Evictions and tenants’ rights in Manitoba

Updated April 19, 2023

The rules for a landlord filing for eviction in Manitoba are much the same as they are for other Canadian provinces. However, Manitoba’s rules and tenant’s rights include a few unique wrinkles.

On this page, we’ll describe the legal process a landlord must follow to evict a tenant, and what the tenant’s rights are if they do so. There are basically three primary reasons for evicting a tenant: non-payment of rent, for cause, and for the landlord’s use. If you need to brush up on the basics for these terms, you can visit our main article on evictions.

Closeup of an eviction letter with Manitoba flag

Eviction for non-payment of rent

In Manitoba, as in any other province, the tenant’s responsibility to pay rent is paramount. If a tenant doesn’t pay their rent, the landlord may give them notice on the fifth day of the payment period. For example, they could serve notice on January 5 if the rent is due on January 1.

It’s up to the landlord how long they give the tenant to vacate after giving notice. Hopefully, the landlord would allow a reasonable amount of time, but they are under no legal obligation to do so. If the tenant offers to pay rent immediately after receiving the notice, the landlord can accept the rent and allow the tenancy to continue. If, however, the tenant has a history of late rent payments (at least three times during the previous year or current tenant agreement), the landlord is permitted to take the rent payment and still require the tenant to move out. They must inform the tenant of this in writing.

When giving notice of termination for non-payment of rent, the landlord must use the official Form 8.

If a tenant receives this notice but disagrees with it, they can begin the dispute process by contacting Manitoba’s Residential Tenancies Branch as soon as possible.

Eviction for cause

In Manitoba, it’s possible for a tenant to be evicted because they’re not following the rules and responsibilities set out in their rental agreement (or, of course, the law).

Typically, a landlord must give their tenant reasonable time to correct any such issues before evicting them. This essentially means a written warning that describes what issues the tenant needs to correct, and how long they have to do so.

Only if the tenant fails to correct the issue can the landlord give them an eviction notice. If they do, they must give the tenant at least one rental payment period worth of notice. So, for a typical monthly rent payment schedule, if the landlord gave notice on January 25th, the tenant would have until the end of February to move out—the end of the next complete rent payment period.

This process applies to both fixed-term and month-to-month tenancies.

The only major exception comes if there happen to be extreme circumstances. If the tenant causes extraordinary damage to the rental unit, risks the health and safety of the landlord or other tenants, or creates an extraordinary disturbance, the landlord can immediately give the tenant a five-day notice to vacate the property.

Again, in the event of a dispute over an eviction for cause, it would be best to arrange mediation through the Residential Tenancies Branch.

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Eviction for landlord’s use

In Manitoba, there are several reasons that a landlord may evict a tenant who hasn’t breached their rental agreement:

  1. The landlord wants to move into the unit, or have their close family member move in (like a spouse, child, parent, or parent-in-law).
  2. The landlord plans to extensively renovate or destroy the unit, or convert it to non-residential space.
  3. The landlord has sold the unit, and the buyer (or their close family member) will be moving in.

There are rules to follow for each these scenarios, but fortunately, they’re pretty similar.

For tenants on a fixed-term residential lease, the landlord must give them notice in advance of when the fixed term ends, because the landlord cannot end a fixed-term lease early except for cause. For month-to-month tenancies, the same length of notice is required, but the notice can be given any time.

In Manitoba, the length of notice depends on the local vacancy rates (as reported annually by the CMHC). The required notice ranges from 3-5 months. The only exception is when the landlord is selling, and tenancy is for a fixed term; then, it’s always three months’ notice (three months before the fixed term ends).

Manitoba also has a unique rule applying to families with school-aged children:

If a landlord wants to evict such a family for any of the three reasons we’re discussing in this section, they cannot do so until the end of the school year (June 30). The landlord can give notice earlier (and is still required to give the same 3-5 months’ notice), but the tenancy won’t end until the school year is over.

When a landlord evicts a tenant to do renovations, the tenant has the right to move back in when the renovations are complete. They must, however, inform the landlord in writing of their intention to do so.

And finally, when a landlord ends a tenancy for any of the reasons in this section, they are responsible for helping the tenant with their moving costs—up to $500.

Home insurance considerations

Home insurance isn’t often involved in eviction situations, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Firstly, it’s worth noting that tenant insurance in Manitoba is not required by law. Accordingly, a landlord can’t evict a tenant for being uninsured unless the rental agreement specifically requires the tenant to hold renter’s insurance. If a tenant signs a rental agreement that requires renter’s insurance, they need to maintain an active policy. Otherwise, their landlord could potentially evict them for cause.

Something else to keep in mind: If a tenant had purchased coverage like legal protection insurance from Square One, they would be able to access a legal helpline to provide guidance on the process of disputing an eviction notice.

Commonly asked questions

Can you be evicted during winter in Manitoba?

There’s a common misconception that it’s illegal to evict tenants during the winter. In Manitoba, this is not true—as long as a landlord follows the correct procedure, they can evict a tenant any time of the year.

Can you withhold rent in Manitoba?

It’s illegal to withhold rent in Manitoba. While some tenants choose to do so when their landlord isn’t fufilling their maintenance or repair duties, withholding rent for any reason can be grounds for the tenant to be evicted for non-payment of rent.

Want to learn more? Visit our Renter resource centre for more tips and information about life as a renter. Or, get an online quote in under 5 minutes and find out how affordable personalized home insurance can be.


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