Being a landlord in Manitoba means you will likely have to deal with an eviction at one point or another. Tenant eviction is an inevitable process in every landlord’s career. You can evict your Winnipeg tenant for a multitude of different reasons. It could be that they have stopped paying rent, caused excessive property damage, or even refused to leave after their lease has expired.
Now, to successfully evict the tenant, strict adherence to the Manitoba landlord and tenant laws is key.
You must not try to remove the tenant from their rented premises in any other way. For example, by locking them out of the property or shutting off their utilities. Because, if you do, you risk not only delaying the eviction process but also paying damages to the tenant.
The Manitoba eviction laws are stipulated under The Residential Tenancies Act. The following is a basic overview of the step-by-step process.
Step 1: Legal Reason
To evict your Winnipeg tenant, you must first have a legally justifiable reason. You cannot just wake up one day and decide to evict your tenant simply because you no longer like them.
Some examples of “for cause” reasons for ending a tenancy include:
- Disturbing other tenants or the landlord.
- Causing damage to the rental property.
- Not paying rent in full.
- Engaging in illegal activity in the rental unit or residential complex.
- Failure by the tenant to honor payment of security deposit or tenant services security deposit 5 days after moving into their rented premises.
- Breaching a material term of the tenancy agreement and failing to remedy it within the stipulated time.
- Failure to move out after giving the landlord a move out notice.
- Giving fraudulent or false information on their Manitoba tenancy application.
- Other reasons to end a Manitoba tenancy are as follows.
- If the landlord planning to do major repairs or renovations that require a building permit, and the work cannot continue unless the unit is vacant.
- If the landlord has agreed to sell the property and the incoming landlord or their family member or caretaker wishes to move in.
Once you have a legally justified reason, move on to the next step.
Step #2: Eviction Notice
Next, you’ll need to serve the tenant with an eviction notice. The eviction notice must be specific to the violation committed. It must also state the date by which the tenant must fix the violation or move out.
Let’s take nonpayment of rent, for example, as the violation your Winnipeg tenant has committed. To evict them, you must give them a notice on the 5th day of the rental payment period.
For instance, if the rent is due on April 1st and the tenant doesn’t pay, you can serve them a notice on April 5th. Or, if the rent is due on April 15th and they fail to pay it, you can serve them a notice on April 19th.
In the notice, you must include all the following information.
- Their names and addresses.
- The reason for serving them the notice.
- The total amount of rent they owe you.
- The required date that they must vacate the unit.
- A written statement that the tenant has a right to dispute or disagree with the landlord’s right to serve the notice.
- A statement on what happens if the tenant pays the due rent. That is, to allow the tenant to continue renting the property, or to leave immediately. The statement must be in writing.
All this information must be on a prescribed form. Failure to do so, you risk having the eviction notice being invalidated by the Manitoba Tenancy Branch.
When you serve them with the notice, you can choose how much time you can give them to move. The Residential Tenancies Act doesn’t set any guidelines on the notice period landlords must give their tenants. Ideally, you’d want to give them ample time to pack and move.
To serve the notice to the tenant, you must deliver it to them in person. Another option is to hand it over to an adult at the rental property. And in case of any difficulties, you must get in touch with the Branch for help.
Step #3: Hearing
Tenants will not always move out even after being served with an eviction notice. In such cases, landlords are required to apply to the Residential Tenancies Act for an Order of Possession.
An Order of Possession is a legal document that gives the possession of the property back to the landlord. A landlord can therefore use it to force a tenant out of their rented premises.
Once you apply for the document, the Branch will schedule a hearing to consider your request. At the hearing, both you and your tenant will need to provide all necessary information to the hearing officer. The officer will then decide on whether the tenant must move out or not.
Once the Order of Possession is granted, the tenant will be ordered to move out within a specified timeframe. And if they don’t, the landlord will have a right to enforce the order via the Court of Queen’s Bench.
While you may have thought the eviction process was as simple as serving a tenant an eviction notice, Manitoba has strict regulations surrounding eviction. To avoid any legal complications, you should strive to follow the Manitoba tenancy laws closely.
If you require advice about managing your property, seek out a professional property management company like Pillar Property Management!
Disclaimer: The information herein is only intended to be informational and is in no way a substitute for professional legal advice. If you have more questions or need further clarification, please consider hiring expert legal help.