Peace of Mind

Intelligent Deterrence

Landlords, Condominiums and Bicycles

Heard across a street. Highly intelligent. A bike alarm like no other! $210 CAD. Direct from manufacturer: $120 CAD.

The housing situation in Vancouver, BC, Canada is even worse than that of the many other big cities which have been subjected to the blight of speculation. A chasm of disparity exists between the local wages and the cost of local housing. And there is little stock of the latter, despite the ever-rising condominium towers of inexplicable ownership and indefensible claims of affordability.
No longer the essential of Shelter, or the intrinsic to well-being of Home, housing has long become an investment instrument.

However long a diatribe I can write on the subject, it could not convey the depth of difficulty of finding a place to live, in this mess!

Its consequence with respect to cycling is that landlords and condominium contracts can impose cyclephobic rules without reason, need or accountability. Why a bicycle cannot be taken inside one’s home is never explained–and can never be, defensibly. And the proverbial market-forces could not, and would not, possibly offer the buyer a choice in this matter, as stood against the colossus of debt-and-price.

Is it size? Then allow folded bikes; ban foldable grocery-carts when filled; ban more than 2 shopping bags; ban strollers; ban oversized strollers; ban skis and snowboards; ban delivery personnel with oversized bags; etc. “But those are _necessary_?” goes the objection. And bikes aren’t?
When, as in rush hours, there are too many people for the elevator, some wait. Is that a new phenomenon to you?

Is it dirt? Chain oil? What chain oil? When was the last time you saw chain oil dripping from a bike? If that were the case, the rider would have to lube every day!
And then there is snow and sand, in snowy places!

Class Action Lawsuit

I am not a lawyer. Never the less, considering the many who have lost bikes to such contracts, I have wondered whether there may be a possibility of collective action in the courts. But, against whom could be the suit!
If this stricture were in the province’s laws, the Supreme Court could be appealed to. But it is in innumerable contracts by innumerable entities.
If the contracts discriminated against a protected group, then the laws could be appealed to. But, cyclists are not a protected group.
As the contracts are an unreasonable impediment to housing, for a large, and increasing, segment of society, then there may well be a juridical path forward–and, in many jurisdictions, a precedent-setting one! Methinks!

Materiality

I am not a lawyer, but I once had to deal with a lease which included a prohibition against bikes being taken inside the home. As often happens in matters to do with the legal system, those who can afford lawyers can impose their will upon the many who cannot. A mere rag of a contract, written in legalese intimidating to the uninitiated, can force the latter to forego their rights, when also faced with the mountain of fees and time which recourse to a lawyer represents. [No pun.]
Crucial, however, to the case was the materiality of the clause to the contract. To my layperson’s mind, this meant the importance, the criticality, of the clause to the contract. In that particular case, it was very easy to refute that prohibition as immaterial.
But, for unrelated reasons, I could not pursue that objection. And perhaps for the best, because reason does not always prevail.

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