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Good advice.

Good advice.

Evicting Bad Tenants? 3 Tips From a Litigation Lawyer

DBM Law Blog

Failure to pay rent and utilities? Damaged property? Excessive noise at all hours of the night?


A bad tenant can be a real headache for a landlord. While it is always better to sort issues out with your tenant as evictions can often prove costly, if eviction is necessary, it’s a good idea to begin by calling a litigation lawyer. You want to make sure you have legal standing prior to beginning the eviction proceedings. Here are three common situations where a landlord is within their rights to evict a tenant.

The Tenants Fail to Pay Rent and/or Utilities


Probably the most common situation, but a tenant failing or refusing to pay rent and/or utilities can be challenging for a landlord. It is important in these situations for the landlord to document as much as they can in case the tenants challenge your notice in court or apply for dispute resolution. Conversations, texts, and any other means of communication can all help you strengthen your case in the eyes of the law. If a tenant is served a notice and pays within 5-days, the notice will be cancelled and the tenant may remain. In the case of a tenant not paying or refusing to pay after being served, you may have grounds to continue the eviction process and claim for the rest of the rent in court. 

The Fixed-Term Lease Has Ended and the Tenant Refuses to Leave


A well-documented lease can save you plenty of headaches in the long run. If a tenant has signed a lease with a fixed-term and they wish to continue living in the property, they will need to sign a subsequent lease or become a hold-over tenant by way of the landlord accepting money on a month-to-month basis. Otherwise, the tenant will have to move out of the property. The lease should clearly state when it expires and what is expected of the tenant—be sure to have the lease signed upon the tenant first moving in! If a tenant refuses to leave at the end of the fixed-term lease, you may apply for a Notice of Eviction and subsequently apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch to have the tenant removed. 

The Tenants Violate a Material Term of the Lease


It is worth stating again; a well-documented lease is really crucial for any landlord. Be sure to include material terms that outline what is expected and not expected of the tenant. If you are unsure about drafting a lease, a litigation lawyer can help guide you through the process. If a tenant does violate a material term of the lease by, for example, damaging the property, violating noise engagement rules, or risking the safety of other tenants, you may have grounds to begin a two-month notice to end the tenancy. 

You Wish to Use the Property


In some cases, a bad tenant can cause a landlord to want to take over their property entirely. In this situation, you will need to show that yourself or a member of your family wishes to use the property in good faith in order to have grounds to evict a tenant. You can also begin the eviction proceedings if you wish to demolish, renovate, or convert the rental unit for another use. 

DBM Law: Our Litigation Lawyers Are Here to Help


Are you struggling with a difficult tenant and are looking to evict? It is important to know both your rights as a landlord and their rights as a tenant before starting anything to ensure that your eviction is legally sound. If you are in the midst of an eviction case, be sure to contact our litigation lawyers as soon as possible. As experts on tenancy law, our litigation lawyers are always available to lend their expertise to your case.


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