Rentals: What Landlords should know about Residential Agreements in B.C.

getting keysAs a real estate investor, I rent out my personal properties to many assorted types of people.  I find that I get the best results for both the tenant and me when the details for the rental agreement are clearly spelled out and agreed to in writing, so everyone can understand. Always make sure that everyone clearly knows what the expectations are! Here are a few extra lines that I like to include in my lease agreements…of course, you may choose to include or not include these in your own lease agreements when renting in the province of BC.

-Both the landlord and tenant agree that the landlord (or representative) may enter the suite with reasonable verbal notice monthly for inspection. If you do not include this you must give the tenant written notice, and email does not count (see the Residential Tenancy Branch website for more details).

-The tenant agrees to provide the landlord with one year’s worth of post-dated cheques on an annual basis.  This is important to “write in” the contract or it is not enforceable to collect post-dated cheques.

-The tenant agrees to play no loud music and no loud TV and no disturbance to the neighbours with any other loud noises.

-The tenant agrees to no pets.  No pets are no pets!  Some tenants think rabbits, gerbils and fish are not pets.


If you do want to allow pets…then agree in writing on the lease agreement to the number, size and type of pets permitted.  The landlord may think they agreed to the tenant’s very old & quiet cat, and suddenly 2 puppies and a bird are also in residence! 

And, collect a pet deposit.  The maximum allowance for pet deposit is half of one month’s rent in advance and must be collected before or at the beginning of pet residency.  At end of tenancy, the landlord and tenant must jointly agree to amount of deductions from their pet deposit; and only damages caused by pets may be withheld from pet security deposits.  Landlords could also charge a “pet rent.” It’s permissible to charge for an extra person beyond your stated number of tenants, if it is agreed to ahead of time in the lease agreement….So at start of pet residency, landlords could also charge for a pet (something like $10-$20 a month), as they create wear and tear, too!

-No smoking or incense burning anywhere on the property, inside or outside, as this is a fire hazard.

No illegal substances are permitted on or in the property at any time.

-The tenant agrees to have the carpets professionally cleaned upon vacating the property, with the proof of payment (invoice/receipt) provided to owner or representative. I give a copy of the proof of payment to the next tenant when I do my “check in” walk-though with each new tenant at start of tenancy, so they have proof that the last group did the same.

I wish all landlords good luck with this endeavour and would be happy to post any great ideas that you might have about writing a good lease agreement here in Vancouver, BC!

For more information on being a landlord in BC check out the Residential Tenancy Branch’s web site by clicking here.

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