Two Month Notices
A tenant can receive a Two Month Eviction Notice for Landlord’s Use of Property if:
- the landlord, or a “close family member” of the landlord, intends in good faith to occupy the tenant’s rental unit;
- the rental unit was sold and the purchaser, or a “close family member” of the purchaser, intends in good faith to occupy the rental unit; or
- the tenant no longer qualifies for their subsidized rental unit.
If you would like to challenge a Two Month Notice, you have 15 days to apply for dispute resolution through the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB). At this hearing, you will be given the opportunity to present evidence in support of your case, but the burden of proof will be on your landlord to convince the arbitrator to uphold the eviction notice. For example, if the landlord is claiming their mother will be moving into your unit, they should be able to provide evidence such as verbal testimony or a sworn statement from the mother.
Four Month Notices
A tenant can receive a Four Month Eviction Notice for Landlord’s Use of Property if the landlord intends in good faith to:
- demolish the rental property;
- convert the rental property to strata lots under the Strata Property Act;
- convert the rental property into cooperative housing under the Cooperative Association Act;
- convert the rental unit for use by a caretaker, manager, or superintendent of the rental property; or
- convert the rental unit to a non-residential use.
If you would like to challenge a Four Month Notice, you have 30 days to apply for dispute resolution through the RTB. At this hearing, you will be given the opportunity to present evidence in support of your case, but the burden of proof will be on your landlord to convince the arbitrator to uphold the eviction notice.
Evictions for Renovations
A landlord can also evict a tenant with four months' notice if they want to make serious renovations or repairs to a rental unit. For a tenant to be evicted for this purpose, the Residential Tenancy Act requires that all four of the following criteria apply:
- the landlord intends in good faith to renovate or repair the rental unit and has all the necessary permits and approvals required by law;
- the renovations or repairs require the rental unit to be vacant or empty;
- the renovations or repairs are necessary to prolong or sustain the use of the rental unit or rental property; and
- the only reasonable way to achieve the necessary vacancy is to evict the tenant.
Unlike all other types of evictions, evictions for renovations require the landlord to apply for a dispute resolution hearing, rather than serve an eviction notice on the tenant. This means that the responsibility to initiate dispute resolution proceedings is reversed. Instead of you being required to dispute an eviction notice by a certain deadline, your landlord is required to apply to the RTB for permission to evict you.
At this mandatory dispute resolution hearing, you will be given the opportunity to present evidence in support of your case, but the burden of proof will be on your landlord to convince the arbitrator to approve the eviction. For example, the landlord should have evidence that they obtained any necessary permits required by law before applying for dispute resolution, and that the renovations or repairs will require the unit to be empty for an extended period.
If you are evicted for renovations, and live in a property with five or more rental units, you might have a “right of first refusal” to move back into your unit once the work has been completed. While this may sound like a great opportunity, your landlord is allowed to offer you a brand new tenancy agreement with brand new terms, including rent at any amount.
For all Two and Four Month Notices, as well as evictions for renovations, a landlord must intend in good faith to follow through with the reason for the eviction. This means that they must have an honest intention to use the rental unit for the purpose stated on the eviction notice.
If a tenant raises the question of good faith at a dispute resolution hearing, the burden of proof is on the landlord to convince the arbitrator that they meet this requirement. For example, if a tenant suspects that they were given a Two Month Notice as retaliation for asking for too many repairs, they should apply for dispute resolution to challenge the notice. At this hearing, the burden of proof will be on the landlord to convince the arbitrator that they served the eviction notice in good faith with no ulterior motive.
If a tenant does not dispute a Two or Four Month Notice, or they participate in a dispute resolution hearing but lose, the move-out date will be two or four months later, on the last day of the month (assuming rent is paid on the 1st of the month). For example, if your landlord gives you a Four Month Notice on March 5th and you choose not to dispute it, you will have to move out by July 31st. Sometimes a landlord may list the wrong move-out date on an eviction notice. In this scenario, the notice is still valid but self-corrects to the legal move-out date.
If you would like to move into another rental unit before the two-month or four-month notice period has ended, you can give your landlord 10 days’ written notice and move early. When giving short notice to move out, you are only required to pay for the days you live in the rental unit. For example, if you paid the full rent for the first month of a two-month notice period, but then gave 10 days’ written notice and moved out before the end of that first month, your landlord must reimburse you for the days you did not live there.
Two and Four Month Notices have nothing to do with bad behaviour. For this reason, if you are evicted for “landlord’s use”, you are entitled to one month rent as compensation to help with the cost of moving. Your landlord must either pay you this money or offer you the last month of your tenancy for free. You are entitled to this compensation even if you give 10 days’ notice to move early.
The only exception to this rule is where a tenant is evicted because they no longer qualify for their subsidized rental unit. In this scenario, the landlord is not required to offer any compensation.
- TRAC Webpage – Evictions
- TRAC Template Letter – Illegal Eviction Notice
- TRAC Template Letter – 10 Day Notice to Move Out Early
- RTA Section 49 – Landlord's notice: landlord's use of property
- RTA Section 50 – Tenant may end tenancy early following notice under certain sections
- RTA Section 51.2 – Right of first refusal
- RTB Policy Guideline 2A – Ending a Tenancy for Occupancy by Landlord, Purchaser or Close Family Member
- RTB Policy Guideline 2B – Ending a Tenancy to Demolish, Renovate, or Convert a Rental Unit to a Permitted Use
- RTB Form – Two Month Notice to End Tenancy
- RTB Form – Four Month Notice to End Tenancy for Demolition or Conversion of the Rental Unit to Another Use