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1.2 Quiet Enjoyment

Every tenant has a right to “quiet enjoyment”. This means that tenants are entitled to:

  • reasonable privacy
  • freedom from unreasonable disturbances
  • exclusive use of their rental unit (unless the landlord is allowed to enter by law), and
  • use of common areas for reasonable and lawful purposes

In the same way that other tenants must respect your right to quiet enjoyment, so too must you respect their right to quiet enjoyment.

Here are some examples of what may be considered violations of a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment:

  • unreasonable and ongoing noise
  • unreasonable and ongoing second hand smoke
  • intimidation or harassment
  • landlord entering the rental unit too frequently
  • landlord entering the rental unit without permission or proper notice
  • landlord refusing the tenant access to common areas of the residential premises
  • landlord preventing the tenant from having guests visit under reasonable circumstances
  • landlord refusing to make repairs that are needed in order to ensure safety, and
  • landlord forcing the tenant to sign an agreement that reduces their rights

If one of your neighbouring tenants is violating your right to quiet enjoyment, it is not your responsibility to approach that neighbour and resolve the problem.  It is a landlord’s responsibility to make sure that all tenants are respecting each other’s quiet enjoyment. The best way to address the problem is to stay calm, and start keeping a written record of the date, time and nature of the disruptions.  If possible, try to have someone witness these disruptions too.

You should also contact your landlord in writing. See TRAC’s template letter, Loss of Quiet Enjoyment. Once you have informed your landlord, they have a legal obligation to protect your right to quiet enjoyment.  If your landlord does not respond to your complaint in a helpful way, you can apply for dispute resolution through the Residential Tenancy Branch. Keep in mind that this dispute would be against your landlord for failing to resolve your complaint, not your neighbour. Through dispute resolution, you can ask for monetary compensation and an order that your quiet enjoyment no longer be violated.

On the next page, there is an activity to help you identify examples of disturbances that violate a tenant's right to quiet enjoyment. In the Resources Section, there is also a "Tenant's Journal" that you can use to keep track of any violations to your right to quiet enjoyment.

 

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