Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, making yourself familiar with the tenancy rules in BC is a great first step to protect yourself and be informed throughout the rental process. Doing a condition inspection of the rental unit – or a “walk-through” – with your tenant or landlord is an essential part of your tenancy agreement. Here’s what you need to know.

Why should I do a “walk-through” inspection before I move in?

Walk-through inspections are important because it gives you an opportunity to ensure that you and the other party are on the same page about the condition of the rental unit (and document it in writing) to avoid potential issues down the road. The inspection report is used as evidence if there’s a dispute about the rental unit’s condition or if there are claims of damages at the end of the tenancy. The walk-through inspection protects both the tenant and the landlord.

What does a “walk-through” inspection entail?

With information adapted from the experts at the Residential Tenancy Branch, we’ll tell you about what a proper “walk-through” inspection should look like in BC:

  1. After the old tenant moves out and before the new tenant moves in, landlords must schedule a “walk-through” with the new tenant to document any damage. Both parties should be flexible and reasonable in finding a suitable time to do the inspection. Tenants can authorize another person to stand in for them during the inspection – as long as they let the landlord know ahead of time
    • TIP: It’s better to have the rental unit be empty when this is done so all areas are visible and not hidden under rugs or furniture.
  2. The landlord should bring a printed copy of the Condition Inspection Report during the inspection to serve as an official record of the condition of the rental at the start of the tenancy.
  3. The landlord and tenant need to go through the rental unit together and make note of the unit’s condition, including any damages like scratches or carpet stains (using the proper form). It’s a good idea to be detailed, thorough, and take photos to help document the condition.
  4. The landlord and tenant must then sign and date the inspection report. If there are disagreements, it should be noted in the report before signing.
  5. The landlord must give a copy of the completed inspection report to the tenant within seven days of the inspection.

Where to go for more information

Did you know the Residential Tenancy Branch is responsible for overseeing tenancy rules in BC? For information directly from the source, please explore the Government of BC’s Residential Tenancy Branch website. For all of the rules about walk-through’s, you can read BC’s Residential Tenancy Act in full or check out their information about moving in.

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About Consumer Protection BC 

We are responsible for regulating specific sectors and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.