N12 – Terminating a Tenancy for Landlord’s Own Use
Welcome to Landlord’s Self-Help Centre’s module about terminating a tenancy for landlord’s own use. The information offered in this presentation is intended as general information, it is not legal advice. If you need more information, please contact a legal service provider.
Landlord’s Own Use
Landlord’s own use means that the rental unit is required for the residential use by:
- The landlord or their spouse;
- A child or parent of the landlord or their spouse; or
- A person who will provide care services to one of these individuals.
Purchaser’s Own Use
Purchaser’s own use means that when a unit is sold, the landlord can give a notice of termination on behalf of a purchaser if the rental unit is required for residential use by:
- The purchaser or their spouse;
- A child or parent of the purchaser or their spouse; or
- A person who will provide care services to one of these individuals.
When to serve the N12
There are important differences between the two notices for own use.
With respect to landlord’s own use, a landlord can only provide a tenant with this notice if the landlord or their immediate family member or a caregiver, in good faith, requires the rental unit for their own personal occupation, and the person moving into the unit intends to live there for at least one year.
Before giving a notice for purchaser’s own use, the landlord must have a signed purchase and sale agreement, the property can only contain three units or less, and the purchaser or their immediate family member or caregiver, in good faith, must require the rental unit for their own personal occupation.
The rest of this module will focus exclusively on landlord’s own use.
Residential Tenancies Act, 2006
Before serving a notice to your tenant, make sure you have the grounds to do so. In Ontario, the Residential Tenancies Act is the provincial law that governs most residential rental agreements. It defines the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants and outlines appropriate reasons for giving a notice of termination.
Security of Tenure
All tenants have security of tenure which means that the tenants are entitled to continue to live in the rental unit after the initial term ends.
The tenancy can only be terminated in 3 ways:
- The tenant gives notice to terminate the tenancy;
- The landlord and tenant agree to terminate the tenancy; or
- The landlord gives a notice to end the tenancy for a reason permitted under the Residential Tenancies Act, and the tenant moves out, or if the tenant does not move out, the landlord applies to the Landlord and Tenant Board and obtains an eviction order.
Is your case strong enough?
When landlords try to terminate a tenancy for own use, suspicions are raised because this ground is commonly used inappropriately. If an application is filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board, landlords are assumed to be making this application in bad faith and have to convince the Board otherwise.
Consider the following:
- When did the tenant move into the rental unit? Is it reasonable to give notice at this point in time?
- Will the unit be occupied as a primary residence for at least one year?
- Have you had problems with the tenant?
Behaviour notices such as the N5, N6, and N7 should NOT be given with the N12. The only notice that can be combined with the N12 is the N4 notice for non-payment of rent.
Alternate approaches to end a tenancy
If you come to realize that the N12 notice is not the most appropriate form for your situation consider using the N11- agreement to end the tenancy instead.
You may have to negotiate an end of tenancy agreement with your tenant and possibly offer incentive as a way to get them to agree to sign the N11 form and move out.
If the tenant refuses, you can’t evict them unless there are other grounds that allow you to serve a notice to terminate a tenancy.
Landlord’s Own Use
To recap, the landlord can give a notice of termination of the rental agreement if the rental unit is required in good faith for the residential occupation by specific individuals.
If giving this notice for a caregiver, the caregiver must be living in the same building as the person receiving care services. For example, if you have a duplex and you need one unit for a caregiver, the person receiving the care services must be living in the other unit of this same duplex.
Landlord’s Own Use
A notice of termination for own use cannot be given to the tenant if the landlord is a corporation, or if it is being given on behalf of extended family members such as a brother, cousin, aunt or grandparent..
It can only be given for the individuals listed on the notice.
Changes under the Rental Fairness Act, 2017
Changes under the Rental Fairness Act, 2017 have been made as a way to curb abuse of eviction based on landlord’s own use.
There have been changes to the law that have created additional requirements when giving notice for landlord’s own use such as the person moving in to the unit must be prepared to occupy the unit for one year, and provide written intention in the form of an affidavit or declaration.
The landlord must also compensate the tenant with one month’s rent prior to the termination date on the notice or offer another unit which must be another unit owned by the same landlord.
This notice can only be used for landlords who are individuals and not corporations.
If a landlord acts in bad faith, such as re-renting or advertising the unit for sale within one year, the onus will be on the landlord to disprove the bad faith assumption.
When serving notice to end tenancy for landlord’s own use, it is important that there be good faith. Good faith is having a genuine intention to occupy the rental unit for residential purposes for at least one year.
Once Bill 184, Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020 is proclaimed, landlords will also be required to notify the Landlord and Tenant Board of any N12 or N13 notices they have given for the same or a different rental unit. Non-compliance means the Landlord and Tenant Board can refuse the application.
This notice should not be served to a tenant because there has been a breakdown in the relationship, or because the rent is too low.
If this happens, a tenant can file a T5 application against a former landlord for bad faith within 12 months of the date they moved out.
What is the N12 notice?
Form N12 is a notice to end the tenancy that can be given to the tenant if the rental unit is required for residential use by someone such as a landlord, purchaser, or caregiver.
Make sure to use the most up to date forms which can be found on the Landlord and Tenant Board website, and take into consideration the length of time it will take to evict the tenant.
If your tenancy is on a month to month basis, Form N12 can be given at any time, but the termination date must match with the end of a rent period.
Be careful of the rent due date as this will affect the termination date.
For example, if rent is due on the 15th of the month and you give notice to the tenant on March 15th, the termination date in this case should be May 14th.
If you have a fixed-term tenancy, a notice of termination for own use can be given at any time, but the termination date must match with the end of the term.
For example, you have a lease ending December 31, 2020. You have to honour the lease term and can serve this notice to the tenant by the end of October for a termination date of December 31.
N12 Notice for Landlord’s Own Use
This is what the N12 notice looks like, in the next few slides, we will go through a section at a time.
The Landlord and Tenant Board website has links to instructions for many of their notices and applications, so make sure to read through them and use them to help fill out the forms.
N12 Notice for Landlord’s Own Use: Names & Address
When listing the tenants, include names of those who are identified on your tenancy agreement as tenants, or in the case of verbal tenancies, include names of only those who have been paying the rent.
If your tenant uses a nickname, include both their legal name and their nickname.
If you have a joint tenancy (2 or more tenants together on one agreement) make sure to include all their names. The same applies with landlords, include full names of all landlords for the rental unit.
Clearly define the rental unit. It is very important for the address of the rental unit to include the full address and specify exactly where the tenant is living, such as the main floor, basement or a unit number.
N12 Notice for Landlord’s Own Use: Termination Date
The termination date must be at least 60 days and coincide with the end of a rent period or the end of a fixed term if there is a lease.
With this example, rent is due on the 15th of the month and the N12 notice was provided on March 5th, therefore the termination is listed as May 14th.
The notice becomes void if the landlord does not apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board within 30 days of the termination date. In this example used in this presentation, the N12 notice would expire June 15th if the landlord has not filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board.
N12 Notice for Landlord’s Own Use: Reason
Make sure the proper reason is selected and indicate who will be moving into the unit.
N12 Notice for Landlord’s Own Use: Signature
The notice should be signed by the landlord unless the landlord has hired a lawyer or paralegal to be their representative and they are serving the notice on the landlord’s behalf. The date next to the signature should be the date the N12 notice is given or sent to the tenant.
N12 Notice: Important Information
Carefully read the Important Information section on page 2 of the notice and make sure you understand everything before serving this notice to your tenant(s).
When giving this notice, the landlord must compensate the tenant by paying them an amount equal to one month’s rent or offering them another unit that is acceptable to them. The unit being offered must be owned by the same landlord.
Tenant’s Rights after Being Served
If the Tenant disagrees with the notice they don’t have to respond and they do not have to move out unless the Landlord and Tenant Board orders them to do so.
The tenant is given the option of ending the tenancy earlier by providing at least 10 days’ notice in writing using the form N9.
If the tenant decided to move out, the tenancy ends on the date they moved out of the rental unit.
How can you serve the N12?
Make sure to deliver the notice to the tenant according to the Landlord and Tenant Board Rules or this will result in you having to start the process all over again.
The most common ways to give notice is by handing it to the tenant, placing it in the tenant’s mailbox as long as a key is not required to access it, or sliding it under the door of the rental unit.
This notice should NEVER be posted on the tenant’s door.
Do NOT deliver this notice by email or text message, as these are NOT proper methods of service.
‘Cancelling’ a N12 Notice
Before serving a N12 notice, make sure the person set to move into the rental unit is prepared to live there for at least one year. It is not possible to cancel this notice once it is given to the tenant.
Write them a letter to explain the change and inform them that they can disregard the N12 and continue to live in the unit.
However, if you are trying to ‘cancel’ the notice but it is too late because the tenant has signed another tenancy agreement and is moving out, you will still have to provide the compensation. There is also a chance that the tenant files an application against you at the Landlord and Tenant Board for bad faith and tries to sue you for up to $50,000. This amount increases to up to $250,000 for corporations.
Offences and Penalties
If the tenant moves out according to the notice, and before you file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board, the individual on the notice is still required to live in the property full-time for at least one year.
If this doesn’t happen and the tenant finds out, they have one year from moving out of the rental unit to file a bad faith application with the Landlord and Tenant Board and sue the landlord for up to $50,000 (up to $250,000 for corporations).
There is also the possibility of a landlord getting charged under the Provincial Offences Act and having to face additional penalties.
Recent changes to the law: Providing Compensation
Changes to the law as of September 1, 2017 require that a landlord now compensate the tenant an amount equal to one month’s rent by the termination date on the N12 notice or offer the tenant another rental unit that is acceptable.
If paying the compensation, the full amount must be paid to the tenant on or before the termination date listed on the N12 notice. The landlord risks the dismissal of their application at the LTB and having to start the process all over again, if it is not paid by this deadline.
If offering another rental unit, it must be a unit which is owned by the same landlord who is giving the tenant the notice.
Gather information & educate yourself
It’s very important that you do your research to make sure this process is appropriate for your situation. If you serve your tenants with an incorrect notice, it can cause other problems for you down the road.
Use resources found on the Landlord and Tenant Board, and Landlord’s Self-help Centre websites to help guide you through the proper process.
Thank you for watching this module about the N12 notice to end your tenancy for landlord’s own use. This information is also available in video format.
The information offered in this presentation is intended as general information, it is not legal advice.
If you have a specific issue or situation, please contact a legal service provider.