Evictions are never a pleasant affair for either the landlord or tenant.
Following eviction regulations and maintaining an open line of communication can help landlords and tenants resolve issues effectively.
Let’s review all these rules and regulations below about giving or receiving an eviction notice in BC!
Understanding An Eviction Notice in BC
Reasons for Eviction
In British Columbia, landlords have the right to evict tenants under specific circumstances. Common reasons for eviction include:
- Non-payment of rent
- Landlord or a close family member wanting to occupy the rental unit
- Extensive damage to the rental property
- Illegal activities taking place in the rental unit
- Breach of the rental agreement
Both landlords and tenants should familiarize themselves with the Residential Tenancy Act when dealing with eviction notices.
Types of Eviction Notices
There are several types of eviction notices in BC, each with different timeframes and conditions:
- 10-Day Notice for Non-Payment of Rent: As per Section 46 of the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB), if the tenant fails to pay their rent, the landlord can issue a 10-day eviction notice. This notice gives the tenant five days to either pay their outstanding rent or file a dispute at the court or Residential Tenancy Branch. If the tenant does not take action within these five days, they are required to vacate the property after the 10-day notice period. This is the most common reason for eviction, according to the Province of British Columbia.
- One-Month Notice to End Tenancy: This notice can be issued for reasons like a breach of the rental agreement, repeated late payments, or illegal activities within the rental unit. Tenants have 10 days following the notice to submit a dispute resolution to the court or Residential Tenancy Branch. If the issue is not resolved and the notice is upheld, the tenant must vacate the property after the one-month period.
- Two-Month Eviction Notice: If the landlord or a close family member intends to occupy the rental unit, a two-month eviction notice can be issued. The tenant may be eligible for compensation in this case.
Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
Tenants in British Columbia have certain rights and responsibilities to their landlords and vice versa. This section aims to outline essential aspects of tenant rights and responsibilities when it comes to eviction notices.
Disputing an Eviction Notice
If a tenant disagrees with the eviction notice, they have the option to dispute it. To dispute an eviction notice in British Columbia, tenants must follow these steps:
- Carefully review the eviction notice to understand the reasons and timelines.
- Gather all necessary documentation to support their case.
- Submit the dispute within the specified timelines given by the Province of British Columbia.
- If the dispute requires a hearing, the tenant should prepare accordingly.
Preparing for the Hearing
When attending a hearing to dispute an eviction notice, tenants should keep in mind the following suggestions:
- Be punctual and arrive well before the scheduled hearing time.
- Dress professionally to show respect for the process.
- Organize and present relevant evidence, such as photographs, rent payment records, or documents proving landlord negligence.
- Be clear, concise, and polite when presenting their case.
- Be prepared to answer the adjudicator’s questions about their situation.
Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
Serving the Eviction Notice
In British Columbia, landlords have the right to end a tenancy under specific circumstances. To do so, they must provide the tenant with the appropriate notice, following the procedures outlined by the Residential Tenancy Act.
The notice must include the effective date of the eviction, allowing the tenant the right amount of time to vacate the premises.
The notice periods vary depending on the reason for eviction. For example:
- Unpaid rent or utilities: 10 days
- Repetitive late payment of rent: one month
- Cause (e.g., disturbance, illegal activity, or landlord’s property damage): one month
- Landlord or purchaser use: two months
- Demolition, renovation or conversion into non-residential use: four months
Landlords are responsible for gathering sufficient evidence to support their eviction notice. They must be able to prove the legitimacy of the reason for the eviction if the tenant disputes the notice. Examples of relevant evidence may include:
- Records of rent payments (or lack thereof)
- Records of written warnings and communication with the tenant
- Photos or videos showing property damage
- Witness statements or police reports (if applicable)
Landlords must maintain accurate records and document any incidents that may lead to eviction. This will help make a stronger case at the Residential Tenancy Branch in case the tenant challenges the eviction.
Landlords must also be aware of their responsibilities under the Residential Tenancy Act, which include providing a safe and habitable residence, honouring the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment, and maintaining the property’s condition.
Failure to meet these obligations may lead to penalties and the eviction being denied by the Residential Tenancy Branch.
Eviction Process Timeline
In British Columbia, the eviction process begins when a landlord serves an eviction notice to the tenant for specific reasons such as unpaid rent, breach of the rental agreement, or the landlord’s intention to occupy or significantly renovate the property.
To better understand the timeline, let’s break it down based on the type of eviction notice and the subsequent steps involved.
A landlord may issue a 10-day notice for unpaid rent or utilities. The tenant has five days to either pay the outstanding amount or dispute the notice through the Residential Tenancy Branch.
One Month Notice
A landlord may issue a one-month notice for cause, such as repeated violations or damage. If the tenant wishes to dispute the notice, they have 10 days to apply for dispute resolution through the Residential Tenancy Branch.
In cases where the landlord or a close family member wants to occupy the rental unit, a two-month notice can be given. The tenant has 15 days to dispute the notice through the Residential Tenancy Branch.
Once an eviction notice is served, the tenant must vacate the rental unit by 1 pm on the effective date unless they choose to dispute the notice.
If the tenant disputes the notice, they must follow a specific dispute resolution process, which involves a review period, submission of evidence, and possibly attending a hearing.
In case the tenant does not leave the premises after the eviction notice has been enforced, the landlord can follow these enforcement steps:
- Obtain an Order of Possession from the Residential Tenancy Branch.
- Serve the tenant with a copy of the Order of Possession.
- Wait for the two-day review period to expire.
- If the tenant still does not vacate, the landlord may hire a bailiff to remove the tenant.
Keep in mind that this is a general overview of the eviction process timeline in British Columbia. Always refer to the Residential Tenancy Act and consult with legal professionals for more specific guidance.
Resources and Support
BC Residential Tenancy Branch
For renters in British Columbia navigating eviction notices, the BC Residential Tenancy Branch provides valuable information and support. They are responsible for administering the Residential Tenancy Act and offering assistance to both landlords and tenants.
The Branch can help in several ways:
- Providing information and education
- Resolving disputes through mediation and adjudication
- Investigating cases of administrative infractions
For questions or guidance, consider contacting the Tenant Infoline at 604-255-0546 or 1-800-665-1185.
Tenant Rights and Advocacy (TRAC)
TRAC is an excellent resource for individuals dealing with evictions or other tenancy issues. They provide:
- Advice and representation for tenants
- Educational tools and resources
- Advocacy efforts to improve tenant protections
Their website also features a helpful section dedicated to evictions, which explains the different types of eviction notices and how to address them.
Vancouver Tenants Union (VTU)
The Vancouver Tenants Union is a member-driven, all-volunteer organization that advocates for renters in Vancouver and the surrounding areas. They work to:
- Address the housing crisis
- Protect and expand renter protections
- Ensure affordable housing
Renters facing eviction can find support, resources, and a sense of community by joining and participating in their campaigns and events.
On average, an eviction in BC takes around 50 days and may cause significant financial losses for the landlord and tenant.
To avoid any unnecessary conflicts or misunderstandings, both landlords and tenants should familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations outlined in the RTA.