

Most Read