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4.3 Standard Tenancy Agreement

The Residential Tenancy Branch is the government department in charge of residential tenancy law in BC.  The Residential Tenancy Branch does have a standard tenancy agreement form, although landlords can choose to use their own form. If a landlord decides to use their own form, it should still include all of the standard terms required by law.  If you don’t think the landlord’s form meets the legal criteria, you could suggest using the standard form instead.   

Whether the landlord uses their own form or the government form, the most important thing to understand is that a tenancy agreement is a legally-binding contract.  Be sure to read the entire agreement before signing it.  Once the agreement is signed, neither the tenant nor the landlord can make changes unless both agree in writing. Your landlord is required to give you a copy within 21 days after signing.  Make sure to keep it in a safe place.