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Landlords in British Columbia

 

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Serving the document in the CORRECT way is just as important as using the correct form.   

 

Serving Documents To Tenants

Did you know that emailing a Tenant or placing a document under their door are not recognized as legal ways to give a tenant notice?

According to the BC Residential Tenancy Branch, there are specific methods of service to deliver certain documents to your Tenants. Failure to serve documents in a way recognized by the Legislation may result in the application being adjourned or dismissed.  You can read about this in detail here: Service Provisions

In general, the Legislation provides a number of service methods which may be used where a Landlord or Tenant is serving documents which are not considered to be special documents (as identified in sections 3 and 4 in the Service Provisions guidelines).  These methods are:

► By personally leaving a copy of the document with the person to be served.  Where a Landlord is personally serving a Tenant, the Landlord must actually hand a copy of the document to the Tenant. The Landlord must leave a copy for each co-tenant.  If the person declines to take a copy of the document, it may be left near the person so long as the person serving informs the person being served of the nature of the document being left near them.

► By sending a copy of the document by ordinary mail or registered mail to the address at which the person to be served resides at the time of mailing.  If registered mail is used, it will generally provide a record of the mail being sent and received, which ordinary mail will not.  When a document is served by registered mail, the refusal of the party to either accept or pick up the registered mail, does not affect the delivery as it's still considered served.

By sending a copy by ordinary mail or registered mail to a forwarding address provided by the Tenant.

By leaving a copy of the document at the person's residence with an adult person who apparently resides with the person to be served.  A person may be considered to apparently reside with someone, if, from what can be seen, observed, or is evident from all of the circumstances known to the person serving the document, the person appears to reside with the person to be served.

By leaving a copy of the document in a mailbox or mail slot for the address where the person to be served resides at the time of service. If this method of service is used, the person leaving the document needs to determine that the mailbox or mail slot belongs to the person to be served, particularly in a multi-unit building, such as an apartment, condo, or office building.

By attaching a copy of the document to a door or other conspicuous place at the address where the person to be served resides at the time of service If this method is used, the person attaching the document should make sure that the door or conspicuous place belongs to the person's residence, and that the document will be readily seen by the person entering or leaving the residence. A conspicuous place is one that is clearly visible and likely to attract notice or attention. Placing a copy of the document under the door is not recognized by the Legislation.

By transmitting a copy of the document to the fax number provided as an address for service by the person to be served If no fax number for service has been provided, then this method of service may not be used. If this method of service is used, then the person serving the document will need to provide proof that the document transmitted by fax was sent to the fax number provided, and that the transmission of all pages was compl eted. A fax transmission report may provide this information and may be used to provide confirmation of service

OR as ordered by a Residential Tenancy Branch Order Regarding Service.  See the Service Provisions guidelines.

Special documents such as an Application for Dispute Resolution and a Dispute Resolution Officerís Decision to proceed with a review must be delivered in even more specific ways ways.  For more information on this and for the particulars on document delivery, take a look at the Service Provisions guidelines.

Timelines for Service

The Legislation deems that a document not served personally, has been served a specified number of days after service:

Regular mail and registered mail:
Considered served on the 5th day after mailing.

Attaching to door or leaving in mailbox: Considered served on the 3rd day after the document is left.

Faxing: Considered served on the 3rd day after the document is faxed.

Deemed service means that the document is presumed to have been served unless there is clear evidence to the contrary.  Deemed service applies to all types of documents not personally served.

Can a Landlord post notices containing personal information on a Tenantís door? 

Yes, however, the Landlord must first make reasonable attempts to deliver the information personally. According to PIPA, an organization may disclose personal information if it is authorized to do so by law. Since section 88 of the Residential Tenancy Act allows Landlords to post certain notices to Tenants "by attaching a copy to a door or other conspicuous place at the address at which the person resides", this is permissible under PIPA. The types of notices that a Landlord may post include: termination of tenancy, notice to enter and notice of a rental increase.

A Landlord should always act reasonably, include a minimal amount of personal information on these notices and ensure that posting the notice is necessary. If the Tenant is evading the Landlord or the Tenant is habitually unavailable, posting a notice may be necessary, but the information should be placed in an envelope.

Source: OIPC.bc.ca

 

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