According to section 9 of the Schedule in the Residential Tenancy Regulation, a landlord cannot unreasonably restrict a tenant’s guests, or charge a fee for guests – even if they stay overnight. However, at a certain point a landlord might question whether a “guest” has become an “occupant”. For example, if a “guest” starts using their friend’s rental unit as their primary home, the landlord may be able to argue that they have moved in. If your landlord tries to evict you for having an unreasonable number of occupants in your rental unit, you can apply for dispute resolution through the Residential Tenancy Branch to challenge the notice.
14-Day Guest Policy
Some landlords try to limit the number of days in a year a tenant can have overnight guests. For example, it is not uncommon for tenancy agreements in BC to have a 14-day per year overnight guest policy. If your agreement contains such a policy, it is likely that an arbitrator at dispute resolution would consider it unconscionable, and therefore unenforceable. The Residential Tenancy Regulation gives tenants the right to have guests under reasonable circumstances, and your landlord cannot force you to you “contract out” of that right.
See TRAC’s template letter, Guests.
Previous Legal Decisions
- 14-Day (cumulative) guest policy unreasonable
- No unreasonable restrictions on guests even in SROs
- Landlord may not charge fee or unreasonably restrict guests