My fixed-term tenancy is about to end, but I don't want to move out. What should I do?
Fixed term tenancies fundamentally guarantee a minimum number of months that a tenant is entitled to rent a unit for and there are only limited circumstances where a tenant must move out at the end of a term. This post will briefly outline those circumstances.
If you look to section 2 of the Residential Tenancy Branch's (RTB) standard Residential Tenancy Agreement, you will see the following:
You will quickly notice two things: the first is that if a tenancy is for a fixed term, box (D) dictates that the tenancy will continue on a month-to-month basis or for another fixed length of time if agreed to by the landlord; second, if box (E) is selected instead, requiring a tenant to vacate their rental unit at the end of the fixed-term, a landlord can only do so if they comply with section 13.1 of the Residential Tenancy Regulations, which state as follows:
Fixed term tenancy — circumstances when tenant must vacate at end of term
In this section, "close family member" has the same meaning as in section 49 (1) of the Act.
For the purposes of section 97 (2) (a.1) of the Act, a circumstance in which a landlord may include in a fixed term tenancy agreement a requirement that the tenant vacate the rental unit at the end of the term is that the landlord is an individual who, or whose close family member, will occupy the rental unit at the end of the term.
For the purposes of section 97 (2) (a.2) of the Act, the period of time for which the circumstance prescribed under paragraph (a.1) must be satisfied is 6 months.
While this section could have been written in plainer language, when read in combination with the RTB's standard tenancy agreement, it requires that a landlord either move into the rental unit themself at the end of the fixed term, or have a close family member move in. A landlord is not allowed to make you move out of your rental unit for any other reason at the end of your tenancy agreement - unless they have 'cause' which does not require a landlord to wait until the end of a fixed-term in any event.
If your fixed term tenancy is coming to an end and you have been asked by your landlord to move out, but don't think that you are required to, get in touch with us and we can provide you with legal advice on your situation.