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Renting

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Moving Out

When you want to move out of a house or apartment that you are renting, the law requires that you tell your landlord in writing. This is called giving notice. You have to write your address and the date you will move out and sign your name.

If you are in a month-to-month tenancy, you must give it to the landlord at least one month before you will move out. The first day of the month before you plan to move out is too late.

There are specific rules about ending a tenancy that both the renter and the landlord should know about.

It’s best to give the notice to the landlord or the building manager yourself. You may want to ask someone to go with you in case the landlord denies receiving the notice. Keep a copy of the notice. If you mail the notice via registered mail, make sure you keep the receipt and a copy of the notice. Remember that if the landlord denies that you gave proper notice, you will need evidence to prove that you did.

Getting your deposit back

You must leave your place clean when you move out. You are responsible for the cost of repairing damage caused by you or your guests. The landlord is responsible for normal wear-and-tear.

When you move out, the landlord must return the security deposit within 15 days. In order to have your security deposit back you must provide your forwarding address to the landlord. An inspection of the residence will be done and the current condition should be compared to the condition noted on the Condition Inspection Report (see Before You Rent).

If you damaged the place, the landlord can use some of the security deposit money for repairs. The landlord cannot keep the security deposit or part of it unless you agree in writing to pay for damages or unpaid rent. If you do not agree in writing, the landlord must contact the Residential Tenancy Branch for permission to keep some of the security deposit money. For more information, contact the Residential Tenancy Branch.

Eviction information

In certain situations, a landlord can tell a tenant to move out. This is called eviction. If a landlord wants you to move out, the law says he or she must follow the rules and put the notice in writing. The landlord cannot just tell you to leave.

If you are a tenant and you get an eviction notice, read it very carefully. You may disagree with the reason the landlord is evicting you. For example, if you don’t think you’re too noisy, or you don’t have too many people living in your place you may want to try to stop the eviction. If you want to stop an eviction, you can make an appeal (ask an official to decide). The eviction form says how much time you have to do that. You should ask for help or advice. Do not ignore an eviction notice.

Here’s how much notice a landlord has to give you:

Required Notice

Condition

10 days’ notice When the tenant didn’t pay the rent.
1 month’s notice When there is cause such as the tenant is too noisy or has too many people living in the place.
2 month’s notice When the landlord or their close family want to move in, or the unit is sold to someone who wants to move in.
4 months’ notice When the landlord is going to make major renovations to the apartment, demolish it, or convert it to something else.

If you get a two-month eviction, check with the Residential Tenancy Branch or the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre about compensation.

For more information on your rental rights, visit Renting It Right for a free online video course.