End of a tenancy: rights and responsibilities of tenants

Tenants have certain rights and responsibilities at the end of a tenancy (lease). You need to give your landlord notice in writing, using the correct form. You need to serve the notice in person or send it by registered mail.

At the end of a tenancy, a tenant has certain rights and responsibilities. These guidelines include information on notice to quit, how much notice you need to give, early termination, security deposits and your belongings.

At the end of the lease period

You don’t need to give a reason to end a lease at the end of a term.

Giving your landlord notice to quit

You need to give your landlord notice to quit:

  • at least 3 full months before the anniversary date for year-to-year leases
  • at least 1 full month for month-to-month leases
  • at least 1 full week for week-to-week lease

If you leave without giving your landlord proper notice, you’re still responsible for your lease until your landlord can re-rent the unit.

Early termination due to health reasons

Use Form G: Tenant’s Notice to Quit - Early Termination of Tenancy to end a lease early if your health has significantly deteriorated or you’ve been accepted into a nursing home. You need to give your landlord 1 month’s notice.

Early termination due to cannabis rules

Use Tenant’s Notice to Quit - Early Termination of Tenancy Due to Cannabis Rules Form to end a lease early if you want to move out because the landlord has changed the rules to restrict smoking or growing recreational cannabis in the rental. You need to give your landlord 3 months’ notice.

Late rent

If you are more than 15 days late paying your rent, your landlord can give you notice to quit. You then have 15 more days to pay your rent. If you don't pay your rent within those 15 days, you have to move out.

If you pay your rent before the 15 days are over, the Notice to Quit will be set aside and your lease will continue as it did before.

If your landlord gives you a Notice to Quit and you believe you’ve paid the rent, you can dispute the notice.

Not following the rules in your lease

If you don’t follow the rules in your lease regarding the condition of the unit (for example, damage or failing to clean) or your behavior (for example, disturbing other tenants), or if you sublet or assign your lease without permission from the landlord, your landlord can give you notice to quit. If your landlord gives you a Notice to Quit and you disagree with the reasons, you can dispute the notice.

Security deposits

You can’t deduct the amount of the security deposit from your final rent payment. Your landlord needs to return your deposit to you within 10 days of the last day of your tenancy.

The landlord can use the security deposit against any rent that you owe or damages. You aren’t responsible for the normal wear and tear of the unit during the tenancy.

If the landlord wants to keep all or part of the deposit, they need to get your permission in writing. If you don’t give permission, the landlord needs to file with the Residential Tenancies program within 10 days of the end of the tenancy. The landlord needs to send a copy to you.

If you don’t agree to the landlord keeping your deposit and you don’t get it back within 10 days of the last day of your tenancy, contact the landlord and ask them to return the deposit. If the landlord still doesn’t return your deposit, file an Application to the Director to formally request the landlord returns your deposit.

You need to give the landlord an address where they can send you the security deposit, or you need to make arrangements to collect it.

Your belongings

Take all of your belongings with you when you leave. If you can’t take something, but want to come back for it later, ask your landlord if they are willing to store it for you. The landlord can charge to store items.

If there are items you don’t want to move, get rid of them in the appropriate manner. This could include selling the item or putting it in the garbage.

If you don’t remove everything from your unit, the landlord has to make a list of all items left behind.

The landlord has to store the items for 60 days. If you want to claim the items, the landlord may charge you for the cost of moving and storing them.

The landlord has to file the list of items with the Residential Tenancies program and send a copy to you. After 60 days, the landlord can request permission to sell any items that have value, using the process given in the regulations.

If you have purposely left items that the landlord feels are unsafe or unhealthy, the landlord can get rid of them.