Section 7

Notice of Termination

Sub-Section 7.8

Notice by a Landlord — Tenant Not Meeting Obligation (Other than Non-Payment of Rent)


s. 53, 96, The Residential Tenancies Act


Fixed-term tenancy: a tenancy agreement for a specific period of time, usually one year.

Month-to-month tenancy: a tenancy agreement for a month at a time.

Notice of termination: a written notice by a landlord to end a tenancy. Landlords must use the prescribed form when giving a tenant a notice of termination (the form set out in the Residential Tenancies Regulation).

Tenancy agreement: a contract between a landlord and a tenant that sets out the basic rules for living in a rental unit. It can be written, oral or implied.

Utility: for the purpose of this subsection, utility includes heat, gas, electricity and water.


A landlord can end a tenancy when a tenant doesn’t meet an obligation under the Act or a tenancy agreement. However, before a landlord can do this, they must first give the tenant a written warning or a chance to correct the problem. For example: A tenant is noisy and disturbs other tenants. The landlord must tell them there’s a problem. They must warn the tenant, in writing, that they will give the tenant notice if they receive any more complaints. Or, if the tenant causes damage, the landlord must tell the tenant to repair it. The landlord must allow the tenant a reasonable length of time to do the repair.

If the tenant doesn’t correct the problem, then the landlord may give notice of at least one rental payment period. A landlord can give notice to end either a fixed-term or month-to-month tenancy. A landlord can give notice during the winter or during the school year.


If a tenant breaches a reasonable rule, the landlord may be able to give the tenant notice to move. The landlord must first give the tenant a written warning to comply with the rule.


A landlord usually approves or refuses a tenant because of information on the tenancy application. If the landlord approves a tenant and then finds out and can prove that the information on the application is fraudulent, the landlord can end the tenancy. Thelandlordcangivethe tenant at least one rental payment period notice to move out. For example: The tenant uses someone else’s name and references on their application. The landlord approves the tenant for tenancy. The landlord then finds out the tenant’s real name.


If a tenant marries, has a child or adopts a child during the term of the agreement, it’s considered a natural increase in the tenant’s family. If this happens, a landlord can’t give the tenant notice to move or ask them to pay more rent. If a tenant brings a foster child to live in a rental unit, it’s considered a business arrangement, not a natural increase in the tenant’s family.


Under a tenancy agreement, a tenant can be responsible for paying one or more of the utility bills. If the tenant doesn’t pay the bill, the utility company may shut off service or tell the landlord they plan to shut it off. In some cases, the landlord may learn that the tenant has not paid the utility bill, but there isn’t a risk of a shut off yet. In any of these situations, the landlord can give the tenant a deadline to pay the bill. If the tenant still doesn’t pay, the landlord can give a notice of at least one rental payment period to end the tenancy. If there’s extraordinary damage or a chance of extraordinary damage, because of a utility shut-off, and the landlord wants to give notice, they must give at least five days’ notice. For example: If the hydro is shut off in January, the water pipes freeze and burst because the furnace isn’t on. Or, if the tenant’s gas is shut off in the spring and the tenant doesn’t have the service restored by "heating season" – late September or early October, there’s potential for damage.

In some cases, to prevent or minimize the damage, a landlord should consider putting the utility in their name to maintain or restore the service. If the landlord does this, it doesn’t interfere with their right to give notice.


There are some cases where a landlord may give a shorter notice. In these cases, a landlord doesn’t have to give the tenant a warning or a chance to correct the problem first. A landlord may give five days’ notice if a tenant:

  • causes extraordinary damage to their unit or a common area;
  • risks the health or safety of the landlord or other tenants;
  • creates an extraordinary disturbance.


If a landlord gives a tenant a notice to move before the end of a rental payment period, the landlord must return any unused rent to the tenant. For example: A landlord gives a tenant notice to move on or before May 15 for disturbing other tenants. The tenant moves May 15. The landlord must refund $263.04 to the tenant ($500.00 x 12 ¸ 365 = $16.44 x 16 days remaining in the month = $263.04).

If a landlord doesn’t return the rent, the tenant may file a claim with the Branch.


The day on which notice is served or delivered can’t be counted or included in the period of notice. For example: A five-day notice, given to a tenant on a Monday, takes effect on Saturday, not Friday.


When giving a tenant notice, a landlord must deliver the notice to the tenant in person. The landlord can also hand it to an adult at the rental unit. If there is more than one tenant, the landlord must put all the names on the notice. However, generally the landlord doesn’t need to give each tenant their own copy of the notice. If the landlord has difficulty serving the notice to any party, they can contact the Branch for permission to serve the notice in some other way.


When a tenancy is ending, the Branch encourages a landlord and tenant to discuss move-out arrangements ahead of time. For example: booking an elevator, if necessary; or setting up an appointment to complete a rental unit condition report. A tenant doesn’t have the right to stay in a rental unit beyond the last day of a notice period. If a tenant needs to stay in a rental unit until the first day of the next rental payment period, they must make special arrangements with the landlord.


If a tenant doesn’t move after receiving a notice of termination, a landlord may apply to the Branch for an Order of Possession and file a claim for money that the tenant owes. A landlord can’t legally change the locks on a rental unit to force a tenant out. If a landlord locks a tenant out, the tenant may ask the Branch for help. The Branch will try to solve the problem through mediation. If mediation is not successful, the Branch may order the landlord to let the tenant back into the rental unit. If the landlord doesn’t comply with the Order, the Branch may authorize the tenant to hire a locksmith and deduct the cost from their rent. The Branch may also impose administrative penalties. This may be considered if there is a serious or repeated breach of either the Act or an Order issued by the Branch or the Residential Tenancies Commission.




Either a landlord or tenant can ask the Branch for information on how to end a tenancy. They can ask the Branch to help them end a tenancy through mediation or by making a decision and issuing an Order.

Steps ▼

1.The officer encourages the landlord and tenant to share information, and to discuss the problem, to try to come to an agreement.

2.When a tenant or landlord asks the Branch for help with a notice of termination problem, an appropriate officer follows the procedures for:

    • mediation
    • orders of possession
    • hearings

Forms & Form Letters

Notice of Termination by Landlord (For cause other than non-payment of rent or tenant services charge)
.................................................Form 10/ Residential Tenancies Regulation


For information on mediation, see Section 1.
For details on late payment of rent, see Late Payment Fees in Section 2.
Orders of Possession are dealt with in Section 8.
Hearings are covered in Section 11.

Policy Developed

September, 1992

Last Revision

June, 2015

Other Resources




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