Are your tenancy agreements up-to-date? Do they cover new trends such as Airbnb rentals and other types of subletting? Do they allow you to transition from a smoking to a non-smoking building? Or, from a “pets-allowed” property to a “no-pets” situation?

If your tenancy agreements don’t address issues like these, it can affect your ability to make change and to control the environment in your building.

As a landlord, you are required to provide a written agreement that complies with the Residential Tenancy Act for every tenancy. If you don’t provide one, the standard terms of a tenancy agreement – as outlined in the Act – will apply. And the standard terms may not reflect your goals for your building.

So how do you create an effective tenancy agreement that works for you? Should you download one from a website? Or should you create a custom agreement?

Although the Residential Tenancy Branch offers an agreement that landlords can download from their website, we do not recommend that you use this form. It is not very comprehensive, and does not do a good job of protecting landlords’ interests.

If you are going to use a standard agreement, the tenancy agreement offered by Landlord BC, which is an organization that many landlords belong to, is a good starting point. Even so, due to recent Tenancy Branch outcomes, we recommend that landlords add a customized addendum to the standard agreement, which addresses issues that may be important to them.

For example, many standard agreements address “no smoking” rules, but not many deal with transitioning from a smoking to a non-smoking building. Similarly, some agreements address pet issues, but do not address buildings that are in transition.

Since Airbnb and other types of subletting are a new trend they are rarely addressed in a tenancy agreement, but should be, as they affect everything from tenant satisfaction to who has keys to your building. A customised agreement, or addendum to a standard agreement, ensures that you have more control over issues such as these.

Not sure if your current agreement fully protects you? Let’s talk. We can help you ensure that these, and other issues, are addressed. Please contact our office at 604-873-8591.

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