An eviction is when a landlord forces a tenant to move out. If your landlord wants to evict you, they have to have an acceptable reason under the law, and give you an approved eviction notice. Your landlord cannot evict you simply because they don’t like you!
You might receive a 10 Day Eviction Notice if you fail to pay your full rent on time. If you receive this notice, you can cancel it by paying your full rent within five days. However, if you do this too often, your landlord may give you a One Month Eviction Notice for repeated late payment of rent.
You can also receive a 10 Day Eviction Notice if your tenancy agreement requires you to pay your landlord for utilities, and you fail to make that payment within 30 days of receiving a demand letter from your landlord.
If you are unable to pay rent within 5 days of receiving the notice, you will be expected to move out by the 10th day. If you would like to challenge the notice through dispute resolution – for example, you have a witness or rent receipt countering your landlord’s claim that you did not pay rent – you may apply for a dispute resolution hearing within the same 5 day window after receiving the eviction notice.
If you pay rent after the 5 days, your landlord does not need to cancel the notice. Your landlord might agree to accept the payment and allow you to stay until the end of the month to give you more time to move out, but this does not necessarily mean your tenancy has been reinstated. If your landlord accepts money to allow you to stay longer than 10 days, they should give you written notice that the payment is being accepted for the “use and occupancy” of the unit, and not to reinstate the tenancy. If your landlord agrees to reinstate the tenancy, make sure they provide you with a signed notice specifically stating that the tenancy has been reinstated.
DEADLINE TO DISPUTE NOTICE: 5 DAYS. APPLY HERE.
You might receive a One Month Eviction Notice if your landlord has “cause” to evict you. For example, if you or your guests do any of the following:
- fail to pay a security deposit or pet damage deposit that is required by your tenancy agreement
- repeatedly pay your rent late (generally three times within an unreasonably short period of time) cause extraordinary damage
- cause normal damage that you do not help repair within a reasonable period of time
- unreasonably disturb another tenant or the landlord
- jeopardize the health or safety of another tenant or the landlord
- put the property at significant risk
- engage in illegal activity that causes problems for other tenants, the landlord, or their property
- have an unreasonable number of occupants in the rental unit
- assign or sublet the rental unit without your landlord’s written permission
- fail to comply with a material term of your tenancy agreement and do not correct the situation after receiving a written warning
- live in a rental unit that the government has decided to shut down, such as an illegal secondary suite.
- end of employment with the landlord
This notice is effective one full month after the date the tenant receives it. This means that if you receive a One Month Eviction Notice on April 1st, the effective date is May 31st.
If you receive this notice, you have 10 days to file for dispute resolution before you are conclusively presumed to have accepted the notice. If you dispute the notice within the 10-day deadline, your landlord will have to provide good evidence at a dispute resolution hearing in order to convince an arbitrator to uphold your eviction. You will also have a chance to defend yourself by providing your own evidence.
DEADLINE TO DISPUTE NOTICE: 10 DAYS. APPLY HERE.
You might receive a Two Month Eviction Notice for the following reasons:
- landlord or a “close family” member of the landlord intends to move into the rental unit
- landlord has obtained all necessary permits required to:
- demolish the building
- make extensive renovations that require the unit to be empty
- convert the property to strata lots
- convert the property to a non-profit housing cooperative
- convert the unit for use by a manager, caretaker, or superintendent of the property
- convert the unit to a non-residential use
- landlord is selling the property, the purchaser or a close family member of the purchaser intends to move into the rental unit, the purchaser asks the landlord in writing to end the tenancy, and all of the conditions of the sale have been satisfied. Simply listing a rental unit for sale is not enough.
- tenant no longer qualifies for a subsidized rental unit
This notice is effective two full months after the tenant receives the notice. If you receive a two month notice on April 1st, the effective date is June 30th.
You have the right to ensure that your landlord has issued this notice for the proper reasons. For example, if your landlord says a family member is moving in, you should make sure they are a “close” family member. Cousins, nieces/nephews and aunts/uncles are not considered “close” family members according to the Residential Tenancy Act. Your landlord can only evict you in order to move in their spouse, children or parents, or the parents or children of their spouse. If your landlord says they are going to renovate your rental unit or demolish your building, you can phone your municipal permit department and ask if all permits required by law have been issued for your address. If the permits have not been issued, your landlord may not evict you.
If you receive this notice, you have 15 days to file for dispute resolution before you are conclusively presumed to have accepted the notice. If you dispute the eviction within the 15-day deadline, your landlord will have to show evidence that they are issuing the eviction notice in “good faith” and intend to follow through with
If you receive a Two Month Eviction Notice, your landlord must give you one month rent as compensation. What typically happens is that the tenant continues to live in the rental unit for the remaining two months, and receives the second month free. However, if you wish to move out before the end of the two months, you can give your landlord 10 days’ notice in writing, and they still need to pay you compensation. For example, if you give proper notice to move out half way through your free month, they would still have to pay you money for the remaining half of that month.
There is one exception to this rule. If you receive a Two Month Eviction Notice for no longer qualifying for a subsidized rental unit, you are not entitled to free rent for one month.
If you have a fixed-term tenancy, your landlord is not allowed to issue a Two Month Eviction Notice until the end of the term. You are also not allowed to give notice to move out early before the term has ended.
Landlord must act in good faith
If your landlord gives you a Two Month Notice for Landlord Use of Property, they have a responsibility to act in good faith. This means that they cannot lie to you about what they plan on doing with your rental unit. If your landlord does not use your rental unit for the purpose stated on your eviction notice for at least six months, the landlord may owe you double the monthly rent. For example, if your landlord claims they are moving in, but then instead rents to a new tenant, consider applying for dispute resolution. As long as you can show evidence of the landlord lying, you should be able to receive two months’ rent as compensation.
You may hear the term “renoviction” in reference to an eviction for renovations. Landlords are allowed to give a Two Month Eviction Notice if they plan to make renovations or repairs that require the unit to be vacant. However, the Residential Tenancy Act does not explain how extensive the renovations must be, or how long the unit must be left vacant. If you decide to dispute a Two Month Eviction Notice for renovations, here are some points to consider bringing up during the hearing:
- How long will the unit need to be vacant? If the landlord replies that they only need a few days, or even a couple weeks to complete the repairs, you can say that you are willing to live somewhere else during that time and return once the unit is suitable for occupation again.
- Are the repairs or renovations necessary, or simply for cosmetic reasons?
- Will the repairs affect the entire unit or only a portion of it?
- Is it absolutely necessary for the unit to be vacant during repairs, or would it simply make it easier for the landlord?
DEADLINE TO DISPUTE NOTICE: 10 DAYS. APPLY HERE.
If you live in a manufactured home park, your landlord is allowed to issue a 12 Month Eviction Notice if they have all the required permits and intend to convert the property to non-residential use, or a use other than a manufactured home park.
You have the right to find out if your landlord has all of the required permits. To do this, phone your municipal permit department and ask if the permits have been issued for the park’s address.
This notice is effective 12 full months after the tenant receives the notice. If you receive a 12 month notice on April 1st, 2017 the effective date is April 30th, 2018.
You are entitled to 12 months’ rent as compensation. If you find a new place to live before the end of your 12 month notice, you are allowed to move out early by providing your landlord with 10 days’ written notice.
Landlord must act in good faith
After moving out, if you discover that your landlord has not used the property in the way stated in the notice to end tenancy within 6 months, you are entitled to six months’ rent as compensation. You can apply for dispute resolution at the Residential Tenancy Branch to claim compensation.
DEADLINE TO DISPUTE NOTICE: 15 DAYS. APPLY HERE.
- 10 day notice for non-payment of rent or utilities – 5 days
- One month notice for cause or end of employment – 10 days
- Two month notice for landlord or purchaser use of property – 15 days
- 12 month notice to convert a manufactured home park – 15 days
If the last day to dispute a notice to end tenancy falls on a statutory holiday, the deadline is the following day.
If your landlord wants to evict you, they are required to give you an eviction notice in the approved form. This means that it must:
- be in writing
- be signed and dated
- give the address of the rental unit
- state the effective date of the notice
- state the reason for the notice
- inform the tenant that they can dispute the notice
- provide the contact information for the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB)
Although the RTB provides “approved” forms, some landlords may also choose to use their own custom forms. As long as they contain all of the requirements listed above, they will probably be considered legal.
The notice also needs to be served using one of the allowable methods (not by email or text), and each method has a timeline for when you are considered to have received the notice. See TRAC’s page on Serving Documents for more information.
If you receive an illegal eviction notice, do not ignore it. Instead, explain to your landlord in writing that the notice is not legal and that you do not accept it. See TRAC’s template letter, Response to Illegal Eviction Notice. If you are unsure whether the notice you have received is legal, apply to dispute the notice through the RTB.
If you receive a notice to end tenancy that is in the proper form, but has an incorrect date, the notice is still legal but is not effective until the proper date. For example, if you receive a notice to end tenancy for disturbing your neighbours with an effective date in less than one full month, you are not legally required to move out until one full month from the date you receive the notice. You do not need to move out until the correct date, but it is still a good idea to inform your landlord in writing of the mistake.
If you dispute an eviction notice within the time limit allowed, the Residential Tenancy Branch will set a hearing date for the dispute. Sometimes your hearing will be scheduled for a date after the eviction notice takes effect. If that’s the case, your eviction will be put on hold until a decision has been made. At the hearing, your landlord will need to convince an arbitrator, the person deciding your case, that there is a legal reason for why you should be evicted. Although it is your landlord’s responsibility to prove this, it is still a good idea to submit evidence defending yourself.
If you win the hearing, your eviction notice will be cancelled. If you lose the hearing, your landlord will be granted an Order of Possession – a legal document requiring you to move out of your rental unit, sometimes on very short notice. While arbitrators have the discretion to decide the move-out date listed on Orders of Possession, tenants are commonly required to move out within two days of receiving the decision.
Asking for an extension to dispute an eviction notice
If you miss the deadline to dispute your eviction notice, but the move-out date listed on the notice has not passed, you may be able to ask the Residential Tenancy Branch for an extension. You will only be successful in making this request if exceptional circumstances prevented you from meeting the deadline. For example, if you were in the hospital when the eviction notice was served and the deadline passed. Circumstances that will not be considered exceptional include feeling unwell, not knowing the law, or changing your mind about disputing the notice.
If you have received a 10 Day Eviction Notice for Non-Payment of Rent, you can also apply for an extension of time to pay the rent beyond the 5 day deadline. The only time an arbitrator can give you more time to pay is if you believed you were allowed to deduct rent for emergency repairs or by an arbitrator’s order. If you did not withhold rent for one of these two reasons, the arbitrator can ask the landlord if they consent to allowing you more time to pay the rent, but the landlord does not have to agree.
Asking for more time to move
If your landlord wins the hearing you will likely have to move out very soon. Arbitrators often issue Orders of Possession requiring the tenant to move out in as little as 48 hours after the hearing. During your hearing, you can ask the arbitrator to allow you more time to move out if they end up deciding in favour of your landlord. For example, if the hearing date is set for the middle of the month, you may want to ask the arbitrator to issue an Order of Possession for the last day of the month. You can say that your request is not an admission of guilt, but rather, an attempt to plan proactively in the event that your lose your hearing.
Some points to consider when asking for a later Order of Possession date:
- Why will a short move-out deadline cause you hardship? Are you at risk of homelessness? Do you have children or pets, which will make finding a place to stay more difficult?
- Have you already paid for the full month? If so, it may cause minimal hardship to the landlord to have you remain in the rental unit until the end of the month.
Is it likely that the landlord will be able to find a new tenant quickly, or will the unit simply sit empty for awhile? If it is the middle of the month, the landlord may not be able to find a new tenant until the beginning of the next month.
An Order of Possession is a legal order issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch that requires the tenant to vacate the property by a certain date, often as soon as 48 hours later. However, the landlord is not allowed to physically remove belongings or change the locks if the tenant does not move out. In order to legally force the tenant to move out, the landlord must follow the process described on TRAC’s page on Enforcing an Eviction.
If you have been served with an Order of Possession and need to speak to a lawyer, you can contact the Community Legal Assistance Society.
If you receive a 10 Day Eviction Notice for Non-Payment of Rent, you have five days to file for dispute resolution before you are conclusively presumed to have accepted the notice. If those five days pass without you applying (or paying your rent), your landlord can apply for a Direct Request for an Order of Possession. This process is fast and does not allow the tenant to provide their own evidence, since they have already considered to have accepted the end of their tenancy by not disputing the eviction notice.
The landlord will need to submit evidence and all required documents with the application for direct request, and serve the tenant with a notice of direct request package. The Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) will review the landlord’s evidence and make a decision. The RTB could:
- Grant the landlord an Order of Possession and, if rent has still not been paid, a monetary order
- Decide to hold a hearing with both the landlord and tenant if there is not enough information to make a decision
- Dismiss the landlord’s application
There can be exceptional circumstances that force tenancies to end unexpectedly
- In serious situations, your landlord may apply for dispute resolution to ask for permission to evict you with less than one month notice. The Residential Tenancy Branch will only agree to this if they are convinced that it would be unreasonable or unfair to the landlord or another tenant to wait until the One Month Notice takes effect. Here are some examples of behaviour that might lead to an early end of tenancy:
- Seriously disturbing or interfering with another tenant or the landlord
- Seriously jeopardizing the health, safety, or rights of another tenant or landlord
- Causing extreme damage to the property or putting the property at significant risk
- Engaging in an illegal activity that:
- Has damaged or is likely to damage the property
- Has jeopardized or is likely to jeopardize the safety, security, quiet enjoyment, health, or legal right of another tenant or the landlord
- If an event such as a flood, fire or earthquake leaves your rental unit unlivable, your tenancy agreement may be considered a “frustrated contract” since it would be impossible to continue. See our page Fires and Other Disasters for more information.
- the property you are living in experiences a foreclosure and you have to move out. This could happen when the bank or another lender has taken over control of the property because your landlord cannot pay the mortgage. See our page on Foreclosure for more information.
- Residential Tenancy Act Section 46 – Landlord’s Notice: Non-Payment of Rent
- Residential Tenancy Act Section 47 – Landlord’s Notice: Cause
- Residential Tenancy Act Section 48 – Landlord’s Notice: End of Employment with Landlord
- Residential Tenancy Act Section 49 – Landlord’s Notice: Landlord’s Use of Property
- Residential Tenancy Act Section 49 – Landlord’s Notice: Tenant Cease to Qualify for Rental Unit
- Residential Tenancy Act Section 50 – Tenant May End Tenancy Early
- Residential Tenancy Act Section 51 – Tenant’s Compensation: Section 49 Notice
- Residential Tenancy Act Section 52 – Form and Content of Notice to End Tenancy
- Residential Tenancy Act Section 53 – Incorrect Dates Automatically Changed
- Residential Tenancy Act Part 4 Division 2 – Orders of Possession
- Residential Tenancy Act section 66 – Extending Time Limits to Apply to Dispute a Notice
- Residential Tenancy Act Part 6 Division 2 – How to Give or Serve Documents
- Berry and Kloet v. British Columbia (Residential Tenancy Act, Arbitrator), 2007 BCSC 257 – Supreme Court of BC Decision that set aside RTB decision to uphold eviction for renovations
- RTB Decision- NTET for Renovations Cancelled Because Test Set Out in Berry v. BC Not Met
- RTB Decision – Onus on Landlord to Show Good Faith
- RTB Decision- Tenant Not Entitled to Compensation unless Proper Section 49 Notice Given
- RTB Decision- Landlord’s Notice for Cause Cancelled as No Written Warnings or Evidence of Repeated Violations
- RTB Decision- Landlord’s Notice for Cause Cancelled as no Supporting Evidence
- RTB Decision- Aggravated Damages for Illegal Eviction
- 10 Day Notice to End Tenancy for Unpaid Rent or Utilities
- 1 Month Notice to End Tenancy
- 2 Month Notice to End Tenancy
- 12 Month Notice to End Tenancy for Conversion of Manufactured Home Park
- Application for Direct Request
- RTB Policy Guideline #2 – Ending a Tenancy: Good Faith Requirement (for landlord’s use of property)
- RTB Policy Guideline #11 – Amendment and Withdrawal of Notices
- RTB Policy Guideline #12 – Service Provisions
- RTB Policy Guideline #33 – Ending a Manufactured Home Tenancy Agreement- Landlord’s Use of Property
- RTB Policy Guideline #34 – Frustration
- RTB Policy Guideline #36 – Extending a Time Period (to dispute a notice)
- RTB Policy Guideline #38 – Repeated Late Payment of Rent
- Tenant Survival Guide Chapter 8 – Evictions