Tenant Rights in BC: What You Need to Know

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Renting is a reality for many in BC. Thankfully, BC has established tenant rights that ensure renters can live comfortably in their homes. Though tenancy laws are in place in BC, not all landlords follow them. That’s why it’s important for renters to know their rights.

 

How much can a landlord increase rent in BC?

In BC, landlords can only increase rent once every 12 months by a maximum amount set by the government. This amount is equal to the inflation rate for the year. If your landlord wants to raise the rent, they must give you a full 3 months notice by using the official Notice of Rent Increase form. To increase the rent by more than the annual inflation rate, your landlord needs a written agreement from you or an order from the Residential Tenancy Branch. To find out when your landlord can raise your rent, use the BC government’s rent increase calculator.

 

 

Who’s responsible for repairs in a rental property?

Wear and tear in a home is inevitable. So, when your oven breaks down or the smoke detector stops working, who’s responsible for the repairs? Your landlord. They’re responsible for providing a safe and healthy home for their tenants, and must keep everything from locks to laundry appliances in good working order – unless you caused the damage. Need something repaired right away? The landlord must give you an emergency contact name and phone number – so you can call them if a pipe bursts, the heating breaks down, or the roof is leaking.

 

How much notice does a landlord have to give in BC to end a tenancy?

If your landlord asks you to move out, you may be wondering if they’ve given you enough notice. Well, the amount of notice you’re given depends on the situation. Here’s a breakdown of how much notice a landlord has to give in BC to end a tenancy:

  • Landlord wants to convert a manufactured home park: 12 months
  • Landlord wants to demolish, renovate, or repair the property: 4 months
  • Landlord wants to use the property: 2 months
  • Tenant no longer qualifies for subsidized housing: 2 months
  • Tenant doesn’t pay rent or utilities on time: 10 days

 

 

What rights do I have when moving in?

Before you move into a new rental property, make sure you know your rights. Review and sign a proper tenancy agreement with the landlord, and do an inspection of the home together. To protect against damage, your landlord can ask for a damage deposit and pet damage deposit –no more than half a month’s rent each. For your own safety, you can ask the landlord to change the locks before you move in, at the landlord’s expense.

 

 

Do I need tenant insurance in BC?

Tenant insurance isn’t required in BC, but it’s always a good idea. Having tenant insurance not only protects your belongings, it can also save you from financial burden if disaster strikes. From fires and leaks to break-ins and injuries, tenant insurance can protect you in range of situations. It can cover the costs of lost or stolen belongings and even damages from lawsuits filed from others.

 

If you’re a renter in BC without tenant insurance, get in touch with us to discuss your insurance needs. Call us at 604-467-4184 or request a quote online and you’ll be entered into our draw to win a $250 home insurance gift card

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