Hotels are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), if a tenancy agreement is in place and the property is the tenant’s primary home. You may have heard of a specific type of hotel known as a Single Room Occupancy Hotel, or SRO. These can be commonly found in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and provide short-term or long-term housing to low income tenants. Like standard hotels, SROs are covered under the Residential Tenancy Act, if they are being used as the tenant’s primary home.
If you are unsure whether or not the RTA applies to your hotel accommodation, you have the right to ask the Residential Tenancy Branch to make an interim decision. You do not need to notify your landlord that you have requested an interim decision. If the RTB decides that the RTA applies, the interim decision will be in effect until a full hearing is held.
If you request an interim decision, you will need to present evidence to show that the hotel is your permanent and primary home. Examples of good evidence could include:
- Proof that you paid a security deposit.
- Proof that you pay monthly rent- rent receipts, a bank statement showing direct deposit, etc.
- Proof that you do not pay a hotel tax on your rent.
- An “Intent to Rent” or “Shelter Information” form that the hotel prepared for the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.
- Cable or Internet bills in your name for the hotel room.
- Mail you received that is addressed to your hotel room.
A common issue in hotel tenancies is cleaning. The hotel’s employees are allowed to enter the unit to clean ONLY if the tenancy agreement has a term about providing housecleaning. If the tenant did not sign an agreement allowing cleaning staff to enter the unit, the hotel and its employees must follow the rules in the Residential Tenancy Act about landlord entry. See our page on Quiet Enjoyment for more information.