TRANSCRIPT: N4- Notice to End your Tenancy for Non-payment of Rent

Introduction

Welcome to Landlord’s Self-Help Centre’s webinar about the N4 notice to end your tenancy for non-payment of rent.  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.

Important information

There are important things to consider when serving a Form N4 to your tenant:

  • Don’t wait to start the process, serve the notice as soon as legally possible.
  • If rent is due on the 1st of the month but you haven’t received the full payment, the N4 notice can be served as early as the 2nd of the month.
  • Before serving the N4 make sure to read it carefully because it is important to fill it out correctly. The smallest error can make the notice invalid.
  • The total process can take anywhere from 3-4 months on average so make sure to follow the timelines.

Names

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 (see the example with Jonathan Smith).

If you have a joint tenancy (2 or more tenants together on one agreement) make sure to include all of their names.

The same applies with landlords, include full names of all landlords for a 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, upper floor, or a specific unit number.

Termination date

The N4 notice is a 14 day termination notice that gives the tenant 3 options:

Option 1: Pay the full amount owing and void the notice by the termination date;

Option 2: Move out of the unit by the termination date; or

Option 3: They can ignore the notice and wait until the landlord files with the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

When calculating the termination date, the day this notice is delivered to the tenant is considered day 0, the next day is day 1.

For example:

If giving notice on the 2nd of the month, add 14 days starting from the 3rd. This means the termination date will be the 16th of that month.

If giving notice on the 5th of the month, add 14 days starting from the 6th. This means the termination date will be the 20th of that month.

Rent owing

Be very careful when filling out this table. It is important that the rental periods are listed correctly because the smallest mistake will likely mean you having to start the process over again.

For example:

If rent is due on 1st of the month, the rent period would run from the first of that month until the very last day of that same month.

If rent is due on 15th of the month, the rent period would run from the 15th of one month until the 14th or the next month.

If your rent period shows from the 1st to the 1st or the 15th to the 15th that is incorrect and you will have to re-serve the notice to your tenant.

Signature

If there are multiple landlords, only one of them needs to sign the notice.

The date next to the signature is the date the notice will be given or sent to the tenant.

Review the notice to make sure there are no mistakes and that you understand what you are giving to the tenant. Keep a copy for yourself.

If there are multiple tenants, make a photocopy for each.

Tips

Here are a few tips for landlords who are going through the N4 process:

  • Only rent arrears can go on the N4 notice. Any other money owing included on an N4 will make the notice invalid.
  • If the tenant doesn’t follow the notice and pay the full amount owing, file the L1 application with the Landlord and Tenant Board as soon as possible.
  • If you have already served your tenant a N4 notice and another month becomes due, DO NOT serve a new N4 unless the tenant has paid the money owing on the last one in full by the termination date.
  • Do Not include the last month’s rent deposit on the N4, if this is not collected on or before the date the tenant moves in, it is not due until the last month of the tenancy.
  • Never serve the tenant with a N4 notice on the day the rent is due, the earliest you can serve this notice is the day after the rent due date.

Service rules

Make sure to deliver the notice to the tenant according to the Landlord and Tenant Board Rules.

Improper service will result in you having to start the process all over again.

The most common methods of service are delivery in person to the tenant, sliding it underneath the unit door, or putting it in the mailbox (as long as you do not require a key to access the mailbox).

Never post this notice on the unit door, or send it by email or text message, as this is improper service and will make the notice invalid.

Next steps

So, you have served the N4 notice to your tenant and they are refusing to leave or pay.

If the tenant offers a partial payment, you must accept it, and you can still continue to file the L1- Application to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent and to collect rent the tenant owes with the Landlord and Tenant Board. This application can be filed as early as the day after the termination date on the N4 notice.

Once this application is filed, a hearing date will be set and a Notice of Hearing package will be sent to you and the tenant. 

If the tenant pays all the rent in full (this means all rent owing and the application fee) before the hearing, contact the Landlord and Tenant Board to withdraw your application and cancel the hearing.

It is important to continue with the L1 application to the Landlord and Tenant Board if the tenant does not void the N4 notice by paying all the rent they owe.  Otherwise, the tenant can continue to live in the rental unit for free.  Keep in mind that this eviction process takes three to four months on average.

Conclusion

Thank you for watching this webinar about the N4- Notice to end your tenancy for non-payment of rent.

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.