Ending a Tenancy
Government has introduced changes to tenancy laws, including amendments that protect tenants from landlords who avoid rent control through fixed-term tenancies with vacate clauses. Learn more.
Learn about ending a tenancy in B.C.
A tenancy ends when the:
- Tenancy is for a fixed term that clearly states the tenant will move out at the end of the fixed term
- Tenant or landlord gives legal notice to end the tenancy
- Landlord and tenant mutually agree to end the tenancy
- Tenancy agreement is frustrated by circumstances beyond the landlord or tenant’s control
- Tenant abandons the rental unit
- Landlord has an order of possession from the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB)
Landlords and tenants are responsible for ending the tenancy lawfully, ensuring both parties have an opportunity participate in condition inspections and agree on any deposit deductions that may be required. Landlords or tenants can be ordered to pay money to each other if they don’t follow the law.
Fixed-term tenancies: A fixed-term tenancy cannot be ended earlier than the date fixed except in three circumstances: both parties agree in writing; there are special circumstances such as the tenant is fleeing family violence or the tenant has been assessed as requiring long-term care or has been accepted into a long-term care facility; or as ordered by an arbitrator. Learn more about ending a fixed-term tenancy for family violence or long-term care.
Doing it Right
After notice has been given, both landlords and tenants have specific responsibilities in order to end a tenancy properly – the tenant must move out by 1 p.m. on the effective date of the notice – the last day of the tenancy. This means the unit must be cleaned and all keys given to the landlord by then, unless the landlord agrees in writing to a later time.
A tenant who doesn’t move out on the effective date of a notice to end tenancy is called an overholding tenant. In these situations, the landlord may apply for an Order of Possession to end the tenancy and money to cover expenses – like accommodation or storage costs for an incoming tenant.
Find out more about each step of the process:
- Moving out
- Returning deposits
- Items left behind
- Claims for damage or loss
- Ending a tenancy in special circumstances
- Changing your mind about ending a tenancy
The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: November 8, 2017.