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

How can I get the Residential Tenancy Branch to review a decision or order made by an arbitrator?

BC Landlord Guide- Review of Decision or Order
How can I get the Residential Tenancy Branch to review a decision or order made by an arbitrator?

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 to have the decision or order reviewed must do so:

  • Within 2 days after a copy of the decision or order is received relating to the unreasonable withholding of consent by a landlord to an assignment or sublet, a notice to end tenancy for non-payment of rent, or an order of possession;
  • Within 5 days after a copy of the decision or order is received relating to repairs or maintenance, the termination of services or facilities, or a Notice to End Tenancy (except for non-payment of rent); and,
  • Within 15 days after a copy of the decision or order is received relating to all other matters.

A decision or order may be reviewed only on one or more of the following grounds:

  • A party was unable to attend the original hearing because of circumstances that could not be anticipated and were beyond the party’s control;
  • A party has new and relevant evidence that was not available at the time of the original hearing; and/or
  • A party has evidence that the director’s decision or order was obtained by fraud.

An Application for Review Consideration can be mailed in to or submitted in person at the RTB’s Lower Mainland office.  A general filing fee for such applications is payable and the RTB’s approved form must be used by the applicant. In circumstances where it is determined that applicant cannot reasonably afford to pay the filing fee, the RTB may reduce this fee or waive it all together. This application can be made without notice to the opposing party and can only be made once by a party.

If the RTB accepts to consider a party’s Application for Review Consideration, it will issue a Review Consideration Decision in response. In this decision, the RTB will either dismiss the application or indicate that it will undertake a review of the original decision or the order. This review may be conducted (1) based solely on the record of the original dispute resolution proceeding and the written submissions of the parties, (2) by reconvening the original hearing or (3) by holding a new hearing. If a review is granted, the RTB has the power to order that the original decision or order that is subject to review be suspended until the review has been completed.

Within 3 days of receiving a decision to proceed with a review, the applicant must give the opposing party a copy of the Review Consideration Decision and of any order giving effect to the decision. If a new hearing is ordered, the applicant may also be required to serve evidence along with the hearing package. Following the review, the RTB may confirm, vary or set aside the original decision or order.

Last revised: April 17, 2016

  • The Residential Tenancy Branch’s decision-review process is limited to the three enumerated grounds for review. You should carefully consider whether your Application for Review Consideration can be legitimately made on one or more of these grounds as a review is not simply a chance to re-argue your case. If none of the grounds for review apply to your case yet you still believe that the arbitrator made a patently unreasonable decision, you should consider making an application in court for a judicial review of the RTB’s decision.

This article explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada and is not a substitute for legal advice specific to your situation.