4.7 Disputing Evictions
The law has recently changed. You have 30 days to dispute a Four Month Eviction Notice.
It is extremely important that you read all of the information on any eviction notice you receive. If you want to dispute or challenge the notice, you have to act quickly. For each type of eviction, you have a set amount of time to apply for dispute resolution through the Residential Tenancy Branch. To learn more about dispute resolution, see Section 5. If you don't dispute an eviction notice on time, you are legally considered to have accepted the notice, and must move out by the date the notice takes effect.
Let’s look at the deadlines for each type of eviction notice:
|Type of Notice||Deadline for Dispute|
|10 Day Notice||5 days|
|One Month Notice||10 days|
|Two Month Notice||15 days|
For a 10 Day Eviction Notice, you have 5 days to apply for dispute resolution; for a One Month Eviction Notice, you have 10 days; and for a Two Month Eviction Notice, you have 15 days.
First, you will be given a hearing date. Sometimes your hearing will be scheduled for a date after the eviction notice takes effect. If that’s the case, your eviction will be put on hold until a decision has been made. At the hearing, your landlord will need to convince an arbitrator, the person deciding your case, that there is a legal reason for why you should be evicted. Although it is your landlord’s responsibility to prove this, it is still a good idea to submit evidence defending yourself.
If you win the hearing, your eviction notice will be cancelled. If you lose the hearing, your landlord will be granted an Order of Possession – a legal document requiring you to move out of your rental unit, sometimes on very short notice. While arbitrators have the discretion to decide the move-out date listed on Orders of Possession, tenants are commonly required to move out within two days of receiving the decision.
If you miss the deadline to dispute your eviction notice, but the move-out date listed on the notice has not passed, you may be able to ask the Residential Tenancy Branch for an extension. You will only be successful in making this request if exceptional circumstances prevented you from meeting the deadline. For example, if you were in the hospital when the eviction notice was served and the deadline passed. Circumstances that will not be considered exceptional include feeling unwell, not knowing the law, or changing your mind about disputing the notice.
Hopefully by now you realize that the Residential Tenancy Act has important deadlines that tenants and landlords must follow. This can all get quite complicated, especially when you consider that deadlines can be affected by how documents are served. Luckily, the Residential Tenancy Branch has created some calculators on a number of topics to help tenants and landlords avoid missing deadlines. On the next page and in the Resources section you will find a link to the Residential Tenancy Branch timeline calculators that can help ensure that you don't miss important deadlines.