When you serve notice, you can deliver it by hand or send it to the other person. You should allow time for the notice to be delivered.

How to serve notice

When you ‘serve’ or give notice to another person, it can be:

  • hand-delivered to the other person. This can be done in person, by placing it in the letterbox or by attaching it clearly to the door of the property.
  • sent to the address for service listed on the tenancy agreement.

You can also send the notice to a PO Box, email address or fax number if it is listed on the tenancy agreement as an additional address for service.

The other person hasn’t been notified until they receive the notice, so you must allow extra time for the notice to be delivered. This period is sometimes called ‘service time’.

Service time

Tenancy law gives timeframes for when it considers notices to have been received. These times depend on how the notice was delivered. If the notice is:

  • Handed over in person, it's classed as received immediately.
  • Left in the premises' letter box or clearly attached to the door, it's classed as received 2 working days after the delivery date.
  • Posted to the address or Post Office Box, it's classed as received on the 4th working day after the date it was posted.
  • Sent to the email address or fax number after 5pm, it's classed as received on the next working day.
  • Sent to the email or fax number before 5pm, it's classed as received on that same day.

These timeframes apply unless the person being served notice can show they don’t. For example if the person receiving the notice has received it earlier, or can prove that the post was delayed or not received.

When the notice period starts

The notice period starts the day after the notice was received. This applies to any of the service times above. This means that if the notice is received on a Thursday, the next day (Friday) will be the first day of the notice period.

For example, if a tenant posts their 21 days’ notice on Monday 2 March, it would be classed as received on Friday 6 March. This applies unless the landlord receiving the notice can prove otherwise. 21 days from Friday 6 March would be Friday 27 March (6 + 21 = 27). This means the tenant should say in their notice that the last day of their tenancy will be Friday 27 March.

Difference between a calendar day and a working day

Some timeframes are counted in calendar days (Monday to Sunday). Others are counted in working days (Monday to Friday).

Examples of timeframes counted in calendar days are:

  • notices to terminate a tenancy
  • notices to remedy a breach
  • notice of a rent increase

Examples of timeframes counted in working days are:

  • service times
  • the time a landlord has to lodge a bond
  • notifying a change of address or other details

Some public holidays and provincial holidays are not counted as working days.

The Residential Tenancies Act(external link) defines what isn’t counted as a “working day”.

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