Eviction by Application to the Residential Tenancy Branch

How do I evict my tenant under urgent circumstances?

BC Landlord Guide- Eviction by Application to the Residential Tenancy Branch
How do I evict my tenant under urgent circumstances?

Certain situations may require the landlord to act more immediately to evict a tenant from the rental unit than otherwise possible by way of a one-month notice. In urgent cases, instead of issuing a one-month notice, the landlord may make an application to the Residential Tenancy Branch to seek an order to end the tenancy on a date that is earlier than the tenancy would end if notice to end tenancy were given by the landlord.

If it determined by an arbitrator that it is unreasonable or unfair for the landlord or other occupants of the residential property to wait for a notice to end tenancy to take effect, the Residential Tenancy Branch will bring an end to the tenancy and will grant the landlord an order of possession in any of the following circumstances:

  • The tenant, or a person allowed on the residential property by the tenant, has:
    • significantly interfered with or unreasonably disturbed another occupant or the landlord;
    • seriously jeopardized the health or safety or a lawful right or interest of the landlord or another occupant, or
    • put the landlord’s property at significant risk;
  • The tenant or a person allowed on the residential property by the tenant has engaged in illegal activity that:
    • has caused or is likely to cause damage to the landlord’s property;
    • has adversely affected or is likely to adversely affect the quiet enjoyment, security, safety or physical well-being of another occupant of the residential property;
    • has jeopardized or is likely to jeopardize a lawful right or interest of another occupant or the landlord; or
    • has caused extraordinary damage to the residential property.

When serving a tenant with such an application, the landlord must use one of the recognized service methods:

  • Leaving a copy of the application with the tenant;
  • Leaving a copy of the application at the tenant’s residence with an adult who apparently resides with the tenant;
  • Sending a copy of the application by registered mail to the address at which the tenant resides, in which case service is deemed to take place on the 5th day after it is mailed;
  • Attaching a copy of the application to a door or other conspicuous place at the address at which the tenant resides, in which case service is deemed to take place on the 3rd day after it is attached;
  • Providing the copy of the application by any alternative service method ordered by the Residential Tenancy Branch.

Landlords will often seek to end a tenancy on the basis that the tenant significantly interfered with or unreasonably disturbed another occupant or the landlord. It is important to note that in order to make a finding of significant interference or unreasonable disturbance, the interference or disturbance in question has to either be recurring in nature or otherwise very egregious.

Last revised: April 17, 2016

  • An application for eviction under this section is reserved only for the most serious offenses or actions by a tenant. If you chose to apply to have a tenancy terminated earlier than you would be able to with a one-month notice of eviction, on the day of the hearing, you will have to prove to the arbitrator that your tenant’s actions warrant an immediate or otherwise rapid end to the tenancy.
  • For instance, even if you prove that your tenant has engaged in an illegal activity that has caused extraordinary damage to the residential property, in order for your application to be successful, you will also have to prove that this urgent situation rendered it unreasonable for you to have simply issued a one-month eviction notice to your tenant. The fact that you didn’t have the patience to wait until the effective date of the notice is not likely to be acknowledged by an arbitrator as an urgent circumstance. On the other hand, the fact that the tenant is continuing to cause extraordinary damage or is likely to continue causing extraordinary damage unless the tenancy ends immediately will most likely qualify as an urgent circumstance.

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.