Moving Out

The Basics


Giving Notice


Month-to-Month Tenancies

If you have a month-to-month agreement, you can end your tenancy by giving one-month notice no later than the day before your rent is due. For example, if you pay rent on the first day of the month and want to move out by May 31st, your notice must be received by your landlord no later than April 30th.

Your notice must be in writing, so avoid email, text messaging, and social media. Instead, give your landlord a signed and dated letter with your name, signature, address, and move-out date, as set out in section 52 of the RTA. See TRAC’s template letter, Notice to Move Out. Make sure to keep a copy in a safe place and take photos for added protection.

See TRAC’s webpage, Serving Documents, for more information.


Fixed Term Tenancies

If you have a fixed term agreement, giving notice to end your tenancy is a little more complicated. Since you have entered into a legal contract for a fixed amount of time, you are generally not allowed to give notice to move out before the end of your term.

Most fixed term tenancies convert to month-to-month tenancies at the end of the term. However, if you plan to move out at the end of the term rather than have your tenancy continue, you must provide one-month notice in writing no later than the day before your rent is due – just like month-to-month agreements.

See TRAC’s webpage, Serving Documents, for more information.

Vacate clauses: Vacate clauses can only be used in situations listed in section 13.1 of the Residential Tenancy Regulation. If your agreement has a vacate clause, you do not have to give proper notice before moving out, since you already agreed to your move-out date when signing your tenancy agreement.


Changing Your Mind

Unless you obtain your landlord’s permission in writing, you are not allowed to change your mind once you have provided proper written notice to end your tenancy. If your landlord suspects that you will not move out as planned, they can apply for an Order of Possession that will take effect on the date you are supposed to leave.



Cleaning Responsibilities

Residential Tenancy Branch Policy Guideline 1 provides an overview of your responsibility to clean your rental unit when moving out. Here are some examples of areas in your rental unit that you are expected to clean:

  • the inside and outside of appliances, such as the stove, fridge, and dishwasher;
  • behind and underneath the fridge and stove, if they are on rollers and can be pulled out;
  • floors and wall vents;
  • the insides of all your windows and doors;
  • the outside of any sliding glass doors or balcony windows;
  • blinds and window coverings;
  • walls and baseboards;
  • any fireplace you used, as well as its screen, vent, or fan; and
  • if your tenancy was at least one year, or you smoked or had pets, the carpets should be steam cleaned or shampooed.



Condition Inspection Reports

At the end of your tenancy, you and your landlord should walk through your rental unit and complete a move-out condition inspection report. This is a chance to fill out a checklist and document the condition of your home. Completing this report when you move in and move out will help determine how much damage, if any, has been caused during your tenancy.

See TRAC’s webpage on Condition Inspection Reports for more information.



Getting Your Deposit(s) Returned

See TRAC’s webpage, Deposits, for more information.



Getting Your Post-Dated Cheques Returned

According to section 5(4) of the Schedule in the Residential Tenancy Regulation, a landlord must return on or before the last day of the tenancy any post-dated cheques for rent that remain in their possession. See TRAC’s template letter, Return of Post-Dated Cheques.



Previous Legal Decisions


  • Tenant’s notice to end tenancy must be in writing