Evictions and tenants’ rights in Saskatchewan

Written by Seamus McKale

Updated June 18, 2024 | Published April 19, 2023

When faced with an eviction notice, a tenant’s rights in Saskatchewan are very similar to the other Canadian provinces. Basically, there are limited reasons for a landlord to evict a tenant in Saskatchewan. And, even if the landlord has a good reason, they still have to follow the correct process.

Here, we’ll explain that process, as well as the rights a tenant in Saskatchewan has when they receive a notice to vacate.

You may also want to check out our main article on evictions if you run into a term you’re unfamiliar with, too.

Closeup of an eviction letter with BC flag

Eviction for non-payment of rent or utilities

Once a tenant in Saskatchewan is 15 days late paying the rent, their landlord can evict them immediately. They would do so by serving the tenant an Immediate Notice to Vacate and Notice of Arrears. This notice, as implied by the name, instructs the tenant to vacate their rental unit immediately.

After serving this notice, the landlord must apply to the Office of Residential Tenancies (ORT) for possession of the unit. Once they have, the ORT will hold a hearing at which the landlord and tenant can present their side of the case. After this hearing, the ORT will issue a decision and order as to whether the tenant needs to vacate.

Despite the “immediate notice,” a tenant can stay in the rental unit until the hearing is complete and a decision is reached. After the ORT issues an order, either party usually has 30 days to appeal it, except in the case of possession orders, which must be appealed within the time given on the notice. The tenant can remain in the rental unit until the appeal process is complete, though they still owe rent for the entire time.

When it comes to unpaid utilities, the process is essentially the same. However, the landlord must first serve the tenant notice of the unpaid utilities, which they have 15 days to address before the landlord can serve an Immediate Notice to Vacate.

Eviction for cause

To evict a tenant for virtually any reason other than non-payment of rent, the landlord must give at least one months’ notice. Unlike with non-payment, however, the landlord must give their tenant reasonable time to correct any issues (assuming it’s possible to correct them). The exception to this rule is smoking; if a landlord evicts a tenant for smoking in a non-smoking rental unit, the landlord doesn’t need to offer this grace period.

To evict a tenant for cause, the landlord would serve them a Notice to Vacate form. If the tenant wishes to dispute the notice, they must complete the dispute notice on the same form and return it to the landlord within 15 days. If they don’t, it’s assumed that they’ve accepted the eviction.

If the tenant does dispute the eviction, the landlord will apply for a hearing with the ORT—essentially the same process as described above for non-payment evictions.

Only once the ORT has issued a decision will the tenant have to move out (or not).

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Eviction for landlord’s use

If a landlord wishes to move into a rental unit, or have a family member move in, they need to give the tenant two months’ notice. The same goes for if they wish to do major renovations, conversions, or demolition.

Just as with the one-month notice, a tenant can dispute a two-month notice by completing the dispute section of the form and returning it to the landlord within 15 days.

If a landlord sells their rental unit to someone else, and the purchaser wishes to move in (or have someone close to them move in) the landlord can serve the tenant with one months’ notice.

However, and this is important: the above only applies to periodic-term tenancies. If a tenant has a fixed-term lease, the landlord can’t end it early except with the tenant’s agreement (or if the tenant breaches the conditions of the rental agreement, of course).

Home insurance considerations

Home insurance (or more specifically, renter’s insurance) doesn’t really factor into most eviction situations. However, there are a couple of things that renters should be aware of.

First of all, tenants can’t be evicted for not having tenant insurance in Saskatchewan, at least not directly. While tenant insurance in Saskatchewan isn’t required by law, landlords can require it in the rental agreements they sign with their tenants. If the rental agreement specifies that a tenant must maintain active insurance, then they could be evicted for failing to do so (a for-cause eviction).

Something else to note is that tenant’s who have purchased an add-on like legal protection insurance from Square One would have access to a legal helpline to provide guidance on the process of disputing an eviction.

Commonly asked questions

Can you be evicted in winter in Saskatchewan?

Contrary to common belief, there is no restriction on evicting a tenant in Saskatchewan based on the time of year. As long as the landlord follows the correct process, they can evict a tenant in any season.

Can you withhold rent in Saskatchewan?

No, it is illegal to withhold rent in Saskatchewan, even if the landlord isn’t meeting their obligations like repairs or maintenance of the rental unit. Withholding rent without a legal basis for doing so is gounds for eviction for non-payment of rent. Instead of withholding rent, a tenant should apply to the ORT for dispute resolution.

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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