Last Updated: July 23, 2018
The responsibility of terminating the lease falls squarely on the shoulder of the landlord. Landlords may only terminate contracts under the terms prescribed in the Residential Tenancies Act.
Normally, within three months of the tenancy’s official ending, the landlord is required to offer a new tenancy agreement. If the tenant does not renew their lease at least two months before the lease’s end the termination will be effective. The landlord should either deliver an oral or written notice of termination of the lease; detailing the rental unit, the date of termination, and be signed by the tenant (if in writing).
If the landlord fails to offer either a lease renewal or a termination notice the lease will automatically be renewed as a monthly agreement.
Keep records with the Residential Tenancies Branch; forms for renewal and eviction are available here.
There are many reasons why someone could be evicted, but due to a recognized urgency, The Residential Tenancies Act and The Safer Communities and Neighborhoods Act categorize violations into two categories; evictions with a letter of warning and evictions with a five-day notice of termination limit.
These are problems which can be remedied, but failure to do so within one rental payment period (generally one month) grants the landlord the ability to send a notice of termination. Once the problem is fixed, the notice of termination must be rescinded. They are minor violations such as:
In certain dangerous or uncomfortable situations, landlords can skip a letter of warning and issue a notice of termination and begin evictions after just five days. These a major violations such as:
A letter of warning, followed by a notice of termination precede all evictions, except for unpaid rent in which the letter of warning can be skipped. This letter gives the tenant an opportunity to fix the problem and avoid termination. The notice of termination usually must be given with at least 30 days notice. In urgent situations, the landlord can give no less than five days notice (e.g. security, disturbance, damage).
Landlords can charge up to half of one month’s rent from a tenant. A full month’s rent charge can be claimed as a deposit for Pet Damage Deposits, and Tenant Services Security Deposits can amount to up to half of the first month’s rent payment. A landlord can increase the amount of money required for the tenant services deposit when additional tenants are added to the lease. Landlords are obligated to return deposits directly to the tenants, or to the Residential Tenancies Branch if they cannot reach their former tenants.
It is entirely optional to charge for a security deposit or tenant services security deposit, but both must be stipulated before the tenancy agreement is made. The pet damage deposit should either be stipulated before the tenancy agreement is agreed to or stated when the landlord gives permission to keep a pet.
Security deposits should be no greater that one half of the first month’s rent. Pet damage deposits can be up to one month’s rent, with exception to service animals which cannot be charged. One cannot require more than one pet damage deposit regardless of the number of pets a resident possesses.
Yes. Upon payment of the security deposits or pet damage deposits, landlords must give the tenant a written acknowledgement detailing the date the payment was received, the amount, and the rental unit it covers.
Upon receiving the deposit, one may either hold it, or remit it to the Director of Residential Tenancies. If one chooses to hold onto the deposit one must provide an alternative payment (e.g. bonds, securities).
In an ideal scenario, the money from security deposits, pet security deposits or tenant services security deposits should be returned to the tenant, but in cases of outstanding charges or compensation for damage, the landlord can make a claim under the Residential Tenancies Act to use the money.
Disclaimer: Many of the terms in these fact sheets may relate to certain legal rights and obligations that tend to change from time to time. The information provided does not constitute legal advice and the manager of this database is not a law firm. These materials are intended, but cannot be promised or guaranteed to be current, complete or up-to-date. The specific interpretation of the terminology, acts and relevant regulations depend on the laws and procedures corresponding to that particular province. All of these fact sheets are to be used for informational purposes only and are not meant to be used as legal advice. If you need more information about your province or territory, including details about legal orders, notices and certain forms, contact your local rental authority or a qualified lawyer in the area.
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