Tenant Eviction in British Columbia (BC) Canada

Tenant Eviction in British Columbia (BC) Canada

Evicting a tenant in British Columbia demands a comprehensive understanding of the legal framework of landlord-tenant relationships. The Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) governs the landlord-tenant relationship in British Columbia.  

 In this article, we explore the legalities, types and grounds for eviction, which forms to use for different eviction reasons so that a landlord or a property manager can evict a tenant swiftly.  

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    Serving a Notice to End Tenancy

    The RTA outlines landlords’ and tenants’ rights and responsibilities to ensure a fair housing arrangement. Landlords must serve proper notices to end the tenancy, supported by detailed documentation. It is better to screen your tenants before a rental agreement to avoid such situations. 

    Grounds for Eviction

    Under the Residential Tenancy Act of British Columbia, landlords can issue notices to end the tenancy based on specific grounds. These grounds include non-payment of rent, engaging in illegal activities on the premises, or repeatedly causing damage to the property or substantial breaches of the tenancy agreement.

    Required Documentation

    Landlords must document instances supporting the eviction grounds to ensure a legally sound eviction. This documentation, including photographs, witness statements, and correspondence records, is needed for a successful case. 

    Responsibilities of a Tenant in B.C.

    A tenant renting in British Columbia has responsibilities to the landlord, such as: 

    • Both the tenant and landlord need to inspect the property condition before the tenant moves in and after moving out. 
    • Notify the landlord in writing of any necessary repairs.  
    • Maintain the cleanliness of the rented property. 
    • The tenant must pay utilities and rent in full and on time on the due date. 
    • The tenant has to grant permission to the landlord to enter the property with a minimum of 24 hours notice to inspect, maintain, or showcase the property to potential tenants or buyers. 
    • Fix whatever damage the tenant, guests of tenants, or pets may have caused. 

    Types of Eviction In British Columbia (BC)

    Ten-Day Notice For Unpaid Rent Or Utilities

    If rent is unpaid, landlords have the legal right to evict tenants by serving a 10-day Notice to End Tenancy (RTB Form 30). Tenants should obtain written confirmation from their landlord if they verbally agree on rent payment. Tenants who pay their rent with cash ought to receive a receipt.  

     The landlord is entitled to send the tenant with a 10-day eviction notice for non-payment of rent if they are even one day overdue on their rent or if there is any shortfall. After receiving a 10-day notice, tenants have five days to contest their eviction and file for dispute resolution. 

     Suppose a tenant does not pay the rent or apply for dispute resolution. In that case, the landlord can use the Direct request process to request an Order of Possession without participating in a dispute resolution hearing.  

     For more information on unpaid rent, check out Section 46 of the Residential Tenancy Act. 

     For more information on landlord and tenant rights, check out Policy Guidelines 38 – Repeated Late Payment of Rent. 


    Even if the landlord is not fixing any damage, tenants cannot stop paying their utilities. The landlord may deliver a 30-day written demand to pay utilities if the tenant does not pay as stated in the leasing agreement. 

     A 10-day eviction notice may be served by the landlord if utility payment is not collected within 30 days. 

    One Month Notice for Non-Compliance With the Residential Tenancy Act or Tenancy Agreement

    If a tenant violates the terms of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) or the Tenancy Agreement, landlords may lawfully evict them with a One Month Notice to End Tenancy (RTB Form 33). 

     A landlord may end a tenancy for the following reasons:  

    Illegal Activities

    The tenant or someone allowed by the tenant to be on the property has:  

    • Participated in illegal acts that have damaged the landlord’s property or possess a risk 
    • Affected or likely to harm other people’s peace, safety, or well-being

    Not fixing any damage

    The tenant fails to repair the rental unit within a reasonable timeframe as required by Section 32 of the RTA. 

    Disturbances and Safety concerns

    Tenant or someone allowed by the tenant to be on the property has: 

    • Compromised other people’s rights, safety, or health 
    • Disturbing or interfering with the landlord or other tenants  
    • Any activity jeopardizing the landlord’s property 

    Government Orders

    The rental unit must be vacant to comply with an order from a government authority, whether it be federal, British Columbia, regional, or municipal

    Non-Payment of Deposits

    A tenant misses the deadline for paying the security deposit or pet damage deposit by 30 days. 

    Occupancy Violations

    There are an unreasonably large number of residents in a rental unit, according to Section 13.2 of RTA. 

    Property Damage 

    The rental unit or property has been damaged by the tenant or by someone the tenant permitted to be on the property. 

    Non Compliance with Orders from the Director

    If a tenant does not follow an order from the director within 30 days, they are considered non-compliant. This 30-day period starts from when the tenant receives the order or the specified date. 

    Violating Rental Agreement Terms

    A tenant violates a rental agreement if they fail to comply with an important term or rectify a situation after receiving a written notice from the landlord.  

     Additionally, subletting the rental unit without obtaining written consent from the landlord, as required by RTA: Section 34, or providing false information about the property to a prospective tenant or buyer can also be considered a violation. 

    Eviction Based on Third-Party Information

    In certain cases, landlords may initiate eviction proceedings based on information from a third party. This involves the landlord collecting evidence and assessing its credibility.  

    Suppose a tenant faces eviction due to third-party information. In that case, they should directly communicate with the landlord, ask for specific details regarding the concerns raised by the third party, and explore any possible recourse or alternative options. 

    For a comprehensive list of reasons for receiving a one-month eviction notice, consult RTA: Section 47. 

     Tenants have 10 days after receiving a one-month eviction notice to dispute the eviction and apply for dispute resolution. 

    Two Month Notice For Landlord Occupation Of The Rental Unit

    Based on Sections 49 and 49.1 of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), tenants generally receive a Two Month Notice to End Tenancy (RTB Form 32) in the following situations: 


    • The landlord or a close family member of the landlord intends to move into the tenant’s rental unit. 
    • The rental unit is sold, and the purchaser or a close family member of the purchaser intends to occupy the unit. 
    • The tenant is no longer qualified for a subsidized rental unit. 


    According to the RTA, a “close family member” refers to the landlord’s spouse and the parents or children of the landlord or the landlord’s spouse. 

    After obtaining a two-month eviction notice, tenants have 15 Days to contest their eviction and file for dispute settlement. 

    Four Month Eviction Notice for Demolition or Conversion of Rental Unit

    According to Section 49 of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), tenants receive a Four Month Notice to End Tenancy (RTB Form 29) in the following situations: 


    • The landlord plans to demolish the rental unit. 
    • Under the Strata Property Act, the landlord intends to convert the residential property into strata lots. 
    • The residential property is being converted into cooperative housing under the Cooperative Association Act. 
    • The rental unit will be converted for use by a caretaker, manager, or superintendent of the residential property. 
    • The rental unit will be converted for non-residential use, such as a store. 


    If a landlord obtains an order of possession for demolition or conversion, the tenant should receive compensation equivalent to one month’s rent, as stated in the tenancy agreement. 

    Tenants have a 30-day period to dispute their eviction and apply for dispute resolution after receiving a four-month eviction notice. 

    Four-Month Eviction Notice for Major Renovations

    Landlords have the option to end a tenancy with RTB Form 29 for necessary renovations or repairs if: 

    • The renovations or repairs are essential to maintain or prolong the use of the rental unit or the building. 
    • Ending the tenancy is the only reasonable way to create the necessary vacancy for completing the renovations or repairs. 


    From July 1, 2021, if a landlord wishes to terminate a tenancy for extensive renovations or repairs, they must: 

    • Apply for an order of possession for renovations through the dispute resolution process, obtaining an Order of Possession from the Residential Tenancy Branch. 
    • Acquire all required permits and approvals from local government and comply with legal regulations. 
    • Have a sincere intention to renovate or repair the rental unit(s) and be able to demonstrate that ending the tenancy is the only reasonable way to achieve the required vacancy. 


    If the landlord successfully fulfills the above conditions, a dispute resolution proceeding will take place, and an arbitrator will determine if the renovations are significant enough to justify ending the tenancy. If approved, the landlord can then issue a four-month eviction notice.  

    The tenant should receive compensation equivalent to one month’s rent, as specified in the tenancy agreement. 

    Refer to  Section 49.2 of RTA to learn more about renovictions. 

    Steps To Legally Evict a Tenant In British Columbia (BC)

    A lot of reasons can come into play for evicting a tenant. As frustrating as it can be, it is better to evict a bad tenant with valid reasons, following proper legal procedures. 

    1. Initiating the Eviction Process

    The first thing is to send the relevant notice to the court. This application or eviction letter has to be drafted to the judicial court of the relevant area. The eviction notice must contain the reason for eviction, preferred time and date. If the grounds are valid, the court will send the notice to the tenant. 

    If the tenant disputes the eviction notice, an application has to be forwarded to the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB)  for dispute resolution. The date and time of the eviction notice must be reasonable enough so the tenant can move out without much hassle. 

    2. Filing an Eviction Suit

    There have been cases where tenant chooses not to vacate their property even after being served with an eviction notice by the court.  

    The following action for a landlord is to file an eviction suit. If the situation arises, an eviction lawsuit is a great option to remove unruly tenants from your property. 

    To file an eviction suit against the troublesome tenant, you only need to get the services of a local rental property lawyer. Remember that you may only file this action in a court with jurisdiction over your building. 

    3. Eviction Hearings and Resolutions

    Before the eviction hearing, both landlords and tenants should diligently prepare their cases. This involves organizing evidence, gathering witnesses, and familiarizing themselves with relevant rules and formalities. 

    After filing the eviction complaint, the landlord and the negligent tenant will appear before the judge in the same court. The court would call them to present their case. The judge will render his decision following extensive consideration and a thorough examination of the evidence that has been submitted. 

    The RTB’s decision, issued after carefully considering the presented evidence, determines whether the eviction is justified. This decision binds landlords and tenants, and non-compliance may lead to legal consequences. 

    The Role of the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB)

    The RTB acts as an impartial mediator in eviction cases, facilitating a fair resolution between landlords and tenants. The branch reviews evidence presented by both parties, ensuring a just and equitable outcome. For contact information of RTB, click here. 

    Appeal Process

    Grounds for Appeal

    Should either party disagree with the RTB’s decision, they can appeal. Grounds for appeal typically include procedural errors, new evidence, or a misinterpretation of the law. 

    Appeals System

    The appeals process involves submitting a notice of appeal, presenting additional evidence, and attending a hearing. Maintaining and managing strict timelines is crucial during this stage, and legal representation is essential. 

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    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    The eviction timeline for non-payment of rent in British Columbia varies, but typically, the process starts with a 10-day notice. If rent remains unpaid, landlords may proceed with eviction through the Residential Tenancy Branch, potentially taking several weeks. 

    Yes, landlords can evict tenants for various reasons, including breaches of lease agreements or engaging in illegal activities on the property. Each situation has its own legal processes, influencing the overall eviction timeline. 

    An effective eviction notice should include details such as the tenant's name, the reason for eviction, the date by which corrective action is required, and information on how to remedy the situation. 

    Eviction notices can be served personally, by mail, or by alternative methods. The chosen method impacts the overall timeline, with personal service often considered the most suitable while ensuring legal validity. 

    The Residential Tenancy Branch facilitates dispute resolution services and oversees eviction hearings. Engaging with government entities is a huge step, influencing the eviction timeline. 


    While not mandatory, engaging in mediation is encouraged. It allows landlords and tenants to resolve disputes amicably, potentially expediting the overall resolution process. 

    Landlords can seek expedited eviction of severe offences, particularly those related to illegal activities jeopardizing public safety. 

    The sheriff's involvement typically occurs after obtaining a court order for possession. They play a crucial role in physically reclaiming the property, introducing a new phase with its own timeline considerations. 

    Tenants can contest eviction through the dispute resolution process. Common defenses include challenging the grounds for eviction or presenting evidence of remedial actions. These factors can influence and extend eviction timelines. 

    Landlords can minimize eviction risks by thorough tenant screening, proactive lease management, and seeking professional legal assistance.  


    Mishandling eviction processes can lead to legal consequences for landlords. Adherence to legal procedures and seeking professional guidance are crucial to avoid legal pitfalls. 


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