If you live in BC and pay rent for your home, you are most likely protected by the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) – the provincial law that outlines tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities. If you have rented a home in other parts of the world, do not assume that the same rules exist; the RTA applies only to BC.
The first thing to know about the RTA is that it cannot be avoided. All BC tenants are guaranteed certain legal rights by law, regardless of what their tenancy agreement says. This means that any term of an agreement that attempts to avoid or “contract out” of the RTA is unenforceable. If your landlord tries to unfairly limit your rights in this way, you can insist they provide you with the basic protections outlined in the RTA.
Residential Tenancy Regulation
While the RTA is the main legislation in BC that outlines tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities, there is also the Residential Tenancy Regulation (RTR), which complements the RTA and goes into greater detail on certain topics. Like the RTA, a landlord cannot avoid or “contract out” of the RTR.