Legal resources (BC)
The legal system exists to defend landlords but it is still worthwhile to contest an eviction notice through the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB). In many cases you can stop an illegal eviction. Also you cannot be evicted while a dispute is ongoing if you filed within the deadline, buying you more time.
We share legal resources here because they can be helpful to delay your eviction. However, they’re often not enough. If you haven’t been able to cover your rent, the Tenancy Branch arbitrator can dismiss your case within a couple of minutes. The system to appeal evictions is complicated and inaccessible to many of our neighbours, and the deadlines that the system imposes are indifferent to our day to day struggles. Which is why the most important thing is to organize our buildings and neighbourhoods to build our power against those who profit from our homes.
- Your landlord can not access your suite without giving you a written, dated, and signed 24-hour notice with the reason for their visit.
- We advise you to not sign any papers your landlord gives you without checking with someone else, especially if it is an agreement to end tenancy or a new rental agreement. Sometimes landlords will try to pressure or threaten their tenants. If you can, ask for a copy or take a picture of the agreement and find an excuse to delay signing.
- If you receive an eviction notice, file an RTB dispute as soon as you can. Call us for help. You can have the $100 fee waived if you are low income.
- An eviction notice looks like this. If your landlord only texted you or told you verbally that you were evicted without serving you a proper eviction notice on an RTB form, they can’t legally evict you.
- Your landlord cannot physically evict you themselves. They must obtain a writ of possession through the courts and hire a bailiff. If a bailiff comes to your door, make sure to ask for their identification.
For more resources on fighting evictions through legal means in BC, as well as tenants rights in general, you can find information from the websites below:
- Residential Tenancy Branch
- Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre
- First United Church (legal advocacy)
- Vancouver Tenant’s Union (and sign their No Rent Debt petition!)
- Eviction Self-Defense Handbook, 2019
- BC Assessment (to look up the worth of your building and the history of sales within the last 3 years)