Fixed-term tenancy agreements balance the needs and interests of landlords and tenants, providing security of tenure for tenants and guaranteed income for landlords.
B.C is working to ensure both parties are satisfied with the process of ending the tenancies. The Residential Tenancy Branch will consult with stakeholders, and explore different policy options.
While this work is ongoing, landlords and tenants continue to be subject to the existing process for fixed-term tenancy agreements. A fixed-term tenancy is a tenancy where the landlord and tenant have agreed that the tenancy agreement will begin on a specified date and continue until a predetermined expiry date (e.g., a year). The tenancy cannot be ended earlier than the date fixed unless both parties agree in writing or are ordered by an arbitrator except if the tenant has been assessed as requiring long-term care, has been accepted into a long-term care facility or needs to leave the rental unit to protect themselves or their children from family violence.
There are two different options as to what happens at the end of a fixed-term agreement:
- Option 1: A “move out” clause can be included requiring the tenant to move out on the date the agreement ends. In that case, if the tenant wishes to stay, they need to negotiate a new agreement with the landlord. In this case, it becomes a new tenancy and the normal provincial limits on annual rent increases (2% plus inflation) do not apply.
- Option 2: If the agreement doesn’t say what happens at the end of the term, the tenancy continues on a month-to-month basis and the tenant doesn’t have to move out or sign a new fixed-term agreement.
- Use of back-to-back fixed-term tenancies with the same tenant in order to avoid rent control provisions is not consistent with the intent of the legislation on rent control.
- If the parties willingly enter into a legally binding agreement that states the terms and agreements for the rental agreement, they must abide by those terms.