Your Rights when Renting

Before you rent, go to the Tenants BC website so you know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

When you find a place you want to rent you may be asked for an application asking for information such as your employer, and for references.  When you rent, your landlord should ask you to sign a tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement explains what you have agreed about:

  • the rent (how much it is each month)
  • what is included (For example, it should say if the apartment is furnished. You should ask for a list of items that the landlord is providing and check that they are there, and their condition.)
  • what day the rental agreement starts
  • how you give notice to leave the apartment and how much notice you must give
  • how the landlord can give you notice to leave the apartment and how much notice the landlord must give you
  • damage or security deposit required, etc.

You should ask to sign an agreement based on the BC Tenancy Act.  You can see a standard format agreement here.

If this is not the agreement you are asked to sign, there are still strict rules about how much deposit and how much notice time you need to give when you move out.  A landlord also has to follow the rules.

  • A landlord needs to write to you and give you details of time and day before he can enter your home.
  • A landlord has to tell you that he wants you to move out. He must give you enough time.
  • A landlord must follow the rules which say how often they can raise the rent, and how much they can raise the rent.
  • A landlord can ask for the first month’s rent and a half-month for a damage deposit before you move in. They cannot legally ask for more.

Be aware! If you are renting and sharing a kitchen and bathroom with the landlord, the landlord does not have to follow these rules.

Before you rent, make sure you know all the above.  Read and print this Fact Sheet. It tells you what you should know about renting in British Columbia.

If you are having problems or feel a landlord is treating you unfairly, contact the Residential Tenancy Branch at 1-800-665-8779. You can also contact the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC) at 1-800-665-1186 or www.tenants.bc.ca.