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4.4 What’s Included in a Rental Agreement?

Although verbal agreements are covered under the Residential Tenancy Act, your landlord should still provide you with a written tenancy agreement.

Every tenancy agreement is supposed to include:

  • The standard terms (listed on the standard Residential Tenancy Branch tenancy agreement)
  • The names of the tenant and landlord
  • The address of the rental unit
  • The date the agreement is entered into
  • The address and telephone number of the landlord or landlord’s agent
  • The date the tenancy will start
  • The tenancy period – whether it is on a weekly, monthly, or other basis
  • If a fixed term tenancy, the date the tenancy ends and whether the tenancy may continue as a month-to-month tenancy, or whether the tenant must move out
  • The amount of rent
  • How much rent varies depending on the number of occupants
  • When rent is due
  • What services and facilities are included in rent
  • The amount of security deposit or pet deposit required, and the date it was or must be paid

In the Resources section, you will find the Tenancy Agreement Checklist. It lists the different items that should be included in a tenancy agreement. You can use the checklist when reviewing your tenancy agreement.

The Residential Tenancy Act states that the landlord and tenant cannot agree to avoid or contract out of the law.  In other words, if an agreement has a term that breaks the law, it may be unenforceable, even if both parties agreed to it.  For example, a landlord cannot make a tenant sign a tenancy agreement that allows the landlord to enter the rental unit at any time without giving proper notice.  In this case, the law overrides the tenancy agreement.