Four Month Notice to End Tenancy
As of July 1, 2021, the process for ending a tenancy for renovations or repairs has changed. For more information, see Renovictions.
On this page
- Major Construction
- Extensive Renovations or Repairs
- Doing it Right
- Good Faith Requirement
- Additional Compensation: 12 Months' Rent
- Move Out Date
- Disputing a Notice to End Tenancy
A landlord can serve a tenant with a Four Month Notice to End Tenancy (PDF, 2.2MB) when the Landlord plans to do major construction that requires the unit to be empty.
Major construction means:
- Demolishing the rental unit
- Converting the rental unit to a strata property unit, a not-for-profit housing co-operative or a caretaker’s unit
- Converting the rental unit for non-residential use, such as a shop. People can occupy the unit, but it must no longer be a rental unit.
Effective July 1, 2021, under new legislation, if a landlord wants to end a tenancy for extensive renovations or repairs, they need to apply for an Order of Possession from the Residential Tenancy Branch. There will be a dispute resolution proceeding where an arbitrator will decide if ending the tenancy is the only way to complete this work.
Any notice received on or after July 1, 2021 is invalid and the landlord must end the tenancy under the new process by applying to the Residential Tenancy Branch. Click here for more information about the changes to the process for ending a tenancy for renovations or repairs.
A landlord must serve the Four Month Notice to End Tenancy so that it’s received:
- At least four months before the effective date of the notice, and
- Before the day that rent is due
For example, a notice given on March 15 would take effect on the last day of July.
To avoid disputes, both the landlord and tenant should be clear about when the tenant’s notice is effective – that is, which date they will move out and whether more rent will be paid.
By law, tenants must always be given the right amount of notice – even if the landlord uses an incorrect date. This correction can be made without having to go through the dispute resolution process. If you’re unsure about the effective date of a notice to end tenancy, please contact the Residential Tenancy Branch.
All Notices to End Tenancy have multiple pages – it’s only valid if the landlord serves all pages to the tenant. There are rules about how and when a landlord can serve notice – be sure to do it correctly:
A landlord must act in good faith if they plan to end a tenancy to do major construction.
That means the landlord has honest intentions and no ulterior motive to take advantage of a situation. The landlord must honestly intend to use the rental site for the purposes stated on the notice to end the tenancy.
- Policy Guideline 2A – Ending a Tenancy for Occupancy by Landlord, Purchaser or Close Family Member – When a landlord can end a tenancy to occupy a rental unit (PDF, Updated July 2021)
- Policy Guideline 2B – Ending a Tenancy to Demolish, Renovate, or Convert a Rental Unit to a Permitted Use – When a landlord can end a tenancy to demolish or convert the rental unit (PDF, Updated July 2021)
When a landlord ends a tenancy for landlord’s use of property or to do major construction, the landlord must give the tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent on or before the effective date of the landlord's notice. This is true even if the tenant pays rent for the last month.
The tenant must pay the rent for all or any part of the time they stay during the notice period; though, they may choose to keep the last month’s rent in lieu of compensation.
If the tenant is in a month-to-month tenancy, has already paid the last month’s rent and chooses to give 10 days’ written notice to leave before the effective date of the notice, the landlord must pay the tenant a pro-rated amount in addition to the required compensation equal to one-month’s rent. The pro-rated amount is calculated on a daily basis.
To clarify, here are some examples of common situations in which compensation under a Four Month Notice to End Tenancy may be settled:
- The tenant receives notice on July 31st, pays rent August 1st and stays for the full four-month period, withholding November’s rent. The compensation is taken as a free final month
- The tenant receives notice on July 31st, pays rent August 1st and hands the landlord 10 days’ written notice on August 1st to leave by August 11th. On or before the effective date of the notice (in this case, November 30th), the landlord pays the tenant compensation equal to one month’s rent plus the balance of the rent the tenant paid for August (in this case 20 days)
- The tenant receives notice on July 31st, pays rent August 1st and hands the landlord 10 days’ written notice on August 25th to leave by September 4th. In this case, on or before November 30th, the landlord would pay the tenant an amount equal to 26 days’ rent, the balance of the compensation owed under the notice
Fixed-term tenancies: Neither party in a fixed-term agreement (or lease) can end the tenancy early.
The landlord must:
- Use an effective date that is on or after the date the fixed term ends
- Pay the tenant compensation equal to one month’s rent on or before the effective date of the notice
Landlords should beware that when they end a tenancy, they must:
- Take steps to accomplish the stated purpose for ending the tenancy under section 49.2 within a reasonable period after the effective date of the notice, or
- Use the rental unit for that stated purpose for at least 6 months beginning within a reasonable period after the effective date of the notice,
If they don't, they must compensate the tenant 12 months’ rent payable under the tenancy agreement. If a former tenant applies for compensation, a landlord should be prepared to show that the rental unit was used for the reasons given in the notice, or the reason they were not able to use the rental unit for the reasons given in the notice. An arbitrator can excuse a landlord from paying this compensation if there are extenuating circumstances.
A tenant who does not dispute the four-month notice within thirty days of receiving it must move out on or before 1 p.m. on the effective date of the notice.
Month-to-month tenancies: A tenant can leave earlier than the effective date by giving the landlord at least 10 days’ written notice and paying the rent up to and including, the planned move-out date. Where the tenant has already paid a full month’s rent, the landlord must refund the remainder of the rent. In addition, the landlord must pay any remaining amount of the compensation.
Fixed-term tenancies: The tenant cannot be required to move out before the end of the fixed term as stated in the tenancy agreement.
Because legal notice has been served, tenants who disagree with a four-month notice to end tenancy need to apply for dispute resolution – writing a letter or talking to the landlord isn’t enough. Within 30 days of receiving the notice, submit a tenant's application for dispute resolution to the Residential Tenancy Branch along with a copy of the Notice to End Tenancy. Choose from these forms groups on the forms page:
- Dispute Resolution Forms - Standard
- Dispute Resolution Forms - Direct Request
If a tenant disputes a notice by the 30-day deadline, the notice is suspended until an arbitrator makes a decision. A tenant must move out within four months of receiving the notice if they do not dispute it.
When a landlord has served a notice to end tenancy, and the tenant has disputed the notice, the landlord continues to be entitled to payment of rent or payment for use and occupancy while awaiting resolution of the dispute.
The landlord also continues to be entitled to payment for use and occupancy when a tenant does not move out by the effective date of a notice to end tenancy that the tenant has not disputed. In this case, the landlord may apply for dispute resolution seeking an order of possession and accept payment for use and occupancy while awaiting dispute resolution.
When accepting payment for use and occupancy, the landlord should state in writing that:
Note: The “use and occupancy” arrangement is short-term—it allows use and occupancy only for the period of the payment and does not reinstate the tenancy. If, in a dispute resolution hearing, a party claims that tenancy has been reinstated, an arbitrator will consider all the circumstances including the intent of both parties when exchanging payment.
If the tenant doesn't move out
If the tenant doesn't move out or dispute the notice to end tenancy, then the landlord must apply for an Order of Possession for the unit if they still want the tenant to move out.
For Notices to End Tenancy For Demolition or Conversion of a Rental Unit: Learn how to make a direct request for an Order of Possession.
The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: October 5, 2023.