Tenant Handbook

Welcome to Your New Home. Please find the relevant information to you using the table of contents below.

Welcome to Your New Home

To help your home feel safe and be an affordable place to live, this Tenant Handbook provides you easy access to helpful information on many subjects, including:
Conflicts and Complaints
Emergency Contacts
Insurance
Utilities
Keeping Pets
Laundry
Parking
Recycling
Guidelines and Policies
Keep this handbook in a convenient place for future reference.
THIS HANDBOOK IS PROVIDED ONLY AS A GUIDE.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ARE DESCRIBED IN YOUR RESIDENTIAL TENANCY AGREEMENT.

About Active Care Alternative Housing Society

Active Care Youth and Adult Services is a progressive, innovative organization operating residential resources for children, youth, and adults in BC. Active Care Youth and Adult Services Ltd is an organization made up of a team of compassionate, talented individuals who are committed to providing innovative, person-centred services to the people in our care.

 Recently, Active Care assisted in the creation of a non-profit called Active Care Alternative Housing Society, to help facilitate the creation of affordable and accessible housing for young adults in the communities. The Society provides access to housing in addition to housing resources and housing services to individuals whose income poses a barrier to accessing comfortable, safe housing, as well as independent living resources and services to youth who no longer require social support programs and services, or who have recently aged out of social supported programs.

Roles of Housing Staff

Building Administrator

The Building Administrator is your main contact regarding your tenancy. Duties include screening tenant applications, rent collection, scheduling repairs/maintenance, tenant requests, complaints, evictions, laundry room, common area, and other.

Janitor

The janitor in your building provides cleaning service in the common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, and amenity rooms. They also keep the common area outside clean, picking up litter or shovelling snow. Maintaining outdoor areas, such as parking area, and refuse station. The janitor helps your Building Administrator prepare empty units before new tenants move in.

Maintenance Staff

Maintenance staff are called in when you need something in your unit repaired. For example, they deal with leaky pipes, re-hanging closet doors and some appliance repairs. They also handle repairs in common areas.

Moving In

Your Building Administrator will let you know what day you may move into your new home and will arrange for you to be contacted and provide details of your move-in date. When you go to the building to pick up your keys, the site representative will complete a move-in inspections. Move-in hours are from 8:00am to 4:00pm. You will be provided a move-in timeslot. Please be mindful of your timeslot as it will allow building staff to schedule other moves that day with limited interruptions to others i.e., to ensure the elevators and hallways will not be too busy at one time where applicable.

Keys / Fobs & Locks

You will be provided with keys to your unit, the front door of the building, your mailbox, laundry room, storage locker (as necessary). Please note that you will be charged a replacement free if you lose any of your keys or key FOB.
We keep master keys to all Active Care Alternative Housing Society units to ensure your safety in the event of an emergency. You must not change your locks or add security devices without prior written approval from management. If you need your locks changed, please ask your Building Administrator. If you are locked out of your building, you can contact your building site representative to let you in. Please note that we charge a fee for these services.

Parking

There is limited parking on site. If you are offered a parking stall, there is a cost. Talk to the Building Administrator for details. Vehicles must meet certain conditions, including being licensed/insured and in running order. Your Vehicle is required to be registered to obtain a parking space. Parking stalls cannot be used for storage of household items and repairs to vehicles cannot be carried out. There is no visitor parking provided on site.

Insurance

Active Care Alternative Housing Society only insures its buildings, not your belongings. As per your tenancy agreement, it is highly recommended that tenants purchase content insurance to protect your belongings in case of fire, theft, earthquake or offers damage and make sure that your policy includes liability insurance. If you suffer a major event, such as fire, and it is determined that you, a family member, or guest are responsible, you will be responsible for the cost of all repairs. Your liability insurance will cover these costs.

Utilities

Tenants are responsible for paying for their own hydro and/or gas. Tenants are responsible for making hookup arrangements. If required, the Building Administrator can assist.

Cable / Telephone / Satellite Dishes

Tenants are responsible for paying their internet, cable and telephone costs. Tenants are responsible for contacting their local cable and telephone companies to arrange for connections and payment. Contact your Building Administrator to arrange access to utility room if required for hookup. NOTE: Satellite dishes are not allowed and cannot be attached to the building or fences.

Shaw residential wholesale/bulk program for cable is available to tenants. Please contact the Building Administrator for details.

Pets

The pet ownership rules provided with your tenancy agreement outline the restriction on the number of pets and which are not permitted (for example, certain exotic pets) and describes your responsibilities.

It is your responsibility to remove all waste deposited by your pet within your unit and the common area of the development. Please remember that pets must be on a leash and with a responsible person when not inside their unit.

If you own a pet or get one after moving in, you must register it with Active Care Alternative Housing Society. If you violate the pet ownership rules, your tenancy may be at risk.

Rent & Qualifying

How your income qualifies you to rent a unit at one of the Active Care Alternative Housing Society affordable housing units. What size of units you are qualified to rent.

Units

Studio – single person – Income of $80,000 or less
1 Bedroom – Spouses and couples – Income of $80,000 or less
2 Bedroom – Parents with children – Income of $80,000 or less

Pre-Authorized Rent Payment

Rent is paid by completing a pre-authorized form with banking information and providing it to the Building Administrator. Your rent will be automatically withdrawn monthly from your bank account.

Please note your rent is due and payable on or before the first of the month. If your rent is not paid by the first of the month you will receive a Notice to End Tenancy.

Rent is increases annually and is regulated by the Government based on inflation. Tenants will receive a notice 3 months prior to increase.

Rights & Responsibilities

Privacy Policy

Active Care Alternative Housing Society is committed to maintaining confidentiality and respecting personal privacy. When you applied for housing, we collected only the personal information required to administer our affordable housing rental units. We only use this information to support you in your tenancy.

Your personal information will only be used by authorized staff to fulfil the purpose for which it was originally collected, or for a use consistent with that purpose. We do not disclose your personal information to other public bodies or individuals except as authorized by legislation or through your consent.

Tenancy Agreement

Before moving into your unit, you signed a tenancy agreement with Active Care Alternative Housing Society, and you should have a copy of it. (if you lost yours, you can call your Building Administrator to request another.) If you find some of the rules difficult to understand, your Building Administrator can help you.

Household Size

If there is an increase or decrease in the number of residents in your family, even temporarily, you must contact your Building Administrator.

Your New Home

Care of Your Unit

It is your responsibility to keep your home safe and clean.
Leave common areas like the Hallways, laundry rooms and grounds clean for other tenants.
Remember that children and pets should not play in the hallways, elevators, laundry rooms, locker rooms, common room, or parking area.
Picture hooks, rather than nails or screws, must be used to hang wall decorations.
Avoid liquid bleach and we recommend the use of environmentally friendly cleaning product.
Any alterations, renovations or painting in your unit must be approved in advance and in writing by your Building Administrator.

Appliances

Your units’ refrigerator is frost-free and does not need to be defrosted. Your units’ oven is self-cleaning. Please follow the manufacturers guidelines for cleaning both Fridge and oven. Use a mild soapy solution to clean the smooth surface of appliances. For grease and dirt, do not use abrasive cleaning product as they will damage the surfaces of your appliance.

Window Coverings

Some window coverings are provided in each unit.

Bathrooms

Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner on showers, sinks, and toilets. A rough cleaner will scratch the surface and make the fixtures harder to keep clean.

Condensation

Turn on your bathroom and kitchen fans to reduce condensation in these areas.

Storage Areas

If you have a storage locker, you are responsible for providing a lock to secure your belongings.

Balconies

If your unit has a balcony, it must not be used for storage. Barbecues and firepits, whether charcoal or propane, are not permitted on balconies as the fumes and burning coals are a potential health and fire hazard. In the winter, you should clear any snow from your balcony because accumulated melting snow could leak under the door into you home.

Household Garbage & Recycling

Check with your Building Administrator about garbage removal and recycling programs at your development.

Disposal of furniture, electronics, appliances, or other large items are not permitted to be left on the premises. Tenants must arrange for removal of these items at their own expense. Please contact our Building Administrator if you require assistance.

Common Areas

The common area is a place individuals can use for recreation and meetings. Your Building Administrator can let you know about the availability or use of the common space in your building (if applicable). Common areas cannot be used to store scooters or other items. It is your responsibility to endure safe and reasonable use of all common areas by household members and guests.

Active Care Alternative Housing Society is not responsible to replace stolen or damaged belongings from common areas like common room, storage, laundry room, parking stalls and / or lockers.

Laundry Room

The laundry room facilities are available for use by tenants only. Laundry facility is pay by use. We ask that you:
Check with your Building Administrator whether there is a laundry schedule.
Check for posted laundry room regulation.
Remove lint from the lint screen in the dryer after each use to reduce drying times and to prevent fires.
Report any washer or dryer that is not working to your Building Administrator or call the number posted in the laundry room.
Do not store household belongings in laundry room.

Conserving Energy

Active Care Alternative Housing Society does their part to try and reduce energy and electricity consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions in our buildings. Whenever possible we use energy-efficient lights and appliances. We keep the heat at moderate temperatures in stairwells and hallways.

There are ways you can also save energy and lower your utility bills.
Turn off lights in rooms that are not being used.
When possible, use natural light and energy-efficient light bulbs.
Unplug electronic devices and chargers when not in use.
When cold out, keep the temperature at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).
Turn down thermostat when you leave your home or have windows open.
Keep your refrigerator on a medium or low setting.
Please contact your Building Administrator if:
Unit is too hot or cold and you cannot control the temperature.
You notice a leaky tap or toilet.
Do not turn your heat below 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter even if you will be away for a long period of time.

Renovations & Alterations

Do not carry out alterations or renovations to your unit without prior written consent and contact your Building Administrator if repairs are required. Renovations and alterations include painting, wall papering, changing the flooring, installing a satellite dish, and making structural changes.

Guests

Active Care Alternative Housing Society Guest rules provided with or as an addendum to your tenancy agreement outline the requirements of your responsibilities. If you want or need to plan for a guest to stay more than the allotted days, you must obtain written approval in advance of the visit from your Building Administrator.

Tenants who have received approval for a guest to stay longer:
Will not be allocated a larger unit.
Will not require to have their guest apply to be added to the household.
Guest will be required to provide proof of residence elsewhere.

Smoking

This is a smoke free building (smoking tobacco, cannabis (whether medical) e-cigarette use, vaping, etc... These areas include residential units, balconies, common room, entrance ways, stairwells, lobbies, laundry rooms, storage rooms, hallways, and parking lot. Please refer to the “smoke Free Housing Addendum” you signed with your tenancy agreement.

At no time may tenants, occupants, guest and invitees of the tenants or occupants, smoke anywhere in the rental unit, including the balcony, patio, and common grounds.

Pest Control

Please report the first sign of pests in your unit to our Building Administrator immediately. Pest include (but not limited to) rodents, cockroaches, ants, silverfish, and bedbugs. Treatments will be scheduled to avoid further infestations. It is the responsibility of the tenant to prepare their unit for treatment, with information being sent by the pest control company or the housing representative.

You can reduce pests by:
Keeping your dry goods (flours, cereals, sugars, etc.) in glass, metal, or hard plastic containers with tight fitting lids).
Keeping your garbage, including recyclables, and food scraps in tight closing hard containers.
To avoid the spread of bedbugs, it is important that you do not bring any furniture of household items into your unit from dumpsters. If you purchase furniture from second-hand stores insure, they have been thoroughly inspected first. Should you discover bedbugs in your unit, notify your Building Administrator immediately. They will give you further instructions on what is required to prepare your unit for effective treatment. If spraying is necessary, your will receive a notice that explains what must be done before any treatment can be completed.

Noise & Disturbances

You and your neighbours are entitled to privacy and quiet enjoyment of your homes. Please ensure that you, your household members, and guests live in a manner that does not have a negative effect on your neighbours. Please note that excessive noise and disturbances may lead to action against your tenancy.

Conflicts & Complaints

If you are involved in a conflict with another tenant, try to resolve the issue with them before seeking help. If you are unable to resolve an issue as it relates to your tenancy, contact your housing representative in writing.

NOTE: Written complaints must be dated and signed and should state facts (who, what, when, where) rather than personal judgments, opinions, or conclusions.

Regular Unit Inspections

Active Care Alternative Housing will be conducting semi-annual unit inspections. Before an inspection each tenant will receive a written notice at least 24 hours and not more than 30 days prior to inspection. Times will be between 8:00am and 4:00pm, unless otherwise agreed upon.

Maintenance & Repairs

Active Care Alternative Housing Society is committed to providing safe affordable housing for its residents. From time-to-time staff may need to conduct repairs and prevention maintenance in your unit. We will make every reasonable effort to minimize the disruption while repairs and maintenance are underway.

Please inform the Building Administrator maintenance problems by filling out a maintenance request form. This form can be obtained from your building representative. You must complete and sign the form before scheduled repairs can be done. If you do not sign the form, the maintenance staff cannot enter your unit.

If there has been property damage or an injury, the Building Administrator will complete an Accident Critical Event Report and may require specific details from you.

After Hours Maintenance Emergencies

If you have a serious problem after hours, phone the 24-hour emergency maintenance number. (Listed in Appendix 1 of this handbook) This number is intended for maintenance emergencies only such as a flood, an elevator breakdown, power or heat system failure, a broken window, or a leaking roof.

Complying with WorkSafe BC Regulations

Active Care Alternative Housing Society, in compliance with WorkSafeBC requirements and other workplace safety practices, takes precautionary measures to protect people in and around work sites while maintenance or repair activities occur. These could include high-level work, floor/railing repairs, Mold management, and the removal of airborne dust particles, insects, and rodents. You may see staff or contractors utilize tools and wear special clothing to protect themselves from workplace hazards they may encounter as part of their work activities. You may also see the posting of warning or caution signs. For your safety and the safety of others, please respect these signs.

Safety

Protect Yourself and Your Home

Do not let strangers follow you into the building as you enter. Your building has an intercom, ensure your guest use it when visiting you. When you receive a call on the intercom, be sure that you know that person before allowing them into the building.

Only let workers come into the building or your unit if you know they should be there (for example, if notices have been posted) and they have proper identification.

If you see strangers loitering around the building, please contact your Building Administrator directly. If you observe suspected criminal activity, do not attempt to intervene. Phone 911 and speak to the police immediately.
If your safety or someone else’s safety is at risk, call 911 immediately.

Be Prepared for an Emergency

As a recommendation, keep an emergency supply kit on hand. This could include a five-day supply of drinking water, food (that does not need to be cooked such as energy bars, juice, and crackers). Also include a first-aid kit, flashlight, and extra batteries.

In The Event of an Emergency

Active Care Alternative Housing Society has a business plan to ensure building services are restored to tenants as soon as possible. Please call 778-694-2455 for a recorded message and/or to speak to the building representative.

Fire Safety

Here are some fire safety tips to protect your home and your family.
If you hear a fire alarm, always leave the building right away. Follow your fire escape plan.
If a fire occurs in your unit, evacuate to safety, activate the fire alarm, and call Do not store flammable materials such as paint thinners, solvents, propane tanks, or gasoline inside your home.
Regularly recycle old newspapers as they are a fire hazard if you let them stack ups.
Make sure you know what to do in case of fire. You will find fire safety and evacuation information posted on each floor. You can also obtain fire safety information from your building representative.
Make sure you know at least 2 ways out of the building in case one escape route is blocked by fire. Plan these routes with your household members and practice them regularly so everyone knows how to exit the building safely.
911 for the fire department.
Call your Building Administrator if the smoke alarm in your home goes off frequently. This alarm is wired so there is no battery to replace. We insect the smoke alarm and test it regularly. Do not remove or disable it.
By keeping your stove oven and toaster clean so they don’t smoke, you can help prevent setting your smoke alarm off. Also, use the exhaust fan when cooking to reduce the possibility of false alarms and never leave cooking food unattended.
Advise your Building Administrator immediately if you become aware of any fire hazards in your home or building, for example, accumulations of combustible materials, flammable liquids, or blacked exit routes.
Only use a fire extinguisher if you have been trained. If you want to learn how to sue a fire extinguisher, contact your local fire department.
Do not prop open fire doors or disable automatic door closers, as you place both yourself and your neighbours in danger in the event of a fire.
Do not overload power outlets or use damaged, old, or frayed power cords. A power bar with a shut-off feature can protect your electrical appliances.

Crime Free Addendum

All Active Care Alternative Housing Society tenants sign the Crime Free Housing Addendum when they move in. The addendum states that:

The tenant(s), any occupant of the tenants(s’) family shall not engage in any criminal activity on the premises or property including, but not limited to:
Any drug-related criminal activity.
Solicitation (sex-trade workers and related nuisance activity).
Street gang activity.
Assault or threatened assault.
Unlawful use of a firearm.
Any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or welfare of the landlord, other tenants or persons on the residential property or residential/premises.
Violating any of the provisions of this addendum is a serious violation and material non-compliance with our Residential Tenancy Agreement. (Please refer to the Crime Free Multi Housing addendum attached to your tenancy agreement.)

Vandalism

Vandalism to elevators, stairwell and hallways can result in costly repairs. Graffiti on brickwork is difficult to remove and is unsightly. We ask that you call the Building Administrator if you see anyone damaging the property.

Moving Out

When you decide to move out, you need to give your Building Administrator written one-month notice. This notice must be received by the day before the rent is due, on month before you plan to move. For example, if you were planning to move out on April 30, you would need to notify your representative by 4:30 p.m. on March 31. If you provide notice on March 15th and wanted to move out April 15, you will be required to pay the full April rent.

Your Building Administrator will make an appointment with you to inspect your unit before you leave and will give you a list of the cleaning you have to do before moving out (as per cleaning addendum). You must leave the unit as clean as it was when you moved in. Except for normal wear and tear, any damage to your unit is your responsibility. You may be charged with repairs.

You must be moved out my 1:00 p.m. on the last day of the month. It is your responsibility to return all keys/fobs and to sign the move out inspection form before you leave. Please refer to your residential tenancy agreement for details on your responsibilities upon move out.

If you have any questions regarding the process, contact the Building Administrator.