When should I pay rent?
Your lease agreement will state which day of the month rent should be paid on. For the majority of rental agreements, rent is due on the first day of every month; however, your agreement may state that rent is to be paid on the 15th of every month if you moved in mid-month. Be sure to confirm with your landlord when they expect rent to be paid..
How should I pay rent?
You can pay your rent by cash, cheque, direct deposit, or bank transfer. The most important thing is to always receive a receipt or some form of record that rent has been paid. If you do not have proof that you have paid your rent, it is possible for a landlord to claim that you have not paid, and attempt to collect twice. A record of payment protects you in such a case.
The safest methods to pay your rent are by cheque, direct deposit, or bank transfer. In these cases, the bank automatically creates a record of payment. If you chose to pay your rent in cash, always ensure that your landlord provides a receipt. In British Columbia, a landlord is required by law to provide a receipt if you ask for one.
When can a landlord increase my rent?
When you rent a unit, you and your landlord will agree on how much rent you will pay as part of the lease agreement. In British Columbia, a landlord is not allowed to increase the cost of your rent for one year. If a landlord charges an amount larger that has not been approved by the Residential Tenancy Branch, the tenant doe not have to pay the excess rent. For more information on rent increases click here.
A landlord must also give you at least three months notice in writing before they can increase your rent. If your landlord does not provide you with a letter, email, or some form of writing telling you that your rent will be increasing, you are not required to pay an increased rate.
It is illegal for a landlord to evict you from your rental unit because they would like to increase the rent.
How much can a landlord increase my rent by?
IIn British Columbia, the law allows landlords to increase rent by no more than 2% plus the rate of inflation without the tenant disputing the increase. The rate of inflation that must be used is provided by the Residential Tenancy Branch of British Columbia and is available here. The total increase allowed is usually close to 4%. For example, if your rent was $600 per month when you moved in, one year later your landlord can increase your rent to no more than $624 per month.
If your landlord tries to increase your rent by more than the allowed amount, inform your landlord that the increase is not legal. If your landlord insists that your rent will be increased that this amount, file for dispute resolution with the Residential Tenancy Branch of British Columbia. For more information, see the Dispute Resolution section
Can my landlord increase my rent if another person moves in?
Yes. Your landlord can increase your rent as stated in your lease if an additional person moves into the rental unit. If your lease agreement does not state a specific rent increase for additional occupants, your rent cannot be increased. If the lease agreement states a specific rent increase for additional occupants, your landlord does not have to provide written notice in advance of the increase.
What is a damage deposit?
In British Columbia, most landlords will require you to pay a damage deposit. This is sometimes referred to as a security deposit. A damage deposit is a sum of money that you give to your landlord at the time you move into a rental unit that covers any damage greater than normal wear and tear of tenancy. Your landlord holds this money until you move out. If any damage is done to the rental unit during the time you live there, your landlord may deduct those damages from your damage deposit. If no damage is done to your rental unit while you are living there, your damage deposit, with applicable interest, will be returned to you when you move. For more information, see the Moving Out section.
*PLEASE NOTE: It is very important to make a record of any and all damage to the rental before you move in so that you are not held responsible for it. This record can be in the form of photographs, but it is also important to fill out a written Move-in Condition Inspection with your landlord before you move in. For more information see the Moving In section.
How much should my damage deposit be?
In British Columbia, your damage deposit cannot be more than half of one month’s rent. For example, if your monthly rent is $600 then your damage deposit cannot be more than $300. Never agree to pay more than half of one month’s rent for your damage deposit.
What is a pet deposit?
A pet deposit is a sum of money that you give to your landlord in case your pet damages the rental unit. You should do a Condition Inspection Report with your landlord prior to giving your pet deposit. This ensures that you and your pet are not accountable for a previous damage to the unit. Make sure you receive a copy of this report.
If your pet damages the rental unit, your landlord will use that money to repair the damage when you move out. If your pet does not damage the rental unit, your landlord must return your pet deposit, with applicable interest, within fifteen days of moving.
If you have a pet, your landlord can require you to pay both a damage deposit and a pet deposit.
How much should the pet deposit be?
In British Columbia, your pet deposit cannot be more than half of one month’s rent. For example, if your monthly rent is $600 then your damage deposit cannot be more than $300. Never agree to pay more than half of one month’s rent for your pet deposit.