Last article we discussed the Landlord’s right to enter or inspect the rental premises. In Part 3 of the Residential Tenancy Act, we’ll take a look at move in and move out inspections. Are you aware of your responsibilities as a Tenant or those of the Landlord?
At the beginning and end of a tenancy, a condition inspection of the rental property must be completed and a report signed by both the Landlord and Tenant. This documents the condition of the rental unit and includes any damages or repairs which may be necessary.
Any new damages that are as a result of your tenancy, will be your responsibility. If damages were noted when you moved in and they remain at the end of your tenancy, then you will not be responsible for those.
For example: if there is a hole in the wall noted on the move-in condition inspection which is not repaired by the Landlord at the beginning of the tenancy, the Tenant can’t be charged for the repair when they move-out since the damage was already there and noted on the move-in report when they moved in.
To avoid any nasty, unexpected surprises at the end of the tenancy, a good rule of thumb is this: If you break it, fix it. If you damage it, repair or replace it. That way there’s less likelihood you’ll have deductions from your security deposit since you will have already fixed whatever you damaged.
Move out inspections
The Landlord must give the tenant two opportunities to complete the move out inspections. If the tenant doesn’t participate on either occasion, then the Landlord must complete the inspection and sign the report without the tenant. The Tenant must be given a copy of the report.
It is important to note: if the Tenant doesn’t participate in the two opportunities to do the move-in or move-out condition inspection and the Landlord completes the inspection without the Tenant, then the Tenant forfeits their right to the return of the Security Deposit at the end of the tenancy.
For complete details regarding the move out inspections, please refer to sections 23, 35 and 36 of the Residential Tenancy Act. If you have any questions regarding your own situation, please call the Residential Tenancy Office at 1-800-665-8779 or check their website at www.rto.gov.bc.ca.
In Part 4 of the Residential Tenancy Act Series, we’ll be looking at Security and Pet Deposits. How much can a Landlord charge? How many deposits can be charged? How can they be used and is the tenant entitled to interest?
A summary of the top 5 sections of the Residential Tenancy Act that you should know about as a Tenant can be found here.