Tenants have the right to peace, quiet and privacy in their homes, also known as quiet enjoyment. Landlords must provide quiet enjoyment to all tenants.
Quiet enjoyment gives tenants the right to live in a rental unit without unnecessary disturbances from others. It ensures that tenants can enjoy their privacy and use the space as agreed upon in the tenancy agreement.
Quiet enjoyment also includes the tenant's right to:
A breach of quiet enjoyment includes major disruptions and disturbances that prevent a tenant from enjoying their rental unit.
Unreasonable noise levels are a common cause of a breach of quiet enjoyment. Other examples can include:
Landlords should ensure that renovations do not cause excessive disruption or inconvenience for tenants.
There are some situations where a renovation can breach a tenant's right to quiet enjoyment:
Quiet enjoyment gives tenants the right to be free from unreasonable disturbances. However, not all disturbances are unreasonable.
Example: If a tenant moved into an older apartment building, it would be reasonable for them hear some noise from a child in the unit above during the day, but unreasonable to hear the neighbouring tenant regularly playing loud music past midnight.
Tenants have a right to quiet enjoyment but also have a responsibility to ensure they do not breach the quiet enjoyment of others. Tenants must make sure that they, their pets or guests don't unreasonably disturb other occupants.
If a tenant continues to breach others' quiet enjoyment, the landlord may serve notice to end the tenancy.
Tenants have the right to reasonable privacy in the rental unit. This means that the tenant's personal affairs and activities in the rental unit remain private and that no one can enter without permission or proper notice.
Tenants should be able to live in the rental unit without constant disruptions or interferences. This includes being free from excessive noise or any actions that disrupt peaceful living.
Tenants have the right to occupy and use a rental unit as their own during a tenancy. This is subject only to the landlord's right to enter the rental unit in accordance with the Residential Tenancy Act.
Tenants have the right to freely use common areas, which are shared spaces outside the rental unit. This includes areas like hallways or laundry facilities.
If the problem continues after contacting the landlord, tenants can seek dispute resolution to resolve the issue. Dispute resolution is a process to help resolve conflicts between landlords and tenants.
Tenants should document evidence if they believe their right to quiet enjoyment has been breached, such as:
Landlords must provide quiet enjoyment to all tenants. If a tenant contacts the landlord with a disturbance complaint, the landlord must take steps to fix the problem.
Some best practices for landlord to help ensure tenant's rights to quiet enjoyment include:
For example, the landlord may need to speak to a tenant about noise if it is bothering other tenants. In this type of situation, the landlord should:
If the landlord is providing a written notice to a disruptive tenant, it should explain:
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