Ending Tenancy for Landlord's Use - Doing it Right

Ending Tenancy for Landlord's Use - Doing it Right

Are you looking to end your Tenancy agreement with your tenant for your own use as the landlord? There is a way to do it right. In this blog I will be sharing some important insights for your learning.

A landlord may issue a Two Months Notice if the landlord wishes to regain possession of the rental unit, in good faith, for the landlord’s own occupancy or for occupancy by one or more of the landlord’s close family members.

First, let's define terms:

Close Family Member

“Close family member” includes the landlord’s parents, spouse and children as well as the landlord’s spouse’s parents and children. Notably, neither the landlord’s siblings nor cousins fall within the definition of this term. However, if the landlord is a family corporation, the principle shareholder’s brother, sister or close family member who holds voting shares would be eligible to take over occupancy of the rental unit, as would the principle shareholder.

Month-to-Month Tenancy

Where the tenancy is on a month-to-month basis, the landlord’s notice is effective not earlier than two months after the date the tenant receives the notice and its effective date must be on the day before the day of the month that rent is normally due. For example, if a tenant’s rent is due on the first day of each month and the landlord intends to evict the tenant by July, the landlord may seek to terminate the tenancy on June 30th and, if so, will have to provide the tenant with their notice by April 30th.

Fixed Term Tenancy

Where the tenancy is for a fixed-term, in addition to the rules described above, the effective date of the notice may not be earlier than the date specified as the end of the fixed-term.

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Good Faith 

The grounds for eviction require the landlord to be acting in good faith. Practically speaking, this means that the landlord must be acting with an honest intention and with no ulterior motive to defraud the tenant or to seek an unconscionable advantage.

Compensation to Tenant

In addition to the two months’ notice, a landlord seeking to end a tenancy to regain possession of the rental unit must provide the tenant, before the effective date of the notice, with monetary compensation equivalent to one month’s rent payable under the tenancy agreement. However, instead of having the landlord issue a separate payment for such compensation, the tenant may elect to simply withhold payment of rent for the final month of the tenancy.

Expect Tenant to Appeal the Notice 

Once served with a Two-Month Notice to End Tenancy, the tenant may challenge it by applying for dispute resolution within 15 days after receiving the notice. If the tenant fails to take any action within 15 days, the tenant is presumed to have accepted that the tenancy ends on the effective day of the landlord’s notice and must vacate the rental unit by that date.

Doing it Right

Finally, if the landlord fails to take steps to accomplish the stated purpose for ending the tenancy (ie. to personally occupy or have a close family member occupy the rental unit) within a reasonable period after the effective date of the landlord’s two-month notice or if the rental unit is not used for that stated purpose for at least 12 months beginning within a reasonable period after the effective date of the notice, the landlord must pay the tenant a penalty equivalent to twelve-times the monthly rent payable under the tenancy agreement.

However, if the Residential Tenancy Branch determines that “extenuating circumstances” prevented the landlord from fulfilling their obligation under the Act to occupy the rental unit within a reasonable period of time after the effective date of the notice and/or for a minimum period of 6 months, the landlord may be excused from this requirement.

Thank you for taking time to read!

Should you need more guidance on how to proceed with any landlord tenant issues, please reach out to me directly on 672 998 2220

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