How do I end my tenancy?

Under most circumstances, you have to give proper notice to your landlord, but there are a few exceptions. 

How much notice do I have to give before I move out?

If you pay rent month-to-month, then you have to give at least 60 days notice before you move out. 

If you pay rent day-by-day or week-by-week, then you have to give at least 28 days notice before you move out. 

To notify your landlord that you're going to end your tenancy, use the form provided by the Landlord and Tenant Board and make sure to keep a copy for yourself.

What if I want to move out before my lease ends?

Once you sign a lease, you're responsible for paying rent for the rental property until the lease ends. However, there are certain circumstances where you can "break the lease" and move out early listed below. 

You assign your tenancy

You can find someone to take over your lease. You'll need your landlord's approval in writing, but if they don't respond to you within 7 days or if they refuse, you can break the lease and move out anyway. Just give your landlord a notice using the proper form to terminate the tenancy within 30 days of your request to assign the unit. Once you provide your notice, you'll have 30 days to move out.

Your landlord violates the Residential Tenancies Act 

  You can break the lease if your landlord:

  • is not maintaining the rental property;
  • unlawfully enters your home;
  • changes the locks without giving you the new keys;
  • isn't providing a vital service (like minimum temperature);
  • harasses you; or
  • refuses to let you sublet or assign the unit.

To end your tenancy because your landlord isn't following the law, you'll have to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board using the right form and tell them your side of the story.

You're a victim of sexual or domestic violence

If at any time during your tenancy, your safety or your child's safety is threatened by sexual or domestic violence, you can end your tenancy by giving 28 days' notice.  

To give your landlord notice that you'll be moving out, you'll have to provide two documents:

  1. Tenant's Notice to End my Tenancy Because of Fear of Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse (N15)
  2. Tenant's Statement about Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse or a copy of a court order (such as a restraining order or a peace bond)

Your landlord is obligated to protect your privacy. They can't let other people know about these documents, including any other tenants in the unit. However, your landlord may be required to share the information with police or someone investigating the situation.

Your landlord did not use the standard lease form

If you began your tenancy on or after April 30, 2018, your landlord is required to use the standard lease form. If they used their own custom lease, you can make a written request to your landlord for the standard lease. 

Once you make the request, your landlord has 21 days to give you a copy of the standard lease. If they don't, you can break the lease and give 60 days' notice to your landlord that you'll be ending your tenancy and moving out. 

You can also break the lease and move out if your landlord provides you with a standard lease but you don't agree with its terms. You will still have to give 60 days' notice.