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3.13 Application Fees

Some landlords may ask you for an application fee, but this is not a legal request.  The Residential Tenancy Act says that a landlord must NOT charge a person for:

  • Accepting an application
  • Processing the application
  • Investigating the applicant’s suitability as a tenant, or
  • Accepting the person as a tenant

This can be an awkward situation. You don‘t want to have to pay an illegal fee, but you also don’t want to seem difficult.  Try politely saying something like the following:

"I don't want you to think I'm being difficult, but the rental course I took said that application fees are not allowed under BC's tenancy laws. I'm really interested in this property and I have all my documents with me. Is it okay with you if I submit my application without paying the fee?"

If the landlord insists on the application fee, you may decide to not apply.  If the landlord is already breaking the law, this could be a sign that you will face additional issues in the future.