More than in most other regions in Canada, renting is a way of life in the Lower Mainland. Knowing your renters’ rights under tenancy law is important in making sure your living situation is a fair one, especially in Greater Vancouver’s eternally hot rental market.
- Rent can be raised once a year
Landlords are legally able to raise rent once a year, and at a maximum amount of inflation plus 2%. If your rent has been raised illegally, you can start a Dispute Resolution through the Residential Tenancy Board.
- Landlords MUST make repairs
Not only must all aspects of your rental property meet health and safety standards, but your landlord must also maintain the services and facilities listed in your tenancy agreement. That means ensuring all amenities—whether considered “luxury” or not, e.g., heated floors, in-suite laundry—are in safe and working order.
- Student housing has different rules
The Residential Tenancy Act does not apply to student accommodation. This includes campus dorms and any other type of housing operated by the educational institution, whether onsite or not.
- Renters of illegal suites still have rights
If your landlord is illegally renting out a room in their home or building, that doesn’t mean you as the tenant have no rights as a consequence. Tenancy law still applies to your situation, and you have the same rights as the renter of a legal suite.
- Renters have responsibilities when breaking a lease
If you have a fixed-term tenancy—most commonly, a 12-month lease—you have agreed to pay rent for that length of time. However, your landlord may allow you to sublet your unit for the remainder of your lease, and you’re responsible for finding that person.
- Eviction must follow certain legal steps
Evictions can only happen in circumstances outlined under tenancy law, and the landlord must serve you with an official Notice to End Tenancy. The notice period, depending on circumstances, must be anywhere from 10 days to 12 months.
DBM lawyers are available across the Tri-Cities, based out of our Langley and Coquitlam law offices.