Ending a Tenancy in Vancouver BC

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Ending a Tenancy by the Tenant

When the tenant ends the tenancy, he or she must abide by both the terms of the lease agreement and British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act.

Ending a fixed term tenancy

  • your tenancy will end automatically on the end date that is specified on your lease
  • no notice by the tenant is necessary as the tenant must move out at the end of the tenancy

Ending a month-to-month tenancy

  • tenants are required to give the landlord one full calendar month’s written notice of intent to move out
  • notice is due on or before the last day of a rental payment period to be effective on the last day of a subsequent rental payment period (for example if your rent is due on the first day of the month, the tenant must give notice to the landlord no later than April 30th to move out on May 31st)
  • notice must contain the rental unit address, the date when the tenant plans to move out and the tenant's name and dated signature
  • notice must be legally served by handing the written notice to the landlord or the landlord's agent, such as a building manager
  • if the landlord cannot be found to serve the notice, the tenant may serve the notice to an adult who lives with the landlord/manager
  • you can attach the notice to the front door of the landlord's home or office a minimum 3 days before the deadline
  • notice can be mailed a of minimum 5 days before the deadline

Ending a lease early (Breaking a Lease)

Please Note! Your lease agreement is a legally binding document. If you break the lease you may be legally responsible for all of the remaining rental payments and/or the landlord's advertisements costs. If you do not pay these, your landlord will probably sue you. You can end your fixed term lease before the end of the lease term under the following conditions:
  • both, you and your landlord agree in writing to terminate the lease early
  • you (tenant) will continue to pay rent until the end of the term
  • landlord agrees in writing that you can assign or sublet the unit and an acceptable replacement tenant is found (advertising on apartmentguide.ca web-site is very successful)
  • the landlord is able to rent out the premises in a short period of time and mitigate the potential loss
  • your landlord has violated the Residential Tenancy Act and you have an arbitrators permission to end your tenancy
  • if the agreement is for a fixed term of six months or more, the landlord cannot unreasonably forbid you to assign or sublet the rental unit
Continuing a tenancy after a fixed term lease expiry
  • contact your landlord and discuss renewing the lease at least one month prior to the end date of your tenancy
  • most of the time your landlord will expect you to sign a new fixed term lease
  • check over the new lease in case there are unexpected changes and rent increases
  • the landlord is under no legal obligation to renew a fixed-term-lease
  • if the tenancy agreement for a fixed term lease ends and has not been renewed or terminated, the tenancy is usually changed to month to month containing the same terms and conditions that are in the expired agreement (unless otherwise specified in your lease agreement)
Do-it-yourself Notice of Intent to Vacate by LawDepot.com

More on this Subject

   Expert Tenancy Advice

   - Ending a tenancy by the tenant
   - Braking a lease

   Related Subjects

   - During Tenancy / Subletting 
   - Rent / Lease Terms and Variations

   Other Resources

   - Assignment and Sublet GL-19  
   - Claims for Rent and Damages for Loss of Rent - Policy Guideline GL-03

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