On October 26, 2017, the B.C. government introduced changes to the Residential Tenancy Act related to the use of vacating clause in a fixed term residential tenancy agreement. It is a clause that requires the tenants to move out or sign a new lease at the end of a fixed term tenancy.
The landlords will be no longer able to include the vacate clause in a fixed term tenancy agreement unless the tenancy agreement is entered into under certain circumstances.
The change is meant to give the tenants more security when entering into tenancy agreements.
This change applies to existing and new tenancies.
What kind of circumstances allows the landlord to use the vacate clause?
It might be used for situations where the landlord goes away for a specific time and is planning to return on a specific date. An example would be someone going for a 1-year work assignment.
What does it mean for the landlord?
All existing tenancies will automatically switch to month to month tenancies after the expiry of the fixed term.
The tenant will be required to serve a one month notice if he or she is intending to vacate on the date of the end of the fixed term tenancy.
Can a landlord still increase the rent?
Yes. The tenants must be served a 3 months notice of rent increase and the maximum increase is governed by the allowable rent increase, set to 4% for 2018.
How do we end the tenancy?
A landlord will have available all options previously available.
Mutual agreement to end the tenancy
10 days notice to end tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities
One month notice to end the tenancy for cause
Two months notice to end the tenancy for landlord’s use
What does it mean for the tenant?
You will no longer be required to vacate your home even if you signed a fixed term tenancy requiring you to vacate the property at the end.
There is couple of exception where the owner was planning to move back to the property after temporary leave or the landlord has found a new tenant and entered into a new tenancy.
The landlord will be still able to increase your rent as per requirements described above.
Please contact us if you have any question via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-266-8588.
Source: Residential Tenancy Branch BC https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/news