Guests during Tenancies

Landlords cannot unreasonably restrict tenants from having guests in their rental unit or manufactured home site or charge tenants a guest fee. Both landlords and tenants have rights and responsibilities to ensure tenants can have guests in their rental units or manufactured home sites under reasonable circumstances.

Arbitrators have ruled that guest clauses that only allow guests to stay in a rental unit for a certain number of days per year were unreasonable. Arbitrators have also ruled that policies requiring guests to ‘check in,’ or requiring guests to be accompanied by the tenant at all times infringe on the tenant’s right to privacy.

If tenants feel that a guest clause in their tenancy agreement is unreasonable, tenants may apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for dispute resolution.

Guests and Occupants

Tenants should ensure that their guests do not become occupants of their rental unit. Since there is no definition of when a guest becomes an occupant under the Residential Tenancy Act, some factors to consider include:

  • Whether the guest receives mail at the tenant’s address
  • Whether the guest pays for rent or utilities at the tenant’s address
  • Whether the guest stays overnight regularly
  • Whether the guest moves in significant personal belongings, such as furniture and pets
  • Whether the guest has a key to the tenant’s unit

The Residential Tenancy Branch encourages landlords to speak with their tenants if they feel that a tenant’s guest should be considered an occupant. Some tenancy agreements include a term allowing rent to vary based on the number of occupants in the rental unit. Landlords can also end a tenancy for cause if they feel there is an unreasonable number of occupants in a rental unit.

Guest Behaviour

Tenants are responsible for paying for repairs where damages are caused by the tenant or their guest. Get more information about:

The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: January 7, 2022.

Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch