residential tenancy branch (rtb), ministry of public safety and solicitor general
name of act / regulations
residential tenancy act (rta)
residential tenancy regulation
manufactured home park tenancy act (mhpta)
manufactured home park tenancy regulation
exclusions from the above acts/ regulations
types of rental periods
the residential tenancy agreement can be set for a fixed term or a period that relates to a calendar week, month, or year. Generally, tenancies will run on a month to month basis.
Is a signed tenancy agreement required?
yes. British columbia laws require a written tenancy agreement. Many fixed-term tenancy agreements are referred to as leases. It is a landlords obligation to give the tenant a copy of the tenancy agreement within 21 days of signing it.Is
Is a move in/move out condition report required?
as of january 1, 2004, for residential premises, but not for manufactured home sites, it is mandatory for landlords and tenants to conduct move in and move out inspections together and complete reports for each. If this is neglected, the landlord or tenant jeopardizes their rights to claim any amounts from the security and/ or pet deposit.
the maximum allowable security deposit that can be collected by a landlord for residential premises is ½ of the first month’s rent. If the tenant has paid more than ½ month’s rent for the security deposit, they are able to deduct this overpayment from any rent owing. If the landlord allows pets, they can ask for an additional ½ of the first month’s rent for pet damage deposit. (Landlord cannot charge more than half a months rent even if there is more than one pet). This means that the total combined deposits can be up to a maximum of one month’s rent. Landlords can require a deposit for additional keys, garage door openers, remotes etc. In addition to the security and pet damage deposits. The landlord can only request the security deposit once the tenancy agreement is entered into, however, they can request a pet damage deposit at any time during the tenancy if a pet is introduced to the unit. The interest rate on these deposits will fluctuate each year. The landlord has 15 days after the tenant moves out and has returned the keys, and provides a forwarding address, to either return the deposit or get the tenant’s written consent for deductions to the deposit (for example for using the deposit to pay to repair damages caused by the tenant). If no consent is received, the landlord must return all of the security deposit, plus applicable interest earned on the deposit, or apply for dispute resolution with the rtb within the 15 day time frame. A pet damage deposit can only be used for damage caused by a pet.
Security deposits and pet damage deposits are not permitted for manufactured home site rentals.Key money
the landlord must not charge a fee for a key that is the tenant’s only means of access. The landlord may charge a fee for additional or replacement keys.
landlords may request post-dated cheques upon the renewal of the tenancy agreement term.
A fixed-term tenancy agreement must specify an ending date with vacant possession (the date by which the tenant must vacate the premises). If no date is specified, the lease will automatically convert to a month-to-month tenancy and all terms in the existing agreement remain the same.
Assignments and sublets
a tenant must not assign or sublet a tenancy agreement, unless they have written consent from the landlord. A tenant may request to sublet or assign a lease if a fixed term tenancy is longer than 6 months, or for a manufactured home site tenancy. All information about the new tenant for the sublet or assignment must be in writing, and in the case of a manufactured home site tenancy, the request must be in the prescribed “request for consent to assign a manufactured home site tenancy agreement” form. The landlord has the right to approve the assignment or sublet, but cannot subjectively withhold consent. The landlord must have a valid reason to not to approve the assignment or sublet.
in british columbia landlords must use the approved form called the “notice of rent increase” and give the tenant 3 full month’s notice to increase rent by the allowable amount. The tenant cannot dispute the increase in rent unless the increase exceeds the allowable amount.
For manufactured home park tenancies, landlords can also recover costs due to increased utility fees and property taxes as long as increases are distributed proportionately among tenants. In this situation, the landlord must provide the tenant with copies of the receipts and tax notices that justify the rent increase.
Late rent payment
rent is considered late if it has not been paid on or before the first day of the rental period. Landlords are permitted to charge an administration fee of not more than $25 for late payment of rent, based on what the lease or tenancy agreement states.