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Saturday, February 11, 2006

My student has a tenant legal problem 

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“Dear Ai,
My ex-homestay student needs tenant legal advice. She is Korean but is from Bejing, so she speaks both Korean and Mandarin. She is very distraught about her situation and I would like to help her out.

She is renting an apartment in downtown Vancouver and was not aware that the 'thing' on the side of her livingroom wall was a sprinkler.....she hung something from it and it activated, flooding her apartment and allegedly damaging 11 adjoining suites. She has no tenant insurance. This was 5 days ago and the work is underway to dry out and repair everything. She just received a letter from the manager about her being liable for the costs.

Do you know of a local Vancouver agency, or professional person or that can help with a legal question that speaks either Korean or Mandarin? Is there anywhere that they can get free advice?

Thank you for being there, Helen - a homestay MoM

“Hi Helen,
Thank you for your e-mail. Since I am not an expert on tenant rights, I called a couple of places that might help her.

The UBC Law Student's Legal Advice Program(, This legal advice is provided by UBC law students. They usually need to check with their teachers and takes a bit longer to solve the problems. However, they are doing it free of charge and they have a Chinese law student who can help your student. Her phone number is 604-408-7274 ext. 2057. The earliest appointment she can make is for Feb 22. If your student would like to make an appointment, please call them ASAP.

For your students to know the basic tenants rights in BC, two websites would be very helpful. Residential Tenancy Office ( and Tenants Rights Action Coalition (

Thank you again for your question and your action to help your student.”


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