Lately with soaring home prices, most people prefer to buy a house that comes with rental suites or what we call mortgage helper. For those who are not in the market to buy the next best thing is to rent a nice place that suits the needs. This all makes sense but people (landlords & tenants) do not know about the things involved with tenancy. The most important thing being THE LAW.
Very often I hear people telling me, “Don’t worry, our tenants where referred to us by a friend who knows their family back in Asia, so we don’t need a contract.” Or I hear my friends asking me, “The landlord is asking for a full month’s rent as deposit, that sounds okay, right?”
There are so many potential pitfalls for landlords and tenants it’s really hard to discuss them all. Just remember, everyone has rights, and they are governed by law.
If anyone is thinking of renting out their basement suite or looking for a place to rent, my advice is to know your rights. Here is a good place to start: What Every Landlord and Tenant Needs to Know. It is also available in Chinese for my Asian friends: 每位房東和租客都要知道的資訊.
You can also visit the Residential Tenancy Branch of British Columbia, or simply go on their website. There is everything you need to know on the subject and standard forms to download. In my humble opinion, standard forms are there for a reason, so I wouldn’t make up my own contract or modify them in anyway that can potentially be illegal.
For those who are interested you can read up on the actual Residential Tenancy Act of British Columbia.