The Residential Tenancy Act sometimes lists a specific statutory remedy for non-compliance with the law, such as a landlord having to pay double the amount of a deposit when they fail to comply with the rules for returning that deposit. But for disputes where there is no statutory remedy, you will have to use your best judgement and apply for whatever amount you think you deserve.
According to Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) Policy Guideline 16, “The purpose of compensation is to put the person who suffered the damage or loss in the same position as if the damage or loss had not occurred.” In other words, when someone is applying for a monetary order, they should ask themselves, “what amount of compensation would make me whole again?”
Policy Guideline 16 also mentions a four-part test that arbitrators use when adjudicating monetary order applications. When preparing your case, try to ensure that you have evidence supporting each of the following points:
- a party to the tenancy agreement has failed to comply with the [law] or tenancy agreement;
- loss or damage has resulted from this non-compliance;
- the party who suffered the damage or loss can prove the amount of or value of the damage or loss; and
- the party who suffered the damage or loss has acted reasonably to minimize or mitigate that damage or loss.
Aggravated damages are a more complicated type of monetary compensation for intangible damage or loss. According to RTB Policy Guideline 16:
“Aggravated damages may be awarded in situations where the wronged party cannot be fully compensated by an award for damage or loss with respect to property, money or services. Aggravated damages may be awarded in situations where significant damage or loss has been caused either deliberately or through negligence. Aggravated damages are rarely awarded and must specifically be asked for in the application.”
- TRAC Webpage – Preparing for a Hearing
- TRAC Webpage – Enforcing a Monetary Order
- RTA Section 7(2) – Liability for not complying with this Act or a tenancy agreement
- RTB Policy Guideline 5 – Duty to Minimize Loss
- RTB Policy Guideline 16 – Compensation for Damage or Loss