Victims of Violence can now end their leases early

Changes to The Residential Tenancies Act will come 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 regulation changes regarding the early termination of lease agreements is intended to remove one of the financial barriers that prevents some victims of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence or criminal harassment (stalking) from leaving an abusive situation.

What is the purpose of this change?

The purpose of this change is to remove a financial barrier that may otherwise prevent a victim of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence or criminal harassment 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.

 

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 (prescribed form available at www.snb.ca/irent) 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 other lease signee(s) are not prepared to end their lease early?

They may negotiate a new lease with their landlord.

 

Does this apply to all terms of tenancies?

No, 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 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.

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 irent@snb.ca or visit their website at www.snb.ca/irent.

If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, click on the link below for a listing of resources available in your
community.

https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/women/Violence_Prevention_and_Community_Partnerships/content/Support-Services-for-Victims-of-Abuse.html