Tenants and landlords most commonly apply for dispute resolution through the Residential Tenancy Branch website, using a Basic BCeID. However, applications can also be submitted in person at the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) or any Service BC office.
Since Renting It Right: Dispute Resolution is an online resource, this course will focus on the online application process. If you or someone you are assisting needs information on how to submit a paper application, please contact TRAC’s Tenant Infoline at 1-800-665-1185 or the RTB’s phone service at 1-800-665-8779.
The standard application fee for dispute resolution is $100, though there are a couple of ways you can avoid this cost.
- If you win your hearing, the arbitrator can order your landlord to repay you the fee – as long as you have made that request as part of your application.
- If you have a low enough income, you can apply for a fee waiver that cancels the fee entirely. To be successful, you will have to provide evidence of your income, such as an income assistance statement, employment insurance benefits statement, recent paystub from an employer, or recent bank statements.
When applying for dispute resolution, name yourself as the “applicant” and your landlord as the “respondent”. You may only have one landlord – the owner of the rental unit – though it can be quite common for an owner to appoint an “agent”, such as a property management company, to act on their behalf. If this is the case, you can list both the owner and property management company on the application form.
It is important to list the owner’s correct legal name in the “respondent” field, especially if you are applying for a monetary order. This will make it much easier to enforce your order through Small Claims Court, if you win your hearing and the owner refuses to pay.
- TRAC Webpage – Applying for Dispute Resolution
- TRAC Webpage – Get Help
- RTB Webpage – Apply Online
- BC Government Webpage – Register for a Basic BCeID
- RTB Webpage – How to Complete a Paper Application for Dispute Resolution
- RTB Webpage – Contact
- BC Government Webpage – Service BC Locations
- RTB Webpage – Fee Waivers
- RTB Form – Application to Waive Filing Fee