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4.6 Eviction Notices

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!

There are three main types of eviction notices:

  1. 10 Day Notice for Non-Payment of Rent
  2. One Month Notice for Cause
  3. Two Month Notice for Landlord Use of Property

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 after receiving a demand letter from your landlord.

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.

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.

The most common reasons for receiving a Two Month Eviction Notice include:

  • landlord or a “close family” member of the landlord intends to move into the rental unit
  • 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.
  • landlord has obtained all necessary permits required to demolish the unit, or make extensive renovations that require the unit to be empty, and
  • tenant no longer qualifies for a subsidized rental unit.

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 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, you should 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.

Yes, there can be exceptional circumstances that force tenancies to end unexpectedly.  If 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.  You may also come across a situation where 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.

If you find yourself in one of these complicated situations, you may want to contact TRAC, the Residential Tenancy Branch, a legal advocate, or a lawyer to ask for additional information and assistance.