My lease doesn't end for over a month but my landlord is pressuring me into making a decision regarding renewal already. It's too soon for me to make a decision and he said if I decide late there's a $25 fee. Is this legal? The addendum has the following term:

Tenant is responsible to extend the period of time, they need to notify landlord with 45 days in advance and needs to be signed new agreement with 40 days in advance. Our office cutoff date for renewals is the 23rd of each month, all renewals made or requested after, will be charged a fee of $25 for office processing work.

I think this is illegal according to here http://tenants.bc.ca/fees/ but I don't see any options since if I don't pay the landlord just wont renew the lease? I'm not 100% it's illegal because it says it's free before a certain date.


I don't live in Canada, but based on the what I have found online, it is unlikely they can do this and is trying to do an end-run arround the law. Why not contact a Residential Tenancy Branch for authorative information?

IMHO, the statute is a bit unclear on this fee. It says in section 15 -

15 A landlord must not charge a person anything for

(a) accepting an application for a tenancy,

(b) processing the application,

(c) investigating the applicant's suitability as a tenant, or

(d) accepting the person as a tenant.

This could imply the fee is illegal. The law does not seem to allow for the possibility of terminating (or not) a tenancy this way.

It would seem that either you give him notice (which needs to be more then 30 days), or he gives you notice, or it becomes a periodic tenancy - ie, if you don't do anything, and he does not do anything, he can't charge you a fee, and he can't end the tenancy. It sounds a bit like he is trying to "have his cake and eat it" by forcing you to sign a new tenancy without him having to risk loosing you as a tenant.

Section 44(3) of the Residential Tenancy Act enter link description here states that

If, on the date specified as the end of a fixed term tenancy agreement that does not require the tenant to vacate the rental unit on that date, the landlord and tenant have not entered into a new tenancy agreement, the landlord and tenant are deemed to have renewed the tenancy agreement as a month to month tenancy on the same terms.

That said, if I read section 45(2) correctly, if you want to end the fixed term tenancy you have to give him notice at least 1 months notice.

(2) A tenant may end a fixed term tenancy by giving the landlord notice to end the tenancy effective on a date that

(a) is not earlier than one month after the date the landlord receives the notice,

(b) is not earlier than the date specified in the tenancy agreement as the end of the tenancy, and

(c) is the day before the day in the month, or in the other period on which the tenancy is based, that rent is payable under the tenancy agreement.

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