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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 to do the work, you can ensure that it will be done properly and you can control the costs on the repairs as well. If you give the tenant the responsibility of hiring someone to complete the repairs, you 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, he may file an application against you in order to recover his costs.

If the N7 is given to the tenant for deliberate or willful damage, a termination date of at least 10 days is required. The N7 is only given if you can prove that the damages were done willfully by the tenant which is a high threshold to meet. You may apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board using the L2 application immediately for this reason as the N7 does not allow the tenant to correct the problem before the landlord can file for eviction.

The N5 notice requires a termination date of at least 20 days. The N5 notice gives the tenant 7 days to correct the problem (by fixing the damage, for example). If the problems are fixed within the 7-day period, you cannot apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board as the matter is resolved. However, you may apply as early as the 8th day if the tenant does not correct the problems within the 7-day correction period according to the N5 notice.

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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