Ending a tenancy
Landlords and tenants are responsible for ending the tenancy lawfully.
Last published: February 24, 2023
On this page:
- Notice to end a tenancy
- Mutual agreement to end a tenancy
- Ending a fixed-term tenancy
- Other reasons for ending a tenancy
- Moving out
- After a tenancy ends
- Changing your mind about ending a tenancy
- I need help
Landlords and tenants are responsible for ending the tenancy lawfully. Both parties must have the chance to take part in a condition inspection and to discuss any deductions from the damage deposit.
How to end a tenancy
Learn how you can serve notice to end a tenancy as a:
Both landlords and tenants can be ordered to pay money to each other if they don’t follow the law when ending a tenancy.
During a tenancy
Learn more about compensation for issues during a tenancy.
When a tenancy ends
Tenants may be entitled to compensation when a tenancy ends.
Learn about the compensation for different types of notices:
- Two-month notice because the landlord plans to use the property
- Four-month notice because the landlord is doing major construction
- Twelve-month notice for manufactured home parks
Landlords and tenants may mutually agree to end a tenancy (PDF, 102KB). A mutual agreement is different than a notice to end tenancy.
Mutually agreeing to end a tenancy can mean tenants will not get compensation that may have been due if the landlord had served them a notice to end tenancy instead.
Landlords and tenants can’t require each other to sign a mutual agreement to end a tenancy. Before you sign an agreement, make sure you know your rights and responsibilities.
A fixed-term tenancy can only be ended early in any of these circumstances:
- Both parties sign a mutual agreement to end the tenancy
- The tenant is fleeing family violence or needs long-term care
- The landlord or tenant has breached a material term of the tenancy (PDF, 32KB)
- An arbitrator has ordered the tenancy to end
A landlord can only require a tenant to move out at the end of a fixed-term tenancy agreement if:
- The tenancy agreement is a sublease, or
- The landlord or a close family member of the landlord is moving into the unit for at least six months
Tenancies may end when:
- An unexpected event like an earthquake or a fire affects the unit
- The tenant gives up the tenancy without proper notice
- The landlord agrees to let someone else take over the lease
- The bank is repossessing and re-selling the property
- The tenant or their pets or guests are disturbing or endangering the landlord or other tenants or damaging the property
Learn more about ending a tenancy in special circumstances.
When a landlord or tenant prepares a notice to end a tenancy, they include a date when the tenancy will end. This is the effective date of the notice to end tenancy. The tenant must move out by 1 pm on the effective date of the notice.
Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch if you're not sure about the effective date of a notice.
Moving out means making sure the unit is clean and all keys are returned to the landlord.
Communicating about the moving date
The landlord should talk to the tenant to confirm the moving date.
The tenant can move out at a later time if the landlord and the tenant both agree in writing.
Tenants who don't move out
Learn more about tenants who don't move out at the end of a tenancy.
Move-out inspections and moving fees
At the end of a tenancy, the landlord and tenant must inspect the rental unit together.
Learn more about move-out inspections and moving fees.
Learn about the steps to take after a tenancy ends:
If a landlord or tenant changes their mind about ending a tenancy, both parties must agree to it in writing.
Learn more about deciding whether to continue a tenancy.
I need help
Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch if you have questions about a tenancy.
or call: 1-800-665-8779 Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm
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