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It is not recommended for the tenants to do their own repair work in exchange for reduced rent. By hiring your own contractor, the landlord can ensure the work is done properly and can control the amount spent on the repairs. If the landlord gives the tenant the responsibility of hiring someone to complete the repairs, the landlord will not be able to dispute the amount spent on the repairs. In this situation, if the tenant is not compensated for the repair work they may be able to file an application against the landlord.

If the N7 is being served for deliberate damage, then a 10-day termination date is usually given to show the seriousness of the damage. A landlord may apply using the L2 application immediately for this reason, and the hearing date will be scheduled earlier than it is for typical eviction reasons (usually where the tenant can correct the problem). The problem does not require correction by the tenant before the landlord files for eviction. We suggest contacting the Board about approximate hearing date scheduling.

The N5 is a 20-day notice of termination that gives the tenant 7 days to correct the problem (by fixing the damage, for example). If the problems are fixed, then you do not apply to the Board as the matter is resolved.

Giving extra time, unless it is for serving documents by mail, does not usually help the landlord’s case, as it can undermine the seriousness of the problems faced by the landlord. A landlord may apply as early as the 8th day if the tenant does not correct the problems, but no later than 30 days after the termination date on either the N5 or N7.

The first thing worth mentioning is that giving a notice to a tenant by email is not a valid notice to terminate a tenancy. There are different legal notices of termination that must be used depending on the reason for termination. In order to evict a tenant based on major renovations, the first condition is that the renovations must be extensive enough to require a building permit. When this is the case, the landlord must provide the tenant with proper notice which is a Form N13. The notice period is 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. The other condition is that when the tenant is served with this notice, the tenant has the right to return to the unit once the work is completed provided he/she advised the landlord in writing of his/her intention to return to the unit. Once the tenant returns then the landlord will have to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to increase the rent based on the capital expenditures. You can obtain more information and download the forms from the Board’s website at www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/forms/.

This is a situation where the Residential Tenancies Act does not set out any clear guidelines or provisions as to how to deal with the tenant and getting work done in the unit. It is usually up to both parties to try and work out an arrangement where the tenant may have to move out temporarily while the work is being done in which case you would provide a rent rebate or offer to pay for the temporary accommodations. Whatever arrangement you both agree on make sure to put it in writing to avoid any misunderstandings.

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