STANDARDS OF MAINTENANCE BYLAWS
Standards of Maintenance (SoM) bylaws allow cities to set minimum requirements for maintenance and repairs that landlords must follow. SoM bylaws are set by each municipality, although not all municipalities have them.
If you want your landlord to make repairs to your unit, it is a good idea to see if your city has a SoM bylaw. You can put your request for repairs in writing to your landlord and refer to relevant maintenance standards from the bylaw. You can also contact the bylaw department for information on landlord requirements, or request that a Bylaw Officer visit your unit.
If you are living in an illegal secondary suite, the city may issue an order for your landlord to shut it down if a bylaw inspector visits. If this happens your landlord will give you a one month notice to end tenancy.
Cities with SoM bylaws have the power to enforce the bylaw, usually by ordering a landlord to make repairs, or issuing a fine. However, cities are often reluctant to do this. If you have requested that your landlord make repairs and they have refused, you can apply for dispute resolution at the Residential Tenancy Branch. A report from a Bylaw Officer could be strong evidence at dispute resolution hearing.
The provincial government has created a sample bylaw and guide to assist municipalities in developing standards of maintenance bylaws. TRAC strongly encourages all municipalities to develop their own standards of maintenance bylaw, as well as a bylaw enforcement strategy.