BRITISH COLUMBIA’S LANDLORD GUIDE

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BC Landlord Guide- Screening Applicants

Screening Tenant-Applicants

A thorough screening of prospective tenants by the landlord before entering into any kind of tenancy agreement is the best way to avoid future disputes. Landlords may wish to have prospective tenants fill out an...
BC Landlord Guide- Drafting a Tenancy Agreement

Drafting a Tenancy Agreement in British Columbia

Before drafting a tenancy agreement, parties should check to make sure that the proposed living accommodation does in fact fall within the scope of the Residential Tenancy Act (the Act). For example, taking on...
BC Landlord Guide- Security Deposit

Requesting a Security Deposit

A landlord may require a security deposit (or a damage deposit) from the tenant upon entering into a tenancy agreement. However, landlords may not require more than one security deposit nor can they require...
BC Landlord Guide- Pet Restrictions & Pet Damage Deposit

Pet Restrictions & Pet Damage Deposit

A landlord may wish to either restrict the size, kind or number of pets kept by the tenant or prohibit all together the keeping of pets. In all cases, they are entitled to do...
BC Landlord Guide- Move-In Inspection

Conducting a Move-In Inspection

On the day that the tenant is entitled to possession of the rental unit or on any other day that the landlord and the tenant may agree upon, the landlord and the tenant must...
BC Landlord Guide- Rekeying Locks

Rekeying the Locks to the Rental Unit

Prior to the start of a new tenancy, only upon a request by the tenant, the landlord must rekey the locks to ensure that no previous tenant can access the rental unit. However, if...
BC Landlord Guide- Payment of Rent

Payment of Rent by the Tenant

A tenant must always pay the rent due as provided by the tenancy agreement whether or not the landlord complies with the provisions of the Residential Tenancy Act (the Act). As a general rule,...
BC Landlord Guide- Rent Increase

Rent Increases in British Columbia

Before increasing rent, a landlord must wait for at least 12 months from either the start of the tenancy agreement or the date of the last increase. A landlord must also give the tenant...
BC Landlord Guide- Landlord’s Right of Entry

Landlord’s Right of Entry into the Rental Unit

A landlord’s right to enter a rental unit has to be balanced at all times with the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment since frequent entries, regardless of whether notice is given to the tenant...
BC Landlord Guide- Tenant’s Right to Quiet Enjoyment

Tenant’s Right to Quiet Enjoyment

A tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment provides the tenant with the right to: reasonable privacy; freedom from unreasonable disturbance; exclusive possession of the rental unit subject to the landlord’s right to enter the rental...
BC Landlord Guide- Maintenance and Repairs

Maintenance and Repairs to the Rental Unit

Both landlords and tenants have a duty to maintain and repair the rental unit. A tenant is required to maintain reasonable health, cleanliness and sanitary standards throughout the rental unit and the rental building to...
BC Landlord Guide- Changing of Locks

Changing the Locks to the Rental Unit

When considering the issue of changing locks, it is important to distinguish between keys that allow access to the residential property (ie. the rental building) and keys that allow access to the individual rental...
BC Landlord Guide- Subletting and Assignment

Subletting the Rental Unit and Assigning the Tenancy Agreement

When assigning a tenancy agreement, the tenant gives up all rights and responsibilities which are then transferred to a new tenant. An assignment can be distinguished from a sublease as, under a sublease, the...
BC Landlord Guide- Amending the Tenancy Agreement

Amending the Tenancy Agreement

When amending a tenancy agreement, landlords and tenants should refer back to the rules of drafting a tenancy agreement. In general, a tenancy agreement may be amended to add, remove or change any term provided...
BC Landlord Guide- Move-Out Inspection

Conducting a Move-Out Inspection

On or after the day that the tenant ceases to occupy the rental unit or on any other day that the landlord and the tenant may agree upon (but in any event, prior to...
BC Landlord Guide- Return of Deposits

Returning the Tenant’s Security and Pet Damage Deposit

Upon vacating, the tenant must leave the rental unit reasonably clean and undamaged except for reasonable wear and tear. The tenant must also return all keys or other means of access that in are...
BC Landlord Guide- Ending a Tenancy by Mutual Agreement

Ending a Tenancy by Mutual Agreement

In an attempt to resolve issues, the landlord and the tenant are always at liberty to mutually agree to put an end to the tenancy and, if necessary to reach an agreement, arrange for...
BC Landlord Guide- Tenant’s Notice to End Tenancy

Tenant’s Notice to End Tenancy

Where a tenancy renews on a month-to-month basis, the tenant may end the tenancy by giving the landlord a one-month notice. This notice is effective not earlier than one month after the date the...
BC Landlord Guide- Eviction by the Landlord

Landlord’s Methods for Evicting the Tenant

A landlord may choose to end a tenancy for one or more of a number of different reasons and following a number of different methods, as described below. In doing so, they must diligently...
BC Landlord Guide- Abandonment

Abandonment of the Rental Unit

The Residential Tenancy Act (the Act) provides that a tenancy ends if the tenant vacates or abandons the rental unit. In short, the fact that the tenant is absent from the rental unit for...
BC Landlord Guide- Frustration

Frustration of the Tenancy Agreement

In typical cases, a tenancy may end as a result of a tenant’s notice to end tenancy, a landlord’s notice to end tenancy, a landlord’s application to end tenancy or a mutual agreement between...
BC Landlord Guide- Overholding Tenants

Tenant’s Refusal to Leave

Where a tenancy has lawfully ended and the tenant still refuses to leave, the landlord may apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for an order of possession in order to have the overholding tenant...
BC Landlord Guide- Scope of the Act

Scope of the Residential Tenancy Act

It is important to note that not all living accommodations will fall under the Residential Tenancy Act (the Act) and if a living accommodation does not qualify as a residential tenancy, the rights and...
BC Landlord Guide- Application for Dispute Resolution

Application for Dispute Resolution before the Residential Tenancy Branch

Before applying to the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) for dispute resolution, parties should verify that the living accommodation in dispute falls within the scope of the Residential Tenancy Act (the Act) as matters arising...
BC Landlord Guide- Hearing Preparation

Preparing for a Hearing before the Residential Tenancy Branch

Once an applicant has received their hearing package from the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB), they must ensure that the respondent is served with both the hearing package and the applicant’s evidence within the prescribed...
BC Landlord Guide- At the Hearing

During a Hearing before the Residential Tenancy Branch

The Residential Tenancy Branch’s (RTB) Rules of Procedure provide that dispute resolution hearings may be held (1) by telephone conference call, (2) in person, (3) in writing, (4) by video conference or (5) by...
BC Landlord Guide- Review of Decision or Order

Review of a Decision or an Order by the Residential Tenancy Branch

Once an arbitrator’s written decision or order is received, a party to the dispute resolution hearing may apply to have the decision or order reviewed by the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB). A party seeking...
BC Landlord Guide- Judicial Review of Decision

Judicial Review of a Decision by the Residential Tenancy Branch

The Supreme Court of British Columbia (the Court) has the power to review the decisions of tribunals that are subject to the Administrative Tribunals Act. The Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) is one such tribunal,...
BC Landlord Guide- Enforcing an Order

Enforcing an Order made by the Residential Tenancy Branch

The Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) has no power to enforce its own orders. As such, a party seeking to enforce an order issued by the RTB must apply, depending on the nature of the...