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For TenantsHelping you find the perfect home.

Showing just how good renting can be.

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Everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, should have the same rights and respect in their home. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing the stability and security that you deserve as a tenant.

We believe in sharing information, that the best relationships are built on understanding and communication. Yes, renting can be stressful, but when you are well informed and understand the rules and laws, it doesn’t have to be. We help you understand renting so you’re always in a place that truly feels like home.

With Habit8, you benefit from services that keep you safe, happy, and comfortable.

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Tenant Support

Have a question? We have answers.

If you can’t find your answers, please contact us and we’ll answer any question(s) that you have.

What are the rules about security deposits?

Your landlord can require up to half a month of rent for the regular damage deposit and an additional half a month of rent for a pet damage deposit (if applicable). This deposit is refunded after the tenancy concludes and is generally required within two weeks of move-out inspection. The refund amount will depend on whether there’s damage to the unit. To ensure a full refund, make sure to follow usage guidelines, repair any damage, and have a full cleaning. It’s a good idea also to save the cleaning receipts. To reduce disputes, it’s best to have evidence of the condition before and after, so take photos right when you first move in.

Can a landlord increase my rent?

Currently, rent increases are allowed once every 12 months. However, a rent increase cannot occur during a fixed-term tenancy. In general, the rent can only be increased by a percentage of the existing rent, and this percentage is governed and set every year by the BC RTA. Landlords and tenants can also consent to other amounts. Furthermore, landlords can apply to the RTB for extra increases, such as for capital expenditures.

What are the rules about repairs and maintenance?

In general, the unit should be in good condition upon move-in, which means it should be clean, with no burnt light bulbs, free of clutter, and in reasonable condition for the age and type of property. During the tenancy, the tenant is usually responsible for items such as replacing light bulbs and maintenance for the yard and snow removal as well as repairing damage caused by the tenant and maintaining a reasonable level of cleanliness. Larger items, such as broken appliances, unless broken through abuse or neglect from the tenant, are the responsibility of the landlord. The tenant is usually not responsible for reasonable wear and tear. Our tenants are given access to a detailed guide on repairs, maintenance, and cleaning.

What happens if I can’t pay my rent?

If rent is not paid or is consistently late, a landlord may issue notices and fines including up to $25. In serious cases, a landlord can also apply to the RTB to end the lease within ten days for nonpayment of rent, and the tenant usually has five days to either pay or dispute the notice. Habit8 encourages tenants to discuss with us if their rent may be late or if their circumstances have changed, and if the rent is no longer suitable in order to avoid misunderstandings.

How much notice do I need to give to end my tenancy?

If the tenancy is fixed term, notice needs to be received one month prior to the end of the fixed term. The tenant cannot unilaterally end a fixed-term tenancy prior to the end except for very specific situations, such as fleeing from household violence or having been accepted into long-term care. You can find additional information on specific exemptions here:

What is the dispute resolution process?

This depends on the dispute. Generally, both sides will be given notice and have the chance to provide evidence and participate in the scheduled hearing. An arbitrator of the RTB will make a judgement. Both sides can appeal the judgement.

Can I have pets in my rental unit?

This is determined between the tenant and landlord and may be subject to strata rules if the rental space is in a condo or townhouse. These rules can also include limits on the breed or number of pets. A pet deposit is typically required. Tenants should enquire with Habit8 for landlord consent if they want to start keeping a pet.

Can my landlord evict me without a reason?


What happens if the property is sold during my tenancy?

This depends on what the buyer wishes to do with the property. In general, residential leases will continue with the property, and the new owner will assume the lease as the new landlord. If they wish to move into the rental space, they would need to give notice just as the seller’s landlord would be required to. Otherwise, the lease continues as normal, just with a different owner. Fixed-term leases cannot be ended early due to a sale.

Can my landlord change the locks?

The landlord cannot change the locks without the consent of the tenant, and if they receive consent and change the locks, the landlord needs to provide a new set of keys to the tenant.

Can the tenant change the locks?

No, in general, the tenant cannot change any locks without the landlord’s consent or with an order from the RTB.

What happens if I need to break my lease early?

The tenant may be subject to damages such as loss of income both during the vacancy period and for the remainder of their term, as well as liquidated damages which usually equal the cost of re-leasing the property. The landlord does have a duty to mitigate losses by acting reasonably to re-lease the property.

Am I allowed to sublet or assign my lease to someone else?

Subletting is when a tenant becomes a landlord to another tenant by usually renting a portion of the property to that tenant. The original tenant is still liable for the original rental agreement. Assignments are when a tenant finds another tenant to take their place. Sublets and assignments can only occur with the written consent of the landlord. However, in cases where the fixed term has 6+ months left, the landlord cannot unreasonably withhold consent.

What should I do if I receive an eviction notice?

Evaluate the notice. Check if it’s appropriate, and check if there are options to rectify the issue, dispute the notice, or accept the notice.

What can I do if my landlord does not return my security deposit when I move out?

If the landlord does not properly refund the security deposit within 14 days (unless they’ve applied to the RTB to keep part of the deposit), the tenant can apply for a penalty refund equal to 2x the deposit amount.

Who is responsible for shovelling snow or maintaining the yard in a rental property?

The tenants.

What are the rules around having guests or roommates in a rental property?

The landlord cannot unreasonably disallow guests. Additional roommates may be subject to an increase in the rent per occupant, and this is specified in the lease.

Can landlords charge application fees?

In BC, no.


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