Enforcing an Eviction
Here are the four steps a landlord must follow to enforce an eviction and physically remove an overholding tenant:
- Serve the tenant with a copy of the RTB Order of Possession.
- Wait for the two-day review period to expire. (If the tenant files an Application for Review Consideration during the two-day review period, the RTB will put the Order of Possession on hold. The landlord must then wait to see if the review is decided in their favour before moving on to the next step.)
- 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 to physically remove the tenant and their belongings.
See TRAC’s webpage, Evictions / Illegal Lockouts, for more information.
Role of 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.
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.
The Ministry of 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, you have the right to 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.
- Urgent order of possession issued to landlord
- Order of possession for non-payment of rent
- Landlord entitled to bailiff fees