Enforcing an Order made by the Residential Tenancy Branch

How do I enforce an order issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch?

BC Landlord Guide- Enforcing an Order
How do I enforce an order issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch?

The Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) has no power to enforce its own orders. As such, a party seeking to enforce an order issued by the RTB must apply, depending on the nature of the order, to either the Supreme Court of British Columbia (Supreme Court) or the Provincial Court of British Columbia (Small Claims Court) for enforcement.

Before doing so, the party seeking to enforce the order must serve the opposing party with it. Once the order is served, the enforcing party must wait until the applicable review period (ie. 2, 5 or 15 days) has passed. At the end of this period, the enforcing party should contact the RTB to verify whether an Application for Review Consideration has been filed by the opposing party within the prescribed deadline as the opposing party has no obligation to provide notice before filing an Application for Review Consideration. If the opposing party has filed for a review of the order, the enforcing party has no choice but to wait until either the review application has been dismissed or the review proceedings have concluded.

With monetary orders, when serving the opposing party with the order, the enforcing party should also provide in writing a reasonable deadline within which the payment should be made. If the opposing party does not pay within this reasonable deadline and the applicable review period has passed without any application for review being made, the enforcing party may apply to the Small Claims Court to have their monetary order enforced.

With orders of possession, if a tenant refuses to vacate despite being served with the order and if the applicable review period has passed without any application for review being made by the tenant, the landlord may apply to the Supreme Court to have the Order of Possession enforced. The landlord must ask the Supreme Court for a Writ of Possession which, in turn, can be used to hire an authorized court bailiff to evict the tenant.

Last revised: April 17, 2016

  • Contrary to popular belief, you cannot simply force your tenant to vacate the rental unit after obtaining an Order of Possession from the Residential Tenancy Branch. In fact, under no circumstances are you ever permitted to personally remove your tenant or your tenant’s property. By doing so, you expose yourself to personal liability for what would still be considered an illegal eviction. If you obtain an Order of Possession, you must follow the rules described above to have a bailiff evict your tenant unless the tenant agrees to vacate on their own after being served with the order.
  • When hiring a bailiff, you should ensure that that the company is an authorized court bailiff. There are many companies that advertise such services without prior approval from the courts.

This article explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada and is not a substitute for legal advice specific to your situation.