Scope of the Residential Tenancy Act

Does my tenant’s living accommodation fall under the scope of the Residential Tenancy Act?

BC Landlord Guide- Scope of the Act
Does my tenant’s living accommodation fall under the 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 obligations set out by the Act will not apply. The following living accommodations do not qualify as residential tenancies:

  • Rentals by a non-for-profit housing cooperative to a member of the cooperative;
  • Living accommodations owned or operated by an education institution and provided by that institution to its students or employees (ex. on-campus residences);
  • Living accommodations in which the tenant shares a bathroom or kitchen facilities with the owner of that accommodation;
  • Living accommodation included with premises that (1) are primarily occupied for a business purpose and (2) are rented under a single agreement;
  • Vacation or travel accommodations;
  • Emergency shelters or transitional housing;
  • Community care facilities under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act;
  • Continuing care facilities under the Continuing Care Act;
  • Public or private hospitals under the Hospital Act;
  • Mental health facilities, observation units and psychiatric units designated under the Mental Health Act;
  • Housing-based health facilities that provide hospitality support services and personal health care;
  • Housing-based health facilities that are made available in the course of providing rehabilitative or therapeutic treatment or services;
  • Correctional institutions;
  • Tenancy agreements with terms of longer than 20 years; and
  • Tenancy agreement to which the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act

The Residential Tenancy Branch will only hear disputes with respect to residential tenancies. Parties who find that their living arrangements do not fall within the ambit of the Act are at liberty to make a claim before the Supreme Court of British Columbia or the Provincial Court of British Columbia (Small Claims), depending on the value of the monetary claim in question, in order to have their dispute resolved.

Last revised: April 17, 2016

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.