Ending a tenancy due to domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking

In Manitoba, under The Residential Tenancies Act, you can end your residential tenancy agreement if you:

  • Are a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking
  • You currently feel unsafe in your home or believe there is a risk to your and/or your children’s safety if you stay in your rental unit as a result of domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking (includes physical, emotional or psychological safety)

You must do two things to end your tenancy agreement:

  • You must request a certificate to end your tenancy from Manitoba Justice Victim Services.
  • You must provide notice to your landlord that is not less than one rental payment period (a rental period is usually one month).

Ending a Tenancy due to Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence or Stalking Application Form

How do I request a certificate to end my tenancy?

  1. Complete the Ending a Tenancy due to Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence or Stalking application form. After completing the form, have it signed by a certified professional (see below for a list of certified professionals), then send it to Manitoba Justice Victim Services at:
    VictimServicesCourtOrders@gov.mb.ca
    OR
    Manitoba Justice Victim Services
    1410-405 Broadway
    Winnipeg, MB R3C 3L6
  2. If you have made a report to police, or have a court order (such as a protection order) related to domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking, you do not need to fill out the application form. Instead, you can call Manitoba Justice Victim Services and tell them you want to end your tenancy. You can reach them by phone at 204-945-6851 or toll-free at 1-866-4-VICTIM (1-866-484-2846).

Once you have contacted Manitoba Justice Victim Services, they will arrange a time to speak with you to discuss the matter and provide the certificate to end the tenancy. To complete the process, you need to give the certificate and a notice of termination to your landlord. You can use Form 7 – Notice of Termination by Tenant – to provide the required written notice.

Do I need to make a police report?

No. However, you can contact the police to report what happened to you if you choose. You can also use the application form and submit it to Victim Services, without involving the police.

What is a certified professional?

People who can complete and sign the certified professional statement include:

  • physicians and other doctors
  • registered nurses and psychiatric nurses
  • psychologists;
  • registered social workers;
  • police officers;
  • A person employed at an emergency or transitional shelter for persons who are at risk of homelessness or violence, if the person is authorized by their employer
  • A person employed to provide support services for victims of domestic or sexual violence or stalking (such as therapists and counselors) if the person is authorized by their employer

If you are not sure who to ask, seek advice from your local women’s centre, family resource centre or community health centre, or call your doctor.

Can I still apply if I don’t know the person who harmed me?

Yes. You can apply to terminate your lease if you have experienced sexual violence or stalking and you fear for your safety, even if you do not know the person who harmed you.

I live with other people who are also named on the lease. How does this process affect them?

If you use a certificate under The Residential Tenancies Act to end your lease, the entire tenancy agreement will be terminated. You do not have to tell the other tenants that you have terminated the lease, unless you feel comfortable doing so. The landlord will be required to notify the other tenants of the termination.

Co-tenants may negotiate with the landlord to stay in the premises if they wish, and can sign a new tenancy agreement if the landlord agrees to let them stay.

After your last rental payment, and once the certificate is presented to your landlord, you are no longer responsible for the financial obligations of the tenancy agreement.

If I use a certificate under The Residential Tenancies Act to terminate my lease early, will I still get my damage deposit and my pet damage deposit back?

All of your rights as a tenant still apply in this situation. As long as the landlord does not have a legitimate claim against your damage deposit or pet damage deposit, they must return those deposits to you.

For more information about damage deposit refunds, see https://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/ot/gbook/s10securitydeposit_refundingasd7.html

Will I receive a bad reference if I use the certificate to end my tenancy?

A landlord cannot give a bad reference just because you received a certificate to end your tenancy early. Under Section 92.4(5) of The Residential Tenancies Act, all information received for a termination due to domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking, must be kept confidential.

If I submit the certificate to the landlord in the middle of a payment period, do I still need to pay rent the next payment period?

Yes. When you terminate your lease with a certificate under The Residential Tenancies Act, the lease is officially terminated on the last day of the next rental payment period, which could be more than one month from when you submit the certificate. For instance, if rent is due on June 1 and you submit the certificate on May 15, your lease will end on June 30, meaning that you still need to pay rent on June 1.

Once you have paid the last rental payment after you present the certificate to your landlord, you are no longer responsible for the financial obligations of the tenancy agreement.

Do I need to wait for the landlord to respond to my certificate and notice?

The day you submit your certificate and Notice of Termination to the landlord is considered the notice date. Make sure you keep a copy of the certificate and write down when and where you gave the certificate to your landlord.

Will the landlord ask for additional information or investigate my situation?

No. When you submit the certificate and your notice of termination, that is all the information landlord can ask for, and they cannot investigate further. You do not need to tell the landlord the details of your situation or explain what happened to them.

Under Section 92.4(5) of The Residential Tenancies Act, the landlord must keep all information received for a termination due to domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking confidential.

I don’t feel comfortable giving the certificate to the caretaker of my building. What else can I do?

If your building is professionally managed, you can give the certificate directly to the property management company instead of the caretaker (person who takes care of the building on behalf of the landlord, or the landlord’s on-site representative).

If you are uncomfortable giving the certificate to the property management company, or you have concerns about a landlord whom you deal with directly, contact the Residential Tenancies Branch at 1-800-782-8403, or contact Manitoba Justice Victim Services by phone at 204-945-6851 or toll-free at 1-866-4-VICTIM (1-866-484-2846).

I have immediate safety concerns. Do I need to wait until my tenancy is terminated before I move?

If you are at risk, you do not need to wait until your lease is officially terminated to move out. Call the domestic violence information/crisis line at 1-877-977-0007 to discuss your options and get information about services in your area. The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and all calls are confidential.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

Who do I contact if I need help with the application process?

If you need help or support during the application process, contact Manitoba Justice Victim Services by phone at 204-945-6851 or toll-free at 1-866-4-VICTIM (1-866-484-2846).

I am having problems dealing with my landlord. What can I do?

If you are having problems with your landlord, contact the Residential Tenancies Branch or Manitoba Justice Victim Services to discuss your situation and find out what options are available to you.

Contact the Residential Tenancies Branch at 1-800-782-8403

Contact Manitoba Justice Victim Services at: 1-866-4-VICTIM (1-866-484-2846)

How do I contact Manitoba Justice Victim Services?

You can contact Victim Services by phone at 204-945-6851 or toll-free at 1-866-4-VICTIM (1-866-484-2846)

If you are submitting an application form, once all sections of the form have been filled out, you can send it by email or mail to:

Email address: VictimServicesCourtOrders@gov.mb.ca

Mailing address: Manitoba Justice Victim Services
1410-405 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 3L6

Ending Tenancy Form

For more information:

Contact Manitoba Justice Victim Services at 1-866-4-VICTIM (1-866-484-2846) or visit https://manitoba.ca/victimservices

Visit the Residential Tenancies Branch website: https://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/index.html

Find Residential Tenancies Branch office contact information at: https://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/detailde.html

Find other community resources in Winnipeg: http://www.manitoba.ca/justice/crown/victims/pubs/resource_map.pdf

Find other community resources in Brandon: http://www.manitoba.ca/justice/crown/victims/pubs/resource_map_brandon.pdf

Ending a Tenancy due to Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence or Stalking Application Form

Resources:

24/7 Domestic Violence Information/Crisis Line at 1-877-977-0007

24/7 Sexual Assault Crisis Line (Klinic Community Health) at 204-786-8631
Toll free: 1-888-292-7565

Ka Ni Kanichihk Heart Medicine Lodge at 204-594-6500

Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre (Eastern Manitoba) at 204-753-5353