I’m A Landlord Too
Hi, I’m Bill Biko and I have been a landlord since 2003 and here is where you’ll find out about Alberta Eviction website and how I got started. During that time, I’ve learned a thing or two about the Residential Tenancy Act and evicting tenants. Some of my mistakes cost me thousands of dollars and the information you’ll find here is designed to prevent the same thing from happening to you.
If you look through some of the articles on the site, you’ll find information on everything from when you should and shouldn’t use eviction notices to changes in the Eviction process. If you register on the site (you’ll find a registration form jut down the page), we’ll even send you information on the various steps in the eviction process so you will have an idea of what to do if you are currently evicting a tenant.
You’ll also send you tips, a week at a time, to help you avoid getting stuck with problem tenants in the future and to make being a landlord easier for you. These are tips we’ve learned through dealing with dozens of properties and hundreds of tenants through the years.
An Experienced Landlord!
Since we started almost a decade ago, we gained a ton of experience being landlords and dealing with property and tenants. At some point I think we have owned almost all types of rental properties with the exception of apartment buildings.
Our rentals over the years have included condos, suited properties, single family homes, duplexes and even a six unit townhouse complex. This variety of properties alone would provide plenty of experience, but one type of property really educated us on dealing with tenants.
In 2004, we bought our first rooming house and immediately learned to hate it.
I kicked my first tenant out of that property just a few weeks after we bought it and it became a continuous problem with less than stellar tenants popping up weekly. We quickly realized the weekly rentals traditionally catered to the least picky tenants and this was going to create havoc for us.
We should have given up on rooming houses at that point, but we knew there had to be a way to make it work. So we started tweaking what we had already learned and by creating systems and standards that worked for us, we managed to expand our rooming house business substantially.
No longer were we catering to the bottom of the barrel tenants, but instead we targeted a slightly better class of tenant. We brought in colour TV’s to all the rooms, added wireless internet to most of the properties and we saw our business grow and grow. Of course, this growth also brought with it some problems.
Eventually we reached a point where we were renting out over 50 rooms on a weekly basis. These units were all short term rentals, so they had turnover rates as high as 25% per week and during a year we would easily end up dealing with over 200 tenants and collecting rent over 2,500 times per year, just on our weekly rental properties!
Weekly Rentals Became Our Landlord School
While we have had a couple tenant evictions in our regular properties over the years, the rooming houses really educated us about deadbeat tenants. It’s this eduction that really educated us about what you could and could not do with tenants and it also educated us on what the tenants could do to stall evictions. The last part being an advanced course in frustration.
Early on when we first ran into problem tenants, we resorted to using professional eviction service companies. At the time I felt this would be the quickest and easiest way for me to become familiar with the process and it gave me even more of an education.
Then, as we became familiar with the eviction process, we learned about the landlord friendly Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Services. Or at least it became landlord friendly to me as I learned how their systems work and what was required to successfully evict tenants that couldn’t follow the rules laid out in our leases.
It was during one of these trips down to the local RTDRS that I eventually received my inspiration for my Eviction Guide for Landlords.
About Alberta Eviction And How It Started
After multiple trips to the RTDRS, the process of evicting tenants definitely becomes much easier, but how many landlords have the luxury of this type of education (hopefully not many!). During one of these trips I ended up sitting beside a couple of ladies who were obviously having some problems.
After they made multiple trips up to the counter asking questions and for clarification about the forms and the process I determined they were also landlords, but that this was their first time visiting the RTDRS. They looked flustered and confused, so I started to talk to them with the hope I could help them with the confusion. In the end I gave them my card and told one landlord to call if she had questions.
Within 24 hours I’d received the first call and ended up talking to her numerous times afterwards and helped guide her along the way. She had a particularly nasty tenant who knew all the ins and outs of the system and it dragged out longer than normal, but with a little guidance from me, she was finally able to get the tenant out. By helping this veyr nice person out, a seed had been planted.
Sure enough, next time I had to go to the RTDRS there was another confused landlord and I managed to give them a few pointers as well. Now the seed was starting to grow, but at that juncture, I had no time to help it grow.
Fast Forward to 2009
2009 was easily the worst year of my life as a landlord. With the slowdown of the economy our rooming properties were seeing huge vacancy numbers and turnover was out of control. Looking for new potential clients we contacted some of the local associations involved with transitioning people from rough situations or off of the street into safe housing.
What looked like a perfect fit for both parties (I provided safe affordable housing and in turn received initial funding and payments from the associations involved or other third party groups), quickly turned into a nightmare. Of the twelve individuals directly involved through the program, I ended up evicting ten for various reasons ranging from drugs and drunkenness to theft of another tenants vehicle at knifepoint.
2009 became the University of Hard Knocks education. The previous five years had been a basic education and I had definitely moved onto higher learning! It was in early 2010 after reflecting on how much I had learned that I finally decided to put a guide together to help other landlords learn how to evict a tenant, without going through all the turmoil I did.
It was during the last few months of 2009 that I actually created this site and started posting information on it. I also started compiling information to create what eventually became my Eviction Guide for Landlords and finally put up for sale back in December of 2009.
Fast Forward to 2012
Fast forwarding to now, I’ve helped hundreds of landlords with problem tenants during this time, I ‘ve answered what seems like thousands of emails and we’ve grown significantly. What I’ve noticed is many of the landlords out there have the same problems, so I’ve added training webinars to the site and I’m even expanding to a second site based primarily on teaching landlords how to make their work easier (visit TheEducatedLandlord.com for more info!).
On the down side, this growth is a double edged sword. Yes, I am helping significantly more people these days and yes sales of my guide, time spent doing consulting with landlords has increased and other product sales have increased, but it has put a toll on my available time, which leads me to the next section.
Just to clarify, the majority of the information on this site is FREE. There are dozens of comments and questions asked throughout the site and they answer many of the questions that landlords and tenants may have and I gladly answer them, time permitting.
I do provide a couple of paid products that also include additional information, these are the Eviction Guide and the Eviction Forms packages (note the Guide includes the Eviction Forms), and I have several live training sessions I provide to help Landlords for FREE. I also provide some paid programs where I train landlords.
I would really like to help everyone, but I have only so much time to accomplish that, so if you need additional information, here are the rules about Alberta Eviction and contacting me.
Option 1 For no charge, you can leave a question on the site, there is typically a comment section at the bottom of each page, simply fill in your question and I typically answer it within 48 hours or less. (Check out my Frequently Asked Eviction Questions Page)
Option 2 Pick up one of my guides or packages and email me back that you have additional questions, note that these questions should pertain to the package. If you are buying the Eviction Forms package, don’t expect me to walk you through the RTDRS steps. I will usually be back to you within 24 hours
Option 3 Book a consultation with me, I charge $50 for a thirty minute phone consultations and will answer your questions and guide you to the best of my abilities. I can typically get back to you same day and help provide you with the guidance you may need for questions you have about evictions.
Hopefully you can understand me having to take this stance.