If a tenant fails to challenge an eviction notice, or loses a dispute resolution hearing related to an eviction notice, the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) can grant an Order of Possession to the landlord. While an Order of Possession gives a landlord the right to reclaim possession of a rental unit, it does not allow the landlord to physically remove the overholding tenant. For example, an Order of Possession does not allow a landlord to throw a tenant’s belongings on the street, or change the locks to the rental unit before the tenant has moved out.
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.
An illegal lockout can leave a tenant without access to money, medication, work tools, and personal identification. If your landlord locks you out of your rental unit, contact TRAC, the Residential Tenancy Branch, a legal advocate, or a lawyer immediately. If your landlord continues to deny you access to your home, you can apply for dispute resolution to ask for an Order of Possession and monetary compensation. The Residential Tenancy Branch considers illegal lockouts a top priority when scheduling hearings.
- TRAC Webpage – Enforcing an Eviction: List of Court-Approved Bailiffs
- TRAC Template Letter – Review Consideration of Order of Possession
- RTA Section 57 – What happens if a tenant does not leave when tenancy ended
- RTB Form – Application for Review Consideration
- RTB Calculator – When a landlord can file for an order of possession
- TRAC Webpage – Get Help
- RTB Webpage – Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch
- PovNet – Find an Advocate Map
- Access Pro Bono – Lawyer Referral Service