Tips for renters

Because of COVID-19, Whistler’s housing situation is changing. There are now many more places available to rent. If you are thinking of moving and breaking your tenancy agreement, it is important to know that both landlords and renters have legal rights and you must respect them. 

Here is some quick information about the basic rules to follow: 

Here is more detail on each topic:

Tenancy agreements (rental agreements)

If you are renting a place to live, you must have an agreement in writing – a tenancy agreement. You can find the format at: Tenancy Agreement Form

Landlords must give a copy of the agreement to the tenant (renter) within 21 days of moving in. Changes can only be made when both the renter and the landlord both agree, and must be in writing (documented in writing.)

Click here to Learn more about tenancy agreements

Giving notice to end a tenancy (telling your landlord you are moving out)

Tenants (renters) must give 30 days notice to warn the landlord you intend to move out. If you leave before 30 days you will need to pay rent for the full 30 day notice period. 

Tenants must provide written notice to end the tenancy before the day the rent is due.

Moving in or out 

The first and last things you must do when you move in or move out is a condition inspection. The landlord and the tenant must do a condition inspection together when the unit is empty before moving in and after moving out.

Here’s a great video to watch: How-to video: Condition Inspections 

If there are damages, use this form to write them down: Condition Inspection Report

It must be signed by both the landlord and the tenant.
 
Paying rent

Tenants must pay the full rent (100%) on or before the day it’s due: Paying rent

If you do not pay the rent, the landlord can give a 10 Day Notice to end tenancy for non-payment of rent any day after the rent is due. If you receive this notice, you have five days to either 

*dispute the notice (tell the landlord formally you disagree),or 

*pay the rent or utilities that are due.

The landlord has other possible options:

*make a direct request: this means the landlord is applying to take back the property (Order of Possession) – telling you to leave.

*apply for a formal, legal order to get the rent you owe (Monetary Order). If the landlord does this, you must do what an independent auditor says. You have no option to talk to the auditor.

Security and pet damage deposits

Landlords can ask for a security or damage deposit which you pay at the beginning of the rental. It can be a maximum of half (50%) of one month’s rent. 

The landlord can also ask for a deposit against pet damage If you have a pet. Even if you have more than one pet, the landlord can ask for only one deposit to a maximum half (50%) of one month’s rent.

Here are two information sheets to help: Information Sheet: Deposits (PDF) and Having pets in a rental unit

Landlords must return the deposit to renters within 15 days from the end of the tenancy – you must give the landlord your new contact address in writing to receive this: Returning deposits 

If the landlord wants to keep all or part of a deposit (because there is damage), a landlord must get the renter’s agreement (in writing). If the renter does not agree, the landlord can go to the authorities for help to find a solution: Apply for dispute resolution

Solving problems with your landlord

If you have a porblem with your landlord, the first thing you must do is talk to the landlord and try to solve the problem together. The landlord and tenant should meet, put forward suggestions for a solution, talk it over and finalize an agreement in writing. If you cannot agree what to do together, you start the dispute resolution process.

Here’s a video to help with this process: How-to video: Apply for Dispute Resolution

If you go through this process, you must do what the independent judge says. See here for After the hearing.

Questions? Where you can get free help

If you have questions about renting regulations and have questions, a good place to go is to Clicklaw BC. At this link, you can ask a lawyer questions for free 

If you need information and/or a referral, you can always contact the Whistler Welcome Centre at 604.698.5960 or be email at info@welcomewhistler.com