Residential Tenancy

Most residential tenancies in British Columbia are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act (“RTA”). This act governs the rights of tenants and responsibilities of landlords in British Columbia. Our law firm offers services ranging from advising on the RTA and Regulations to full legal representation at hearings before the Residential Tenancy Branch (“RTB”).

The Residential Tenancy Branch:

The RTB is the agency of the British Columbia provincial government responsible for dealing with landlord and tenant issues. The RTB handles money claims that are $35,000.00 or less (as of June 1, 2017). Claims for more than $35,000.00 must be made through the Supreme Court of British Columbia. A dispute resolution is a formal process overseen by the RTB that is similar to a court proceeding. An arbitrator conducts dispute resolution hearings – they’re responsible for:

    • Managing time and communication used during the hearing;
    • Listening to testimony from all parties involved and considering evidence; and
    • Making an impartial decision.

    RTB decisions:

    Decisions are given within 30 days of the hearing date. All decisions are final and binding. An arbitrator may make minor corrections or clarify a decision; however, no one can change the outcome of an original decision – not even an arbitrator. Decisions can only be overturned:

    • If a review hearing is granted and a new arbitrator reaches a different conclusion; or
    • By a judicial review conducted by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

     Common reasons why tenants apply for dispute resolution with the RTB:

    • To dispute a Notice to End Tenancy;
    • Landlord failing to make repairs;
    • Landlord improperly entering the residential unit;
    • Landlord improperly holding the security/pet deposit;
    • Landlord improperly increasing the rent; or
    • To apply for compensation from the landlord for money owed or other tenancy-related issues.

    Common reasons why landlords apply for dispute resolution with the RTB:

    • Apply for an Order of Possession because the tenant hasn’t moved out of the rental unit when they are required to do so; or
    • To apply for compensation for the tenant for unpaid rent or damages.

    To speak with a lawyer relating to any landlord or tenant issues under the RTA, please contact our firm at 604-360-0516.

    Based in the Lower Mainland, our firm advises a wide range of clients including entrepreneurs, corporations and partnerships. We aim to provide innovative solutions to complex business and legal matters.
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