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What can a landlord do if a tenant doesn't pay their rent on time?

When a tenant doesn't pay their rent, a landlord can give them a notice to move. The landlord can give this notice when the tenant is more than three days late paying the rent.

A notice for non-payment of rent must include:

  • the amount of rent the tenant owes;

  • the date they are to move out,

  • and a statement that says the tenant can disagree with the landlord's notice.

If the tenant doesn't move or pay the rent, the landlord can ask the Residential Tenancies Branch to order the tenant to move. This is called an Application for an Order of Possession. The landlord should call the branch for more information.


What are a tenant's responsibilities?

A tenant must:

  • pay their rent on time;

  • keep their place and the building clean;

  • repair any damage they or their guests cause as soon as possible;

  • make sure they and their guests do not disturb other people in the building or neighbouring property;

  • make sure they do not endanger the safety of others in the building; and

  • not engage in criminal activity in the residential complex that causes damage to the unit or the complex, interferes with the enjoyment of the rental unit by others in the complex, or negatively affects the security, safety, health or well-being of others in the complex (this includes criminal activity by someone the tenant lets into the complex); and

  • live up to any tenancy agreement and The Residential Tenancies Act.



What is a security deposit?

A landlord may ask a tenant to pay a security deposit before they move in.
The landlord holds this money until the tenant moves out.
This deposit protects the landlord if the tenant:

  • doesn't pay the rent;

  • leaves without notice;

  • causes damage; or

  • doesn't clean up properly when they leave.



What is a tenancy agreement?

A tenancy agreement is sometimes called a lease. It is an agreement
between a landlord and a tenant to rent.

Some tenancy agreements are in writing, others are oral.
A written tenancy agreement will usually show:

  • how much the rent is

  • when the rent must be paid;

  • the names of the people who live in the rental unit; and

  • what's included in the rent (e.g. water, cablevision).


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