Landlording Advice - Breaking a Lease

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Landlording Problems - Breaking a Lease

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- Notice of Lease Violation
Q: I am a landlord of a condo in Surrey, BC. I had a new tenant move in on Nov 15,2005. On Jan 15/06 she gave me a months notice saying she was moving because of the noise from the hardwood floors above my unit and that she will collect her damage deposit when we do the inspection. She had signed a 1 year lease. Is she allowed to break the lease like that, I now have the expense of advertising and reletting it again. she told me that the Residential Tenancy Act says she can do that. I can't find where it says that.
A: I'd be interested in seeing what section of the Residential Tenancy Act of BC your tenant is referring to because it is a mystery to me too, and I've judged these cases time and again. The way fixed term tenancies work in BC is that the landlord gives over exclusive use of the rental premises to the tenant for x amount of time for x amount of rent. There is a start date and an end date to the term; it's a contract. When a party to a contract fails to fulfill his or her obligations under that contract there can be consequences. In the case where a tenant breaks a lease the landlord can lodge a claim in arbitration for debt and damages - like lost rent, advertising costs to re-rent, etc. He will usually win an award for his proven loss subject to his proven efforts to mitigate.
As a landlord, you should have ready access to expert advice. If you don't you can find yourself in the middle of some complicated and nasty situations, which will make you wonder why you ever got into the landlording game in the first place.


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