Victims of Violence (Residential Tenancy)
Changes to The Residential Tenancies Act came into effect on June 30, 2020 allowing victims of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence or criminal harassment (stalking) to end their lease early.
The purpose of this change is to reduce a financial barrier that may otherwise prevent a victim of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence or criminal harassment (stalking) from leaving their place of residence for their safety or that of their children due to the financial impact of breaking a lease agreement for a residential tenancy. For domestic violence services please visit Support Services for Victims of Abuse.
The tenant must provide a one (calendar) month written notice. This would apply only to a fixed term tenancy and a year to year tenancy.
For tenancies of a shorter duration, the same notice period applies as before.
• Month to Month tenancy - (1) month notice required
• Week to Week tenancy - (1) week notice required
What if the other lease signee(s) are not prepared to end their lease early?
• They may negotiate a new lease with their landlord.
Does the tenant have to apply with the Residential Tenancies Tribunal to get out of their lease early in circumstances like this?
• No, they may discuss terminating their tenancy early with their Landlord. The tenant must provide a one (calendar) month written notice. If requested, the tenant may provide the landlord with appropriate documentation to end their lease early.
What documentation is the tenant required to provide to their Landlord if requested?
• An emergency intervention order;
• An order of the court;
• A Third Party Declaration signed by a system contact with the victim (e.g. peace officers; victims services coordinators; domestic violence outreach workers; second stage or transition house crisis intervener/support worker; health care providers; Indigenous chief or elder; or, employee of an educational institution at which the tenant or a dependent child or the tenant is enrolled).
What if the tenant and landlord do not agree to terminating the tenancy early?
• Either party may apply for assistance with the Residential Tenancies Tribunal by completing an Application for assistance available at www.snb.ca/irent and the tribunal will intervene to mediate a solution.
If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, click on the link for a listing of resources available in your community: Support Services for Victims of Abuse
For more information about this change or any other tenancy matters, you may contact the Residential Tenancies Tribunal by calling 1-888-762-8600, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.snb.ca/irent.