Landlord Guide: How To Evict A Tenant

Eviction is not a pretty word. It is a last resort but it is a reality when you have bad tenants. So as a landlord, you need to know how to evict a tenant. The most common reason for eviction is unpaid rent. Missed rent payments can have a huge impact on your cash flow, occasionally making eviction notices a necessary evil.

Reasons for Eviction

If it comes to this, you will have to give your tenant approved notice with an acceptable reason for eviction outlined in the Residential Tenancy Act.  These include:

  • The tenant doesn’t pay security or pet deposit within 30 days of the date required under the tenancy agreement
  • The tenant is repeatedly late paying rent (at least 3 times).
  • There are too many occupants in the rental unit
  • The tenant has disturbed another occupant or the landlord or seriously jeopardized the health or safety of another occupant or the landlord
  • The tenant has put the property at significant risk
  • The tenant has engaged in illegal activity in the rental suite that has caused or is likely to cause damage to the landlord’s property or adversely affect the quiet enjoyment, security, safety or physical well-being of other occupants
  • The tenant has endangered another occupant or the landlord
  • The tenant has caused significant damage to the rental unit and does not repair the damage within a reasonable time
  • The tenant sublets the property without express consent from the landlord
  • The tenant provides false information about the property to a prospective tenant or buyer.

This is not a complete list. Please refer to Section 47 of the RTA.

Types of Eviction Notice

There are four main types of eviction notices:

10 Day Eviction Notice

1) 10 Day Eviction Notice for Non-Payment of Rent

This is the most serious of the four types of evictions. You can issue a 10 Day Eviction Notice for Non-payment of Rent even if tenant is only a few dollars short or one day late. The tenant will have five days to pay the missing portion in order to cancel this type of eviction notice.  If the tenant believes you have unfairly issued this notice, they have five days to apply for dispute resolution to prove they in fact paid the rent in time. If neither action is taken, tenant will have to vacate in 10 days. You can use the Residential Tenancy Branch’s “Direct Request” process to quickly obtain an Order of Possession without even participating in a dispute resolution hearing.

If a tenant fails to pay you for utilities owed, you can issue this type of eviction notice too but only after you have given the tenant a 30 day written notice demanding payment.

Being evicted for non-payment of rent does not relieve a tenant of their debt for that month. You can pursue the tenant for the entire month of rent owed.

30 Day Eviction Notice

2) 30 Day Eviction Notice for Cause

The most common reasons for receiving a 30 Day Eviction Notice are:

  • Unreasonably disturbing you, the landlord, or other occupants;
  • Repeatedly paying rent late (at least three times within an unreasonably short period);
  • Causing serious damage to the rental unit or building and not fixing or repairing the damage.;
  • Causing danger to your landlord or other occupants;
  • Too many occupants living in the rental unit;
  • Engaging in illegal activity that negatively affects your rental unit, building, landlord, or other occupants; and
  • Breaching a “material term” (serious rule) of your tenancy agreement and ignoring a written warning from your landlord.

If the tenant does not dispute eviction, they will have until the last day of the next month to move out (assuming they pay rent on the 1st of the month).

If, however, the tenant is causing extremely serious problems, you can ask the RTB for permission to evict the troublesome tenant before a One Month Eviction Notice takes effect. You do not have to give the tenant an eviction notice before applying for this type of dispute resolution hearing. However, you must provide the tenant with notice of the hearing so that they have a chance to present evidence and defend themselves to an arbitrator.

2 Month Eviction Notice

3) 2 Month Eviction Notice for Landlord’s Use of Property

According to sections 49 and 49.1 of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), you can issue a Two Month Eviction Notice if:

  • You or a “close family member” (RTA defines this as you, your spouse, your children or parents) wants to occupy the rental unit;
  • The rental unit has been sold and the purchaser or a “close family member” of the purchaser wants to occupy your rental unit; or
  • Tenant no longer qualifies for your subsidized rental unit.

4 Month Eviction Notice

4) 4 Month Eviction Notice for Landlord’s Use of Property

According to section 49 of the RTA, you can issue you a Four Month Eviction Notice if you plan to:

  • demolish a rental unit;
  • make major renovations that require the rental unit to be empty for an extended period;
  • convert the residential property to strata lots under the Strata Property Act;
  • convert the residential property into cooperative housing under the Cooperative Association Act;
  • convert a rental unit for use by a caretaker, manager, or superintendent of the residential property; or
  • convert a rental unit to a non-residential use.

As landlord, you must obtain the necessary permits required by law before issuing you a Four Month Eviction Notice.

Tenant Leaves Early

If your tenant wants to move out before the two-month or four-month notice period has ended, section 50 of the RTA says that they need only provide 10 days written notice to move out early.  When giving short notice to move out, the tenant is only required to pay for the days they actually lived in the rental unit. For example, if they paid the full rent for the first month of a two-month notice period, but then gave 10 days written notice and moved out before the end of that first month, you must pay them back for the days they did not live there. In addition, the tenant is still entitled to one month rent as compensation for the second month of the two-month notice period.

Right of First Refusal

In residential properties containing five or more rental units, tenants being evicted due to renovations or repairs have a “right of first refusal” to return to their unit once the renovations or repairs have been completed.

If interested, tenants must provide you, the landlord, written notice indicating their interest in the newly renovated unit. Then you will have to inform this tenant at least 45 days before the completion of the renovations or repairs to let them know the date your renovated unit will be available and provide a new tenancy agreement for that effective date. Rent can be set at any amount you choose.

There are strict penalties when it comes to this area of the law. If your landlord does not offer you a right of first refusal after you have given proper notice, they could end up owing you 12 months of your previous rent as compensation. See sections 51.2 and 51.3 of the RTA for more information.

Disputing End of Tenancy

This study looked at 127,114 disputes between Jan. 1, 2006 and April 30, 2017 in Metro Vancouver.

·     Of those, 75,610 (59.5 per cent) were disputes that had tenants as respondents, while 51,504 (40.5 per cent) were initiated by tenants themselves.

·     Most disputes initiated by landlords originated in Surrey (66.5 per cent), followed by Langley (66.3 per cent) and Coquitlam (65.5 per cent).

·     On the other side, most tenant-initiated disputes were in the City of Vancouver (48.7 per cent), followed by West Vancouver (45.3 per cent) and North Vancouver (41.4 per cent).


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Check out some of our other landlord content:

Landlord Guide to Returning and Holding Deposits

The Empty Homes Tax and How to Avoid it for 2019

Top 10 Tax Deductions for BC Landlords


Kristina Ikavalko

Kristina Ikavalko

Creative Content Creator at

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

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