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Wednesday, April 03, 2019 @ 8:26 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Appeal by the tenants from a decision dismissing their application for judicial review of an arbitrator’s decision finding that their tenancy was a fixed term, not a periodic tenancy. The appellants entered into a 12-month tenancy agreement with the respondent starting in December 2016 and ending in November 2017. The appellants then gave notice to end the tenancy one month before the end date of the fixed term after receiving the landlord’s notice to terminate at the end of term. The arbitrator found that the parties were subject to a fixed term tenancy and therefore could not end the tenancy early. The chambers judge rejected the appellant’s argument that, where a tenancy specified a fixed term but did not expressly state that the tenant must vacate the rental unit upon the expiry of the fixed term, the tenancy was a periodic tenancy. That interpretation was inconsistent with the scheme of the Residential Tenancy Act.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The chambers judge correctly identified and applied the standard of review in finding that the arbitrator’s interpretation of the tenancy agreement was not patently unreasonable. The arbitrator correctly found that the Tenancy Agreement was a fixed term tenancy as defined by the Act. It was clear from the wording of s. 44(3) that the date upon which a fixed term tenancy would be deemed to have been renewed as a periodic tenancy was the end date of the fixed term. Until then, the tenancy remained a fixed term tenancy.

Ahmad v. Merriman, [2019] B.C.J. No. 326, British Columbia Court of Appeal, D.M. Smith, G.J. Fitch and Butler JJ.A., March 7, 2019. Digest No. TLD-April12019006