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Condition Inspection Reports

By Wm. F. Watson

Landlords and tenants are now required to complete a Condition Inspection Report of the rental premises at the start of a tenancy and again at the end. Failing to complete either report can have significant consequences.

On the day the tenant becomes entitled to possession of the rental unit, or on another day agreed upon before the tenant moves in, the landlord and tenant (or representative) must conduct an inspection of the rental unit and make a written record of the state and condition of the premises, identifying damages, wear and tear, needed repairs, etc. It is strongly recommended that photographs be taken and that government form RTO - 27 be used. If an inspection can't be carried out on the first day of the tenancy the landlord is required to provide at least two other opportunities for inspection. The completed report is required to be signed by both parties and a copy given to the tenant within 7 days. If the landlord fails to comply with the legislative provisions he loses his right to claim damages against the security and/or pet deposit at the end of the tenancy. If the tenant fails to participate in the condition inspection or send a representative to do so, the tenant loses his right to return of the security and/or pet deposit.

Condition and Inspection Reports are dealt with in sections 23, 24, 35 and 36 of the Residential Tenancy Act of BC. An electronic copy of the Act is found at

- Do-it-yourself Rental Inspection Report Form by



Expert Advice - Condition Inspection

Q: Tenants moved out a month ago. Left house in mess due to tenant obsessed with abandoned cats. Kim, the tenant has been feeding 50 of them for 2 years regularly. Now cats has caused the house inhabitable and damaged caused mainly by her adopting those cats. Now she's moved and she's left all the cats in my property. She has been hiding it quite well and she presented herself very well while living there. A few issues I have. I want to sue her for damage of property. Is residential dispute thru BC Residential Tenancy Branch the only route? or can I go thru small claim court? Is there a time limit to put in the claim? Tenant tricked me and I have her mailing address, not physical address. How can I find out where she lives now or do I need a private investigator to find out, which will cost a lot of money? I do not live in BC, I live in Saskatchewan. Wonder if that makes it inconvenient to appear in court. Also Kim the tenant has bought a house somewhere in BC, anyway I can find her? I am also consider suing her for animal crualelty as she abandoned the cats regularly for 2 years then abandoned them. Thank you.
A: The Residential Tenancy Act of British Columbia governs the how landlord-tenant disputes are handled throughout the province. Small claims are an entirely separate legal process. Small claims courts handle different issues and have real judges. In many cases, small claims cases take over a year to be heard. Under the Residential Tenancy Act of BC, a landlord may claim against a tenant for damages related to a residential tenancy. The legislation directs that a landlord is required to claim for damages against the tenant within 15 days of the end of the tenancy, but there are exceptions such as parties not being able to be found and/or parties avoiding service. The landlord can have up to 1 year to claim in exceptional circumstances. There is a little thing called a Condition and Inspection report that seems to have been overlooked in your case. This is the report that both the landlord and tenant are supposed to fill out on entering into the tenancy, and that they are supposed to fill out again at the end of the tenancy. These reports reveal a lot. The reports are generally considered to be prima-facie evidence of what the joint looked like when the tenancy started, and how things ended up. If what you say about the cats is accurate, the move-out inspection report should’a revealed there were 50 some-odd cats on the property, and the report should’a detailed that there were some noticeable damages to the property. If you aren’t out of time, and can get your case in front of an dispute resolution officer with the RTO, pictures, videos, notes, tradesmen’s bills, etc., are all things that are frequently considered necessary to establish who and whom did what, when, to who, where, and how. Cases are decided by the evidence and how the rules apply. Animal cruelty? I'd try the SPCA. The private eye bit? While people frequently try to make themselves hard to find, and some people can make themselves almost invisible, if your party just bought a house ‘somewhere in BC’, land registry might have a record. And the $20 for the question? You’ll be comforted to know that $20 goes 1/3rd of the way to paying a pre-school teacher’s salary in a remote village in South Africa – a village that now has a source of running water, has built 2 small schools, and has given a number of orphaned children a reason to dream, and to hope for a better future. The African PreSchools registered charity thanks you. So do I. So do the children.



More on this Subject

   Related Forms

Do-it-yourself Residential Rental Inspection Report (by

 - Condition Inspection Report - RTB-27
 - Notice of Final Opportunity to Schedule a Condition Inspection - RTB-22

   Other Resources

     - British Columbia Tenancy Office - Fact Sheet RTB-115


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