Tenancy Policy Guidelines Listed Alphabetically

Use these policy documents to understand the intent of the legislation so that you can present your dispute resolution case in way that’s relevant and logical.


Due to the Residential Tenancy (COVID-19) Order made under the Emergency Program Act, and the Director’s order on email service and Practice Directive on extending timelines that were in effect between March 30, 2020 and June 23, 2020, some portions of the policy guidelines were not applicable in whole or in part during that time. Residential Tenancy (COVID-19) Order No. 2, made June 24, 2020 under the Emergency Program Act, may continue to impact the applicability of some portions of the policy guidelines. Limitation Periods (COVID-19) Order, made March 26, 2020, and Limitation Periods (COVID-19) Order No. 2, in place since April 8, 2020, may also have an impact on portions of the policy guidelines.

Before relying on a statement in a policy guideline, please review the Residential Tenancy (COVID-19) Order No. 2 and the Limitation Periods (COVID-19) Order No. 2 to see if there is a contradiction or inconsistency. For more information contact the RTB.

Access to Records and Information Feb-19 (PDF)

  • Considerations for employees and the public when dealing with requests for access to records

Adjourning and Rescheduling a Dispute Resolution Hearing Oct-15 (PDF)

  • Key considerations when determining whether to adjourn or reschedule a dispute resolution hearing

Administrative Penalties Jan-12 (PDF)

  • When and how administrative penalties are used

Advocates, Agents and Assistants Sep-13 (PDF)

  • The role of advocates, agents and assistants in dispute resolution proceedings

Amending an Application for Dispute Resolution Oct-15 (PDF)

  • Circumstances under which an Application for Dispute Resolution may be amended

Amendment and Withdrawal of Notices May-20 (PDF)

  • Amending or withdrawing the Notice to End Tenancy and the Notice of Rent Increase

Assignment and Sublet Dec-17 (PDF)

  • Policies and issues related to assigning and subletting tenancy agreements

Bias and Conflict of Interest Jan-04 (PDF)

  • What happens when a party claims that a dispute resolution arbitrator is in a conflict of interest or is biased

Claims for Rent and Damages for Loss of Rent Jun-04 (PDF)

  • Situations when a landlord can hold a tenant liable for loss of rent after the end of a tenancy agreement

Compensation for Damage or Loss Aug-16 (PDF)

  • The different types of claims that can be made as part of a dispute resolution proceeding and the criteria arbitrators may consider when awarding damages

Compensation for Ending a Tenancy. Oct-18 (PDF)

  • The requirements for a landlord to pay compensation to a tenant under certain circumstances

Digital Evidence Feb-20 (PDF)

  • How to submit digital evidence

Direct Requests - Landlord's May-19 (PDF)

  • The key elements that need to be considered when making a direct request

Duty to Minimize Loss May-20 (PDF)

  • The legal obligation of tenants and landlords to minimize financial loss when a tenancy agreement is breached

Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, Supportive Housing Jun-20 (PDF)

  • The differences between emergency shelter, transitional housing and supportive housing and how the Residential Tenancy Act applies.

Ending a Manufactured Home Tenancy Agreement – Landlord use of Property June-18(PDF)

  • Ending a manufactured home tenancy so that the landlord can use the property for another purpose

Ending a Tenancy for Occupancy by Landlord, Purchaser or Close Family Member Jul -19 (PDF)

  • When a landlord can end a tenancy to occupy a rental unit

Ending a Tenancy to Demolish, Renovate, or Convert a Rental Unit to a Permitted Use Jul -19 (PDF)

  • When a landlord can end a tenancy to demolish, renovate or convert the rental unit

Entitlement to Quiet Enjoyment Aug-16 (PDF)

  • The tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the property or unit they are renting

Expedited Hearings May-19 (PDF)

  • A faster hearing process for an early end to tenancy, order of possession for a tenant and emergency repairs

Extending a Time Period Apr-04 (PDF)

  • The exceptional circumstances under which an arbitrator may extend or modify a time limit established by the Residential Tenancy Act or the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act

Fixed Term Tenancies May-20 (PDF)

  • Fixed-term residential tenancy agreement information – especially as it relates to ending and renewing this type of agreement

Format of Hearings Oct-15 (PDF)

  • Considerations when determining whether to schedule a hearing in a format other than by telephone conference call

Frustration Jan-04 (PDF)

  • What happens when tenancy agreements become frustrated contracts and how this impacts a tenancy

Illegal Activities June-19 (PDF)

  • What activities and circumstances are considered "illegal" and how this impacts a tenancy agreement

Illegal Contracts Jan-04 (PDF)

  • When a property is rented that is not permitted under a statute

Jurisdiction June -19 (PDF)

  • The jurisdiction of residential tenancy arbitrators

Landlord & Tenant – Responsibility for Residential Premises Jan-04 (PDF)

  • Landlord and tenant responsibilities for maintenance, cleaning and repairs of residential property and manufactured home parks

Liquidated Damages Jan-04 (PDF)

  • A clause in a fixed-term tenancy agreement that requires the tenant to pay to end the tenancy early

Locks and Access Jan-04 (PDF)

  • Legal rights and obligations for landlords and tenants regarding entry or access to a rental unit

Naming Parties Oct-15 (PDF)

  • How parties to dispute resolution should be named

Pet Clauses Jan-04 (PDF)

  • How pet clauses can be used in residential tenancy agreements

Pet Damage Deposits Jan-04 (PDF)

  • When pet damage deposits may be required, what they’re intended to cover and when the landlord can keep all or part of the deposit

Rent Increases Dec-17 (PDF)

  • Rent increases permitted under the Residential Tenancy Act and Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act

Repair Orders Respecting Strata Properties Jan-04 (PDF)

  • An order requiring the landlord to make repairs to a rental unit that is also a strata property

Repeated Late Payment of Rent Apr-04 (PDF)

  • How a landlord can end a tenancy when a tenant is repeatedly late paying rent

Requests for Clarification or Correction of Orders or Decisions Dec-17 (PDF)

  • The power of residential tenancy arbitrators to clarify or correct decisions or orders

Review Consideration of a Decision or Order Mar-16 (PDF)

  • Circumstances under which an application for review of an arbitrator's decision may be made

Rights and Responsibilities of Co-tenants May-20 (PDF)

  • The rights and responsibilities of multiple tenants renting a property together under one tenancy agreement

Security Deposit and Set off Jan-16 (PDF)

  • The definition and context used for the term 'set-off' and how security deposits should be managed

Security Deposits Jan-04 (PDF)

  • How security deposits are used and managed for residential tenancies

Service Provisions June-18 (PDF)

  • How legal documents or orders must be served according to the Residential Tenancy Act and the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act

Summons to Attend or Produce Evidence Oct-15 (PDF)

  • What happens when a person is summoned to testify or provide evidence for a dispute resolution hearing

Tenancy Agreements and Licenses to Occupy May-20 (PDF)

  • Distinguishes a tenancy agreement from a license to occupy

Tenant's Direct Request Feb-20 (PDF)

  • The key elements that need to be considered when making a tenant's direct request

Termination or Restriction of a Service or Facility Dec-16 (PDF)

  • Conditions under which a landlord may terminate a service or facility enjoyed by a tenant

Transition – Security Deposits Mar-04 (PDF)

  • Information about security deposits and the transition between the old and the new Residential Tenancy Act

Type of Tenancy: Commercial or Residential Jan-04 (PDF)

  • How arbitrators determine if a tenancy is residential or commercial

Unconscionable and Material Terms Oct-11 (PDF)

  • Deals with material terms in a tenancy agreement or terms that are grossly unfair

Use of Forms May-18 (PDF)

  • Whether an order can be issued based upon a previous form or a current one

Useful Life of Building Elements Mar-12 (PDF)

  • The life span of specific building components (e.g. doors, windows, flooring, fences, appliances, etc.) used when arbitrators make decisions about additional rent increases or damage claims

The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: June 25, 2020.

Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch