Understanding Quiet Hours in BC

In BC, quiet hours are typically defined as lasting from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM, though these hours can vary depending on the noise bylaw in your municipality.

Some apartment buildings may have their own rules regarding quiet hours, which tenants must adhere to in addition to municipal regulations.

As a landlord, you should make sure your tenants are aware of the quiet hours and encourage compliance.

Whether you’re a seasoned property owner or a newcomer to the rental market, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools to foster a peaceful and harmonious living environment for your tenants.

Quiet Enjoyment in The Residential Tenancy Act

According to Section 28 of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) in British Columbia (BC), the principle of “quiet enjoyment” ensures that every BC tenant has the following rights:

The Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) in British Columbia gives tenants the right of “quiet enjoyment,” so they can live in their rental unit without unnecessary disturbances from neighbors, other tenants, or landlords.

  1. Reasonable Privacy: Tenants have the right to privacy within their rental unit. Landlords should not interfere with their privacy unreasonably.
  2. Freedom from Unreasonable Disturbances: Tenants are entitled to live without unnecessary disturbances caused by other tenants, neighbors, or the landlord. This includes minimizing excessive noise during specific hours.
  3. Exclusive Use of Their Rental Unit: Except in situations where the RTA allows a landlord to enter (such as for repairs or inspections), tenants have exclusive use of their rental space.
  4. Use of Common Areas for Reasonable Purposes: Tenants can use common areas (e.g., hallways, laundry rooms) without significant interference from others.


A sleepy cat about to call in a noise complaint after being woken from an afternoon nap.

Reasonable & Unreasonable Noise

Quiet enjoyment doesn’t mean complete silence at all times. Noise is a part of daily life, and reasonable levels are to be expected in any living environment.

Everyday sounds like footsteps, conversations, and household activities are an inherent part of living in close proximity to others. On the other hand, loud music late at night, constant parties, or excessive construction noise during quiet hours could be considered unreasonable disturbances.

Not all disturbances are unreasonable, and in shared spaces, it’s essential to strike a balance between individual rights and communal harmony.


How Landlords Should Address Noise Complaints

As a landlord, navigating noise complaints is part of the job. Here’s how to get back to a peaceful and respectful living situation for everyone involved.

When a noise complaint arises, investigate promptly and keep a record of any noise complaints received. Speak to the disruptive tenant to remind them of quiet hours, which are generally from 11pm to 7am, and that breaching others’ ordinary and lawful enjoyment of their rental by causing unreasonable noise can be grounds for serving notice to end the tenancy agreement.

Encourage your tenants to communicate directly with each other if they have noise concerns with one another. Sometimes a friendly conversation can lead to a mutual understanding and resolution.

If the issue persists, consider mediation between the complaining tenant and the noisy tenant, and keep clear and relevant evidence of your interactions. Acting as a neutral third party and educating your tenants on their responsibilities under the RTA might them find a resolution.

In cases of tenant-landlord disputes, it’s advisable to seek guidance from the Residential Tenancy Branch for resolution.

Legal Considerations

Tenant Claims

A breach of quiet enjoyment may lead to a tenant claim for compensation under the RTA or MHPTA. The arbitrator considers how seriously the tenants right to quiet enjoyment was affected, and the duration of the the unreasonable disturbance.


If noise complaints persist and affect other tenants’ quality of life, you may need to consider eviction proceedings. It’s crucial to seek legal counsel before initiating eviction to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.


If your property is part of a strata, make sure tenants are aware of strata bylaws, which may contain specific provisions regarding quiet hours, common areas, and noise levels.

Remember, maintaining a peaceful living environment benefits both landlords and tenants. Clear communication and proactive noise management can lead to happier residents and harmonious rental experiences.

Noise Mitigation Strategies

If you manage an older apartment building or a multi-plex income property, here are some upgrades and adjustments you can try to help mitigate noise:

  • Floor Coverings: Encourage tenants to use rugs or carpets to reduce impact noise.
  • Window Seals: Ensure windows are properly sealed to prevent noise from entering and escaping the unit.
  • Soundproofing Materials: When renovating or constructing new units, consider using soundproofing materials to enhance acoustic insulation.
  • Quiet Appliances: Encourage tenants to use quiet appliances (e.g., dishwashers, washing machines) during daytime hours.
  • Community Rules: Consider implementing community rules that address noise levels and common areas like laundry rooms.

Vantage West Property Management

At Vantage West Property Management, we understand the challenges of dealing with noise complaints and managing multiple tenants.

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If you’d like to get your free time back and turn your duplex or multiplex property into a hands-off, passive investment, give us a call. You can rely on us to collect rent on time, keep your rental property filled with excellent tenants, perform maintenance, and handle any possible dispute resolution between tenants.

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