Posted October 23, 2022 | by Keaton Bessey, Managing Broker
Best Answer: Depends*
There are multiple reasons as to why you would need to evict a tenant and there are multiple reasons as to why the timelines for those reasons will vary. Let's dig in...
The 4 main reasons to evict a tenant:
1) Non-Payment of Rent (10 day notice)
2) Notice to End Tenancy (1 month notice)
3) Owner's Occupancy (2 month notice)
4) Construction (Extensive Renovations, Repairs, Demolition, 4 month notice)
The notice periods for each reason vary as you can see above, and among other things, timelines for legal delivery as well as timing during the month or "between rental periods" must also be considered.
I will explain with an example below how a "10 Day Notice" takes nearly twice that before you can file with the RTB (Residential Tenancy Branch) for a resolution.
Example - February 1st, you deposit your tenant's rent cheque in the bank. The bank notifies you on February 4th that the rent has bounced so you prepare the 10 day notice and you contact your tenant to replace the cheque or send you an email transfer. The tenant does not respond, so you draft the 10 day notice and mail registered mail. Unless you have the RTB-51 Form filled out for legal service via email, registered mail is the best method of service. Not including the day it is sent, the notice is not legally delivered for 5 days. In this case, you mailed it on the 4th, 5th-9th are the 5 days required, and it is legally recieved on the 10th of February. Now the tenant has 5 days to pay the rent. If they do not pay the rent in full prior to that 5 day period (before the 15th) they have 5 days to move out before the 21st). Assuming the tenant does not pay or move out, you can now file with the RTB for an order of possession.
Assuming you have a written lease in place, you can file for an expedited decision without a hearing for an "Order of Possession", but they may not issue a decision for 4 weeks or more in many cases recently. Once you recieve an Order of Possession, you deliver it registered mail, again requiring 5 days to be legally delivered. The Order provides the tenants 2 days to move out. If the RTB issued a notice exactly 4 weeks from the 21st of February, we're now at March 21st before you have your decision in hand. 7 more days for delivery of the order, and its March 28th. You can now take your order and proof of delivery to the courthouse for a "Writ of Possession". Consider the writ like a "permission slip" from the court that you give to a court bailiff to let them know that they can contract with you to physically remove the tenant, their family/guests, all their belongings, and rekey the property to provide you legal possession once again.
After providing a baliff with a deposit, they will schedule the eviction with you usually within 2 weeks depending on how busy they are at the time. We are now into mid April before you take the property back so you can complete repairs, cleaning, etc. to get it back on the market for your next tenant.
This process takes about 70 days in today's environment which is why it is so imporant to screen your tenants thoroughly. Checkout our other blog post "How do I screen a Tenant in BC" for more information.
I will get into the other 3 reasons for evicting tenants in future blog posts.
*The above information is not to be relied on as legal advise. If you require professional or legal advise for your personal circumstances, please reach out to us for a referral, or consult with us for property management services.