Serving Notices During Tenancy

Other than serving documents for dispute resolution, tenants and landlords may serve each other notices about their tenancy. Notices need to be written on paper and all parties should keep copies.

Ending a Tenancy

Proper notice must be given in order to end a tenancy – find out how:

Notice Requirements

There are specific legal requirements and deadlines for the different types of notices:

Make sure the notice you serve is legal:

Serving Notices to Landlords

There are rules about how and when a tenant can serve notice to a landlord. Use this table to determine whether a method is acceptable and when notice is considered served.

Method

It’s considered received…

Give a copy directly to the landlord

Same day

Leave a copy with the landlord’s agent (tenants should note the name of the person)

Same day

Send a copy by registered or
regular mail to the landlord’s
residential address or the address
where the landlord carries on
business as a landlord

5 days later when the landlord does not say or show that they received it on an earlier date

Leave a copy in a mailbox or mail slot at the address where the person does business as a landlord

3 days later when the landlord does not say or show that they received it on an earlier date

Fax a copy to the service contact number provided by the landlord

3 days later

In any other way that is ordered by the Residential Tenancy Branch

Determined by the Residential Tenancy Branch

Slide a copy under the landlord’s door

Not considered served – this is an unacceptable method

Using email or text messaging

Not considered served – this is an unacceptable method1

1 An arbitrator may determine that a document was sufficiently given or served if they have evidence that the person received it; however, it is best to use an approved method of service.

Serving Notices to Tenants

There are rules about how and when a landlord can serve notice to a tenant. Use this table to determine whether a method is acceptable and when notice is considered served.

Method

It’s considered received…

Give a copy directly to the tenant

Same day

Send a copy by registered or
regular mail to the address of the
rental unit if the tenant still lives
there or to the forwarding address
provided

5 days later when the tenant does not say or show that they received it on an earlier date

Attach a copy to the door or other noticeable place at the address where the tenant lives

3 days later when the tenant does not say or show that they received it on an earlier date

Leave a copy with an adult (19 years or older) who apparently lives with the tenant (landlords should note the name of the person)

Same day

Leave a copy in a mailbox or mail slot at the address where the person lives

3 days later when the tenant does not say or show that they received it on an earlier date

Fax a copy to the contact number provided by the tenant

3 days later

In any other way that is ordered by the Residential Tenancy Branch

Determined by the Residential Tenancy Branch

Slide a copy under the tenant’s door

Not considered served – this is an unacceptable method

Using email or text messaging

Not considered served – this is an unacceptable method2

2 An arbitrator may determine that a document was sufficiently given or served if they have evidence that the person received it; however, it is best to use an approved method of service.

Important Considerations

Here are a few things to remember when serving notice:

Calculating when a notice is considered served: Don’t count the day the document was mailed, faxed, attached to the door, etc. For example, if sending documents by ordinary mail on November 1st, the documents are considered to have been served on November 6th.

Keep copies of your proof of service: Regardless of the method used to serve notice, be prepared to satisfy the Residential Tenancy Branch or a court that the document was properly served.

Registered mail: Get a receipt from Canada Post and print the online tracking report from the Canada
Post website. A person can’t avoid service by refusing to accept registered mail. Where registered mail
is refused or deliberately not picked up, service is considered to be on the fifth day after mailing.

In-person: Get a sworn statement from somebody who personally delivered the documents or who witnessed you giving or sending the documents.

The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: September 23, 2017.

Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch