The Residential Tenancy Act list situations when it would naturally apply and when it would not.

From http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/02078_01#section2

What this Act does not apply to

4 This Act does not apply to

(a) living accommodation rented by a not for profit housing cooperative to a member of the cooperative,

(b) living accommodation owned or operated by an educational institution and provided by that institution to its students or employees,

(c) living accommodation in which the tenant shares bathroom or kitchen facilities with the owner of that accommodation,


This Act cannot be avoided

5 (1) Landlords and tenants may not avoid or contract out of this Act or the regulations.

In the situations that it wouldn't normally apply, could it be included? For example could the lease/contract/addendum contain the clause "the residential tenancy act applies" and even if one of the conditions listed under section 4 is met, the rules of RTA would apply?

1 Answer 1



A law applies where parliament (and the courts) say it does. A court would read those exclusions and if your agreement falls within them then the Act does not apply.

Contract Terms

You could refer in provisions of the Act as contract terms. Breaching them would then be a breach of contract but would not expose the breacher to penalties from the State (because the law still doesn't apply).

However, there are almost certainly other laws that apply to the exceptions and your contract can't breach those laws - they are likely incompatible with this Act in any case.

  • So you can't include the a law by referring to it but isn't this just a technically as you could always copy it into the contract? For example if the RTA states "landlords cannot increase rent more than once a year and no more than 100%", why couldn't a lease (that normally wouldn't fall inside the jurisdiction of RTA) state "the same rules apply for rent increases as is described by the RTA"? Obviously nothing is stopping one from copying the law verbatim into the contract and stating "landlords cannot increase rent more than once a year and no more than 100%"
    – TwoTwins
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 1:18
  • 1
    @TwoTwins You can, but in the law the landlord is probably liable for a fine which they aren’t if it’s just a contract term
    – Dale M
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 11:22
  • 1
    @TwoTwins in other words, the conditions and requirements laid out in the act can be incorporated into a contract, but the penalties or other consequences of falling to abide by the conditions and requirements may not be possible to include in the contract.
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 13:46
  • So the only difference is penalties? I've also seen contract terms point to laws like "the minimum amount of warning to vacate property is the same as defined in RTA Act"
    – TwoTwins
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 11:54

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