Eviction for Termination of Employment

How can I evict my live-in/resident caretaker once their employment has ended?

BC Landlord Guide- Eviction for Termination of Employment
How can I evict my live-in/resident caretaker once their employment has ended?

A landlord may end the tenancy of a person employed as a live-in caretaker, manager or superintendent of a residential property provided that the following three conditions are met:

  • The rental unit was rented or provided to the tenant for the term of his or her employment;
  • The tenant’s employment as caretaker, manager or superintendent is terminated; and
  • The landlord intends in good faith to rent or provide the rental unit to a new caretaker, manager or superintendent.

These grounds for eviction require the landlord to be acting in good faith. Practically speaking, this means that the landlord must be acting with an honest intention and with no ulterior motive to defraud the tenant or to seek an unconscionable advantage.

The landlord’s notice is effective not earlier than one month after the date the resident-employee receives the notice and its effective date must be on the day before the day of the month that rent is normally due. Also, the effective date of the notice must not be earlier than the last day of the resident-employee’s employment.  For example, if a resident-employee’s rent is due on the first day of each month and the landlord intends to evict the resident-employee by July, the landlord may seek to terminate the tenancy on June 30th and, if so, will have to provide the resident-employee with their notice to end tenancy by May 31st. The landlord will also have to ensure that the resident-employee’s employment is terminated on or before June 30th by providing sufficient notice of termination of employment as required by the Employment Standards Act. Before issuing either notice, landlords should calculate the end dates to ensure that employment is terminated on or before the last day of the tenancy.

Within 10 days of receiving the landlord’s notice, the resident-employee may make an Application for Dispute Resolution. Otherwise, the resident-employee is presumed to have accepted that the tenancy ends on the effective day of the landlord’s notice and must vacate the rental unit by that date.

Last revised: May 13, 2016

  • The first requirement for eviction under this section may seem relatively straight forward. However, landlords often make the mistake of hiring resident caretakers without a written employment and/or written tenancy agreement. This can lead to confusion about whether the tenant was provided the rental unit as a condition of their employment. In other words, there may be a question as to whether the tenancy and the employment are co-dependent or if they can exist separately. When such ambiguity is present, the Residential Tenancy Branch will often side with the tenant and rule that the tenancy is separate from their employment. If any of the three requirements of this section are not met, while their employment may have ended, your former resident caretaker will still be entitled to occupy the rental unit as a regular tenant, provided that they continue to fulfill their obligations as a tenant.
  • If your rental building currently has a resident caretaker, you may at some point elect to replace your resident caretaker with an off-site employee or contractor who will fulfill the duties of the (soon-to-be former) resident caretaker. In these circumstances, you will not be able to end the tenancy of the caretaker as the third requirement of this section would not be met. Instead, the caretaker will simply become a regular tenant of the rental unit which they were assigned during their employment.
  • Another mistake that landlords often make when hiring a resident caretaker is offering reduced or free rent as a benefit of the employment. You should avoid any such arrangements unless they are spelled out explicitly in a written employment contract. Otherwise, if you fail to evict your resident caretaker, you may find yourself right back before the Residential Tenancy Branch arguing that your former caretaker’s rent should be raised to market rate, having to prove that the reduced or free rent was actually a benefit offered exclusively during employment which has now ended. If the value of the rent reduces the net compensation of the resident caretaker below the minimum wage requirement, you may also be faced with a claim for unpaid wages before the Employment Standards Branch.

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.