Inspecting rentals protects renters and owners
There are two times when a landlord and tenant must inspect the condition of a rental unit: when a tenant is moving in, and again when the tenant is moving out.
Comparing the move-in and move-out condition reports may help the landlord and tenant determine whether the tenant is responsible for damage that occurred during tenancy. This helps determine whether the landlord may keep all or some of a security deposit at the end of the tenancy.
A sample Condition Inspection Report is available online at www.rto.gov.bc.ca or from Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB). The report may also include any item agreed to by the landlord and tenant.
The move-in condition inspection report is a written record of the unit’s condition at the start of the tenancy.
The move-in inspection should be done when the unit is vacant, before the tenant moves in. Both landlord and tenant must sign the completed Condition Inspection Report. The landlord must give a copy to the tenant within seven days.
If a tenant finds a problem after the Condition Inspection Report is completed, they should immediately notify the landlord in writing. Where a repair is required to comply with the tenancy agreement, the landlord must fix the problem.
If the landlord does not make the repair, the tenant may apply for dispute resolution, asking for an order to force the landlord to make the repair.
The condition inspection report and notices of problems may be submitted as evidence if there is ever a dispute about the rental unit’s condition.
When moving out the landlords and tenants must inspect the rental unit together before the incoming tenant takes possession.
The move-out report should describe the general condition, state of repair of the rental unit, and include an itemized list of any damage. The landlord and tenant must both sign and date the report. The landlord must give the tenant a completed copy within 15 days.
Petra Barnfield is the KUU-US Crisis Services homeless co-ordinator/advocate.