[Updated May 2022] Landlord Guide: How To End Or Extend A Tenancy Agreement

How to end or extend a tenancy agreement

The end of a tenancy agreement always brings about some level of confusion from both landlord and tenant. What happens next? Do you have to renegotiate the lease? Today, we’ll be looking at all the reasons a tenancy agreement may end (e.g. tenant giving early notice, eviction, end of a lease), and what to do in each situation. Remember that tenancy regulations are always subject to change and there are many nuanced situations that can vary by province. For the most up-to-date information, be sure to consult your local Residential Tenancy Board.


Table of Contents




How to end a tenancy agreement

How to end a tenancy agreement

The ways in which a tenancy ends and the reasons for doing so can vary by province. We’ve broken down policies for B.C. and Ontario here, but again – be sure to consult your local residential tenancy regulations for the final say.

Pro-tip: Any past, current, and upcoming contracts signed on the liv.rent platform can be pulled up, shared, and exported in just a few clicks.  You have access to all of the necessary details in the palm of your hands, wherever you go.


How to end a tenancy in B.C.

There are four common scenarios in which a fixed-term tenancy in B.C. can end:

  1. The tenant must vacate at the end of the fixed term. This happens only when you or a close family member intends to move in at the end of the fixed term. If this is the case, the lease agreement must make this clear, or the landlord must give two-months’ notice prior to the end of the contract.
  2. The tenant gives one month’s notice to end the tenancy. The end date for this must not be before the end of the fixed-term contract.
  3. A mutual agreement to end the tenancy is reached between landlord and tenant. At any point during the tenancy, the landlord and tenant can reach an agreement to end the contract early, or at the contract’s completion. Neither party is obligated to sign this agreement.
  4. If the tenancy agreement does not explicitly say what will happen at the end of a fixed-term, your lease will automatically continue on a month-to-month basis, unless you and your tenant mutually agree to renew on a fixed-term basis.

For the type of notice required, see the section below for Notice Required for Ending Tenancy.

For the most up-to-date information on ending tenancies in B.C., you can find the latest guidelines here. For more on the type of notice landlords must give and the dispute resolution process, consult this resource.


How to end a tenancy in Ontario

Here are four common scenarios in which fixed-term leases in Ontario can end:

  1. The tenant must vacate at the end of the fixed term. This can happen for any of the reasons outlined here, such as for extensive repairs where the unit must be empty, or the landlord or their close family member wishes to move in. In any case, proper notice must be given.
  2. The tenant gives two months’ notice to end the tenancy. The end date for this must not be before the end of the fixed-term contract.
  3. A mutual agreement to end the tenancy is reached between landlord and tenant. At any point during the tenancy, the landlord and tenant can reach an agreement to end the contract early, or at the contract’s completion. Neither party is obligated to sign this agreement.
  4. If the tenancy agreement does not explicitly say what will happen at the end of a fixed-term, your lease will automatically continue on a month-to-month basis, unless you and your tenant mutually agree to renew on a fixed-term basis.

Tenancy rules are constantly changing – always consult your local Residential Tenancy Board for the most up-to-date information. This resource has the latest information on how landlords can end tenancies, and the type of notice required to do so.


How To End A Tenancy Agreement Early

How to end a tenancy agreement early


How to end a tenancy early in B.C.

Mutual agreement to end tenancy in B.C.

Landlords and tenants may mutually agree to end a lease early at any time during the tenancy, so long as this agreement is in writing and signed by both parties.


How landlords can end a tenancy early in B.C.

Landlords in B.C. can end a fixed-term tenancy early by serving a Notice to End Tenancy with the proper notice, as outlined here. This is typically for issues such as unpaid rent or utilities, an unpermitted sublet, or for breaking a material term of the lease. Some common reasons for ending tenancies early include:

  • Unpaid rent or utilities.
  • For cause or for end of employment.
  • Landlord’s use of property.
  • Tenant does not qualify for subsidized rental unit.
  • Demolition or conversion of the rental unit to another use.

Note: Landlords cannot end a fixed-term lease early for renovation or repair. The eviction notice must be given 4 months prior to the lease’s completion, but the lease must be allowed to continue.


How tenants can end a tenancy early in B.C.

Normally when tenants ‘break a lease’ by ending a fixed-term tenancy early, they will be asked to compensate the landlord for unpaid rent and any costs associated with finding a new tenant. There are some special circumstances where this might not be required, though.

Here are some examples of when tenants can end a tenancy early by giving one month’s written notice and the proper documentation:

  • The tenant must leave their rental unit to protect themselves or their children from domestic violence
  • The tenant has been assessed as requiring long-term care
  • The tenant has been accepted to a long-term care facility

For the most up-to-date guidelines on how tenants can end a tenancy early, be sure to consult B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Board for more information.


How to end a tenancy early in Ontario

Mutual agreement to end tenancy in Ontario

  • Landlords and tenants may mutually agree to end a lease early at any time during the tenancy. This can be done verbally or in writing.

How landlords can end a tenancy early in B.C.

Landlords in Ontario can only end a fixed-term tenancy early by serving a Notice to End Tenancy with the proper notice, as outlined here. This is typically for issues such as not paying rent in full, causing damage to the unit, or for disturbing other tenants. When any notice is served, the landlord must still apply to the LTB to approve the notice, in which case a hearing will generally be scheduled.

The following are some common reasons landlords can serve a Notice to End Tenancy in Ontario:

  • Non-Payment of Rent/Not Paying the Rent in Full/Persistent Late Payment of Rent
  • Causing Damage to the Rental Property
  • Illegal Activity
  • Impairing the Safety of Others
  • Interfering with Reasonable Enjoyment of Other Tenants or the Landlord.

Note: Landlords cannot end a fixed-term lease early for demolition, conversion, renovation or repair. The eviction notice must be given 4 months prior to the lease’s completion, but the lease must be allowed to continue until its end date.


How tenants can end a tenancy early in Ontario

A tenant can end a month-to-month tenancy by providing proper notice. In Ontario, tenants must give at least two months’ notice.

If they are breaking a fixed-term lease, however, they need to find an assignment or sublet (with the landlord’s permission), or else they may have to pay the landlord for costs of re-renting the unit – like advertising or lost rent.

As a landlord, however, you are obligated to make every effort to limit these costs by trying to rent the unit as soon as possible.

For the most up-to-date guidelines on ending a tenancy early, be sure to consult Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board for more information.


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How Many Days Notice To End Tenancy

How many days notice to end tenancy

There are a number of reasons why you as a landlord could choose to give a Notice to End Tenancy. Let’s look at the most common, broken down by province:


Type of notice required to end tenancy in BC:

reasons for ending tenancy and notice required in bc via liv rent

*For a complete list of reasons for a one-month notice, click here

**If the tenant pays all the rent and utilities owing within five days of receiving the notice, the notice is cancelled and the tenancy continues.

Resources


Type of notice required to End Tenancy in Ontario:

*14 days if this is the second notice within 6 months

**7 days if the tenant is renting on a weekly/daily basis


Resources


How To Extend A Tenancy Agreement

How to extend a tenancy agreement

You, the landlord, should extend terms of a subsequent lease (new lease contract) to your tenant at least 60 days before the existing one expires especially if you are raising the rent by the allowable amount. If you do not issue a new lease, the existing one will automatically roll over to a month-to-month lease. This is the case in both B.C. and Ontario. If you do issue a new lease, the tenant has no obligation to sign and if they don’t, the arrangement will simply continue as a month-to-month lease.

How to end a tenancy on liv.rent

Ending a tenancy can be done quickly and easily right within the liv.rent platform. Remember that you cannot end a tenancy unless you’ve indicated it within the original lease agreement. Otherwise, the tenancy will continue on a month-to-month basis. Tenants can also request to end a month-to-month tenancy with one month’s notice.

To end a month-to-month tenancy on liv.rent, follow these simple steps:

Tenant Dashboard –> Select Tenancy –> Select More Options –> Choose End Tenancy –> Select End Tenancy Date 


How to extend a tenancy on liv.rent

Likewise, landlords can offer tenants the option to extend their tenancy on the liv.rent platform. This must be extended at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the existing lease agreement.

As with ending a tenancy, landlords simply need to navigate to the Tenant Dashboard and go through the following steps:

Tenant Dashboard –> Select Tenancy–> Select More Options –> Choose Renew Contract



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Kristina Ikavalko

Kristina Ikavalko

Creative Content Creator at liv.rent

Creative Content Creator for liv.rent, based in Vancouver. [Read Full Bio]

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