When moving in, the Landlord
must provide each Tenant with a key to the building and/or rental unit at
no cost. If you are concerned that the lock wasn't changed prior to
you moving in, you can request that the Landlord change the lock. See
Locks and Access.
But whatever you do, the MOST
IMPORTANT RULE is never change the locks, unless your
Landlord says it's okay (get it in writing) or unless you've received an
order by the Residential Tenancy Branch to do so. If you change the locks,
this may be grounds for eviction.
A Tenant must not change locks
on their rental unit without the Landlordís written permission. A Tenant
can also submit an application for dispute resolution asking for
permission to change the locks.
If a Tenant has the only keys
to a rental unit and an emergency occurs when the Tenant is not available
to open the door, the door can be removed by emergency personnel or the
landlord, possibly at the Tenantís cost.
When a Tenant changes the
locks without proper approval, the Landlord can give written notice that
the Tenant has contravened the law and must correct the situation within a specific, but reasonable period. The
Tenant must change the locks back and
pay for the work done or give the Landlord keys to the new locks. If the
original lock was keyed to a master key, the Tenant may need to restore
the original lock. If the Tenant does not do so, the Landlord can give the
tenant a One-Month Notice to End Tenancy.
Arbitrated Decisions Regarding Locks
Tenant applies to change the
Tenant applies for an order for the
Landlord to change the locks
Tenant changes the lock and does not
give the Landlord a key
Decision: Tenant changes the lock and does not give the
Landlord a key (2)
Read more decisions at: