Moving Out or Being Evicted
- If you have not signed a lease you can give notice to move out.
- You can be evicted for things like not paying the rent.
- Your landlord must return your security deposit if they are not claiming it for damages or unpaid rent.
If you want to move out you must give your landlord notice. If you do not give enough notice you may have to pay for an extra week or month. If you rent by the week you must give one week’s notice. If you rent by the month you must give one month’s notice. If you have agreed to rent a place for a set amount of time, such as 12 months, you cannot give notice to end the agreement early.*
You must give notice the day before your rent is due for the next week or month. For example, if you pay your rent on the first of the month and want to move out at the end of October you must give notice on September 30.
If your place is no longer fit and safe to live in you can move out right away. You must give the landlord notice the day before you are moving out. Your notice must set out what the problem is. This kind of notice is only for serious problems, like no heat in the winter. You must give your landlord a chance to fix the problem before giving this type of notice.
Any notice that you are moving out must be in writing. It must include the date, your name, the address of your place and the date you want to move out. You can give it to your landlord in person or by mail. You can also send it by email, text or fax.
*Victims of Interpersonal Violence
If you are a tenant experiencing interpersonal violence you may be able to end a lease early if remaining in the tenancy could pose a safety risk. To do this you must obtain a certificate from Victims Services. The certificate allows you to end a fixed term tenancy by giving 28 days’ notice to the landlord. For more information, contact Victim Services toll free at 1-888-286-6664.
There are some situations where your landlord can decide to no longer rent to you. The landlord must have a reason allowed by the law and must give you notice. The reason must be in the notice. This notice can be served on you in-person. If it is not served in-person it must be posted on your door and either mailed to you or sent by email or text.
If you receive a notice that you are being evicted you can agree to move out. If you do not think your landlord has a good reason to evict you, you can stay in your place. Your landlord cannot physically remove you or lock you out. In these cases there will be a hearing to settle the matter. See Disputes for more information.
If your rent or utility payments are more than 15 days overdue your landlord can give you notice to leave immediately. In other cases your landlord can give you one month’s notice to move out. These include if you:
- are more than 30 days late paying the security deposit
- are repeatedly late with the rent
- repeatedly break reasonable rules established by the landlord (you must be told about these rules and they must be in writing)
- damage the property and do not repair it within a reasonable time after you were notified of the problem
- cause very serious damage to the property
- allow an unreasonable number of people to live in your place
Generally, your landlord has to give you time to correct the situation before giving you notice to move out. Different rules may apply if you rent a space in your landlord’s house. For example, if you have been told that there is no smoking allowed but you continue to smoke in the house, they do not have to give you a chance to correct the situation. They can simply give you notice to move out.
A landlord can also give you one month’s notice to move out if you rent the place as the landlord’s employee and you quit or are fired. This can include situations where you are a caretaker or manager of a building. Landlords can also give you one month’s notice to move out if the property is sold.
Landlords must give you two months’ notice if they want you to leave because:
- a close friend or family member wants to move in
- they are planning on tearing down, renovating or doing major repairs on the place, or
- the property is no longer going to be rented out as a place to live
Return of Security Deposit
After you move out your landlord has 7 business days to return your security deposit to you. If you have to move out because the property is being torn down or renovated you must be given your full security deposit back.
If you think you should be getting some or all of the security deposit back but your landlord has not returned it, you can ask the Office of Residential Tenancies for help. You can fill out a Tenant Application for Return of Security Deposit and Interest.
If the landlord wants to keep some or all of the security deposit they must serve notice on you. However, if you have not given them a way to reach you, they do not have to serve this notice on you. If you receive a written claim from the landlord and you do not agree with it, you can fill out the bottom of the claim form and send it to the Office of Residential Tenancies. See Disputes for more information.
You and your landlord may also agree that they will keep some or all of the security deposit.
Published on October 21, 2016.