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Payment of rent

By Wm. F. Watson

It is a material term of every tenancy agreement that the tenant is to pay the rent on time unless the tenant is permitted under the Act to deduct from the rent. If the rent is unpaid, the landlord may issue a notice to end a tenancy to the tenant, which may take effect not earlier than 10 days after the date the tenant receives the notice.

The landlord must not take away or make the tenant pay extra for a service or facility that is already included in the rent, unless a reduction is made under section 27 (2) of the Act, which is the provision that the landlord must give at least 30 day’s written notice on approved forms that he is withdrawing or reducing a non-essential service or facility. The landlord must also reduce the rent in an amount equivalent to the reduction in value of the service or facility.

If the tenant pays the rent in cash, the landlord must give the tenant a receipt.
The landlord must return to the tenant on or before the last day of the tenancy any post-dated cheques for rent that remain in the possession of the landlord. If the landlord does not have a forwarding address for the tenant and the tenant has vacated the premises without notice to the landlord, the landlord must forward any post-dated cheques for rent to the tenant when the tenant provides a forwarding address in writing.



Expert Advice - Late Rent

Q: Hello, I recently evicted my tenants as they have not paid the rent in 3 months due to financial reasons. Most people would find this length of time ludicrous (which is true). 1 week has gone by after eviction, and the ex-tenants still have not paid what they owe (even after promising to me in person that they would pay within a week). Could you please let me know my options for getting them to pay (e.g. judgment)?
A: The best place to start – is at the beginning. You’ll need patience, time, and even a bit of your own money to get things rolling. What you need to obtain first is a monetary order against your tenants, which can be had through the Residential Tenancy Branch Office. You will need to fill out paperwork, serve it, get everything stamped, and prepare yourself to establish your claim in a few weeks time. If what you say is true – that the tenants have not paid the rent for 3 months, and you can prove it – then it should not be too hard to obtain the monetary order. Enforcing the order requires more time, patience, and even a bit more money on your part. Basically, you’ll have to wait an incidental amount of time after getting the order before you can register your order with the courts, then you get to serve everybody again. BTW, it takes around 300 days for a small claims case to complete, and which frequently involves 'the hard part' – otherwise known as getting blood from a stone. If you persevere, and before you get an enforcement order from the courts, you will likely be hustled off for ‘mediation’. This is a little wrinkle that has found its way into the small claims system because courts are simply overflowing with customers and court time is remarkably costly and precious. Mediation allows plaintiff and penitents to square off in a room with an independent third party. Generally, the idea is to avoid expensive, scarce face time with a real Judge, and to see if the parties in dispute can’t work out some kind of a deal – like 50 cents on the dollar you say? Maybe 10 cents on the dollar they say. If a deal can’t be done, it is off to see the Judge, probably several weeks if not months later. And guess what? The Judge may order you back to mediation. The whole process makes for great recreation, real drama, and great theater. Check out the ins and outs of the process at the RTB website found at Start with the flow chart on what to do when you get a monetary order.



More on this Subject

   Related Forms

       - Notice to End Tenancy for Unpaid Rent RTB-30

   Other Resources

     - British Columbia Tenancy Office - Guideline GL-38


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