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At the End of a Tenancy

  1. Tenant Notices – At the End of a Tenancy
  2. Notice Periods for Types of Tenancy
  3. Tenant Notices – Early Termination
  4. Landlord's Notice to Quit
  5. Security Deposits
  6. Abandoned Property

Tenant Notices – At the End of a Tenancy

A tenant must use the form provided in the Regulations to end a tenancy. A tenant must give notice to quit before the rent due date. It is effective the last day of the rental period. Example: If the rent is due on November 1st, the notice period must end on October 31st. If rent is due March 15th, the notice period must end on March 14th.

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Notice Periods for Types of Tenancy

Year-to-year

At least 3 full months before the anniversary date

Month-to-month

At least 1 full month before the end of any month

Week-to-week

At least 1 full week before the end of any week

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Tenant Notices – Early Termination

If tenants' income is reduced as a result of a decline in their health and they are not able to pay the rent: They must give you a copy of a form completed by their doctor and one tenancy month written notice to quit using the correct form. You may request proof of a reduction of income.  (See "Downloadable Forms.")

Tenants are responsible for serving any co-tenants with notice. The lease will be terminated for those tenants as well. If the co-tenants approach you to sign a new lease, you may only refuse if you have a valid reason to do so. Example: You may decline to sign a new lease if you do not believe the remaining tenants are able to pay the rent.

If tenants' health has deteriorated and they cannot live in the unit: They must give you a copy of a form completed by their doctor and one tenancy month written notice to quit, using the correct form. (See "Downloadable Forms.")

Tenants are responsible for serving any co-tenants with notice. The lease will be terminated for those tenants as well. If the co-tenants approach you to sign a new lease, you may only refuse if you have a valid reason to do so. Example: You may decline to sign a new lease if you do not believe the remaining tenants are able to pay the rent.

If the tenant has been accepted into a nursing home: The tenant must give one tenancy month's written notice to quit, using the form. You may request a letter confirming the acceptance.

The tenant is responsible for serving any co-tenants with notice. The lease will be terminated for those tenants as well. If the co-tenants approach you to sign a new lease, you may only refuse if you have a valid reason to do so. Example: You may decline to sign a new lease if you do not believe the remaining tenants are able to pay the rent.

If a tenant has died: The personal representative of the tenant may give one tenancy month written notice to quit using the form. You may request a death certificate.

A tenant who leaves without proper notice is still responsible for a lease until you are able to re-rent the unit.  You must take steps to do this efficiently.

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Landlord's Notice to Quit

You may issue a notice to quit for two main reasons.

Rental Arrears:

If the tenant does not pay rent:
Once rent is 15 days late, you may give a 15-day notice to quit using the correct form. (See "Downloadable Forms.") However, within those 15 days, the tenant may:

  • Pay the rent owed, which cancels the notice. 
  • Dispute the notice by making an application to Director. If the tenant does so, they must serve you with a notice of hearing.
  • Some tenants may choose to leave.

If the tenant has not taken any action within 15 days of receiving the notice, you may bring a copy of the notice to quit to an Access Centre. You will be asked to complete an affidavit stating that you served the notice correctly, that the rent is owing as stated on the notice, and that you have not received any payment from the tenant.

A Residential Tenancy Officer will review your application and issue an order within five days, giving vacant possession, awarding any rental arrears, and, if you wish, the security deposit. Once the 10-day appeal notice has expired, you may have this application endorsed as an Order of the Small Claims Court. If you do not wish to use this special process, you can also file an Application to Director to request a Residential Tenancies Hearing.

Not Complying with the Lease:

If tenants do not follow the rules given in your lease regarding the condition of the unit (damage, failing to clean) or behavior (disturbing other tenants), or if they sublet or assign your lease without your permission, you may give a 15-day notice to quit.

If tenants disagree with the reasons, they may dispute the notice by making an application to Director. If tenants do this, they must serve you with a notice of hearing. Some tenants may choose to leave.

If tenants do not take any action within 15 days of receiving the notice and do not leave, you may make an Application to Director for a hearing.

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Security Deposits

At the end of the lease, when the tenant is moving out or has moved out, inspect the premises for damage. A certain amount of wear and tear is expected during a tenancy and may not be claimed as damage.

If you wish to keep part of the security deposit against damages be prepared to defend your decision. The easiest way to do so is to get the tenant's written permission at the time of the inspection. A full or partial deposit should be returned within 10 days from the last day of the lease.

If the tenant does not give written consent for you to keep all or part of the deposit, you make an Application to Director within ten days from the end of the tenancy. You must serve the tenant with this application - personally, or by registered mail.

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Abandoned Property

You must make a list of all items tenants leave behind. The list should be complete, but does not have to be detailed (for example, if there is a box of magazines, it is enough to state that, it is not necessary to list each magazine.)

If you feel the items are unsafe, unsanitary, or of little financial value, you may dispose of them. If you suspect tenants have left the items unintentionally, you should attempt to contact them before disposing of the items. If the items are valuable (together worth over $500) you must store them for 60 days. You may charge tenants the cost of moving and storing the items if they later return to claim them.

File the list of items with the Residential Tenancies program and send a copy to the tenant. After 60 days, you may request permission to sell any items that have value, using the process in the regulations.

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