A few weeks ago, my tenant had a cooking fire and as a result the house was destroyed. The tenant had no content insurance, my insurance will cover the loss of the house and the income. The tenant wants to know if they are entitled to getting their last month’s rent deposit back. Am I required to return the deposit? Does this fire terminate the lease? Is there any paperwork necessary to terminate the lease? Do I have any responsibilities to the tenant?
The Frustrated Contracts Act appears to apply to your situation. Basically, this means that the tenancy obligations ended on the day of the event. So this would mean that the tenant has no further rent owing to the landlord, and the landlord has no further obligation to provide accommodation. You will have to return any rent on a daily basis, including last month’s rent in part or in whole, to the tenant, since there is no longer a unit to pay rent for.
There is no official paperwork for this, but the usual practice is to write the tenant a letter or statement that due to the event, the Frustrated Contracts Act applies according to Section 19 of the Residential Tenancies Act, which you can read at this link: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/06r17#BK22
You can include the letter along with the payment, and ask the tenant to sign for receipt of both the payment and the letter.
If the tenant is in agreement, the best way to terminate is both landlord and tenant signing an N11 agreement to terminate the tenancy. ANY termination date can be used. In most cases however, the tenant would not sign this without some form of compensation from the landlord (1 or more months’ rent, for example).
Planning to sell the house is not a valid reason to serve the tenants a notice to leave. You can only serve them a notice of termination once you have signed an Agreement of Purchase and Sale and the purchaser plans to move in to the house. At that point you would serve the tenants with a Form N12 giving them 60 days to vacate. The notice must terminate on the last day of the rental period or term.
The tenant has given me verbal assurance he’ll be out at the end of next month, should I get this in writing?
Until you have written notice from the tenant specifying the date the rental unit will be vacated you have no assurance he will leave. The form of the notice must state the date he’s moving out, specify the address of the rented premises and include his signature. The agreement is not a guarantee he will vacate but it does provide you with the documentation required to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an order.
OWN USE: I have moved back from another province and I want the rental unit for personal use. What can I do?
If you want to terminate the teancy so you can use the rental property for yourself, you are required to give the tenant 60 days notice using Form N12. This notice can only be given at the end of the term in a fixed term tenancy or at the end of a rental period if the tenancy is month to month. When terminating for this reason you are also required to pay the tenant one month’s rent as compensation.
If the number of people occupying the rental unit on a continuing basis contravenes health, safety or housing standards required by law, the landlord may issue a notice. Before any action is taken, determine whether the number of occupants constitutes overcrowding as the floor area and occupant ratio is quite generous. If it is indeed overcrowding a notice may be given. The termination date must not be earlier than the 20th day after notice is given; set out the details or the grounds for termination; and require the tenant to reduce the number of persons occupying the rental unit to comply with health, safety and housing standards within 7 days.
Our tenant gave verbal notice that he was moving out of our rental unit, but there’s reason to believe he intends to remain for a longer period of time. We want to re-rent to someone else or sell the property. How can we get him to leave?
If your tenant gave the notice in writing but does not move out, your recourse is to file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board to obtain an eviction order based on the fact that the tenant gave notice but won’t leave. The forms required to file with the Board are a Form L3- Application to Terminate a Tenancy—Tenant Gave Notice or Agreed to Terminate the Tenancy and a Declaration form, which can be obtained from the Board’s website http://www.stjo.gov.on.ca/ltb/forms/. The process will take a few weeks before you can actually get him out. If he did not give written notice, then you may not be able to do anything as it is difficult to enforce a verbal notice. In that case, he could stay on as long as he continues paying his rent. You can also see if the tenant will sign an N11- Agreement to Terminate the Tenancy. However, if he refuses to sign this agreement, there isn’t a notice you can serve him to terminate the tenancy. If you plan on selling the unit, you’re allowed to do so, but you can only serve him notice to vacate once it has been sold and the new owner plans to live in the unit. At that point, you would serve him with an N12- Notice to Terminate a Tenancy at the End of the Term for Landlord’s or Purchaser’s Own Use. This is a 60-day notice ending on the last day of the rental period. You can read more about this issue at the following link, https://landlordselfhelp.com/media/Selling-a-Rental-Property.pdf.
A landlord may issue a notice of termination (N4) if the tenant fails to pay rent lawfully owing under a tenancy agreement. The notice may not be effective earlier than the 7th day for a daily or weekly tenancy or the 14th day for all other types of tenancy agreements. The notice must specify the amount of rent overdue and that the tenant may avoid termination by paying the rent before the notice becomes effective.The N4 notice can be found at http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/forms/
My tenants have a 1 year lease. Do I have to give a reason for not renewing their lease? I found new tenants that I’d prefer to rent to and don’t want to “kick them out” before the lease is up but I’d like to have a new tenant when the old lease is up.
A tenant does not have to leave at the end of the lease term, the tenancy continues on a month to month basis unless the landlord has a valid reason to terminate the tenancy. Terminating the tenancy in order to have another tenant move in is not considered a valid reason to terminate the agreement.
If the tenant had a one year lease and it has expired, the tenant is entitled to remain on the premises on a month to month basis under the same terms and conditions of the original agreement. In the absence of documentation showing that the tenant has agreed to rent the unit for an additional year, the tenant can terminate the tenancy on 60 days written notice.
If a tenant terminates a tenancy before the end of the rental term, the tenant is not required to find a new tenant for the rental unit. The landlord is obligated to mitigate their losses from the early termination and re-rent the unit as soon as possible. A landlord can then make a claim against the former tenant in Small Claims Court for the the cost of advertising and loss of rent the landlord incurred.
My son needs to occupy the unit for a few months, can I evict my current tenant? How long must my son live there?
Your son would have to occupy the unit for at least one year. If he does not, a tenant can file an application against you under the presumption that he or she was evicted on the grounds of bad faith. This carries a maximum administrative fine of $25,000, a rent abatement and other penalties as deemed appropriate by the adjudicator.
If you intend to move into the unit you must give the tenant 60 days notice and using the proper form which is Form N12. If you intend to renovate the house alone you can only ask the tenant to move out if the renovations are extensive and require a building permit in which case you will have to give them 120 days notice on a Form N13. The tenant retains the right of first refusal upon completion of the renovations. You can visit the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website at http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/forms/ to obtain any of these forms and more information on all the rules governing landlords and tenants.
The notice required based on persistent late payment of rent is a Form N8. You can obtain these forms from the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website at http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/forms/.
I’m unsure of which eviction notice to serve and wonder if it matters. My tenant has broken 5 separate clauses of the rental agreement, from running an illegal business to damages. What forms/notices do I serve?
The problems being created by the tenant likely fall most accurately under the description of interfering with the enjoyment, or other lawful rights of either the landlord or other tenants. This means that serving an N5- giving lots of details about each event and the times/dates when each event occurred or was discovered- would be most appropriate. Damages can also be listed on the N5. It is usually more difficult to sufficiently prove to the Landlord and Tenant Board that a tenant has committed an illegal act, is running an illegal business or is impairing other tenants’ safety. If the relevant witnesses and proof for either or both of these other reasons can be arranged, then you are allowed to serve the N6 or N7 as well. However, if you apply to the Board on all reasons at once, then the normal “fast-track” eviction procedures for N6/N7 get slowed down to the normal pace of the N5-based L2 eviction procedure.
I rented my house as a rent to own. They rent for 5 years and then have an option to buy. Circumstances have arisen that I want to move back and break the lease. Is there some way that I can terminate the lease?
When there is a fixed term agreement, the landlord cannot terminate the lease early based on the reason that the landlord wants to move in. That can only be done at the end of the lease term with an N12 form and 60 days notice. Please note that you are required to live in the unit as your primary residence for at least one year. If the landlord fails to do this, the tenant’s are eligible to file an application against the landlord for bad faith. With recent changes in legislation, the landlord will be required to compensate their tenant for one month’s rent if pursuing the Own Use Application.
I rent a house to five students and one is causing trouble. There have been numerous complaints, help!
You can issue the Form N5 based on the reason that the tenant is interfering with the reasonable enjoyment of the premises by the other tenants. However, this applies only if you have separate agreements with each tenant. If you have only one agreement with all five people then you cannot evict just one person.
I have come to the decision to demolish the rental house on our other property rather than continue to deal with the LTB and tenants. Would you be able to advise me on the procedures for demolition?
The procedure to evict a tenant based on demolition is to give the tenant a Form N13. The termination date specified on the notice must be at least 120 days after the notice is given and must be the day the rental period ends, or the end of the term if there is a fixed term. Please note that if your property contains five units or more, you would have to compensate the tenants by giving the tenants an amount equal to three months rent, or offer the tenants another rental unit that is acceptable to them. After serving the notice, you may apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board anytime for a hearing if you believe the tenant will not move out according to the notice. To apply to the Board you will require the L2 Application along with a Certificate of Service. You can find all these forms along with instructions on the Board’s website at http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/forms/
I have an agreement for an eight month term but the tenant plans to move two months early. What can I do?
If you have a fixed term lease and the tenants are leaving early, your recourse is to try and mitigate your losses by re-renting the unit as soon as possible. If the tenant has given you 60 days notice and it takes longer than that to re-rent you may have to file a Small Claims Court claim for your loss of rent.
I had a father sign a lease as guarantor and the rent has not been paid. Is the guarantor named on the notice?
You cannot name the guarantor on the notice of non-payment of rent as he is not considered a tenant. The Board will not usually issue an order against guarantors because they are not tenants. The only way to proceed in this case is to terminate the tenancy based on non-payment of rent and then file a claim in Small Claims Court against the guarantor if you cannot collect from the tenant.
I entered into a one-year lease with a couple, but they have since split up and one person remains. He wants to remove her name from the lease because she is no longer living there. I prefer both names on the lease. Am I obligated to consent?
When there are two people named on a lease, no changes can be made unless all parties are in agreement. You are not obligated to remove one of the tenant’s names from the lease even if one of the tenants is requesting it.
Tenants have security of tenure, they do not have to move unless the landlord has a valid reason as defined in the Residential Tenancies Act to end the tenancy. The tenancy automatically renews on a month-to-month term after the fixed term. While the initial term of the tenancy agreement may indicate one year, it has the potential to develop into a long term relationship unless grounds exist to terminate, the tenant gives notice, or both tenant and landlord mutually agree to end the rental relationship.
If the conduct of a tenant, another occupant of the rental unit or a person permitted in the residential complex by the tenant substantially interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of the residential complex or another lawful right, privilege or interest of the landlord or another tenant a notice may be given. Notice cannot be effective earlier than 20 days and must explain the reasons for termination and require the tenant to stop the activity or conduct or correct the problem set out in the notice within seven days.
If the tenant or a person the tenant allows in the residential complex wilfully or negligently causes damage to the rental unit or the residential complex the landlord can serve the tenant with a Form N5 – Notice to Terminate a Tenancy. The N5 should detail the reasons for termination and inform the tenant s/he is required to pay the reasonable costs of repairs or make the repairs within 7 days. The notice becomes void if the tenant complies within 7 days. If the tenant does not comply, on the 8th day you may make an application to the Board to evict the tenant.
The notice period to terminate the tenancy for this reason is 60 days ending on the last day of the rental period and the form you would use for this reason is a Form N12. However, you can only terminate the tenancy if you require the unit to move in yourself or if it’s required for your child, parents or parents-in-law, other family members would not qualify.
The Residential Tenancies Act recognizes the purchaser’s intent to occupy a rental unit when a rental property is sold and accepts this as a valid reason for termination of a tenancy provided the following circumstances are met: A) The property must contain three or fewer residential units; B) The landlord/vendor has entered into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale to sell the residential complex; and C) The purchaser must, in good faith, require possession of the complex or a unit for the residential occupation of himself, the purchaser’s spouse/same sex partner or a child or parent of one of them.