My Landlord Wants to Evict Me

From Clicklaw Wikibooks


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 “causeIn law, a lawsuit, an action, or a cause of action; the wrongful act of another which gives rise to a claim for relief. See "action," "cause of action."” to evict you, such as:
    • repeatedly paying rent late;
    • assigning or subletting your unit without written consentAgreement; the giving of permission for a thing to happen or not happen.;
    • damaging propertySomething which can be owned. See "chattels" and "real 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 "materialIn law, something that is relevant, important. A material fact is a fact relevant to a claim or a defence to a claim. See "claim," "evidence," and "fact." 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 possessionIn law, the right to have the control and use of a thing. One can have a right to the possession of a thing without owning it, as in the case of a car lease, or ownership without possession, as in the case of a landlord who rents an apartment suite. See "ownership." 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.

First steps

If you receive an eviction notice, you have the right to challenge it by using the Residential Tenancy Branch’s dispute resolution serviceIn law, to formally deliver documents to a person in a manner that complies with the applicable rules of court. Service may be ordinary (mailed or delivered to a litigant's address for service), personal (hand-delivered to a person) or substituted (performed in a way other than the rules normally require). See "address for delivery," "ordinary service," "personal service" and "substituted 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 orderA mandatory direction of the court, binding and enforceable upon the parties to a court proceeding. An "interim order" is a temporary order made following the hearing of an interim application. A "final order" is a permanent order, made following the trial of the court proceeding or the parties' settlement, following which the only recourse open to a dissatisfied party is to appeal. See "appeal," "consent order," "decision" and "declaration." 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 resolutionThe processes used to conclusively resolve legal disputes including negotiation, collaborative settlement processes, mediation, arbitration and litigation.. You can apply online, or submit a paper application to any Residential Tenancy Branch or Service BC office. Applying for dispute resolution costsA calculation of the allowable legal expenses of a party to a court proceeding, as determined by the Supreme Court Family Rules. The party who is most successful in a court proceeding is usually awarded their "costs" of the proceeding. See "account, "bill of costs," "certificate of costs," and "lawyer's fees." $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 hearingIn law, any proceeding before a judicial official to determine questions of law and questions of fact, including the hearing of an application and the hearing of a trial. See "decision" and "evidence.".

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 proceedingIn law, the whole of the conduct of a court proceeding, from beginning to end, and the steps in between; may also be used to refer to a specific hearing or trial. See "action.", 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 evidenceFacts or proof of facts presented to a judge at a hearing or trial. Evidence can be given through the oral testimony of witnesses, in writing as business records and other documents, or in the form of physical objects. Evidence must be admissible according to the rules of court and the rules of evidence. See "circumstantial evidence," "hearsay," and "testimony.", applying the law, and reaching a decisionIn law, a judge's conclusions after hearing argument and considering the evidence presented at a trial or an application; a judgment; the judge's reasons. A judge's written or oral decision will include the judge's conclusions about the relief or remedies claimed as well as their findings of fact and conclusions of law. A written decision is called the judge’s "reasons for judgment." See "common law," "conclusions of law," and "findings of fact.". 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 lawyerA person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. See "barrister and solicitor." 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:

Before meeting with a lawyer or advocateA lawyer or a person other than a lawyer who helps clients with legal issues; to argue a position on behalf of a client., complete the form Preparing for Your Interview included in this Guide. Make sure you bring copies of all documents relating to your caseIn law, a court proceeding; a lawsuit; an action; a cause of action; a claim. Also the historic decisions of the court. See "action," "case law, " "court proceeding," and "precedent.".

Tipsandnotes.png
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.
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