Your landlord has the legal right to ask you to move out for major apartment renovations, repairs or even rebuilds to your rental building. As a tenant in a legal rental agreement, you have some rights too.
Minor apartment renovations – like new paint or countertops – don’t count, but if the renos make your place unsafe or unliveable, you’ll have to move out. In most provinces, your landlord must give you the same amount of notice to terminate the tenancy as required by the rental agreement.
But don’t think your perfect little pad is gone from your life forever. You have the right of first refusal, meaning you get first dibs on moving back into the new-and-improved unit once renovations are complete. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that you’re allowed back with the same rent – the same provincial rental increase rule apply. In order to exercise your right of first refusal, you must put it in writing before you move out and within the specific timeframe outlined in your provincial Rental Tenancy Act.
In the case of multi-unit buildings, your landlord could be responsible to compensate you equal to three month’s rent or the amount of time you’ll be relocated, whichever is less. You may also negotiate a reasonable compensation amount. Even if you don’t move back in, they might have to compensate you for up to three months rent.
If the building is to be converted into a non-rental property or the landlord would like it for their own use, they could owe you compensation as well. The rules change if a government agency has order the building to be demolished or cleared of its tenants and in these cases compensation might not apply.
If you decide to terminate your tenancy and move out before the date on your landlords termination notice and decline your right of first refusal, you might not be eligible for compensation.
Check with your provincial Rental Tenancy Act as details of this legislation regarding terminating tenancy due to renovations could differ slightly from province to province.