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My ex-landlord preferred to communicate by in person meetings. I began covertly recording our meetings with the microphone on my phone. Only the audio was recorded, not the video. My ex-landlord was unaware he was being recorded.

I am applying to the residential tenancy branch (RTB) with multiple concerns to get money from my ex-landlord. Can I submit the audio recording as evidence? I asked the RTB directly and they said they accept any type of evidence, however to check with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. I contacted them but was given such a bureaucratic answer I couldn't make sense of it (I think it amounted to "we don't give legal advice").

Can I get in trouble for submitting an audio recording of meetings I had with my landlord even if he wasn't aware he was being recorded? On a couple instances other tenants momentarily joined in the meeting but walked away before it was done. Does this make a difference?

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Yes, you can use it as evidence

Canada clearly requires what is called a one-party consent for recordings. Section 184(1) of the criminal code makes it a crime to "knowingly intercept a private communication." However, Section 184(2)(a), the "Saving Provision," says the prohibition "does not apply to":

(a) a person who has the consent to intercept...of the originator of the private communication or of the person intended by the originator thereof to receive it."

Because you: a) either originated the conversation or were the person your landlord intended to talk to; and b) gave your consent by making the recording; therefore, c) you are covered by this clause.

For more details, you can read nice summaries by lawyers here and here.

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