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How a Tenancy Ends

06 Apr
Leo Chrenko April 6, 2021 0
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It is possible to end a tenancy without complication as long as all of the RTB processes are understood and followed correctly. The following explanations will provide more information about the forms that are used in the process of ending a tenancy.


FIXED TERMS

HOW A TENANCY ENDS FIXED TERMS

There are several important things to be aware of in relation to the ending of fixed term agreements.

A tenant may vacate a rental property before the fixed term is over in cases where they have either given notice or the landlord has decided to terminate their tenancy. To cover any unexpected costs, a landlord is entitled to charge liquidated damages to the tenant. However,  liquidated damages can only be charged for fixed term tenancies, and only if they are reasonable costs that would have been incurred by the landlord due to a tenant the unexpectedly ending the tenancy, such as advertising costs for the rental property. A landlord is also entitled to seek compensation if they are unable to find new tenants for the rental property.

If a landlord does want a tenant to leave early, the landlord can only enforce a vacate clause if they meet one of the requirements outlined in the Residential Tenancy Regulations. If a landlord wants a tenant to vacate the property at the end of a fixed term, either the landlord or a close family member (such as a parent, child or spouse) needs to be intending to move into the rental property, as dictated in Section 13.1.


TENANT’S NOTICE


In order to end a tenancy, both the landlord and tenants have to give notice. If it something that both the landlord and tenant have agreed upon, the “Mutual Agreement to End Tenancy” form  provided by the RTB can be used.

The tenant’s notice to end a tenancy must include their signature, address of the rental property and the effective date, and must be served in an appropriate manner to the landlord, as outlined in Section 52.

 The tenant must also give at least one month’s notice, as outlined in Section 45. It is important to be aware that one month’s notice does not mean 30 days, it means until the end of the following month.


LANDLORD’S NOTICE


There are four forms that a landlord can use to end a tenancy. These forms are outlined in more detail below:


10 Day Notice to end a Tenancy for Unpaid Rent or Utilities


There are two situations where it would be appropriate for a landlord to use this form: if a tenant has not paid the full rent on the due date, or the tenant has not paid within 30 days of being requested in writing to pay the cost of utilities that are in the landlord’s name.

The tenant has five days to resolve the issues outlined in the notice after being served. If the tenant does not resolve the issues, by the end of ten days they are supposed to vacate the rental property.


1 Month Notice to end a Tenancy for Cause


If a landlord believes that the tenant has given them cause to end the tenancy, they must use this form. There are many reasons why a landlord may believe the tenancy must be ended early, but common examples of tenant behaviours that can give a landlord cause to end the tenancy are breaching a material term, causing a significant disturbance to another tenant or occupant, or repeatedly paying the rent late (defined as three late payments within nine months or less).

 A landlord can also use this form if a tenancy needs to end as the property must be vacated in compliance with government orders.

Once served this form, a tenant must go through the RTB to dispute it within ten days.


2 Month Notice to End Tenancy for Landlord’s Use


This notice is used in situations where the tenancy must be ended early for reasons that relate to the landlord. For example, a landlord or a member of the landlord’s family may be intending to move into the rental property, or the landlord may have sold the rental property and either the new owners of the property or their family are moving into it.

This notice can be used in either month-to-month or fixed term tenancies where the effective date of the notice does not occur earlier than the end date of the fixed term tenancy.

The tenant may dispute this notice through the RTB within fifteen days of it being served.

If the landlord does not use the rental property for the reason given on the notice within a reasonable amount of time, the tenant is entitled to levy a bad faith penalty against the landlord. This penalty is equivalent to twelve months rent based on the rent of the property at the time the tenancy was terminated.


4 Month Notice to End Tenancy for Renovation, Repair or Demolition, or Conversion of Rental Unit


If a landlord intends to take action that means that the tenant can no longer inhabit the property, such as if the property is being demolished or the property is being renovated or repaired, the landlord must use this notice.

After being served this notice, the tenant has thirty days to dispute it through the RTB. The tenant is entitled to free rent for the last month of the tenancy as compensation.

If the landlord does not use the rental property for the reason given on the notice within a reasonable amount of time, the tenant is entitled to levy a bad faith penalty against the landlord. This penalty is equivalent to twelve months’ rent based on the rent of the property at the time the tenancy was terminated.


ABANDONED PROPERTY

HOW A TENANCY ENDS ABANDONED PROPERTY

Any property left behind by previous tenants in a rental property that meets certain criteria is considered abandoned, according to Section 24 of the RTA Regulations. If a tenant has not occupied the rental property for a continuous period of a least a month, has not paid the rent, and has notified the landlord that they will not be returning, any property left behind is considered abandoned. Property can also be classified as abandoned if the previous circumstances apply and the tenant has removed most of their other personal property, or if the previous circumstances apply and the tenant could not be reasonably expected to return to the property to collect their belongings.


The landlord is within their rights to remove any abandoned property from the rental unit, unless they have made an agreement with the tenant to store it. However, in doing so the landlord must inventory it. If the total value of the property is less than $500, the landlord need not take any further action before disposing of it. However, if the property is worth more than $500, the landlord must store the property securely for at least sixty days. If the property remains unclaimed after this time, the landlord may dispose of it, but only after they have run a disposition notice in a local publication for the duration of at least a day, thirty days before disposing of the property.


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