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Terminating a Tenancy

11 Oct
Leo Chrenko October 11, 2017 0

Prior to ending a fixed term tenancy, it is the responsibility of the landlord and tenant to either re-negotiate the terms of the rental agreement or to terminate the tenancy agreement upon its end date.

Ending A Fixed Term Tenancy

A tenant who gives written notice to ending a fixed term tenancy agreement before the expiry date may be held liable for all costs the landlord incurs to re-rent the premises, including any rent losses.

Landlords may end a tenancy only for specified reasons as set out in the legislation and cannot end a tenancy simply because a fixed term has expired unless the agreement clearly states that the tenant will vacate at the end of the term.

When a fixed term tenancy reverts to a month to month tenancy, the landlord is not permitted to force a tenant to sign another lease or agree to another fixed term.

When a tenancy agreement is renewed, landlords and tenants may agree to the same or different terms as the previous agreement.

See also: What To Do When Ending a Lease

Early termination can be enforced by the Residential Tenancy Branch where there are urgent situations involving one’s safety, cause or conduct.

All other tenancies are ended:

  • by the landlord on a notice to end tenancy form;
  • on written tenant notice to end tenancy;
  • or by written Agreement between the parties.

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Tenant Notice To End Tenancy

If a tenant wishes to terminate their tenancy, they must give the landlord one rental month’s notice in writing the day before the rent is due. If the landlord wishes to end a tenancy, one of the province’s approved notice to end a tenancy form must be used.
Landlords must allow tenants these notice periods depending on the reason for notice given and should not immediately send an eviction notice:

  • 10 days for non-payment of rent
  • 1 month for cause or conduct
  • 2 months for landlord’s use of property in a residential tenancy
  • 2 months if the tenant ceases to qualify for a subsidized rental unit in residential tenancy
  • 12 months for the landlord’s use of property in a manufactured home site

Evictions

There are many reasons why a landlord may evict a tenant and the rules that apply to them vary. They include:

  • A material breach of a rental agreement is the reason used if the tenant is in breach of the agreement and has been given one written warning and a reasonable time to comply, or correct the breach. Breach of agreement requires one month’s notice
  • For non-payment of rent, the landlord can provide the tenant with 10 days notice. The tenant may cancel the eviction notice by paying rent in full within five days. On the contrary, a tenant may apply for dispute resolution within that same five-day period. Failure in doing so, the tenant must vacate in 10 days
  • Cause or conduct requires one month’s notice; a tenant has 10 days to apply for dispute resolution
  • Landlord’s use of property requires 2 month’s notice with a 15-day dispute period. Landlords are required to pay the equivalent of 1 month’s rent to the tenant on or before the effective date of the end of the tenancy. For manufactured home sites, 12 month’s notice is required with a 15 day dispute period.
  • Tenant ceases to qualify for subsidized rental unit (residential tenancy) requires 2 month’s notice with 15-day dispute period

See also: Big Mistakes Landlords Make Around Rent and Eviction

If tenant files to dispute the notice, the landlord must prove through evidence that there is a valid reason to send his tenant notice to end tenancy.

If a tenant does not dispute the notice to end tenancy, then it is deemed that the tenant has accepted the notice to end tenancy. If the enant does not move, the landlord may apply for an order of possession, enforceable through the Supreme Court, by a bailiff.

A decision ordered by the Residential Tenancy Branch is final and binding. It may be reviewed by the RTB if the initial decision was obtained by fraud, if evidence arises that was not available at the time of the hearing or if a party was not able to attend because of an unforeseen circumstance.

In addition, either party may petition the BC Supreme Court for a judicial review on the basis of an error in law, or an error in procedural fairness.

In conclusion

When ending a fixed term tenancy or sending tenant notice to end tenancy there are absolute rules and mandatory procedures that are requirements to fulfilling such termination. A landlord should be giving proper notices if necessary, otherwise legal grounds would be faced.

Property management experts like the Bolld Real Estate Management Team, handle these cases for property owners and do not just send tenant notice to end tenancy.

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