Family Violence or Long-Term Care

A tenant may end a fixed-term tenancy before the term is finished if the tenant has been assessed as requiring long-term care, has been accepted into a long-term care facility or needs to leave the rental unit to protect themselves or their children from family violence. 

All tenants subject to the same tenancy agreement will be required to vacate the rental unit when the tenancy ends, unless the remaining tenants enter into a new tenancy agreement with the landlord.

To end a tenancy in these circumstances, a tenant must:

Find out how to serve notice properly.

The law only allows certain professionals to verify the tenant's eligibility.

 

Video: Ending a Tenancy for Family Violence or Long-Term Care

BC has amended its tenancy laws to allow families affected by domestic violence and individuals unable to live on their own anymore to end a fixed-term lease. Find out how it works here.

 

Help for Tenants Fleeing Family Violence

VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across B.C. and the Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-563-0808. It provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including victims of human trafficking exploited for labour or sexual services.

Review resources from the Legal Services Society (External Link).

Visit the #SaySomething website (External Link) and spread the word through the power of social media.

 

Information for Tenants

If one tenant ends a tenancy, all tenants subject to the same tenancy agreement will be required to vacate the rental unit when the tenancy ends, unless the remaining tenants enter into a new tenancy agreement with the landlord.

A tenant who will be ending a fixed-term tenancy for family violence or long-term care must have an authorized third-party verifier complete an Ending Fixed-Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement (PDF) form to verify the tenant’s eligibility.  To legally end the tenancy, the tenant must provide a copy of the completed and signed third-party verifier statement to the landlord along with the tenant's one month written notice.  Tenants are responsible for the payment of rent to the end of that notice period. The tenant ending the tenancy is not required to remain in the rental unit during that time.  The tenant is not responsible for any additional months’ rent or for any of the landlord’s costs to re-rent. 

Ending Fixed-Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement (PDF) forms completed by authorized third-party verifiers  are valid from the date they are signed by the third-party verifier and for:

  • 90 days for the purpose of providing notice to end a tenancy for family violence
  • 180 days for the purpose of providing notice to end a tenancy to move into long-term care

Serving Notice Properly

A tenant must give a landlord written notice to end their tenancy at least one month before the effective date of the notice, and before the day that rent is due.  Both parties should keep a copy. The notice needs to include the:

  • Tenant’s name
  • Date
  • Address of the rental unit
  • Effective date of the notice
  • Tenant’s signature

The completed third-party verifier confirmation statement form must accompany the written notice to end tenancy or the notice will not be valid.

There are rules about how and when a tenant can serve notice to a landlord.

Information for Landlords

A landlord cannot apply for dispute resolution to dispute the  tenant's eligibility to end their tenancy.

A landlord can dispute the tenant’s notice to end tenancy if they have evidence that the person who completed the Ending Fixed-Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement (PDF) form was not an authorized third-party verifier.

A landlord can apply for dispute resolution if the tenant did not provide the notice to end the tenancy correctly or if there are other claims unrelated to the tenant's notice to end tenancy.

Help for Landlords

There is no requirement for the tenant who gave notice to inform the other tenant(s) that the tenancy is ending.

While there is no requirement that the landlord inform the other tenant(s) that the tenancy is ending, it is a good idea for landlords to discuss it with the remaining tenants so that the other tenant(s) can prepare to move and the landlord can look for new tenants. 

The landlord may inform the remaining tenant(s) when they must move out or may choose to enter into a new agreement with the remaining tenant(s).

Yes.  Although the tenancy ends for all tenants under the tenancy agreement, the landlord can enter into a new tenancy agreement with the remaining tenants.

Yes. Landlords who receive an Ending Fixed-Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement must keep the details of the form confidential and cannot share them with anyone, including other tenants.  This is a legal requirement set out in the Residential Tenancy Act to ensure the privacy and safety of the tenant and the third-party verifier.

Landlords, and property managers acting on their behalf, must also adhere to the privacy rules contained in the Personal Information Protection Act.  A landlord must refuse to provide access to a tenant's personal information if: it would threaten someone's life or security; it would reveal someone else's personal information; or, it would reveal the identity of someone who provided personal information about someone else. Unauthorized use or disclosure may subject the landlord to investigation by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

 

Information for Third-Party Verifiers

The law limits who can act as a third-party verifier for the purpose of confirming a tenant’s eligibility to end their tenancy for family violence or long-term care. 

Third-party verifiers must:

  • assess the tenant and the tenant's circumstances
  • use the Ending Fixed-Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement (form RTB-49), completed in full, signed and including contact information (may be third-party verifier or authorized representative from their agency)
  • keep the confirmation statement, its contents and the tenant's circumstances confidential
  • provide the confirmation statement only to the tenant or to a person authorized to receive it on the tenant's behalf (External Link)
  •  keep a copy of the form and any related records

Help for Third-Party Verifiers

 

I completed an Ending Fixed-Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement form for a tenant.  What do I need to know?

Third-party verifiers must keep the confirmation statement, its contents and the tenant's circumstances confidential and provide the confirmation statement only to the tenant or to a person authorized by regulation to receive it on the tenant's behalf (External Link). Verifiers must also keep a copy of the form and any related records on file.

If there is a proceeding under the Residential Tenancy Act pertaining to the tenant’s notice to end tenancy and the landlord claims that the confirmation statement was made by a person who was not authorized to do so, the person identified as the third-party verifier on the form may be required to disclose or provide evidence of their eligibility to make the statement or of the authenticity of the signature appearing on the statement.

Fraud used in completion of the Ending Fixed-Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement form may result in a decision under the Residential Tenancy Act that the tenant's early termination is not valid and they will remain liable for additional rent payments and the landlord’s costs to re-rent the unit (liquidated damages).

A landlord may contact you to confirm the statement was completed by a person eligible to make a confirmation statement under the Residential Tenancy Regulation.  The tenant’s privacy must be maintained and the landlord may only be provided with confirmation that the person who completed and signed the confirmation statement is employed in the professional capacity they indicated on the form.

If there is a proceeding under the Residential Tenancy Act pertaining to the tenant’s notice to end tenancy and the landlord claims that the confirmation statement was made by a person who was not authorized to do so, the person identified as the third-party verifier on the form may be required to disclose or provide evidence of their eligibility to make the statement or of the authenticity of the signature appearing on the statement.

Fraud used in completion of the Ending Fixed-Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement form may result in a decision under the Residential Tenancy Act that the tenant's early termination is not valid and they will remain liable for additional rent payments and the landlord’s costs to re-rent the unit (liquidated damages).

 

What happens if I sign the  Ending Fixed-Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement form but I am not an eligible third-party verifier?

A landlord can apply for dispute resolution to dispute the early termination if the basis of the claim is that the confirmation statement was made by a person who was not eligible to make a confirmation statement.

A third-party verifier may be compelled in a dispute resolution proceeding to disclose or provide evidence of their eligibility to make the statement or the authenticity of the signature appearing on the statement. 

Fraud used in completion of the Ending Fixed-Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement form may result in a decision under the Residential Tenancy Act that the tenant's early termination is not valid and they will remain liable for additional rent payments and the landlord’s costs to re-rent the unit (liquidated damages).

 

My profession is listed as an authorized third-party verifier but I do not feel I have the knowledge or skills required to assess the tenant in order to confirm their eligibility to end their tenancy.  What should I do?

A third-party verifier is to make the statement confirming the tenant’s eligibility based on the standards of their profession or the generally accepted practices of their professional role, as well as relevant knowledge and professional judgment.  If you do not feel comfortable making the statement, please consider referring the tenant to another authorized third-party verifier who may be better able to assist them, particularly where they may require additional support for family violence.

 

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 3, 2017.

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