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Just Ask Angie: Reviewing renter, landlord rights and responsiblities

The Resource Centre gets a lot of questions about tenancy issues, so here are some resources to look to look for info
Just Ask Angie file
Angie Theilmann is a information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre. She has a biweekly column with the Coast Reporter.

Q: What are my rights as a renter and a landlord? 

A: As you may have seen in our Be The Change campaign around town, January is housing month. So let’s talk about rental housing and renters and landlords’ rights and responsibilities. 

As an information and referral hub (aka. a place where people ask us questions and we direct them to resources that may be able to help, both outside and inside of our organization) the Resource Centre gets a lot of questions surrounding tenancy issues. These include questions around disputes between tenants and landlords, help understanding eviction notices and what to do with them, or questions about what is or is not legal for a landlord or tenant to do. Questions could also involve having a close look to see if items in a rental contract are legal. 

At the Resource Centre, our legal advocacy program supports clients with tenancy and rental-related issues. Diana Gamble is our in-house legal advocate. If you are a renter, the legal advocate can help you navigate and understand paperwork or legal documents related to your tenancy. If you wind up in a dispute with your landlord, the advocate may be able to represent you at your Residential Tenancy Branch hearing. Legal advocacy services are funded by the Law Foundation of BC, and are free. 

If you are a landlord or a tenant, the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) provides information, resources, and dispute resolution services for tenants and landlords. Their information officers can provide general information about residential tenancies and they can help you complete forms. They cannot give legal advice.  When you call the RTB, you can request support in more than 200 languages. Contact the Residential Tenancy Board: 604-660-1020 / 1-800-665-8779 (Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed the last Wednesday of the month from 9 to 11 a.m. and holidays.) You can also email the RTB, but it may take up to five business days for them to respond to your question: [email protected]

Another resource providing advocacy and information for landlords and tenants is the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC). They provide free legal education, representation, and advocacy on residential tenancy matters for people residing in B.C. TRAC operates a hotline where you can call with your legal questions. Contact this hotline - the Tenant Info Line - at: 1-800-665-1185. As well, to see if you are eligible to apply for TRAC’s representation services (if our own legal advocate cannot help you), contact TRAC at 604-255-3099 ext. 230. For more info: 

When it comes to useful information for renters and landlords, the People’s Law School website shares webinar videos on a variety of legal topics, including tenancy issues. “Evictions & Renovictions,” “Pets & the Law,” and “Renting in BC” are just some of the presentations posted at On that website, click the button “home & neighbours” to find many relevant videos. 

Find out more about our Legal Advocacy program, which includes housing and tenancy supports: To book an appointment with our Legal Advocate, call 604-989-5771, or email [email protected] . For general support and tenancy questions, our information and referral team at the Resource Centre may be able to help you via our main line at 604-885-4088. 

Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub at 107A - 5710 Teredo. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2 p.m. Contact us: [email protected] or 604-885-4088. Search our online resource directory at