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Tenants' rights and responsibilities when moving out

A tenant who is planning to move out of the premises has to give notice to the landlord, regardless where he or she resides in Canada.

The amount of notice can vary, so you should consult the residential tenancy act of your province/territory to find out what required notice period applies to you.

Notice requirements

For example, in Nunavut when a tenant or landlord wants to end the tenancy and have the tenant move out, these rules have followed in order to be considered a proper notice of termination:

  • The notice must be in writing and signed by the landlord or tenant giving the notice;
  • The notice must identify the rental premises;
  • The notice must state the date when the tenancy is to terminate, and
  • The notice must state the reason for the termination.

In Nunavut the following notice periods apply:

  • Termination by a tenant of a fixed-term agreement must occur no later than 30 days before the end of the term. For a periodic tenancy agreement (an agreement that does not specify a date of termination) the following cases apply:
  • For a weekly tenancy, at least seven days before the termination date stated in the notice;
  • For a monthly tenancy that has continued for less than 12 months, at least 30 days before the termination date stated in the notice;
  • For a monthly tenancy that has continued 12 months or more, at least 60 days before the termination date stated in the notice.

In contrast with Nunavut, Nova Scotia have the following termination notice period requirements:

  • For a year-to-year lease, tenant must give 3 month's notice;
  • For a month-to-month lease, tenant must give one month;
  • For a week-to-week lease, tenants must give 1 week notice.

Note that notice periods and termination notice period requirements may change in the future. You should consult the appropriate government act or website to find the most up-to-date time lines.

Leaving premises in good condition

A responsibility that tenants have when moving out is to leave premises in good condition. It’s not required to be perfect but it should be clean and personal belongings (except for in the case where a new tenant is taking over some furniture) should have been removed.

Except for normal wear and tear during the tenancy, there should be no damage done on the property unless the damage wasn’t the fault of the moving tenant.

Depending on what province or territory you reside in, fixtures will usually belong to the landlord.

Furthermore, your tenancy agreement may require you to renovate the premises before you leave, usually that means a paint job. You need to review your tenancy agreement to see what obligations you have when vacating the premises.

Getting your security deposit back

In most situations where you are renting an apartment or house you are usually charged a security deposit when you start your tenancy.

Those security deposits are most usually to be returned upon the end of a tenant’s tenancy. The way the security deposit is usually returned is that the tenant doesn’t pay the last month’s rent.

If you have question or issues in regards to the above and/or when you are moving out you should consult a lawyer.

Read more:

Moving Out British Columbia

Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities