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What tenants need to know about the law

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Moving out

Your tenancy continues until you or your landlord do something to end it.

If you want to move out, there are a few different ways to do this. Some of these are:

  • you and your landlord can agree to end your tenancy
  • you can give your landlord notice (see Giving notice below)
  • you can find a new tenant to take over your place (see Assigning your place below)

You may also have to move out if your landlord evicts you. See Eviction for more information.

You do not have to move out just because your lease has expired. Your landlord might give you a form to sign saying that you must choose between renewing your lease or moving out. But you do not have to choose either of these. If you do not choose either of them, your tenancy will automatically continue on a month‑to‑month basis. Sometimes this can be better, for example, if you know you want to stay past the end of the lease but you are not sure you want to stay for another full year.

Giving notice

If you want to move out, usually you must give written notice to your landlord.

If you leave without giving proper notice, you might have to pay rent for some of the time after you move out. But your landlord must try to find a new tenant to take over as soon as possible. You are not responsible for rent after a new tenant moves in.

To give notice, use the Landlord and Tenant Board's Form N9 – Tenant's Notice to End the Tenancy. See Where to get more information and help for information about contacting the Board. You do not have to use the form, but if you do, it will be easier to make sure you include all the information that is required.

Your notice must give the date you want your tenancy to end. This is called the "termination date". Most of the time, the termination date must be the last day of a rental period. Usually that is the day before your rent is due.

You must give the notice to your landlord a certain number of days before the termination date. If you pay your rent by the day or the week, you must give at least 28 days' notice. If you pay your rent by the month, you must give at least 60 days' notice.

If you have a tenancy agreement that is for a fixed period of time, for example, a one‑year lease, you must give at least 60 days' notice and the termination date cannot be before the last day of the lease.

Exceptions

There are some exceptions to these rules about giving notice.

Domestic Violence

If you need to move because you or a child living with you has experienced domestic violence or sexual abuse, you might be able to give your landlord just 28 days' notice, without waiting until the end of a rental period or fixed term.

To do this, you have to use the Landlord and Tenant Board's Form N15 — Tenant's Notice to End my Tenancy Because of Fear or Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse.

For more information, go to www.stepstojustice.ca. Click on Legal Topics and then Housing Law. Click on Moving out and then How much notice do I have to give my landlord if I need to move quickly because of violence or abuse?

No Standard Lease

Another situation where you might be able to give notice before the end of a fixed term is when your landlord did not use the standard lease form. There is more information about this in If a landlord does not use the standard lease.

Landlord gave you notice

You can end any kind of tenancy on any date by giving at least 10 days' notice if your landlord has given you a notice to move out that says your landlord wants to:

  • live in your place or have a close family member or caregiver live there,
  • use your place for something other than living space,
  • make major repairs, or
  • renovate or tear down your place.

Note: If your landlord gives you one of these kinds of notices, you might not have to move and you might have other rights. Try to get legal help.

Assigning your place

You can also try to find a new tenant yourself. This is called "assigning" your place. When you assign your place, the new tenant takes over your tenancy agreement or lease. The rules about this are complicated, so try to get more information or legal advice first if you want to do this. In most types of rent‑geared‑to‑income (RGI) or subsidized housing you cannot assign your tenancy.

Getting the Board to end your tenancy

If you want to move out because your landlord is not following the law or your tenancy agreement, you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to let you move out early. For example, you could do this if you have very bad maintenance problems or if your landlord is harassing you. Usually you have to prove that the problem is serious, and that you have given your landlord a reasonable chance to correct it.