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When can a landlord evict a tenant?

This is probably one of the most unpleasant parts of being a landlord: contemplating having to evict a tenant.

If your tenant has committed serious breaches of the lease and communicating with the tenant hasn’t worked, the landlord may have little other recourse than to evict.

Evicting a tenant in Canada is not as simple as telling them to leave. There are rules and regulations to the process that a landlord has to follow according to provincial/territorial residential tenancies acts.

When can a tenant be evicted?

A tenant has can be evicted for a number of reasons, amongst them:

  • Tenant owes rent;
  • The rent is frequently not paid on time;
  • The tenant or the tenant’s guest did something illegal on the property;
  • The tenant or someone who is a guest of the tenant has done significant damage to the landlord’s property;
  • Physically assaulting other tenants or the landlord (this can require a shorter notice period);
  • If the tenant interferes with the rights of other tenants or that of the landlord;
  • Failing to keep the premises, which the tenant rents, as well as the common areas in reasonably clean condition;
  • Failing to move out at the end of the tenancy.
  • Though a tenant may be evicted for the above reason, the landlord must follow proper procedure to evict.

What if I just want the tenant out because I need the unit, can I evict them?

It depends on what the residential tenancy act of your province or territory says.

In some circumstances, which don’t involve a tenant having done wrong, you may be able to still ask the tenant to leave:

  • The landlord plans to live in the unit or wants to move in his family members;
  • The landlord wants to use the space for a different purpose;
  • The landlord wants to do major repairs or renovations; or
  • The landlord wants to move in a caretaker.

In order for the landlord to evict in these circumstances, the tenant’s lease must usually be ending or have ended. If there are still months to go on the lease, then the tenant cannot be evicted until the lease runs out.

In many cases, the landlord has to give the tenant a letter of warning before evicting them, letting the tenant know they are in breach and if the tenant’s conduct does not improve they may face eviction.

Criminal activities on the premises that the tenant rents almost always ensure that the tenant will be evicted. If the tenant is an immediate threat to the safety of other tenants or the landlord, the landlord may want to call the police.

If a tenant refuses to move out after proper notice has been, then the landlord has to get an eviction notice. The tenant also often has the right to appeal an eviction notice.

If you want to know exactly when a tenant can be evicted, or you are having issues enforcing an eviction order, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer and the residential tenancies act in your province or territory.

Read more:

Reasons That a Tenant Could Be Evicted

Tenant and Landlord Responsibilities