Latest Changes to the Tenancy Laws in BC

The Residential Tenancy Branch of British Columbia has made changes to the tenancy laws, which came into effect on December 11, 2017.

As quoted from the Ministry website:

“Changes to the legislation include limiting the use of vacate clauses in new and existing fixed-term tenancy agreements, limiting rent increases between fixed term tenancy agreements with the same tenant, and strengthening the ability of the Residential Tenancy Branch to investigate and levy administrative penalties for serious repeat and deliberate non-compliance with tenancy laws or orders.”

Points to consider:

  • Once the tenancy agreement is signed, terms can only be changed if both the landlord and the tenant agree to it. All changes must be in writing and both parties should have a copy of the new/changed agreement.
  • The landlord can only increase the rent if the tenant has lived in the unit for at least 12 months or a full 12 months have passed since the last rent increase. The rate of increase for 2018 is 4%.
  • The landlord has the right to limit additional occupants once the tenancy agreement has been signed. If the landlord allows an additional occupant, the landlord has the right to increase the rent if the term is listed in the tenancy agreement.
  • If the initial tenancy agreement states that pets are not allowed but the landlord allows a pet, both the tenant and landlord should add a pet clause in the agreement. The landlord does have the right to limit the type and size of the pet allowed in the unit.

For more information, click here.

To access the Residential Tenancy Agreement template provided by the Residential Tenancy Branch, click here.

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