What is the Residential Tenancy Act?

The Residential Tenancy Act is the law in British Columbia that governs the relationship between landlords and tenants. It sets out rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, determines how much rent is and how much it can increase, what must be included in a lease, and more. Click here to access a copy of the Residential Tenancy Act

Who does the Residential Tenancy Act Apply to?

The Residential Tenancy Act applies to any rental units and tenancy agreements. This means that apartments, townhouses, houses, basement suites, and even long-term residence in a hotel are covered under the Residential Tenancy Act. There are a few exceptions to the Residential Tenancy Act such as residences at educational institutions, short-term hotel stays, and room and board, like homestay. For students in Kamloops most rental properties are covered. The exceptions are homestay, the New Residence (Campus Living Centre) and McGill Residence.

Rental properties protected by the act include:

  • Apartments, Townhouses, Upper College Heights
  • Houses
  • Basement Suites
  • Long-term residency in a hotel
  • Illegal suites

Rental properties not protected by the Residential Tenancy Act include:

  • Residences at Educational Institutions(at TRU this includes McGill Residence and the New Residence CLC)
  • Room & Board situations such as homestay
  • Short term hotel stays

Does the Residential Tenancy Act apply to someone who lives in a hotel?

The regulations surrounding a person living in a hotel are unclear, but if you live in a hotel as your primary residence for an extended period of time (more than a month) you should be covered under the Residential Tenancy Act and have the same rights as someone renting an apartment or house. If you are staying in a hotel temporarily (i.e. a few weeks), you are not covered under the Residential Tenancy Act. If you are unable to find standard accommodation and you must live in a hotel or motel you should follow these steps to ensure that you are treated fairly.

  1. Insist that the hotel owner provide you with a lease like any other rental unit. Having a lease guarantees that you are covered under the Residential Tenancy Act and will protect you from any unfair treatment on the part of the hotel owner or landlord.
  2. Insist on completing a move-in and move-out inspection with the hotel owner or manager so that you cannot be held responsible for damage that you did not create.
  3. Set out the specific times and days in writing when someone will be entering your hotel room for housekeeping services if that is included in your rent. The hotel or landlord do not have the right to enter your hotel room without permission unless there is an emergency.