Do I need to a sign lease or tenancy agreement?
Yes. A landlord is obligated to give the tenant a copy of the tenancy agreement within 21 days of signing.
Types of rental periods, which determine how long you can stay in the apartment
- Periodic Lease: the rental period can relate to a calendar week, month, or year
- Fixed Term Lease: lease of predetermined period.
*Note that most tenancies in BC are month-to-month.
Is a signed move in/move out condition report required?
Yes, for residential premises (as of January 1st 2004) it is mandatory for landlords and tenants to conduct ingoing and outgoing inspections and complete ingoing and outgoing Condition Inspection Reports.
A signed move in/move out condition report is not required for manufactured home sites.
May the landlord request a security deposit?
Yes, but there are regulations:
- The maximum security deposit for residential premises is ½ month’s rent. If tenants pay more than ½ month’s rent, they can deduct this overpayment from any rent owing.
- However, if pets are allowed, the landlord can also ask for an additional ½ month’s rent for pet damage deposit, bringing the total deposit up to a maximum of one month’s rent.
- A landlord can request the security deposit only at the time the tenancy agreement is entered into, but can request a pet damage deposit at any time during the tenancy if a pet is introduced. A pet damage deposit can only be used for damage caused by a pet and not for any other cost the landlord incurs.
- Landlords can also require deposits for additional keys, garage door openers, etc. in addition to the security and pet damage deposits.
- Interest rate on these deposits: 4.5% below prime on January 1st. Landlords have 15 days after the tenant moves out, and provides a forwarding address, to either return the deposit or get the tenant’s written consent for deductions to the deposit (such as using the deposit to pay to repair damages).
- If no consent is received, the landlord must keep some or all of the security deposit within the 15 day time frame.
No types of deposits are permitted for manufactured home site rentals.
May the landlord request key money?
The landlord must not charge a fee for a key that is the tenant’s only means of access, but may charge a fee for additional or replacement keys.
May the landlord request post-dated cheques?
Yes, landlords may request post-dated cheques.
May a landlord refuse to rent to a tenant who has pets or smokes?
- Security deposits and pet damage deposits are not permitted for manufactured home site rentals.