The Residential Tenancy Act is long and complicated. But as a Tenant, there are a few key sections you should be aware of. This is not a legal opinion or advice, but rather a general overview. For exact wording, legal interpretations or to find out about your own personal situation, please contact the Residential Tenancy Office at 1-800-665-8779, or check their website at www.rto.gov.bc.ca
5 key sections
- Giving your Landlord notice to vacate. How do you give proper legal notice? Does it have to be in writing? Can you send it by email? In this article we’ll deal with the structure of proper notice, as well as how to get your timing right. You don’t want to find out you’ve given “late notice” and be stuck for an extra month, or have to pay rent on two places. We’ll review how to correctly end a month-to-month tenancy, as well as a fixed term tenancy, and let you know how to do it as painlessly as possible.
- The Landlord’s right to inspect/enter the premises. Have you ever wondered how often your Landlord or Property Manager is allowed to enter and inspect your home? We’ll tell you that plus we’ll detail how the Landlord must notify you when they want to carry out an inspection, as well as what conditions make it okay (or not okay) for them to enter your home.
- Move-in and Move-out Condition Inspections. In this piece we’ll tell you why the inspections are required and why they are extremely important. We’ll also tell you what can happen if either party doesn’t participate. Can you lose your right to get your security deposit back if you don’t attend one or both of the inspections?
- Security Deposits and Pet Deposits. How much can a Landlord require and how many deposits can they ask for. We’ll give you all the details on how deposits can be used (or not used), how long the Landlord can hold the deposits, under what conditions they can keep some or all of the money and whether or not there is interest payable.
- Rent increases. Sometimes it feels like every time you turn around you’re getting another rent increase notice. We’ll explain why that’s not the case and provide valuable information to be aware of the next time you receive a notice of rent increase from your Landlord. You’ll want to know how often the rent can be increased and find out about the limits on the amount of the increase and who gets to decide “how much”.
Residential Tenancy Act Series
Join us each week as we provide answers to all of the above questions and address each topic in detail. This series will be called Residential Tenancy Act Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 also referred to as RTA. As always, if you have any questions relating to your specific situation, it’s best to call the Residential Tenancy Office at the number at the top of this page, or visit the website at www.rto.gov.bc.ca
Next article: RTA Part 1 – Giving your Landlord notice to vacate.
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