tenants

Leg up in your application. Support for your tenancy.

What Tenants Need to Know

If you’re a client of one of our project partners and are looking for housing, the RentSmart Guarantee Fund may be able to help. This fund can be used as an extra incentive for a landlord to rent to you. Talk to your worker to see if you can apply.

When you apply for rental housing, the landlord will ask you a lot of questions to assess whether you will be a good fit. When you tell them that you are eligible for coverage under the RentSmart Guarantee Fund, the landlord will know that you have taken a 12-hour tenancy life-skills course and are backed up by a financial guarantee of up to $5000. This will make your application stand out. 

Whether you are interested in knowing your rights as a tenant, finding out how landlords might screen you for a place, or want to boost your rental hunting skills, RentSmart Guarantee is for you. It starts with tenant education that’s broken out into a 12-hr course.

In this course, you will walk through the rental process and discuss the following topics:

  • What your housing wants and needs are, and how to find a home that meets your needs
  • How to be housing ‘application-ready’
  • About how the law protects both tenants and landlords
  • Your legal rights and responsibilities, and that of your landlords’
  • How to manage your money in order to afford housing and pay your rent on time
  • Effective communication skills to help your tenancy be conflict-free
  • Common maintenance skills to help you look after your home

When you finish, you get a RentSmart Certificate, which lets landlords know you have taken the time to learn how to be a responsible tenant.

View our current courses in Victoria and the lower mainland. 

Once you’ve graduated, you’ll be able to take part in an orientation session that will tell you more about how the fund works.

 

Application Process

Only three steps to apply for the RentSmart Guarantee Fund Program.

Step 1

To ensure a tenant has eligibility under the program, call Toll-free: 833-333-7171 or email info@rentsmartguarantee.org before signing a tenancy agreement with a tenant. Validation can be confirmed using the RentSmart Certificate Unique ID# found on the RentSmart Certificate of Graduation.

Step 2

Tenants and landlords jointly complete the Application Form and submit all required documentation (Application Packet) to the RentSmart Guarantee Administrator by email to: info@rentsmartguarantee.org or by mail or in-person to 211-611 Discovery St, Victoria BC, V8T 5GR.

Digital scans are accepted but must be signed. If you or the tenant have questions, please let us know at any time.

The Application must include:

  • Signed Application form (form 1) and acceptance of the Terms and Conditions
  • Signed Copy of the Residential Tenancy Agreement (#RTB-1)
  • Copy of the Move-In Condition Report/Inspection (#RTB-27) signed by both landlord and tenant
  • Proof of payment of the security deposit and first month’s rent

All documents must be received within 30 days of the tenant’s occupancy.

Step 3

Once the completed application is received, it will be reviewed within 2 business days. The landlord and tenant will receive an email notifying them of acceptance or declined coverage. Both Landlords and Tenants will receive a signed copy of the approved application by mail. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants

How do I join the RSGF?

Currently, we are running small test pilots of the fund in the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria. Only clients of the project partners that have been pre-approved by a partner organization and completed the RentSmart Certificate course are eligible for coverage under the Fund.

Who is eligible?

Currently, we are running small test pilots of the fund in the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria. Only clients of the project partners that have been pre-approved by a partner organization and completed the RentSmart Certificate course are eligible for coverage under the Fund.

The landlord wants to take my security deposit, I thought I was covered?

The RSGF coverage kicks in after the security deposit has been used. Therefore, the landlord needs to request the security deposit at the start of the tenancy.

If I’m already in a tenancy, can I get covered now?

No. The main purpose of this project is to incentivize landlords to provide access to housing for new renters that would otherwise have a difficult time with their applications due to lack of rental history and references. Therefore, this Fund covers only new tenancies.

What do I need to do to get coverage?

After being approved by one of the project partners, you’ll need to submit the required application and documents to receive a formal approval.

I submitted my application, how do I know I’m covered?

Once the completed application is received, it will be reviewed within 2 business days. The landlord and tenant will receive an email notifying them of acceptance or declined coverage. Both Landlords and Tenants will receive a signed copy of the approved application by mail.

How long does coverage last?

If you’ve been pre-approved for coverage by one of the project partners, you have 18 months to start a new tenancy and initiate the coverage. Once initiated, the coverage lasts for 12 months.

I’m eligible for the coverage but I don’t need it right now, can I use it later?

Yes. You have 18 months to start a new tenancy and initiate the coverage.

What if I can’t afford housing?

While this project is meant to address issues with access to housing, unfortunately it does not solve affordability. Living in a place you can afford is key to retaining a home for a long time. If you’re worried you will not be able to afford the unit in question you need to find ways to make it more affordable. You can either apply for subsidized housing and/or rental assistance, bring in more money (your income), or reduce what goes out (your expenses), or both. This project covers tenancies with private market landlords only.

I’m worried I’m going to be short on rent, what do I do?

Please reach out to your support worker from the project partner organization. They will help you find a solution.

I have coverage but I want to move, can I keep my coverage?

Yes, The coverage stays with the tenant throughout the coverage period of 12 months. You will need to re-submit your application and the required documents together with the new landlord to receive a formal approval.

I have a pet, am I still covered?

Yes, we love our animal friends! As long as pets are legal under the rental agreement, you are eligible for coverage.

Is the coverage per person or per household?

The coverage applies to the principal eligible tenant and all members of their household that are included in the tenancy.

I have a roommate, will we both be covered?

We don’t recommend this project for roommate situations. This is because you might be responsible for actions of a roommate who has not taken a RentSmart course or isn’t as invested in succeeding as you. Having said that, we recognize that the current affordability crisis may prevent you from being able to rent unless you have a roommate. Please contact your support worker to find out if your arrangement may be covered.

Get in touch – Ask us a question.

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Office Location

211-611 Discovery Street,
Victoria, BC  V8T 5G4

Phone

(250) 388-7171

Email

info@rentsmartguarantee.org

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