Do I need to have a tenancy agreement form?
The Residential Tenancy Act requires your landlord to provide you with a written tenancy agreement so that you have proof of what you and your landlord agreed to. Before signing, make sure you can live with the terms of the agreement.
Legally, the landlord must give you a copy of the tenancy agreement no later than 21 days after you sign. Insist on receiving a copy as soon as possible. If you do not have a written tenancy agreement, you are still protected by the Residential Tenancy Act. If your landlord is refusing to give you a copy of your agreement, go to the Residential Tenancy Branch for an order against the landlord.
The Residential Tenancy Branch provides a sample tenancy agreement form:
TRAC has also translated this form into Punjabi, Chinese Simplified, and Chinese Traditional:
Note: These forms are only translations, not actual legal documents.
Landlords may also use forms printed by the Rental Owners and Managers Association of British Columbia or the The BC Apartment Owners and Managers Association. Although these forms are reliable tenancy agreement forms, samples of them are not available to the public on the internet.
What happens if the place I'm living in gets sold?
If the place you are living in is sold and you get a new landlord, the terms in your old agreement will stay the same. A new landlord cannot change the terms of the agreement that you signed with the previous landlord, nor can he make you sign a new agreement.
Fixed Term Tenancies/Leases
The term "lease" is not used in the Residential Tenancy Act. The Act refers to periodic tenancies (commonly refered to as month-to-month tenancies) and fixed term tenancies (commonly refered to as leases). On this site we use the term "lease" to refer to a fixed term tenancy agreement.
Leases are different from month-to-month tenancies, and there are risks attached to breaking a lease. For more information call TRAC or see our fact sheet below:
Condition Inspection Report
The law in BC requires that you do a condition inspection report with the landlord when you move in and when you move out of your place. You must also do a condition inspection report when you begin keeping a pet if you did not do one when you moved in. A sample condition inspection report form can be found here:
More information on tenancy agreements
For more information on tenancy agreements, including pet clauses, illegal parts of a tenancy agreement, and what happens at the end of a fixed term lease, see:
The sample tenancy agreement form found in the Landlord’s Rental Kit (Self Counsel Press publication) does not include the information required under the Residential Tenancy Act with regards to fixed term tenancies.
Have you called TRAC's telephone Infoline before? If you have a moment, we would appreciate some feedback on your experience: