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October 2 2017

Having Problems with another Tenant?

Is another tenant living in your building driving you crazy with excessive noise or cleanliness issues or are they flicking cigarette butts onto your deck? For many tenants, living alongside people who they may or may not get along with is a fact of life but all tenants form part of community in which they need to co-exist and minimize their impact on one another. Tenants have a right to peaceful enjoyment of the property – meaning that they have a right to not be unreasonably disturbed while living in a rental property.  Here are a couple of ways to deal with any problems that arise with another tenant.

If there is another tenant that you are not getting along with, one of the first things you should do is to try to work things out. You can talk to or write to the person and voice your concerns politely. It's not always the case that the person is aware of the impact of their actions on others.

The other person you should talk to is your landlord or property manager. One of the obligations that a landlord has under the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) is to ensure that each tenant has peaceful enjoyment of the property. If the action of a tenant is depriving another tenant of their peaceful enjoyment, then your landlord should work with all parties involved to come up with a solution to the problem. To help your landlord or property manager come up with a solution, you can:

  • talk to your landlord or property manager about the steps that they are taking to deal with the other tenant;
  • make your complaint(s) to the landlord or property manager in writing; and
  • if your landlord or property manager is attempting to deal with the problem, you can assist them by providing a written record of what has occurred with the other tenant.

In most situations, problems with another tenant can be resolved between the two of you and/or with the help of your landlord or property manager. However, there are some situations where either you or the Landlord may need to contact third parties such as the Residential Tenancy Branch or in extreme situations even the police.

For example, if you believe that you are in danger, you should contact the police. You may want to write a letter to your landlord or property manager informing them that you are concerned for your safety. One of the obligations that a tenant has under the RTA is to not interfere with the rights of other tenants. If your rights are being interfered with, then you can inform the landlord of this interference in writing and request that the landlord take action against the other tenant. Your written letter will also help your Landlord as they try to address the problem. If a tenant assaults or threatens to assault you or other tenants, then you should inform the landlord/property manager and police immediately.