Overview

Tenants and landlords may terminate a rental agreement for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • the agreement was breached
  • the tenant found another place to live
  • the landlord wants to end the tenancy for a prescribed reason

Ending a rental agreement

  • Ending a fixed term

    A fixed term tenancy ends on the day specified in the rental agreement, unless both parties agree to an early termination. For example, if the fixed term is from January 1 to December 31, the tenancy automatically ends on December 31. Unless the tenant and landlord make other arrangements, the tenant has to move out by noon on December 31.

    The landlord or tenant does not need to give notice to end a fixed term tenancy. It is courteous if the landlord or tenant provides a reminder before the end of the tenancy agreement.

  • Ending a periodic term

    A landlord may end a periodic tenancy if:

    • the landlord or a relative of the landlord wants to move in
      • ‘relative’ includes any relative by blood, marriage, adoption or adult interdependent relationship
    • the landlord agrees to sell the rental premises, all conditions of the sales agreement have been satisfied or waived and the buyer or a relative of the buyer wants to move in
      • the buyer must ask the landlord in writing to give the tenant a notice to end the tenancy
    • the landlord intends to demolish the rental premises
    • the rental premises are a detached or semi-detached dwelling or one condominium unit and the landlord agrees to sell the rental premises and all conditions of the sales agreement have been satisfied or waived
      • in these cases, the buyer must ask the landlord in writing to give the tenant a notice to end the tenancy
      • neither the buyer nor the buyer’s relatives have to occupy the rental premises
    • the landlord is an educational institution, and the tenant was a student at the beginning of the tenancy but is no longer a student
    • the landlord intends to use or rent the rental premises for a non-residential purpose

    If a landlord intends to do major renovations that require the rental premises to be vacant or the landlord intends to convert the premises to a condo unit, the landlord must give the tenant one year’s notice to terminate the periodic tenancy. Major renovations do not include painting, replacing floor coverings, or routine maintenance.

  • Fixed term tenancy

    The fixed term tenancy ends without notice on the date stated in the rental agreement. The landlord and tenant can agree to continue after the end of the fixed term.

  • Periodic tenancy

    To end a periodic tenancy agreement, landlords and tenants must give written notice to the other party.

    The written notice must include all of the following information:

    • the address of the rental premises
    • the date the tenancy will end
    • the signature of the person giving notice

    Landlords must also include their reasons for ending the tenancy.

    The required notice depends on who is giving the notice and the type of tenancy.

  • Weekly tenancy

    The tenant or landlord must give one week of notice.

    Late notice

    A late notice means the tenancy will end on the last day of the next complete tenancy week.

  • Monthly tenancy

    The tenant must give one month of notice. The landlord must give 3 months of notice.

    Late notice

    A late notice means the tenancy will end on the last day of the next complete tenancy month.

    For example, a tenant has a monthly tenancy that lasts from the first day of the month to the last day of the month. If the tenant gives notice on June 2 to end a monthly tenancy on June 30, the tenancy will instead end on July 31.

  • Yearly tenancy

    The tenant must give 60 days notice before the last day of a tenancy year to be effective on the last day of the tenancy year. The landlord must give 90 days notice before the last day of a tenancy year to be effective on the last day of the tenancy year.

    Late notice

    A late notice by tenant means the tenancy will end 60 days from the date on which the notice is served.

    A late notice by a landlord means the tenancy will end 90 days from the date on which the notice is served.

Evictions

Reasons for eviction

The most common reason for an eviction is when a tenant fails to pay rent. Tenants cannot withhold rent to force the landlord to do something, such as making repairs. The landlord is legally entitled to have the rent paid in full when it is due.

If the tenant cannot pay the rent and lets the landlord know beforehand, the landlord can let the tenant stay and pay rent later or over time. However, the landlord is under no obligation to do this.

Other reasons for eviction include:

  • breaking rental agreement terms
  • damaging the rental premises
  • disturbing or endangering others in the rental premises

If you are experiencing any of the following issues:

  • tenant or landlord has committed a substantial breach
  • a tenant has assaulted or threatened to assault a landlord or tenant

Learn how to deal with this issue

  • Types of notices

    There are 3 types of notices, and each one is used in a specific situation:

    1. At least 24-hour notice
      • used in the event of significant damage to the premises or physical assault or threat to physically assault the landlord or another tenant
    2. At least 48-hour notice and at least 14-days notice.
      • used in the event of an unauthorized occupant
    3. At least 14-days’ notice
      • used in the event of a substantial breach

    All notices must:

    • be in writing
    • give the address of the residential premises
    • be signed by the landlord or the landlord’s agent
    • set out the rent that is due and any additional rent that may become due during the notice period
    • state the reasons for the eviction
    • state the date the tenancy ends

    All notices for unpaid rent must also include:

    • a statement indicating that the tenancy will not be terminated if the tenant pays the rent due—and any overdue rent payments—on or before the termination date specified

    A 48-hour notice to unauthorized occupants does not have to include the reason for the eviction.

    48-hour and 24-hour notices must also state the time the tenancy ends.

    Response to notice – Landlord

    A 14-day notice is void if the landlord objects, in writing, within 7 days of receiving the tenant’s notice, as long as the order has been complied with or stayed.

    Response to notice – Tenant

    If a tenant objects to the reasons stated for the eviction in a 14-day notice, they must:

    • give the landlord a written explanation of why they disagree
    • give the written objection to the landlord before the 14 days are over

    If the tenant objects or doesn’t leave at the end of the 14 days, the landlord can apply to RTDRS or Court for a court order to terminate the tenancy and get possession of the rental premises.

    Until RTDRS or Court issues the order, the tenant may remain.

  • Substantial breach – tenant

    A substantial breach by a tenant may result in an eviction, and includes if the tenant

    • has not paid rent in full when due
    • interferes with the landlord or landlord’s employees
    • disturbs other tenants (for example, by playing loud music late at night or being noisy)
    • endangers others in the building
    • causes significant damage to the residential premises
    • does not maintain or keep clean the residential premises and all property included in the residential tenancy agreement
    • Does not vacate the premises when the tenancy ends

    If a tenant commits a substantial breach, the landlord can apply to the RTDRS or Court to end the tenancy, or give the tenant at least 14-days’ notice to end the tenancy.

    A tenant must be given the notice at least 14 clear days before the tenancy is to end. This means the day the notice is given and the day the tenancy ends don’t count as part of the 14 days.

  • Substantial breach – landlord

    Whether the tenancy is fixed term or periodic, a landlord may commit a substantial breach when:

    • the premises are not kept in a condition that meets minimum housing standards under the Public Health Act and regulations and
    • an executive officer issues an order under section 62 of the Public Health Act and the landlord has not complied

    Tenants can give at least 14-days’ notice to end a tenancy if they believe that the landlord has committed a substantial breach.

    The notice is void if the landlord objects in writing within 7 days of receiving the tenant’s notice, as long as the order has been complied with or stayed.

    Health enforcement orders

  • Assaults and threats

    If a tenant assaults or threatens to assault a landlord or another tenant, or does significant damage to the residential rental premises, the landlord can:

    • apply to the RTDRS or Court to end the tenancy, or
    • give the tenant at least 24-hour notice to end the tenancy

    The landlord may pursue the tenant through the RTDRS or Court for any damages not covered by the security deposit.

If the tenant does not leave

  • Unauthorized occupants – If tenant lives on the premises

    If someone who is not listed in the tenancy agreement is living in the residential rental premises, the landlord has the right to give that person at least 14-days’ notice to leave.

    If the person does not move out within 14 days, the landlord can apply to the RTDRS or Court for an order for that person to vacate the rental remises.

  • Unauthorized occupants – If the tenant has moved out

    If the tenant has moved out and an unauthorized occupant is living on the rental premises, the landlord can give them at least a 48-hour notice to leave.

    If the occupant does not move out within 48 hours, the landlord can apply to RTDRS or Court for an order for recovery of possession of the rental premises.

Moving out

  • Notice required to end a tenancy

    The required notice depends on who is giving the notice and the type of tenancy.

    Landlords can only give notice to end a periodic tenancy under specific conditions set out in the Residential Tenancies Ministerial Regulation.

    Type of periodic tenancy Tenant Landlord
    Week-to-week 1 full tenancy week 1 full tenancy week
    Month-to-month 1 full tenancy month 3 full tenancy months
    Yearly Notice must be given on or before 60 days before the last day of a tenancy year to be effective on the last day of the tenancy year. Notice must be given on or before 90 days before the last day of a tenancy year to be effective on the last day of the tenancy year.
  • Move-in and move-out inspection reports

    It is mandatory for landlords and tenants to complete both a move-in and a move-out inspection report. This report describes the condition of the rental premises when a tenant moves in and again when they move out.

    Landlords may only complete inspections without the tenant present if they provide 2 opportunities for the inspection on different days, on days that are not holidays, and between 8 am and 8 pm, and no adult falling under the definition of “tenant” agrees to take part.

    Tenants can use the inspection report to prove they are not responsible for damage that occurred before they moved in.

    Landlords cannot make any deduction for damages or cleaning costs from the security deposit when the tenant moves out if the inspection report requirements have not been met.

    For more information, see Inspection Reports (PDF, 127 KB).

  • Cleaning

    Checklist for tenants (PDF, 169 KB)

    Sample cleaning list for tenants (PDF, 99 KB)

    Combined checklist and sample cleaning list for tenants:

Returning security deposits

Tenants have the right to get their security deposits back, if they meet certain conditions.

  • Security or damage deposit return conditions

    When they move out, tenants have the right to get their deposits back, with any interest owing, as long as:

    • there is no damage beyond normal wear and tear (that is, deterioration that occurs over time with use even with reasonable care and maintenance)
    • the rental premises have been properly cleaned if this is required as part of the tenancy agreement
    • no rent or other costs are owing

    Sample cleaning list for tenants (PDF, 100 KB)

    Tenants should provide a forwarding address to the landlord in writing and keep copies of all their documents for 3 years.

  • If return conditions are not met

    If the tenant does not meet the conditions, the landlord has the right to keep part or all of the security deposit to cover costs. If the costs exceed the security deposit, the landlord can take legal action to claim for the money owing. A tenant who disagrees with deductions from the security deposit may also apply to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service or court.

    Landlords cannot make deductions for damages or cleaning costs if the inspection report requirements have not been met. They can, however, take legal action to recover these costs.

    If there are no deductions for rent, cleaning, repairs, or other costs, such as utilities, late fees or legal fees, the landlord must pay the tenant the full deposit plus interest within 10 days of the day the tenant gave up possession of the rental premises.

    However, if there are deductions, the landlord must do one of the following within 10 days:

    • return the balance of the deposit, if any, to the tenant with a statement of account that lists all the damages, repair costs, details of the cleaning charges and any fees, or
    • give the tenant an estimate of the deductions that will be made and return any money that will not be used. The tenant must receive a final statement and any money owing within 30 days after the tenancy ends.

    For more detailed information, read the Information for Landlords tip sheet.

Renewing a rental agreement

Rental agreements can be renewed on a fixed-term or periodic basis as long as the landlord and tenant agree. It is recommended that all agreements be in writing. However, oral or implied agreements are permitted by law. Any agreement that does not require any action from the tenant or landlord in order to renew is a periodic tenancy.

Contact

For more information on topics related to landlords and tenants, contact the Consumer Contact Centre.

For resolving a dispute, learn more about the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service.

See all contact options

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