ENFORCING AN EVICTION
There are strict rules when it comes to physically removing a tenant and their possessions from a rental unit. Here are the steps that your landlord must follow:
- Serve you with a copy of a Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) Order of Possession.
- Wait for the two-day review period to expire. (If you successfully file a RTB Application for Review Consideration during the two-day review period, the RTB will put your Order of Possession on hold. Your landlord must then wait to see if the review is decided in their favour before moving on to the next step. To ensure your landlord knows you have filed an Application for Review Consideration, use TRAC’s template letter, Notice of Review Consideration of Order of Possession.)
- Take the Order of Possession to the BC Supreme Court and obtain a Writ of Possession.
- Use the Writ of Possession to hire a court-approved bailiff.
Overholding: If you stay past the move-out date listed on an eviction notice or Order of Possession, you may end up owing your landlord some money. In addition, if your landlord hires a court-approved bailiff to remove you and your belongings from your rental unit, you may be held responsible for at least some of the associated costs.
Role of the police: The police do not have the authority to evict tenants on their own. However, a court-approved bailiff may ask them to attend an eviction to keep the peace while a tenant is being removed.
The Attorney General publishes a list of court-approved bailiffs. Only the companies on this list can legally enforce a Writ of Possession on behalf of a landlord.
Warning: There are people in BC who are paid money to pressure tenants to move out even though they are not authorized to enforce a Writ of Possession. If someone comes to your door claiming to be a bailiff, always ask for identification.
Court bailiffs carrying out an eviction can seize and sell your personal property to pay their fees. However, you have the right to claim exemptions to protect the following items:
- necessary clothing;
- household furniture and appliances worth up to $4,000;
- one motor vehicle worth up to $5,000;
- tools and other property worth up to $10,000, if they are used to earn income; and
- medical and dental aids.
Bailiffs will often give you an opportunity to claim these exemptions when they first show up at your rental unit. If your belongings are taken before you have a chance to claim your exemptions, contact the bailiff company right away. You must claim your exemptions within two days of the date you found out that your property was seized.
- RTA Part 4 Division 2 – Orders of Possession
- RTA Part 5 Division 3 – Enforcement of Director’s Order
- RTA Part 6 Division 2.1 – Administrative Penalties
- Court Order Enforcement Act Section 71 – Type of Personal Property Exempt from Seizure
- Court Order Enforcement Exemption Regulation – Amount of Personal Property Exempt from Seizure