BC tenants and landlords should be familiar with the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) – the department of the provincial government in charge of residential tenancy law. The RTB runs an administrative tribunal that can rule on or “adjudicate” legal disputes between tenants and landlords. This service – known as “dispute resolution” – is the focus of this course.
Dispute resolution is similar to court in some respects, but offers a more affordable and accessible adjudication process. For example, the standard application fee is only $100, and most hearings are conducted over the phone with an arbitrator, rather than a judge. When tenants and landlords cannot resolve legal disputes on their own, the solution is rarely to hire a lawyer and go to court. The vast majority of rental disputes in BC must be adjudicated through the RTB’s dispute resolution process.