First ask. They may not know this is illegal. Use your communication skills. If you think they won’t give receipts, or have told you they won’t give them, use the following steps. Buy a receipt book (you can get very cheap ones). Get a witness (anyone 19+) to see the landlord with you. Prep the witness not to get involved. They are just there to see what happens. Ask the landlord to sign the rent receipt you provide. The landlord can now either: sign the receipt OR refuse in front of your witness. Either way you now have proof you paid your rent.
First, use communication skills. Make sure you politely follow up conversations with an email or text message. If the landlord refuses to do work, or just doesn’t do it, make sure you put it in writing. Write or print a letter, signed and dated with your request. Keep a copy. Then follow up and if nothing happens you will need to apply for a repair order at the Residential Tenancy Branch.
The landlord is required by law to do a certain amount. You haven’t broken any laws if they don’t provide paperwork. First use your communication skills to see if there is any paperwork they would be willing to do. Rent receipts for cash rent would be the most important because you can’t prove you gave rent otherwise. Then a Tenancy Agreement if possible and a Condition Inspection Report. If you don’t have either of those, the landlord is risking losses because they have waived their right to keep your security for damages and they have no way to prove your share of the utilities and so on.
The landlord may believe that if the suite is illegal, they shouldn’t give paperwork but this isn’t true. A suite can be illegal and a landlord should still follow the Residential Tenancy Act.
If a landlord doesn’t give correct paperwork for rent increases then you don’t have to pay the increase (but still have to pay your usual rent). If they don’t evict you legally you don’t have to move out. If they don’t give you inspection notices they can’t enter your suite. Always seek advice in these cases.
The tenant's application can be made within two years of the end of the tenancy – as long as the tenant gave the landlord their forwarding address in writing (within one year of the end of the tenancy) and the landlord did not return the deposit or apply for dispute resolution before the 15-day deadline. So make sure you give the landlord your new address as soon as you can, but definitely within a year of moving out.
A lot depends on your municipality and your neighbours. Some municipalities will close down illegal suites more quickly than others. Or they may require more complaints to close them down. A lot of municipalities are moving to more tolerance of secondary suites in recognition of the lack of affordable housing.
If your municipality closes down your suite, your landlord is required to give you a one month eviction notice and is not required to give you compensation.
Hopefully you have tenant insurance which may have provision for accommodation in your area. If not, a lot depends on how long repairs will take. For a short period you might stay with family friends or a motel. Your landlord should either pay for this or stop rent so that you can pay. Get any agreement in writing. DO NOT withhold rent without some proof. For longer repairs, your landlord may say that the contract (tenancy agreement) is ‘frustrated (which means he can’t supply housing). If this is upheld, the tenancy is over and you would look for new accommodation.
First look at your Tenancy Agreement. What does it say? If it says other tenants can move in and whether it will cost more money, follow those terms. If it doesn’t say anything, talk to your landlord. Get their permission in writing and find out what they require (references, credit check etc.). The landlord shouldn’t unreasonably restrict new tenants. So if you live in a one-bedroomed apartment and your boyfriend has references, he should be able to move in.
Absolutely not. You are allowed guests and there should be no fee, deposits or costs to you or them. There should also not be any ‘unreasonable restrictions’ placed on them. Which means the landlord shouldn’t have rules about overnight guests, how long people can stay or who can stay (male/female for example).
However, your guests are YOUR responsibility and they need to follow the rules in your tenancy. If they are noisy, destructive or upset your neighbours, it’s your tenancy at risk. They also have to be actual ‘guests’. If they are staying because they have no home, they are no longer guests and the landlord has a right to be involved in the process of someone moving in.
Talk to the neighbour and see if there are reasonable accommodations you can both make. Is your living room above their bedroom and your sleep patterns are conflicting? Try to work something out if possible. Do you have rugs to put down? If that is not possible, talk to the landlord about soundproofing. If it is an older building with less good soundproofing, more noise is expected.
At the end of the day, you are allowed to walk in your place.
No and no; without your landlord’s express written permission. Smoke causes damage and health concerns so the landlord is allowed to prevent this, even if you have a prescription. Growing can cause; mold, damp, smell, fire risk and increased utility bills.
Look at your tenancy. What does it say? It can specify areas, it can say only off the property. If your landlord tells you you can smoke on the balcony, get this in writing.
The tenancy should tell you what areas you have exclusive possession of. These are ‘your’ areas for the duration of the tenancy. Then there may be shared areas, which you share with the landlord. Any changes such as growing vegetables should be discussed and agreed in writing.
You don’t have to sign a new lease. The old one is ‘grandfathered’ to the new landlord. The law also says they have your security deposit, even if the old landlord didn’t give it to them. Get advice before you agree to sign a new lease and only sign if the terms are better for you.
No, sorry, the landlord has no responsibilities in this case. Talk to the Bylaw office or the police.
Drinking doesn’t itself cause damage, noise or disruption and is legal in your home (if you are of age). So it isn’t something your landlord could evict you for. However, drinking can cause damage, noise or disruption in some cases with some people. Make sure that if you drink, it doesn’t affect others or the building.
Quiet enjoyment is 24 hours. However, your landlord can live their life. They don’t have to tiptoe around in slippers. Try to work with your landlord on a system that works for both of you. Maybe agree ‘quiet hours’ or discuss things that could work (times, areas).
People are often friendly with their landlord or property manager. Things come up in conversation and you can share information if you would like. However, you are not obliged to give a property manager any personal information that isn’t related to your tenancy. And your relationship status is part of your personal information.
You can paint if you ask your landlord, they agree and you get their permission in writing. But normally they won’t agree to this! If you paint anyway you need to either pay to have the place returned to its pre-painting state or return it to that state yourself. Since the landlord may have a particular colour that they use, it’s very difficult to do this yourself, especially if you use a dark colour, or one with a lot of red in it. It’s normally better to keep the walls how they are and use cushions, fabrics, plants and art to customise your place.