The Residential Tenancy Branch in British Columbia announced that it has revised the Rules of Procedure for dispute resolution hearings.
Beginning June 28, 2014, landlords or tenants applying for dispute resolution are requested to submit their evidence along with their application for dispute resolution, or as soon as possible after submission. Respondents are asked to submit evidence as soon as possible.
The Branch recognizes that it can be difficult to provide evidence along with the application. If the evidence is not available at that time, the landlord or tenant must ensure that the respondent and the Branch receive the evidence no later than 14 days before the hearing.
For respondents, evidence must be submitted as soon as possible, but no later than 7 days before the hearing. For more information about the rules of procedures, contact the Residential Tenancy Branch.
LANDLORD TIP: Documentary evidence is crucial to winning an eviction order or other dispute resolution claim. The quality of evidence produced can even impact the credibility of your oral testimony. The worst time to learn about proper recordkeeping for your rental business is after a tenancy has taken a bad turn.
The best practice is to develop the habit of documenting each tenancy. That way, you not only have the evidence you need quickly at your disposal, you also can show that you have professional systems in place, which can bolster your credibility. Good documentation means:
Legible and thorough enough for a third party to understand; and
Secure, but easily accessible.
A good documentation system can reduce the risk of prolonged or unsuccessful legal disputes, and that will minimize income loss.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.