Changing Your Mind about Ending a Tenancy

It’s okay if a landlord and tenant change their minds about ending a tenancy – as long as they agree to it in writing. The tenancy then continues under the same terms.

A landlord who has given a tenant notice to end a tenancy must communicate their intentions clearly if they accept rent but don't want the tenancy to continue.

Ending a Tenancy for Unpaid Rent or Utilities

A landlord may serve a 10 Day Notice to End Tenancy if a tenant doesn’t pay rent or utilities on time.

If the tenant pays all outstanding rent or utilities within five days of receiving the notice, the tenancy continues. However, if the tenant does not pay the outstanding rent or utilities within the five-day deadline, they must move out.

The landlord and tenant can still choose to continue the tenancy in this situation – both parties must sign a written agreement to reinstate the tenancy and keep a personal copy of it.

The landlord should be clear if they don’t want the tenancy to continue.

If the tenant pays the overdue rent or utilities after the five day deadline, the landlord should clearly tell the tenant in writing that:

  • The payment for rent or utilities is being accepted for use and occupancy only – it does not cancel the 10 Day Notice to End Tenancy
  • The tenant must still move out

Note: The “use and occupancy” arrangement is very short-term – it allows a tenant to stay only for the rest of the month in which they received the Notice to End Tenancy and made a payment. A landlord should not continue accepting rent or utility payments under this arrangement otherwise they run the risk of reinstating the tenancy.

Ending a Tenancy for Other Reasons

When a landlord issues a Notice to End Tenancy, the tenancy will end on the effective date of the notice unless the tenant applies for dispute resolution to cancel it within the time frame indicated on the notice. After that, if an arbitrator dismisses the tenant’s application, the tenancy will end on the effective date of the notice.

If the tenancy is to continue, the landlord and tenant must put their agreement to reinstate the tenancy in writing. Both parties should sign the agreement and keep a personal copy of it.

When a Tenant Doesn’t Leave

If a tenancy is not reinstated and the tenant does not leave by the end date on the notice served or it seems like the tenant won’t leave, the landlord can apply for dispute resolution requesting an Order of Possession – a legal document that orders the tenant to leave.

If a tenant disputes a Notice to End Tenancy, the director must grant an Order of Possession to the landlord if the landlord’s notice to end tenancy is in the proper form and the tenant’s application is dismissed or the landlord’s notice is upheld.

The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: January 18, 2016.

A Note for Landlords

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