First, take our online course, Renting it Right! The course will teach you everything you should know before deciding to rent. Course participants learn how to search for housing, submit a strong rental application, and what to watch for when singing a tenancy agreement. If you pass the final exam, you’ll earn a certificate that can be used as a reference.
It is also a good idea to take a look around our website, or read our Tenant Survival Guide. The law in BC is different than laws in other Canadian provinces and other countries, so if you have never rented in BC, it is important to learn about your legal rights and responsibilities.
Some pages particularly relevant to students are:
- Finding Rental Housing
- Tenancy Agreements
- Month-to-Month vs. Fixed-Term
- Be careful when signing a lease. Most leases are for longer than the academic year, and by signing you are committing to paying rent for the entire term.
- Am I Covered by the Law?
- Many students choose to live with friends, and it is important to understand everyone’s legal rights and responsibilities when renting together.
- Sublet and Assignment
- Moving Out
- Breaking a Lease
No. The Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) does NOT apply to student housing operated by an educational institution. This includes dormitories and student apartments operated by the educational institution, and rented to students.
The RTA also does NOT apply to employee housing operated by an educational institution.
The RTA does NOT apply to living situations where the “tenant” shares a kitchen or bathroom with the owner of the property. This is the case in almost all homestays, so the RTA usually does not apply.
The RTA most likely applies. As long as you are not sharing a kitchen or bathroom with the owner, the RTA applies to rental houses, apartments, secondary suites, etc. See our page Am I Covered by the Law? for more information.
As long as your accommodation is covered, the RTA does apply to tenants under age 19. That means you have the same rights and responsibilities as any other tenant. If you fail to meet your responsibilities (e.g., you do not pay your rent), your landlord has the right to seek compensation from you through dispute resolution, just like they would with any other tenant.