Dispute Resolution - RTO 102

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					                                   Fact Sheet
                                   for Landlords and Tenants                                                               #RTO-102

Dispute Resolution
The dispute resolution process allows Information                          What if I disagree with the arbitrator's
Officers at Residential Tenancy offices to take a more                     decision?
active role in helping tenants and landlords settle                        The arbitrator's decision /order is legally binding.
disputes. The aim of this process is to improve                            Disregarding it could result in a court action against you.
communication between the parties and help resolve                         If you think the arbitrator has made a legal error, you
disputes before they escalate to arbitration.                              may ask the Supreme Court of B.C. for a judicial review.

What happens when I complain to an                                         For more information . . .
Information Officer?                                                       Visit the B.C. Government Web site: www.gov.bc.ca
The officer explains your rights and responsibilities under                (type ‘rto’ in the search bar).
the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) or the Manufactured
Home Park Tenancy Act (MHPTA) and encourages you to                        Call RTO’s 24 Hour Recorded Information Line:
talk things over with your landlord or tenant. At your                     • In the Lower Mainland: 604 660-1020
request, the officer will contact the other party to explain               • Elsewhere in B.C.:     1 800 661-4886
his or her obligations under the RTA or the MHPTA and
the consequences of ignoring them.                                         E-mail, visit or call the RTO nearest you:
                                                                           • Lower Mainland North
If the dispute remains unsettled, you may proceed to                          400 - 5021 Kingsway Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5H 4A5
arbitration. To apply, you must fill out an Application for                   Phone: 604 660-3456 Fax: 604 660-2363
Arbitration form (RTO-12) and pay a fee (see Fact Sheet                       E-mail: SGRTOBurnaby@gems9.gov.bc.ca
RTO-123 for Fee Schedule), which may be refunded if                        • Lower Mainland South
the arbitrator rules in your favour. This process is                          10009 - 136A Street, Surrey, BC V3T 4G1
explained at the time of filing.                                              Phone: 604 660-3456 Fax: 604 930-3615
                                                                              E-mail: SGRTOSurrey@gems4.gov.bc.ca
What happens at an arbitration hearing?                                    • Vancouver Island
The landlord and tenant present their evidence, including                     1st Floor, 1019 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
any receipts, documents or witnesses that can help                            Phone: 250 387-1602         Fax: 250 356-7296
prove their claim. The arbitrator hears both sides and                        E-mail: SGRTOVictoria@gems7.gov.bc.ca
makes a decision, based on the evidence. The hearing                       • Interior and North
usually takes an hour. The arbitrator rules within                            201 – 1726 Dolphin Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9R9
30 days, and both parties receive a written copy of the                       Phone: 250 717-2000 Fax: 250 717-2021
decision. It is important that parties to arbitration bring                   E-mail: SGRTOKelowna@gems3.gov.bc.ca
the best evidence they can find to support their claim.                    • Elsewhere in B.C. call 1 800 665-8779
Part of the arbitrator's task is to hear the evidence and                  If there is no Residential Tenancy Office in your
to determine if the evidence is sufficient to support the                  community, contact your local Government Agent's
claim.                                                                     office or BC Access Centre through Enquiry BC:
                                                                           • in Victoria call 250 387-6121
There is a booklet available, “Be Prepared: A Guide to                     • in the Lower Mainland call 604 660-2421
Preparing for Arbitration,” that provides an overview of                   • elsewhere in B.C. call 1 800 663-7867
the arbitration process, from the filing of the initial                    • outside B.C. call 604 660-2421
application to the means of enforcement of an order. It
is available from any Residential Tenancy Office,
Government Agent’s Office, BC Access Centre, or you
can download it from the B.C. Government Web site
(see below for address).

                             Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
                                                                                                                      #03158-102 (01/2004)
                             Residential Tenancy Office
                             Phone: Lower Mainland 604 660-1020 – Elsewhere in B.C. 1 800 661-4886
                             Web site: www.gov.bc.ca (type ‘rto’ in the search bar)