TRAC strongly encourages tenants to put all communication regarding their tenancy in writing. Even if you currently have a good relationship with your landlord and resolve issues informally, you may one day need evidence of your requests, or other communication. If you speak to your landlord about an issue regarding your tenancy, it is always a good idea to follow up in writing. TRAC has developed template letters on various topics to help you do this. The letters may be edited to include your information and the details relevant to your situation.
IMPORTANT: Because these letters can be changed and manipulated, TRAC does not assume any responsibility for consequences that arise from their use. Please see TRAC’s Disclaimer at the bottom of our website.
You can give this notice to your landlord if you plan on moving out early after receiving a two-month Notice to End Tenancy for landlord’s use of property. Giving this notice does not affect your right to compensation in the amount of one month’s rent.
Landlords are generally responsible for treating infestations. You can give your landlord this letter if you have found, or think you have found, pests in your unit.
A tenancy agreement can only be changed if both the landlord and tenant agree. If your landlord has changed the terms of your agreement without your consent, you can give them this letter to explain that that is not allowed.
You can use this letter to demand payment from your landlord if you have been issued a monetary order from the Residential Tenancy Branch.
There are strict rules for how and when a landlord can enter your unit. See our page on Landlord Entry for details. You can give your landlord this letter if they are entering your unit illegally.
Landlords are only allowed to charge a 1/2 month’s rent for a security or pet damage deposit. If your landlord charged you more than a 1/2 month’s rent, you may be allowed to deduct the overpayment from your rent. If you choose to do that, you can give them this letter to explain why you are paying less rent.
Tenants are required to give one full month’s notice in writing to end a month-to-month tenancy agreement. You can use this letter to do that. In order to provide a full month’s notice, your landlord must receive this notice the day before you pay your last month’s rent. See our page on Serving Documents for details on how you are allowed to give this notice.
Please note, that you may not end a fixed-term tenancy agreement before the end of the term by providing one month’s notice.
If you have been served with an Order of Possession, and have applied for a review consideration of the decision, your landlord is not allowed to file the order in Supreme Court until the RTB has made a decision about your application. The landlord may not be aware that you have filed, so it is important to notify them right away.
If your landlord informs you that your rental property is for sale, you can use this letter to request a viewing schedule that will work for both of you. If you cannot agree on a schedule of times, your landlord is required to give you proper notice each time they plan to show the unit to prospective buyers.
Your landlord must give you a copy of the signed tenancy agreement within 21 days. If your landlord has not done this, you can use this letter to request a copy.
Landlords are required to provide receipts for rent paid in cash. If you have paid in cash and have not received a receipt, you can use this letter to request one. When paying rent in the future, you may want to consider bringing a witness, as well as your own rent receipts.
When a landlord wants to take away or restrict a non-essential service or facility, they must provide the tenant with 30 days’ written notice and reduce the rent to compensate. If your landlord has taken away a service or facility, such as internet or storage, you can use this letter to request a rent reduction. See our page Services and Facilities for more details.
Landlords may never terminate or restrict an essential service or facility. Examples could include heat, hot water, and electricity.
Your landlord is required to give you a copy of the signed condition inspection report within 7 days of the move-in inspection and within 15 days of the move-out inspection. If you did not receive a copy, you can use this letter to request one.
Landlords are required to provide their legal name and address in the tenancy agreement. If your landlord did not provide this information, you can use this letter to request it. It is important to have your landlord’s name and address so that you can serve them with documents, such as your notice to end the tenancy, or an application for dispute resolution.
If you are on a fixed-term tenancy for a term of 6 months or more, a landlord may not unreasonably deny your request to assign or sublet the tenancy. If you are not on a fixed-term tenancy of 6 months or more, and your landlord has denied your request, you can use the letter Request to Cooperate in Finding a New Tenant (see below).
See our page on Breaking a Lease for more information about options you may have if you need to move out early.
Landlords are required to change or re-key the locks at the start of the tenancy at the tenant’s request if they have not already done so.
If you have paid to have emergency repairs completed the landlord may be required to reimburse you. Before deciding to pay for an emergency repair, please read our page on Repairs and Maintenance closely. Very few repairs are considered emergency repairs, and there is a strict procedure you must follow before having the repairs made.
Landlords are required to return all post dated cheques that remain in their possession at the end of your tenancy.
In order to get your security and pet damage deposits back, you must first provide your landlord with your forwarding address. This notice must be in writing, and can only be served in certain ways. See our page on Serving Documents for details.
If you need to break your lease early, your landlord must make a reasonable effort to find a replacement tenant and minimize the amount of money you will owe.
An eviction notice (Notice to End Tenancy) must be in writing, in the approved form. If your landlord has given you an illegal notice, you can use this letter to respond. You do not need to move out if the notice is not legal, but it is always a good idea to respond to it.
Landlords and tenants are not allowed to contract out of the Residential Tenancy Act. This means that if there is a term in your agreement that contradicts the law, it is not valid even if you have signed the agreement. You can give your landlord this letter to inform them that a term in your agreement is illegal.
Landlords may not unreasonably restrict your right to have guests, including overnight guests.
A tenant may be able to end their tenancy early if the landlord has failed to comply with a material term of their agreement. Please carefully read our page on Breaching Important Terms if you are thinking of ending your tenancy early. Very few situations are considered to be a breach of a material term, and there is a specific process that must be followed to end a tenancy early due to a breach of a material term.