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Frequently Asked Questions

For the latest updates, please check http://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/06r17/v17

What is a "tenancy agreement"?

A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and tenant. We use the standard form download from Residential Tenancy Office. The link below is the sample tenancy agreement form, please see:
http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/documents/RTB-1.pdf

What is security/pet deposit?

A security deposit is held in trust by the landlord to cover any damage caused by a tenant beyond normal wear and tear during the tenancy.
A landlord can charge only one security deposit per rental unit, no matter how many people will live there. The security deposit cannot be more than half of the first month’s rent. The landlord cannot ask for more deposit money if the rent increases.
The tenant should pay the security deposit when signing the tenancy agreement. Once the security deposit is paid, the tenancy could be considered started regardless of whether a tenancy agreement is signed. A landlord cannot request a security deposit after the tenancy has started.
The landlord can give a 1 Month Notice to End Tenancy if a tenant does not pay the security deposit within 30 days.
A landlord cannot require that a tenant give up any or all of the security deposit at the end of a tenancy or for breaching the tenancy agreement.
Landlords can choose whether they will permit pets. Where pets are permitted, the landlord can charge a one-time pet damage deposit.The pet damage deposit cannot be more than half of one month’s rent, no matter how many pets are being allowed.
A landlord who lets an existing tenant get a pet during the tenancy can require the tenant to pay a pet damage deposit. For more detail, please see:
http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/documents/Fact%20Sheets/RTB-120.pdf

What is condition inspection?

In a residential tenancy, landlords and tenants must complete a Condition Inspection Report of the rental unit or rental property at the start and the end of the tenancy.

The landlord and tenant must inspect the condition of the rental unit on the day the tenant is entitled to possession of the rental unit or on another mutually agreed day before the tenant moves in. They must make a written record of any damage, including stains on the rug or holes in the walls, wear and tear. If the rental unit is in perfect condition, that also should be noted. Photographs can also be useful.

Both the landlord and the tenant must sign the Condition Inspection Report, and should keep it with the tenancy agreement to help avoid disputes when the tenancy ends. The landlord must give a copy of the Report to the tenant within seven days after the condition inspection is completed.

How much can rent be increased for a residential tenancy?

Residential tenancy landlords may increase rent annually by a percentage equal to the inflation rate plus two percent without tenants disputing the increase. The total allowable rent increase for each calendar year is available on the Residential Tenancy Branch website in September of the previous year, under the heading “News”.

What notice period is required for rent increases?

In both residential and manufactured home site tenancies, the landlord is required to give the tenant three month's notice of a rent increase in the approved form.

Is a landlord responsible for regular or minor repairs?

A regular or minor repair is not an emergency; however, it is an inconvenience for the tenant and may make the tenancy less valuable. The tenant is responsible for repairs for damage caused by the tenant or their guests. If the repair is not for damages done by a tenant or their guests, the landlord is generally responsible for it.

Can a tenant change the locks?

Tenants must not change the locks without the landlord's permission or without a Residential Tenancy Branch order.

If an emergency occurs when the tenant is not at home and the door cannot be opened, the landlord or emergency personnel may remove the door.

What happens if the tenant does not provide the proper notice, or doesn't move on the last day of the tenancy?

If the tenant provides less than the proper notice or doesn't move on the last day of the tenancy, the tenant may be liable to pay the landlord, for over holding, a pro-rated amount of rent and any additional costs the landlord may incur for that period. This might include moving and storage costs incurred by the next tenant if their move was delayed by the tenant who did not move on the last day of the tenancy.

Can a landlord end a tenancy for non-payment or repeated late payment of rent?

A landlord can serve a 10 Day Notice to End Tenancy if the tenant does not pay the rent. The notice can be served the day following the date rent is due. After the notice is received, the tenant has five days to either pay the rent in full or dispute the notice.

If the rent is paid in full, the notice is cancelled and the tenancy continues. If the tenant disputes the notice, the tenant must serve the landlord with an Application for Dispute Resolution and a date for the hearing.

If neither is done, the tenant must move out on the tenth day after the notice was received.

A landlord can serve a One Month Notice to End Tenancy for Cause where the tenant is repeatedly late paying rent. Three late payments are the minimum number to be considered "repeated" late payments. It does not matter whether the late payments were consecutive or whether one or more rent payments have been made on time between the late payments.

When does the tenant get the security deposit and pet damage deposit back?

A landlord must return the security deposit or pet damage deposit within 15 days of the tenancy ending or receiving the tenant's forwarding address in writing, whichever is later. The landlord may keep some or all of the deposit if they have the tenant's written consent or a valid Monetary Order from the Residential Tenancy Branch that may be applied against the deposit.