RTA Part 1 – Giving Notice to Vacate
It’s time to move out of the place you’re living in and you want to give notice to the Landlord. But what’s the right way to do it? You want to make sure you do it correctly so you don’t get stuck staying another month, or worse, you end up paying rent on two places. Giving notice to vacate – what is the correct way to notify your Landlord?
Notice in Writing
A tenant may end a month-to-month tenancy by giving the Landlord one months’ notice in writing. The notice must be received by the Landlord on or before the last day of the month, to be effective on the last day of the next calendar month. In other words, if you want to move out at the end of August, your Landlord must receive notice in writing on or before July 31. If you don’t give notice until August 1 it’s considered late notice and it will be effective September 30.
Ending a fixed term tenancy (one that doesn’t require the tenant to move out at the end) also requires one months’ written notice, but with one significant exception. It cannot be effective earlier than the end date in the Tenancy Agreement. For example, if your tenancy agreement ends on September 30, and you want to vacate on September 30, you would give the Landlord notice no later than August 31. You can’t give notice to end the tenancy on August 31 because the tenancy agreement states the end date is September 30. If you do give notice and vacate early without the Landlord’s agreement, you may be held responsible for the September rent if a new tenant is not found to take your place.
In either case (fixed term or month-to-month), the notice must be in writing and be received by the Landlord or Property Manager on or before the last day of the month to be effective on the last day of the next calendar month. It has to include:
- the address of the premises you are vacating
- the effective date of the notice (the date you plan to vacate by)
- it must be dated
- it must be signed by all of the Tenants on the Tenancy Agreement.
Giving Notice to Vacate
It is important to note that the Residential Tenancy Act does not recognize email as a valid method of giving notice, so make sure you get the letter to your Landlord by mail or fax, or by dropping it off to them.
If you have any doubt about giving notice to vacate, legal notice for your specific situation, call the Residential Tenancy Office or your Landlord or Property Manager. You can also check out section 45 of the Residential Tenancy Act on the RTO website.
This is not a legal opinion or advice, but rather a general overview. For exact wording, or legal interpretations, please contact the Residential Tenancy Office at 1-800-665-8779, or check their website at www.rto.gov.bc.ca [su_divider]
Read more about the 5 key sections in the Residential Tenancy Act that Tenants should be aware of here. Next article: RTA Part 2 The Landlord’s Right to Enter and Inspect the Premises.
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