Your first stop for self-help is a review of our FAQs. Take a look at the ever increasing collection of questions asked by Ontario’s small-scale landlords as well as the actual answers provided by Landlord’s Self-Help Centre.
If all the keys were returned, the tenant’s belongings are removed, and there are communications (i.e., text messages, e-mails, letters) showing the tenant’s intention to move out, then this is enough to trigger your right to clean the unit and show it to prospective tenants.
I have an order for eviction based on non-payment of rent. Why do I have to file with the Sheriff? Wouldn’t it just be easier to just change the locks on my own?
If the tenant were to pay all of the rent they owe, plus the costs of filing, and possibly even the Sheriff’s fees, then the tenant would void the eviction notice, and could stay in the unit. In that case, a landlord cannot assume that the tenant is definitely leaving.
If the payment is not made, then the landlord must apply to the sheriff for enforcement of the order unless the tenant has clearly moved out.
If you are 100% sure that the tenant has moved out, then you do not have to file with the Sheriff’s office. The problem for most landlords is that they cannot know for certain that the tenant is gone, so you should “err on the side of caution” when coming to the conclusion about whether or not the tenant still resides in the unit. It just helps to avoid being fined by the Board, or being taken to the Board by the tenant for illegal entry, if they were still living there.
If you are certain that the tenants have completely vacated and will not be returning, take pictures to document the unit and then change the locks. If the tenant owes money for arrears of rent or damages, you can file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board but it may be difficult if the tenants are in another country. As of September 1, 2021, landlords can file an application for arrears of rent and/or damages with the LTB within one year from the date the tenant was no longer in possession of the rental unit.The tenant must have moved out of the rental unit on or after September 1, 2021. However, this is only possible if you have the current residential address of the tenant.
My tenant was arrested and removed by police 3 weeks ago. I don’t know if he is in jail or coming back. How do I find out about him? Can I rent out his room? When? Most belongings were taken by police, what should I do with the few items remaining?
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 to material that addresses the issue of abandoned belongings, please review to determine which situation would apply in your case https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/Tenant-Belongings.pdf
My tenant vacated the rental unit at the end of the month and left behind many personal belongings. She has not replied to my emails and messages. How long must we hold on to these items? What is the process to dispose of them?
The rules on abandoned belongings vary depending on the circumstances the tenant vacated the premises. 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.
https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/Tenant-Belongings.pdf and http://www.landlordselfhelp.com/podcast/1023/
I had a tenant who was behind in the rent. I filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board and obtained an order for eviction. The tenant has since left the unit, but some belongings are in the shed. Can I keep those or throw them out?
If 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.
Can a landlord bill a tenant for the cost of damages in the unit once the tenant has left? If copies of keys have been made, can I demand that they be returned?
As of September 1, 2021, landlords can file an application for damages with the LTB within one year from the date the tenant was no longer in possession of the rental unit.The tenant must have moved out of the rental unit on or after September 1, 2021. However, in order to file this application with the LTB, you will have to find out their new residential address to be able to serve them. It is normal to get several estimates from qualified repair companies that can fix the damages in the rental unit.There is no way to force a tenant to return keys to you, so it is prudent to change the locks between tenants regardless.