My Landlord Wants to Evict Me
If your landlord wants to evict you, they must issue you with an approved notice that states a valid reason for your eviction, such as paying rent late or threatening the safety of neighbours. There are three main types of evictions that tenants in BC can receive.
- A 10 Day Eviction Notice for Non-Payment of Rent can be issued if you have not paid your full rent by the day it is due. You may receive this type of eviction notice if you are only a few dollars short, or just one day late.
- A One Month Eviction Notice for Cause can be issued if you have given your landlord “cause” to evict you, such as:
- repeatedly paying rent late;
- assigning or subletting your unit without written consent;
- damaging property and not helping repair it;
- jeopardizing the health or safety of people or property;
- unreasonably disturbing neighbours;
- having an unreasonable number of occupants living in your unit; or
- breaking a "material term" (something essential to your tenancy) and ignoring a written warning from your landlord.
- A Two Month Eviction Notice for Landlord’s Use of Property can be issued if your landlord is:
- planning major renovations that will require vacant possession for an extended period of time;
- planning on moving in, or planning on having “close family” move in;
- planning on demolishing your rental unit; or
- planning on converting your rental unit for use by a caretaker, manager or superintendent.
For more detailed information on evictions, see Part 4 of the Residential Tenancy Act.
If you receive an eviction notice, you have the right to challenge it by using the Residential Tenancy Branch’s dispute resolution service. Try to apply as soon as possible, as there are strict deadlines for disputing evictions:
- for a 10 Day Eviction Notice, the deadline is 5 days;
- for a One Month Eviction Notice, the deadline is 10 days; and
- for a Two Month Eviction Notice, the deadline is 15 days.
If you are given a 10 Day Eviction Notice, you have 5 days to pay up in order to cancel the eviction. However, if you do this too often, you may receive a One Month Eviction Notice for repeated late payment of rent.
If you are given a Two Month Eviction Notice, you have the right to be compensated for one month’s rent. For example, you can continue to live in the rental unit for the remaining two months and receive the second month free. Alternatively, if you find new housing before the end of the two months, you can give 10 days’ written notice to move early and still be compensated for one month’s rent.
If you would like to challenge an eviction notice, follow the Residential Tenancy Branch’s instructions for dispute resolution. You can apply online, or submit a paper application to any Residential Tenancy Branch or Service BC office. Applying for dispute resolution costs $100, although you can also apply to have the fee waived. You may need to provide an income assistance statement, employment insurance benefits statement, recent paystub from an employer, and/or bank statements from the most recent two months. If you end up having to pay the $100 fee, you can still request on your application form that your landlord repay you the fee if they lose the hearing.
What happens next
If your application for dispute resolution is approved, you will be provided with a hearing package that says when your hearing will be held and what you can expect. Dispute resolution is a legal proceeding, but less formal than court. Hearings are occasionally held in person or in writing, but they are most commonly conducted over the phone.
The person in charge of the dispute resolution hearing, an “arbitrator”, has the task of conducting the hearing, weighing the evidence, applying the law, and reaching a decision. For applications involving evictions, the primary responsibility is on the landlord to show evidence in support of the eviction, but the tenant can also defend themselves by submitting their own evidence.
While dispute resolution can be a challenging process, most tenants do not require the assistance of a lawyer in order to participate. If you feel that you need assistance with dispute resolution, try searching for a legal advocate in your community.
Where to get help
See the Resource List in this Guide for a list of helpful resources. Your best bets are:
- Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC), including their Tenant Survival Guide which includes a section on Evictions.
- TRAC’s online course, Renting It Right
- Residential Tenancy Branch.
- PovNet, for contact and website information for tenancy advocates near you.
- Access Pro Bono, Lawyer Referral Service, and private bar lawyers.
- The Clicklaw common question "My landlord is threatening to evict me."
Before meeting with a lawyer or advocate, complete the form Preparing for Your Interview included in this Guide. Make sure you bring copies of all documents relating to your case.
||The above information does not apply if you are evicted from your home on an Indian reserve. If this happens to you, you should speak with a lawyer.|
|The above was last reviewed for legal accuracy by Andrew Sakamoto, March 2017.|
|Legal Help for British Columbians © Cliff Thorstenson and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.|