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Common Questions

I’m representing myself at a landlord/tenant hearing

Last reviewed in February 2023 by the Clicklaw Editors

Tenants in BC are protected by the Residential Tenancy Act. This is the law that states the legal rights and obligations of tenants and landlords. You may be able to use the Act to deal with problems you have with your landlord by going to dispute resolution at the Residential Tenancy Branch. There are rules and procedures you need to be aware of when representing yourself at a landlord/tenant hearing.

Good starting points for learning about how the dispute resolution process works are:

  • Tenant Survival Guide, from the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, includes a chapter on "Dispute Resolution" which includes how to apply and prepare for a hearing, and how to apply for a review of a decision. 
  • The Residential Tenancy Branch website features a section Dispute Resolution, which describes the hearing process and the arbitrator's decision.
  • LSLAP Manual: Landlord and Tenant Law, from the UBC Law Students Legal Advice Program, has information about the dispute resolution process in the section “Dispute Resolution Regarding Tenancy.”

Need more help?

  • Tenant Info Line, by TRAC, provides information, referrals and help for tenants dealing with residential tenancy law matters.
  • Residential Tenancy Program, from Access Pro Bono, provides free legal assistance and representation to low and modest income people appearing before the Residential Tenancy Branch. If you have a question about elligibility, send an email to or call 1-877-762-6664 ext. 1500 or 604-482-3195 ext. 1500. 

See our related common questions:

tenants & landlords, dispute resolution, Residential Tenancy Branch, landlord/tenant hearing