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ASSIGNING OR SUBLETTING TENANCY AGREEMENTS

The seller of a Manufactured Home can request an assignment of the existing tenancy agreement to a potential buyer of the home. The Landlord has to agree with this request, or give reasons why he does not, within 10 days or the assignment is" deemed to have taken place" .

This capability can make a sale very attractive to a buyer as the purchaser takes over your tenancy agreement with the same rental amount and rules as currently in place. Some landlords will try to refuse an assignment so that they can raise the rent by any amount they wish. Some landlords have added over a $100 per month to the current rent. The excessive increase can and often does stop a sale of the home.

You must check your Tenancy Agreement Rules first to ensure that you did not sign away this right, before deciding to use this provision. (See the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act, section 28)

There are a few valid reasons the landlord can refuse to agree to an assignment, and those reasons are spelled out in the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act Regulations sections 42-52 as well as being explained in Guideline number 19. The landlords around the Province of BC have had experience with this process, and have become very creative in reasons why they will not accept an assignment these can be challenged at arbitration. If you intend to go this route (and why not, if facilitates a sale) then make sure your agent is aware of it, has the appropriate forms and if necessary, check with a lawyer or/and the Tenancy Branch as to the correct process. The proper forms can be found on the Residential Tenancy Branch website.

Some landlords have tried to prevent assignments by telling the home owner that they would remain liable for the rent or any action by the new owner indefinitely. The Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act makes it quite clear that the new purchaser "steps into the shoes of the seller" and is responsible from that time forward. The seller is only responsible up to the time the new purchaser takes over (see section 49 of the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Regulations.

From the Guidelines

It is not reasonable to withhold consent and require a new tenancy agreement in order to increase the rent. It may be reasonable to withhold consent if reference or credit checks indicate that a prospective tenant is unlikely to adhere to the terms of the tenancy agreement.

If a landlord arbitrarily or unreasonably withholds consent to assign or sublet the tenant's interest in a tenancy agreement, contrary to the provisions of the Legislation, the tenant may apply to an arbitrator for an order that the tenancy agreement is assigned or sublet.

In hearing such an application, the arbitrator would consider whether the request had been given in writing, whether the landlord has properly responded to the request, and whether the reasons given for refusing the request were reasonable. If the request is concerning a manufactured home site, the arbitrator will consider whether the provisions of the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Regulation have been followed.

Damages

Monetary damages can be awarded where they result from a landlord's breach of contract in refusing to agree to an assignment, contrary to a term of the tenancy agreement or to the provisions of the Legislation (which are deemed to be a term of every tenancy agreement)."

Anyone considering selling their home needs to be aware of the assignment option and verify that they can use it, read it, understand it, and then make an educated decision as to whether it suits your circumstances. .

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The material on this web site does not constitute legal or professional advice and is presented as information only. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.