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Notice to Move Out (Eviction)

In some situations a landlord can require a tenant to move out. Sometimes a tenant must be given a period of time to move out. In other cases the landlord can insist that the tenant leave immediately.

In all cases the landlord must serve notice on the tenant to end the tenancy. This notice can be given to the tenant in-person or posted on the door of the rental unit and either mailed or sent by electronic means.

The notice must be in the approved form. It must...

  • be dated
  • show that it comes from the landlord
  • give the address of the rental unit
  • state the date the tenancy will end
  • state the grounds for ending the tenancy

Immediate Notice

A landlord cannot end a tenancy for non-payment of rent if the tenant's obligation to pay rent is suspended. For example, the tenant's obligation to pay rent is suspended if a copy of the written rental agreement is not provided within 20 days of the tenant signing the agreement.

A landlord can give notice to end a tenancy immediately if a tenant is 15 days or more late with the rent.

If the tenant is responsible for paying the utilities and they are late, the landlord can also end the tenancy with this notice. In this case the landlord must first notify the tenant that the payments are late and give the tenant 15 days to pay them.

This notice can also be used to claim any unpaid rent or utility bills.

One Month's Notice

There are several situations where a landlord can give a tenant one month's notice to move out. These situations include the following examples.

Security Deposits / Rent

  • the security deposit remains unpaid for more than 2 months after the tenancy began
  • the tenant is repeatedly late paying rent

Safety & Privacy

  • an unreasonable number of occupants are living in the rental unit
  • the tenant or tenant's guest significantly interferes with or unreasonably disturbs others living around them or the landlord
  • the tenant or tenant's guest seriously jeopardizes the health or safety of others living around them or the landlord
  • the tenant or guest puts the landlord's property at significant risk
  • the tenant refuses to provide the landlord with entry to the premises that the landlord is entitled to.

Damage to the Property

  • the tenant or guest causes extraordinary damage to the rental unit
  • the tenant fails to repair their damages to the rental unit after being given notice and a reasonable amount of time to do the repairs
  • the tenant or guest engages in a noxious, offensive or illegal act on the property that may cause damage to the property

Breaking the Rules

  • the tenant repeatedly breaks the landlord's rules (rules must be reasonable, in writing, and the tenant must be told about them)
  • the tenant breaches a material provision of the tenancy agreement and, after being given notice and an opportunity, the breach is not remedied
  • the tenant assigns the tenancy agreement or sublets the rental unit without the landlord's written consent
  • the tenant lives in an owner-occupied home and the tenant or tenant's guest continues to smoke when notified in writing not to smoke
  • the tenant breaches a municipal bylaw or fails to pay a municipal charge that could result in the landlord owing more property taxes
  • the tenant does not comply with an order from the Office of Residential Tenancies (ORT)

Other

  • the tenant gives false information about the rental unit to prospective renters or purchasers
  • there is a reason judged proper by a hearing officer at the ORT
  • ending the tenancy is required to comply with a government order

In any of the above cases, except for when a no smoking notice has been given, the landlord must give the tenant a reasonable amount time to fix the situation if it can be fixed.

Housing Program Purposes

A landlord can give one month's notice for the following reasons when the rental unit is part of a housing program:

  • the tenant breaches a part of the tenancy agreement and does not or cannot remedy the breach after being given a reasonable amount of time to do this
  • the landlord is going to use the rental unit for a housing program and the tenant is not eligible for social housing
  • the landlord is going to use the rental unit for a housing program and the tenant is occupying a unit that exceeds their housing needs

Purchaser Occupying

For any tenancy agreement that is not a lease, the landlord can give one month's notice if the rental unit is being sold and the purchaser or the purchaser's close family or friend is going to move in.

Employment Ending

A landlord can give one month's notice to move out if the unit was rented to the tenant because they were an employee of the landlord or they were living in the unit because they were a caretaker of the property. This notice can be given if the tenant is no longer an employee or caretaker.

Notice to end a tenancy in all the above situations must be in writing and must be given to the tenant on the day before the rent is due, one full month before the tenant is expected to move out. For example, if rent is due on April 1 and the landlord wants the tenant to move out by April 30 the notice must be given by March 31.

The tenant may dispute the notice by completing the dispute notice on the bottom of the notice and returning it to the landlord within 15 days; otherwise the tenant is deemed to have accepted the notice and must move out in accordance with the notice.

Proof of Service

Landlords must be prepared to demonstrate proper service of Notice to Vacate on the tenant or in the case of several tenants, each tenant. When applying to the ORT for possession of the property, the landlord will be required to provide a Certificate of Service confirming the method of service used and the date notice was served. Anyone can serve the notice on behalf of the landlord but the person who has served the notice must be the person completing and signing the Certificate of Service.

More information on proper service of documents can be obtained from the ORT.

Two Months' Notice

A landlord can end a tenancy with two months' notice in certain situations. A landlord cannot give this kind of notice if the tenant has a lease.

The landlord can give notice if they, a close family member or a friend are going to move into the rental unit. The landlord can also give two months' notice if they are going to...

  • demolish, renovate or repair the property
  • convert the property to condominiums, a housing co-op or a non-residential use
  • convert the rental unit for a property manager, caretaker or superintendent to live in

The notice must be given by the day before the rent is due, two months ahead of when the landlord wants the tenant to move out. The tenant can dispute the notice to vacate by signing the dispute portion of the notice and giving it to the landlord within 15 days.

If the tenant does not dispute the notice within this time period they are deemed to have accepted the notice and must vacate the property by the date indicated in the notice.

Once the notice has been served by the landlord, the tenant can end the tenancy earlier by giving the landlord 10 days written notice. If a landlord doesn't move forward with their plans for the property within a reasonable time they can be held liable for damages. They can also be held liable if the rental unit is not used for the identified purpose for at least six months.

Order of Possession by Landlord

A landlord can apply for an order of possession if a...

  • tenant or landlord has given notice to end the tenancy
  • tenant and landlord have agreed in writing to end the tenancy
  • tenant is renting for a fixed term

If an order for possession is granted it will take effect on the date set out in the order. That date can be before the tenancy would normally end.

If a landlord has given the tenant a one-month notice to vacate for cause, the landlord can apply for an order of possession to end the tenancy before the notice period has passed. The landlord can do this if it would be unreasonable for the landlord to wait until the end of the notice period and the tenant or a guest of the tenant has...

  • unreasonably disturbed or significantly interfered with other tenants, neighbours or the landlord
  • seriously jeopardized the health, safety or lawful right or interest of other tenants, neighbours or the landlord
  • put the landlord's property at significant risk
  • engaged in noxious, offensive or illegal activity that has damaged or is likely to damage the landlord's property
  • engaged in noxious, offensive or illegal activity that has adversely affected or is likely to adversely affect the quiet enjoyment, security, safety or physical wellbeing of another tenant, neighbour or the landlord
  • engaged in noxious, offensive or illegal activity that has jeopardized or is likely to jeopardize the lawful right or interest of another tenant, neighbour or the landlord

Where a landlord makes an application for possession, a tenant can ask the ORT not to grant the order if the landlord...

  • gave the notice because the tenant made a fair complaint to an authority or was trying to secure their rights
  • has breached their agreement or any standard condition
  • has increased the rent in order to end the tenancy

A landlord can enforce an order for possession by taking a copy of the order and the original writ to the Sheriff's office. The Sheriff decides the most appropriate way to return control of the rental unit to the landlord. This might be posting a notice on the door or asking the tenant to leave and changing the locks. The tenant must then contact the landlord to arrange to get their belongings.

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