FAQ Categories

If your tenants have definitely moved out of the rental unit, a landlord may file a claim in Small Claims Court. The landlord must have the current residential address of the tenant in order to serve the claim. The forms for the Small Claims Court as well as additional information on the Small Claims Court may be obtained from their website: www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca

As you may know, the tenant being in jail does not mean the tenancy has ended. It is also unclear from your email whether or not the renter has to share a kitchen or bathroom with the owner (presumably you are the owner). If they do not, then you are likely dealing with a situation that would be considered abandonment – particularly if the rent was not paid. I’ve attached the link below from our website that address the issue of abandoned belongings, please review it to determine which situation would apply in your case. http://www.landlordselfhelp.com/facts/2007_tenant_belongings.pdf If the unit really has been abandoned, then you have to decide for yourself that this is the case based on your own circumstances. You may re-rent the unit if you are sure he is not going to return to the property. however, we cannot help you with finding the tenant.

The rules on abandoned belongings vary depending on the circumstances the tenant vacated the premises. I can’t tell from your email whether the tenant vacated after notice was given or if she just abandoned the unit. I’ve attached the links below from our website that address the issue of abandoned belongings, please review it to determine which situation would apply in your case. http://www.landlordselfhelp.com/facts/2007_tenant_belongings.pdf http://www.landlordselfhelp.com/sound_advice/scripts/tenant_belongings.htm

If this means you received an order of termination after a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board, and the tenant moved out as a result, then pursuant to S. 41 (1) of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 you may keep, sell or dispose of any remaining belongings left behind by the tenant – either in the unit or anywhere on the residential complex such as the shed.

If you consider it worthwhile to take your former tenant to Small Claims Court—meaning if they are employed and you will be able to garnish wages using the court order if necessary—then your Plaintiff’s Claim can include things like repair or replacement costs, and excessive clean up or removal costs related to the tenancy. Small Claims Court generally takes about 4 months to go through. Effectiveness depends on too many variables to accurately forecast (your evidence, witnesses, receipts, may or may not be enough to get a good result). It is normal to get several estimates from qualified repair or clean-up companies, and then make written requests that the tenant pay a reasonable amount to cover these costs, before involving the Small Claims Court. There is no way to force a tenant to return keys to you, so it is prudent to change the locks between tenants regardless.