Policies and Legislation You Can Turn To:
Legislation: BC Residential Tenancy Act
Students living in university residence are not covered by the provincial Residential Tenancy Act. All rights are found within the contract and residence handbook provided by the university. Please refer to the most up-to-date residency documents for relevant information about security deposits, lease terms, eviction notices and arbitrations. Your responsibilities as a tenant must be enacted to ensure fulfilment of your rights.
Given that the handbook lays out the rights and responsibilities of residents, you have the right to be consulted about any amendments made to the Handbook.
As in all areas of campus, you have a right as a student resident to freedom from discrimination on the basis of race, ancestry or ethnicity, religion, or sexual identity or orientation in room assignments and living environments. You also have a right to a safe, respectful and clean living environment that is conducive to sleep and learning. Students who require special accommodation due to a disability, medical condition, or health concern have the right to request this through SFU’s Centre for Accessible Learning.
General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Concerns for Safety: Residence Life Coordinators, Campus Security: Emergency: 778-782-4500, Non-Emergency: 778-782-7991
If your concern for your safety is persistent and related to systemic injustice or discrimination, please contact the SFU Human Rights or Ombuds offices.
Maintenance Requests: MyPlace@SFU
Student Run Residence Housing Association: email@example.com
Appeals: An applicant or resident has the right to appeal a decision or application of the administrative policies outlined in the contract and handbook. Appeals need to be made in writing and can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with all supporting documentation.
For those who live off campus, you have a number of rights as laid out by provincial legislation. These include rights related to starting or ending tenancy, daily rights throughout the life of your tenancy, and what processes are available to you as a roommate. This legislation also lays out guidelines for dispute resolution and the Residential Tenancy Branch. These are very important to understand given the inherent power imbalances in the relationship between landlord and tenant. For a clear definition of enacting your rights through the Residential Tenancy Act, please visit the Tenants Resource and Advisory Centre (TRAC).
Quick Guide to Tenancy Rights Off-campus
- Section 10 of the BC Human Rights Code states that a landlord may not discriminate against your potential tenancy based on race, ethnicity, religion, family status, or source of income.
- You only need to provide a damage deposit when signing your lease. You are not required to provide one for viewing or being considered as a tenant by the landlord.
- You have the right to privacy and protection of information, meaning there are things a landlord can and cannot ask. The Personal Information and Protection Act outlines the rules for collecting, using, storing, disclosing, and protecting a tenant’s personal information.
- You have the right to receive proof of any payment made towards tenancy such as damage deposits or monthly rent payments.
- You have the right to review and have a copy of the Tenancy Agreement prepared by your landlord. Ideally the standard contract available at the Residential Tenancy Branch website is used.
- You have the right to a living environment that complies with health, safety, and housing standards. This includes the expectation that repairs will be made in a timely manner. Your landlord is generally responsible for, among other things: elevators, routine yard maintenance, cleaning of the building, infestations or mold issues, and laundry or storage facilities.
- Your landlord can only raise your rent once every 12 months by an amount equal to inflation. This means that the allowable rent increase percentage changes each year, so check the Residential Tenancy Branch website. Landlords must provide an approved “Notice of Rent Increase” form three full months before a rent increase takes effect.
- Management of buildings may change hands many times during the course of your residency. You have the right to know who your landlord is at all times.
- If you enter into a dispute resolution process, you have the right to support through a family member, friend, legal advocate, lawyer, translator, or interpreter.
- Damage deposits must be claimed by the landlord by applying to the Residential Tenancy Office.