Section 13 

Rent Regulation

Sub-Section 13.12

Tenant Requested Improvement


s.59(1), 118(2), 137, The Residential Tenancies Act
s. 9(1), Residential Rent Regulation


Allowable rent: the maximum amount a landlord can charge for a rental unit; this amount is based on:

  • the guideline increases the landlord takes after giving a tenant three months’ written notice; or
  • an Order the Branch issues, setting the rent.

Anniversary date: the date on which a landlord is entitled to increase the rent on a rental unit. In some residential complexes, all units have the same anniversary or rent increase date. In other complexes, the anniversary dates may be spaced throughout the year. A landlord can usually increase rent for a rental unit only once every 12 months. A landlord can change the anniversary date on a rental unit by waiting more than 12 months between rent increases. For example: The anniversary date on a particular unit was September 1, 2003. The landlord wanted to change the anniversary date to January 1 to coincide with the anniversary dates on the other units in the complex. To change the date, the landlord did not increase the rent on September 1, 2003 but waited for the increase until January 1, 2004.

Annual rent increase guideline: the percentage that a landlord can increase rent without applying to the Branch for approval. The Government sets the amount each year. The guideline takes effect on January 1. For an explanation of how the annual rent increase guideline is calculated, click here. A landlord can apply for a larger increase if they can show that a guideline will not cover their operating or capital expenses. The guideline applies to most rental units, including apartments, single rooms, houses, duplexes, mobile homes and mobile home lots. The Residential Tenancies Act does not apply to rent increases on land leases.

Rent: the amount of money paid by a tenant to a landlord for the right to occupy a rental unit and the use of common areas, services and facilities; rent includes any service/facility for which the tenant pays a separate charge (For example: parking, storage locker.)


If a tenant asks a landlord to provide an extra service or amenity, the landlord might be entitled to charge extra rent. The Branch sets the amount of the extra rent.


An improvement is a change or addition to the rental unit or residential complex that increases its rental value. The improvement must be an item or service that isn’t included in the rent. Parking stalls which are commonly available for an additional cost aren’t considered improvements.

Here are some examples of tenant requested improvements:

  • a frost-free fridge when a landlord normally provides only the manual defrost type;

  • a window air conditioner in a building with no air conditioning;

  • hydro service in a complex where the units are individually metered and the hydro is normally paid by the tenant.


A tenant requested improvement can’t be used to make up for normal wear and tear or to repair damage. If it appears that the improvement is really normal maintenance or upgrading required by law, the Branch may decide not to approve the landlord’s application for a tenant requested improvement.


It’s up to the landlord to decide if they want to provide the improvement the tenant requests. The Branch won’t order a landlord to provide an item or service that isn’t normally included in the rent. For example: A tenant asks the landlord to provide an air conditioner. The landlord declines to provide it for the tenant. Since air conditioning is not a service the landlord usually provides, the Branch won’t order the landlord to supply it.


If a landlord decides to give the tenant what they requested, the landlord must apply to the Branch for an Order to set the value of the improvement. The Branch supplies an application form for the landlord to complete. Landlords may use their own form as long as it has the same information as the Branch’s form. The Branch must receive the application no later than 15 days after the landlord complies with the tenant's request  . The landlord must include a copy of the tenant’s written request for the improvement along with the application.


A landlord may withdraw an application for a Tenant Requested Improvement. But they must withdraw it before they start to provide the improvement or service and charge for it.

A landlord, who adds a service that was not included in the rent before, can only charge for it if:

  • the tenant requests the improvement; and
  • they apply to the Branch to fix the value of the improvement.


A landlord and tenant may agree on the monthly charge for the improvement. If there is an agreement, the landlord should include a copy of it with the application. The Branch approves reasonable repayment schedules. If the tenant and landlord don’t have a reasonable repayment agreement or schedule, the Branch can try to help them reach one.


If necessary, the Branch can also determine the amount and number of payments, based on the total cost of the improvement. To determine the number of payments, the Branch may use the guidelines for capital expenditures in the regulations.


When issuing an Order setting the value of an improvement, the Branch considers:

  • the type of improvement or service;

  • any agreement between the landlord and tenant;

  • the duration of the improvement or service; and

  • the initial cost of the improvement, the installation charge, any financing costs and any ongoing maintenance cost.

When the Branch issues an Order, the Branch may do one of the following:

  • include the service in the rent for a fixed term, i.e. one year; the landlord would need to apply annually to have the Branch set the value of the service for the coming term;  For example: The landlord rents in suite washers and dryers from an appliance company. The landlord applies each year to have the value of the service set based on their contract with the appliance company.

  • include the service in the rent permanently; For example: The landlord is responsible to provide hydro as part of the rent.

  • include the improvement, but not the charge for it in the rent permanently;  For example: The landlord installs better quality carpet in a unit at the tenant’s request. The tenant pays for the carpet over a period of months or years. The carpet stays in the unit, even though the tenant isn’t paying for it any longer.

  • include the improvement in the rent permanently, but order the tenant to pay an ongoing amount for service.  For example: The landlord installs an air conditioner at the tenant’s request. The tenant pays for the purchase of the air conditioner over a period of months or years. The tenant also pays an amount to cover the ongoing cost for hydro and repair and maintenance.

The Order setting the value of the improvement shows:

  • when the tenant will start to pay;
  • how much the tenant must pay; and
  • how long the tenant must pay for the improvement.

The Order setting the value doesn’t affect or change the anniversary date on the rental unit.  For example: A landlord increases rent on the anniversary date, June 1, 2004. The tenant starts to pay for the tenant requested improvement on November 1, 2004. On June 1, 2005, the landlord is entitled to increase the rent again.


If a tenant pays a specific amount for a tenant requested improvement, the landlord should separate that amount from the basic rent on the Notice of Increase in Rent or Notice to New Tenant form. When the landlord increases the rent, they calculate the increase on the basic rent, not on the total amount the tenant pays.  For example: The basic rent is $300.00. The Branch valued the tenant requested improvement at $50.00 per month. Even though the tenant is paying $350.00 a month, the landlord calculates the rent increase on $300.00. If the tenant pays a permanent additional charge for service, the landlord includes the service charge in the rent increase calculation.  For example: The basic rent is $300.00. The tenant requested that the landlord install an air conditioner in their unit. The landlord applied to the Branch. The Branch set the value of the air conditioner at $50.00 per month for seven months and also allowed the landlord $10.00 per month for hydro on a permanent basis. When the landlord increases the rent, they calculate the increase on $310.00.


When the Branch issues the Order, the Order shows that the improvement is now part of the tenancy agreement. If a tenant doesn’t pay the amount set for the improvement, the landlord may consider giving the tenant notice. (See Notice by Landlord – Tenant Not Meeting Obligations Other Than Rent).


The landlord owns the improvement, unless the tenant and landlord have a different written agreement. The tenant is responsible to leave the improvement clean and undamaged at the end of the tenancy.


If the Branch approves a tenant requested improvement, the landlord can’t include the cost of providing the improvement as an expense in an application for a rent increase above the guideline.



A landlord applies for a tenant requested improvement. The officer reviews the application and approves landlord and tenant repayment agreements that are consistent with costs of providing the improvement. If there isn’t a repayment schedule, the officer uses information provided to help the tenant and landlord decide on the amount of the monthly payment and number of payments. The officer issues an Order to fix the value of the improvement.

Steps ▼   

1.   The officer reviews the application and makes sure that the following       supporting material has been included:

  • a copy of the tenant’s written request for the improvements;
  • details of the costs; and
  • a copy of any repayment agreement.

2.   If there is a repayment agreement, the officer makes sure that the total       amount of money that the landlord will collect is consistent with the cost       of providing the improvement.

      If it is, the officer issues an Order, setting the amount of monthly       payments and number of payments as shown in the application.

3.   The officer helps the tenant and landlord decide on the amount of the       monthly payment and number of payments if:

  • a tenant or landlord can’t agree on a repayment schedule; or
  • the repayment amount isn’t consistent with the total cost of the improvement.

4.   The officer issues an Order, setting the repayment schedule. Both the       tenant and landlord get a copy of the Order.



Forms & Form Letters

Application to Fix Value of Improvement Requested by Tenant. To see Form 7 click here





For information on withdrawing a service, see Withdrawal of a Service in this section.



Policy Developed

September, 1993*

Last Revision

August, 2015


Other Resources





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