We have been receiving a lot of phone calls with questions about fixed term tenancies, here is some information about your rights and responsibilities.
A fixed term tenancy means a tenancy agreement that specifies a date for which the tenancy ends. It has also been referred to as a “Lease”.
There are three circumstances in which a fixed term tenancy can be ended:
- Both the landlord and tenants agree in writing to end the tenancy. This should be completed on the “Mutual Agreement to End Tenancy Form” (RTB-8).
- Special Circumstances such as the tenant is fleeing violence or has been assessed and accepted into long term care. Both of these circumstances require a third party verifier to complete “Ending Fixed Term Tenancy Confirmation Statement” (RTB-49).
- As ordered by an Arbitrator of the Residential Tenancy Branch.
As of December 2017, a fixed term tenancy can no longer include a clause requiring the tenant to move out at the end of the fixed term tenancy unless:
- The tenancy is a sub-lease situation; or
- The tenancy agreement is a fixed term tenancy in circumstances prescribed is section 13.1 of the Residential Tenancy Regulations. According to Section 13.1 of the Regulations a landlord may include a term for the tenant to vacate at the end of the term if:
- The Landlord is an individual; and
- The Landlord or a close family member plan in good faith at the time of entering the agreement to occupy the rental at the end of the term.
If at the end of your fixed term tenancy the above does not apply, and you wish to remain in the tenancy, you and your landlord can either complete another fixed-term agreement or go month to month.
If the tenant does not plan on renewing or going month to month, the tenant may end the fixed term by giving the landlord written notice to end the tenancy effective on a date that:
- Is not earlier than one month after the date the landlord receives the notice;
- Is not earlier than the date specified in the tenancy agreement as the end; and
- Is the day before the day in the month or period on which the tenancy is based that the rent is payable.
If you have any questions about fixed term tenancies or understanding your rights and responsibilities as a tenant please contact our office at 250-493-6822. We have two poverty law advocates who assist with tenancy matters and questions!
Written by our Poverty Law Advocate, Christie Johnson