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.
A tenant has not paid rent for two months, I have served the notice for nonpayment of rent – Form N4. She has offered a partial payment of the rent owing. I don’t know if I should accept it, I’m afraid if I accept the payment I will have to start all over again. Is it okay to accept partial payment?
It is in your best interest to accept whatever payment the tenant makes and issue a receipt. By accepting this payment it does not nullify the notice, it will still remain in effect until it’s paid in full. You can still proceed to the Landlord and Tenant Board after 14 days based on the notice already given and make the adjustment of the rent owing when you file your application.
I have a situation in which tenants have refused to pay even after agreeing to sign an agreement to leave then refusing to do that. I have all correspondence via text. What can I do?
If there was no signed agreement that the tenant would leave a specific address on a specific date, then legally they do not have to move out. E-mail or text message notices or agreements are not valid.
If they have not paid rent that you or they assumed they would not have to pay if they were moving, then you can serve them a N4 – Notice to Terminate for Non-payment of Rent. The form will give the tenant 14 days (for a monthly tenant) to pay the rent or move out. If they fail to pay or move, you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an eviction hearing on/after the 15th day.
The correct form for an agreement to terminate (Form N11) is also on that page of the forms, should you need it in the future.
The forms and instructions are available at: https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/#landlord-forms
I have a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board for arrears of rent. The tenant withheld rent for repairs that needed to be done to the floors in the unit. How can we resolve this issue?
I would say in this case, it would be best to go to the hearing and with the help of a mediator draft up an agreement in which he agrees to vacate and you provide a rent abatement. The agreement should also include a clause stating that if the tenant does not move out on that date then the landlord can file with the Sheriff to evict the tenant. The mediated agreement should then be taken to the hearing and ask the Board member to issue a consent order on what you have agreed upon.
I gave an N4 notice to my tenant for not paying rent. How do I know that they’ve received it if they haven’t told me?
When the tenant is given a notice to end tenancy, such as an N4 for non-payment, they do not have to acknowledge receipt of it. They either pay the rent and void the notice, move out, or stay and do not pay the rent. If they do not pay by 14th day after serving notice, you may apply to the Board on or after the 15th day for an eviction hearing. If they pay before your Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) hearing, they would also have to pay the filing fee. If they don’t pay, then you should continue with the hearing process to get an order. The tenant may pay after the LTB order is issued but before the Sheriff’s office comes to evict. In this case, the tenant can file a Motion to Stay and have the eviction stopped.
The police broke the door to my tenant’s unit and I have since been out of contact with him. The tenant has not paid rent since. What should I do at this point?
It may help you to check with your local police to see if there are any media releases that involve your tenant. Here is an example of the Toronto Police media release page: http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/newsreleases/
If you are not able to gather more information about why the property was raided by police, then you should concentrate on giving an N5 for damage to the property and an N4 for nonpayment – either under the door of the unit or by mail. If serving notices by mail, you have to add 5 days to allow for mailing.
To get a clear picture of the amount of damage that was done, you should give 24 hours’ written notice to enter to do a maintenance inspection with a contractor or handyman who can give you an estimate of costs.
The N4 is a 14-day notice to pay the rent or move out by the termination date. You can apply on an L1 application on the next available weekday after the termination date.
The N5 is a 20-day notice to vacate for damage or disturbances. The form gives the tenant 7 days to fix or pay for the damages. On the 8th day you can apply on an L2 application for eviction for the reasons on the N5.
5 days must be added to the termination date if the notice is being sent by mail.
You may combine applications and pay the Landlord and Tenant Board only one fee of $201. If they are filed separately, you will have to pay twice.
My lease states that rent is due on the 15th of the month. The tenant and I verbally agreed to change the rent due date to the 1st. My tenant has not paid rent this month. What date should I put on the N4 notice?
Since there was no written and signed agreement between you and your tenant, you will have to use the rental period that is on your lease – specifically, the 15th to the 14th. Otherwise, the Landlord and Tenant Board may dismiss your application.
Once you receive the written order from the Board it should specify the exact amount the tenant must pay to avoid eviction, if they pay that amount by the date specified then they can stay but if they do not pay or make partial payment you would then proceed to the Sheriff’s office to enforce the eviction.
We have renters in my basement who have been there 1 year and always gave us issues and broke our washing machine. They threatened to not pay rent for the coming month. We want them out, how should we go about this?
If your tenants stop paying rent, the legal steps to take is to serve them with a Form N4 which is an early termination notice for nonpayment of rent and if they don’t pay within fourteen days which is the required notice period then you can file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board to get them out. The process of eviction can take up to three months.
Two roommates occupy the unit and the one responsible for paying rent is moving out. What can I do?
If the rent has not been paid in full for the month you can serve the notice of non-payment of rent (Form N4) but make sure both names are on the notice. This notice gives the tenants fourteen days to pay the outstanding rent and, if not paid within that time, then you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an eviction order. If one of them moves out in the meantime you can still proceed to evict the remaining tenant if he/she cannot pay the rent.
Two or more persons have signed the lease and one person is not paying their portion of the rent, what can I do?
If you rent to two or more persons and one person is not paying their portion of the rent, you can serve a notice of non-payment of rent which is a Form N4 but you will have to name all the tenants on that notice. You can obtain this form on the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website at https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/#landlord-forms.
The tenant is withholding payment of rent claiming that our contractor created a power surge during renovations, what can I do?
There is nothing in the law that states that a tenant can withhold payment of rent for this reason. The landlord can serve a notice of non-payment of rent in this case and bring the matter to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a decision.
The tenant is now separated and waiting for a settlement, rent hasn’t been paid in 12 months; I’m filing L9!
With regards to this situation, the process you could follow would be filing the L9 application with the LTB to obtain an order for the arrears of rent, although you would not get termination of the tenancy with the L9 application. If you want to terminate the tenancy you would have to serve the tenant with a Form N4 which gives the tenant fourteen days to pay after which you can apply to the Board with the L1 application.
Our tenant has lived in the unit for 6 months and has been late paying rent 5/6 times. We keep giving him N4 notices, and he waits until the last minute to pay. This month’s cheque went NSF, and his lease is up in May, can we give an N8?
In this situation, all you can do is serve the tenant with the N4 whenever he does not pay on the due date. However, if he does pay the rent after receiving the N4, then the notice is void and you would have to wait until the next time it happens and serve him again. You have mentioned that he has a lease until May so all you can do until then is keep serving the N4 when he’s late. The N8 notice for persistent late payments cannot be served until 60 days prior to the expiry of the lease, so the N8 you give him now would be considered invalid.
Our new tenants moved into our rental house but the cheque they gave us was N.S.F. What can we do?
If your tenants haven’t come up with the rent yet, you can serve them with a notice for non-payment of rent using Form N4. This notice gives them fourteen days to pay the outstanding rent or move out. If they do not pay or move out then you will have to file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board for termination of the tenancy. You can obtain the forms from the Board’s website at https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/#landlord-forms.
My tenants haven’t paid any rent since they gave their first month’s rent. I served them with a N4 yesterday but specified the incorrect amount. Can I re-serve the N4 with the correct amount? Should I address damages at a later date?
If you filled in the wrong amount and you’re serving a new N4, you would count 14 days after the date you serve the new one as your termination date. You should also write “Amended” on the top of the form.
For the damages, you could serve the tenants with the N5 Form as well, but you’ll have to obtain an estimate on the cost of the repairs because you have to state an amount on that form.
My tenant is 3 months behind in rent. I keep getting promises but no rent and extra people are living there. What are my options?
You should be serving the tenant with a legal notice of nonpayment of rent which is a Form N4. This notice gives the tenant fourteen days to pay the outstanding rent, if it’s not paid within that time period then the next step would be to file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board. The forms required to apply to the Board is a Form L1 and a Certificate of Service. The process at the Board can take up to four months to evict a tenant so it’s best not to wait too long to get the process started. These forms can be obtained from the Board’s website at https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/#landlord-forms. As for the tenant having other people living there that are not on the lease, unfortunately there isn’t anything you can do about this, tenants are allowed to have anyone living with them despite what the lease states.
If you’d prefer not to issue a notice of termination, the only other option you have is to file the L9 application with the Board. This is an application to obtain an order for the arrears of rent only but not for termination of the tenancy.
My new tenant has lost their job and informed me that they will not be able to pay the rent, what should I do?
If this tenant is in arrears of rent as of now, the first step is to serve a legal notice of non-payment of rent, there is a form that must be used, it’s called a Form N4. This notice advises the tenant to pay the rent within fourteen days or move out. If the tenant is still in possession and has not paid the rent after fourteen days, file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board for an Order to evict them. You can obtain all the necessary forms from the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website at https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/#landlord-forms.
My lease says that I agree to rent to the tenant with the condition that ODSP sends the cheque directly to me (the landlord). I was recently told I will not be receiving direct payment anymore, and am unable to contact the tenant. What can I do?
If you haven’t received the rent for this month from the tenant, then you should be serving him the N4 Form. If you can’t get a hold of him to serve him, you can just put the notice under the door or place it in the mailbox. This is the only procedure to follow at this point even if the tenancy was conditional on ODSP paying you the rent directly.
I’ve served the N4 but agreed to give the tenant a chance to make up the arrears. I don’t want to go the Board and see no way to collect.
It is more efficient to proceed to the Landlord and Tenant Board and file the application to terminate the tenancy based on the non-payment of rent. If the tenant is not moving out willingly and not paying the rent you do not have any other option than to go to the Board to obtain an eviction order. Collecting the arrears can be difficult and sometimes impossible unless the tenant is working and you know where he/she works.
Is there a form other than N4 I should use to terminate a tenancy when the arrears amount exceeds the monetary jurisdiction of the Board?
The Form N4 is the only form to use for non-payment of rent and eviction of the tenant through the Landlord and Tenant Board but you can only claim up to $35,000. In order to claim for the higher amount you would have to follow a different procedure which would involve going to a higher court and in that case you would have to hire a lawyer.
If the tenant is still in the unit and refusing to pay the rent, you should file with the Landlord and Tenant Board to obtain an order of eviction and an order for the arrears of rent.
As of September 1, 2021, landlords can file an application for arrears of rent with the LTB within one year from the date the tenant moved out of the rental unit. The tenant must have moved out of the rental unit on or after September 1, 2021.
You can download the Form N4 from the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website at https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/#landlord-forms.
I sold my property but was owed one month’s rent. The last month’s rent went to the purchaser, how can I collect?
Since you are no longer the owner of the property, you will have to make a claim in Small Claims Court to collect the money owed to you.
Once you have served the tenant with a N4, if the tenant does not pay the rent on or before the termination date set out in the N4, you may file an L1 Application along with a Certificate of Service with the Landlord and Tenant Board to obtain an order to terminate the tenancy.
I have been trying to collect past due rent and hydro charges from my tenant. What is the procedure?
You may have to serve the tenant with the legal notice of early termination for non-payment of rent which is the Form N4, do no include utility charges on this notice. You can serve the notice by hand, but if that’s not possible the notice can usually be slipped under the door, placed in the mailbox or where mail is ordinarily delivered or it can be sent by regular mail (if sending by mail add 5 days for mailing time). Once the tenant receives the notice they will have fourteen days to pay the arrears of rent. If they do not pay, you can file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board for early termination of the tenancy. For forms visit- https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/#landlord-forms.
As of September 1, 2021, landlords can file an application for failure to pay utility costs with the LTB. For more information on the September 1 amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act visit https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/operational-updates/#sept1.
I have been renting my house and now my tenants are having difficulties paying the rent. I have given them N4’s, but the 14 days have passed and I have only been partially paid. I have a feeling they are going to leave, what advice would you have for me?
With regards to this situation I would suggest to still try and find out if they are in fact leaving, and if so, ask them to provide you with written notice. If this is not possible and you’re not certain that they are moving out then the only thing to do is to file the L1 Application with the Landlord and Tenant Board based on the N4 that you have already served. You should not wait too long to do this because it can take at least four months to get an eviction through the Board process.
I have a tenant who is persistently late when paying rent. When can I go to the Board for eviction?
The Residential Tenancies Act does not set out a specific number of times that the tenant would have to be late with the rent before a landlord can seek eviction as the Board adjudicator will make this determination. However, our usual advice in this situation is to wait at least until you have served the tenant with the notice of non-payment of rent seven or eight times during the period of one year. Also, if you have a fixed term tenancy agreement (lease), the legislation does not permit you to seek early termination of that agreement if the grounds are persistent late rental payments.
I have a Landlord and Tenant Board order and suspect the tenant will abandon the rental unit. How can I track them down?
The standard order will require the tenant to pay the arrears owing plus a per diem rate until the date they vacate the unit. The easiest method of collecting on an order is through a garnishment of wages provided you know where the person is employed. Garnishment is done in Small Claims Court with the order that you received from the Board which is the same as any other court judgment. As for tracking down the tenants, once they have moved out, the only suggestion we have is to go through an investigations agency to locate them.
You can serve the tenant with a notice of non-payment of rent anytime after the day the rent is due. The notice you would serve is a Form N4 which gives the tenant fourteen days to pay the rent owing. If the tenant does not pay within that time period then you would have to file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board to obtain an eviction order. The entire process to evict for non-payment of rent can take approximately three – four months.
How does non-payment of rent affect a tenants’ credit? Do I have to go through the Landlord/Tenant Board or should I contact a Collection Agency?
Non-payment may only affect a tenants credit score if there is judgement order by the Landlord and Tenant Board or the Small Claims Court and the order is registered with the Small Claims Court for collection.