Section 1

General Issues

Sub-Section 1.6



s. 140, 152, The Residential Tenancies Act


Investigation: the gathering of information, statements and evidence through telephone calls, interviews, inspections and any other appropriate way an officer finds necessary.

Mediation: a confidential process that the Branch uses to encourage and help tenants and landlords discuss problems, think of possible solutions and reach their own agreements. Mediation can take place in meetings, conference calls or separate telephone conversations.


The Branch can investigate, or closely examine, the details of complaints received from landlords and tenants when evidence suggests a serious breach of the Act. Investigations can vary in depth, depending on the issue.

The Branch might also do an investigation if it decides it needs more information before issuing a hearing decision.



If a landlord or tenant contacts an officer with a problem or complaint, the officer first suggests mediation. If the tenant and landlord can’t agree, an officer makes a decision. In some cases, there may be an investigation. Based on the kind of complaint, and information required, the officer follows basic steps and either:

  • makes a report or recommendation to another officer; or
  • makes a decision and issues an Order.

Steps ▼

1.The officer contacts both the tenant and landlord in person, by telephone or mail.

2.The officer outlines the processes that may be used to resolve the problem:

  • investigation/decision making
  • mediation

3.If the landlord and tenant don’t want to try mediation, the officer will ask them for more information on the problem. The officer may take written statements from both the landlord and tenant.

4.After the officer has a basic understanding of the issue, they may contact other people who have information about the problem. For example: other tenants, witnesses, case workers, health or building inspectors, police officers, etc. The officer may ask these people for written statements or other evidence, like copies of records, reports or receipts.

In some cases, the officer may go to the rental unit or residential complex to look at evidence, take pictures or interview witnesses or neighbours in person.

5.Once all the facts are collected, the officer:

  • makes a decision, based on those facts, and issues an Order. Both the landlord and tenant get a copy of the Order; or

  • writes a report for the hearing officer, if the investigation was done for a hearing. The report details specific findings, conclusions and may include a recommendation. Both the landlord and tenant get a copy of the report. The hearing officer then arranges to reconvene the hearing. The tenant and landlord can comment on the report at the hearing. The hearing officer makes a decision, based on all the evidence and the report. The hearing officer issues an Order and both the landlord and tenant get a copy.

Forms & Form Letters


For more details on Mediation, see this section.
For details on Hearings, see Section 11.

Policy Developed

September, 1992

Last Revision

March, 2004

Other Resources




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