Renting in BC Town Hall

  • Recorded on: September 20, 2022

  • Length: 60 minutes


Lawyer Lisa Mackie and Robert Williams from the Residential Tenancy Branch answer questions about renting in British Columbia.


In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Whether the rules are different if you rent to students, and whether the age of a tenant matters. [2:55]

  • Whether residential tenancy rules are different if a landlord and a renter share a common kitchen. [4:55]

  • Whether a landlord can ask a prospective tenant to submit bank statements in a rental application. [5:45]

  • Whether a landlord needs to tell a prospective tenant that they plan to move into or sell a rental unit after renting it out for a year. [7:55]

  • Whether a landlord needs to inform their tenant when they decide to sell the apartment they’re renting. [11:10]

  • Whether a single tenant with two landlords (a couple) can communicate with just one of them. [13:03]

  • What options a landlord has when they buy a home with a tenanted suite that’s in rough shape and they have concerns that rent would become too expensive for the tenant if they did upgrades to the suite. [14:35]

  • Whether a landlord who inherits a tenant from an owner they bought from can ask the tenant to pay a portion of utilities if the tenancy agreement says the owner pays for utilities. [18:50]

  • What a tenant can do to protect themselves from being renovicted again, and get better support when there are issues with their landlord. [20:20]

  • Whether a landlord can ask a tenant to provide a copy of their car insurance. [24:00]

  • What a tenant can do if they are renting an apartment in a seniors building and the cost of the mandatory daily meal doubles. [27:35]

  • Whether a tenant in a townhouse complex has been discriminated against if the strata asks them to remove a basketball hoop they installed, even though other units have similar hoops. [28:50]

  • Whether something like Vancouver’s tenant relocation and protection policy, which provides additional financial compensation for renters who have been renovicted, is available in other parts of British Columbia. [31:25]

  • What a landlord can do if a renter demands double the security deposit back because the landlord did not return the deposit within 15 days of the tenancy ending. [34:30]

  • How long a landlord must live in a rental unit after ending a tenancy so that the former tenant won't have a claim against them. [37:00]

  • What a landlord can do if their tenant doesn’t show up for the monthly inspections they agreed to. [38:30]

  • What is and what is not permitted during a landlord’s inspection of a rental unit. [40:55]

  • What rent increases are permissible to allow a landlord to keep up with the cost of maintaining a rental unit. [43:00]

  • How a tenant can monitor a landlord who said they would use a rental property for family use, once the tenant has moved out of the property. [46:20]

  • What happens when there are two tenants on a lease and one of them leaves. [48:40]

  • How a landlord who has served a tenant with a 10-day notice for failure to pay rent will know if the tenant has applied for dispute resolution. [52:55]

  • Whether it’s legal to deactivate a tenant’s fob for unpaid rent. [54:55]


Lisa Mackie

Lisa Mackie

Lisa Mackie is the leader of the strata property practice group at Alexander Holburn, and a member of the firm’s insurance and real estate practices. Her primary areas of practice are strata property law and residential tenancy law.

Robert Williams

Robert Williams

Robert works for the Residential Tenancy Branch as an Information Officer. He has also worked as an investigator for the branch’s compliance unit. Robert is passionate about educating both landlords and tenants of their rights and responsibilities, and ensuring that all parties have access to justice under the Residential Tenancy Act.

Attendee feedback

"Engaging speakers with clear, concise answers. Very informative."

"The three people hosting this seminar were professional, knowledgeable, articulate and engaging. The communication skills of this team is impressive. Keep up the good work! I liked how you helped BOTH landlords and tenants and felt you had a good balance."

“It is comforting to know People’s Law School is there with helpful information ... Many thanks for your useful webinars.”

“Great webinar as usual. Good information and it's so refreshing to have things run on time and end on time!! Keep up the good work!”

“I realize how lucky I am to live in a rental building where I have not experienced any of the problematic issues that were discussed. The landlord seems to be consistently doing things by the book.”

“Timely for me as I have just become a landlord.”

“Very informative 🙌 thanks for sharing the law!”

Additional resources

From People’s Law School: 

From the Residential Tenancy Branch:

Additional resources:

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This website explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. The information is not intended as legal advice. The cases we refer to reflect real experiences, but names have been changed. See our full disclaimer.

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