Rent In Kelowna: Tenant FAQs


Are you a tenant in one of our Kelowna rentals? Got a question that needs answering? We’re here to help. Whether you’ve got questions about rent increases, your written agreement, rental rules & disputes, yours or your landlord’s responsibilities, or having guests in the rental home, we want to give you the answers you need.

Take a look at our Tenant Frequently Asked Questions and tenant resources shared below.

We believe in being a helpful resource to help tenants and renters stay informed, and ensure that you understand your tenant rights. For more resources on things like dispute resolution, landlord tenancy laws, or other more in-depth topics, check out our blog. While we can’t offer free legal education, we are experts in our field and ready to help everyone get the information they need.

When is the best time frame to start looking for a place?

Between 31 – 60 days before your moving date. (Looking for July 1st move in, you’ll want to start looking between May and June). Most Kelowna rentals will not have immediate availability, unless otherwise disclosed.

What does the application process look like?

We will call your current landlord reference, previous landlord reference and your work reference. We’ll also do a background check, and check your credit score. The credit score is not always the determining factor though. Once we have processed the application, we will send the results to the owner who will make the final decision.

How many references should I have listed?

3 is the most common; Current landlord, previous landlord and a work reference. If you’ve owned the home in the last two places that you’ve lived, that will also count as a reference.

I have bad credit, does that mean my application won’t be approved?

Circumstances do arise that cause you to have bad credit. This doesn’t always mean you’ll be a bad tenant though! If you know why you might have a low credit score, let us know! Being open about previous circumstances during the application process is key.

How can I make my application to rent in Kelowna stand out?

Ensure that the entire application has been entirely filled out and clearly. Include any additional information you feel is important on the application or on a separate piece of paper.

How much are security and pet deposits?

Security deposit and Pet deposit can be up to half a month’s rent each. Feel free to ask what’s expected during your viewing of the home.

If I move in mid-month, do I have to pay the full month of rent?

Your rent will be pro-rated by each day that you occupy the rental.
Example. If your rent is $1000.00 a month, and you move in on June 18th the calculation will be as follows:
$1000.00 divided by 30 days in June = $33.33 per day. 18th to the 30th = 12 days occupying the rental unit.
$33.33 x 12 days = pro-rated rent of $399.96.

What is a "Condition inspection report" and why do I need one?

This is the paperwork that shows the state of the property upon the date that you moved in. Any damages or issues with the property should be stated on the report to ensure that when you move out, you are not responsible to fix items that were damaged before you moved in.

I’m looking for a rental, do Property managers help me search for a place?

Property managers work on behalf of the owner, but they can direct you to where you can find current listings for rental apartments, condos or houses. We also have a database of available properties to rent in Kelowna on our website, if you’re looking for a rental in the Okanagan. You can view this rental database here.

How long does it take to process my application?

On average, the application process takes about 24 hours. When we’re dealing with an owner who works, lives or vacations outside of cell service, it does occasionally take a little longer to get a response.

Why do you ask for a credit check?

One reason is to confirm that you are who you say you are. Another reason is to know what your previous spending habits are. Circumstances do arise that cause you have to have bad credit. This doesn’t always mean you’ll be a bad tenant though! If you know why you might have a low credit score, let us know! Being open about previous circumstances during the application process is key.

Is there anything I can do to expedite the application process?

Ensure that you have properly filled out the entire application. We suggest that you read over the application prior to filling it out. Ensure that if you don’t have the phone number of your previous landlord, that you provide another reference of some sort and state how you know the additional reference (assistant manager at work, previous client, etc).

Can I submit an application before viewing the property?

We prefer that you’ve arranged a viewing of the property prior to submitting an application. We try our best to provide a large number of photos to our ads, but want to make sure you like the home before signing a lease.

What should I expect to pay prior to receiving keys to my new home?

Security deposit and pet deposit are due upon signing a lease. Pro-rated rent and/or first month’s rent are both due before or at the time of your move in inspection.

What are the different types of leases? (Fixed term, month-to-month, "must move")

There are three standard types of tenancy agreement.

1.) A month to month basis: This means that the tenancy continues without resigning a new tenancy agreement. Tenant is expected to give at least month’s notice before moving. The landlord can give a two months notice to the tenant should the owner wish to live in the property, or do renovations, or if the property sells and the buyer wants vacant possession.

2.) A fixed term lease that turns into a month-to-month means that you are expected to stay in the property until the end of the stated date, once that time frame has been met, it will continue as a month to month and resigning a lease will not be required. At least one months notice is required if you are moving. The lease runs with the land, so even if the property sells during that time frame, you are not expected to move before the end of the fixed term. Upon it moving to a month to month lease, you may be given a two months notice by the landlord.

3.) A Fixed term “Must Move” lease means that you are expected to stay in the property until the end of the stated date. Before that time frame has ended, you will discuss whether a new lease will be signed, or if you must vacate the property. The lease runs with the land, so if a property sells during that time frame, you are not expected to move until the end of your fixed term. Many landlords will resign again, and terms are conditional. Some owners will still sign a month-to-month lease after a “must move” lease, but it is expected that terms will be negotiated around 6 weeks before the end of the lease. If you do not wish to resign, you will mention it 4-6 six weeks prior to vacating.

How often can a landlord increase my rent?

A landlord can increase the rent once a year based on an approved percentage, and three full rental months’ notice will need to be provided.

How often does a landlord typically inspect my home?

Once or twice a year, and at least 24 hours notice will be given prior to inspection.

What should I do if repairs are needed to my rental?

Contact your property manager or landlord as soon as possible. Ensure that you try to include as much information as possible. Example: if the dishwasher isn’t working, let us know what make/model it is, and during what part of cycle seems to be having issues. Not all appliance companies work on certain brands so this will help us to speed up the process to get you an appointment for repair.

Can I change the locks in my home or apartment?

As long as you have permission from the landlord, and make sure that a copy of the key has been provided to that landlord in timely manner.

If I want someone to move in with me, do I need to inform the landlord?

The landlord should be informed prior to someone new moving into the property, and the additional person may also need to complete an application process before being approved.

Can I get a pet after I move in? Will I need approval first? Will I need to pay a deposit of some sort?

You will need to ask your landlord prior to acquiring a pet for approval, and to discuss any additional deposits expected. In most cases, a pet deposit of half a month’s rent will be required and an amendment to your tenancy agreement should be completed as an add onto your existing tenancy agreement.

What happens if I’m at fault for a tenancy violation?

Depending on the type of violation, you may be asked to vacate the premise.

Do I need renter’s insurance to rent in Kelowna?

It is highly recommended that you do. Renter’s insurance is also known as content insurance which is different than the house insurance the landlord pays. This means that should an emergency situation happen such as a flood or fire, the insurance company will cover the costs of your expenses and the loss of any of your personal property. The owners’ house insurance will not cover the cost of your personal furniture, jewellery, etc, only renters insurance will cover that cost.

What should I expect during a lease renewal?

You will discuss the new terms of the lease with your landlord such as length of lease, any changes that were made to the lease since you last signed and any rental increases that may have incurred.

How are rental increases determined?

The Residential Tenancy Branch of British Columbia decides how much rent can be increased each year. This applies to all of BC, including rentals in Kelowna.

What happens if I'm late with rent?

You could be served with a “10 day notice” to pay rent. This means that you have five days to pay in full, or ten days to move if rent hasn’t been paid.

Can I apply my security deposit to my last month's rent?

No. Security deposits and rents are two different payments. If rent is not received, you may be served with a “10 day notice”, which will give you five days to vacate or ten days to move. And you may also be taken to arbitration to pay the outstanding rent.

Will the landlord allow me to paint, if I want to? Do I need approval first?

You will need to have written approval from the landlord before making any changes to the rental property. In the case of paint, the owner may also only allow particular colors to be approved.

Can I sublet?

In most cases no, but you will need to speak with your landlord to clarify.

What is a tenancy violation?

This is any term in your agreement that you aren’t following. Example: If a tenancy agreement states that pets are not allowed, and you move in a pet without authorization from the landlord first, you are in violation of your tenancy agreement. Other violations include but aren’t limited to: noise complaints, moving additional occupants in without consent, altering the rental property without authorization, etc.

Do I have to be present when there are repairs being done at my rental?

As long as your landlord has a copy of the key to your suite, the landlord is able to arrange to have someone come in while you are not there. You can ask to have your landlord present with the repair person if you wish. Depending on the severity of the repair though (example: water main break), it may not be possible to have you or the landlord present at the time of repair.

When can a landlord enter the rental unit?

The landlord may enter the unit for an inspection, as long as they have given proper notice. They can also enter should an emergency situation occur where they need access to your suite.

What is expected of me at the end of my tenancy?

It is expected that the property is left in the same or better condition as when they took possession. We recommend that the tenant refers to any cleaning list that was given to them by the landlord, and also referring to the Condition Inspection Report so that its clear if any repairs will need to be completed before move out. Your move out inspection will need to be arranged on or before the last day of your tenancy. (If you have a one year lease that started on July 1st 2017, the last day of your tenancy will be 1pm on June 30th 2018.

What happens if my rental is up for sale?

If you are on a fixed term lease, you will not be expected to move upon the completion of sale, as the lease runs with the land despite who owns it. If on a month-to-month lease, you may be given a two months notice to end tenancy.

When can a landlord end tenancy in BC?
  • Tenancy is for a fixed term that clearly states the tenant will move out at the end of the fixed term
  • Tenant or landlord gives legal notice to end the tenancy
  • Landlord and tenant mutually agree to end the tenancy
  • Tenancy agreement is frustrated by circumstances beyond the landlord or tenant’s control
  • Tenant abandons the rental unit
  • Landlord has an order of possession from the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB)

You can also visit this page to learn more about ending a tenancy.

What is overholding?

Overholding is when a tenant stays in the rental property after a tenancy agreement has ended.

When will I receive my security deposit back?

Your security deposit will be returned within 15 days after you’ve vacated the rental property and provided a forwarding address. If additional cleaning, repairs, or if there is an outstanding balance on your account, these items will be deducted from the security deposit. If all keys are not returned, you may also be liable to pay for a locksmith.

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How much notice do I need to give if I am moving?

1.) A month to month tenancy will need at least one month’s notice.

If your tenancy started on March 1st, and you’re moving into your new home on December 1st, you will need to inform your landlord on or before October 31st. If you’re moving December 15th, you will still need to inform the landlord on or before October 31st, but will still be expected to pay the full month of rent for December.

2.) A fixed term lease will need at least one month’s notice as well, or can be discussed six weeks before the end of your lease. If you move prior to the end of the fixed term, you may be liable to pay rent for the remaining months on the tenancy.

If your lease ends on August 31st, and you are moving on June 30th, you may be responsible to pay for July and August rent, as well as additional fees, unless another agreement has been made between you are your landlord.

Is it possible to leave my tenancy earlier than my fixed term end date?

If you move prior to the end of the fixed term, you may be liable to pay rent for the remaining months on the tenancy. If your lease ends on August 31st, and you are moving on June 30th, you may be responsible to pay for July and August rent, as well as additional fees, unless another agreement has been made between you are your landlord.

When am I expected to do the final walk through of my rental upon moving out?

The landlord will bring a copy of the Condition Inspection Report that was completed at the beginning of tenancy. The landlord will then walk through the property with you to ensure no additional damage has been made to the rental and that the property is clean. You will be expected to return any keys, fobs and garage door openers to the landlord at this time.

What happens if I don’t move out on time?

Depending on the circumstance, additional costs may be applied. If the rental isn’t cleaned after you’ve moved out, a cleaner will need to be scheduled and the cost will be charged to you. If new tenants were to move in after you, you may be required to pay the cost of their accommodations until they can take possession of the rental.

What are the different types of notices in BC? (2 month notice, 10 day notice, 1 month notice)

A two month notice is used when the owner is doing renovations, sold the home, is moving back into the home. The tenant can give ten days notice to move any time after received this notice. The landlord is required to pay the final month of rent. For more information on Two Month Notice, click here.

A ten day notice is served if a tenant owes rent or outstanding utilities. This gives the tenant five days from when the notice is deemed received to pay, or ten days to move. If the tenant pays in the five days, the notice is then void. For more information on 10 day notice, click here.

A one month notice can be given if there is cause. This includes but is not limited to: the tenant pays rent late 3 times; The tenant significantly interfered with or unreasonably disturbed the landlord or other occupants; The tenant caused extraordinary damage or put the landlord’s property at significant risk; The tenant has broken a material term and, after receiving notice of the breach, has not complied with the tenancy agreement.
For more information on One Month Notice, click here.

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