A landlord can evict a tenant for non-payment of rent, or not paying the rent in full, or constantly paying the rent late. The Residential Tenancies Act allows a tenant to be evicted for those reasons.
To avoid misunderstanding, in the rental agreement, three things should be made clear:
- the day that rent payments are due
- the way the rent should be delivered to the landlord
- the acceptable methods for paying the rent
How to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent in Ontario
If a tenant does not pay rent on the date that it is due, the landlord can give the tenant a N4: Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent the day after the rent was due. If a tenant pays rent monthly, this notice gives the tenant 14 days to pay the rent due or to move out. If your tenant pays rent by the day or week, you must give at least 7 days notice.
All forms you can download from Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board’s website:
You have to calculate the dates properly to avoid your case to be dismissed by the Landlord and Tenant Board:
- When counting the days, do not include the date you are giving the notice to the tenant. For example, if you give the notice to the tenant by hand on March 3rd, the first day of the 14-day notice period is March 4th; in this example, the earliest termination date would be March 17th.
- If you are giving the notice to the tenant by mail or courier, you have to add extra 5 days in calculating the termination date.
Read the Instructions to this form to see how many days you have to add.
If the rent is not paid, and the tenant does not move
If the rent is not paid, and the tenant does not move, the landlord can apply to Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board for an order that:
- requires the tenant to pay the rent that is owing, and
- evicts the tenant if they do not make the entire payment by a deadline.
The following application form has to be used for that:
L1: Application to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent and to collect rent the tenant owes
If a tenant is often late with the rent
If a tenant is often late with the rent, the landlord can give a N8: Notice to Terminate a Tenancy at the End of Term. Daily or weekly tenants must be given notice 28 days before the end of their lease or rental period. In all other cases, the tenant must be given notice 60 days before the end of their lease or rental period.
The landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an order evicting the tenant right after giving the tenant the Notice to Terminate a Tenancy at the End of Term. A hearing will be held and both sides will have a chance to give their side of the story.
It is very important that rent payments are made on time and in full. Please pay attention to the following:
- The rent is late if the full amount is not paid by midnight on the day it is due.
- A landlord does not have to accept partial payment of rent.
- If partial payment is accepted, the landlord can still take steps to collect the rest of the rent that is owned, including serving a notice that asks the tenant to pay the rent they owe, or move out of the unit.
A tenant should not withhold any part of the rent, even if the tenant feels that maintenance is poor or a necessary repair has not been done. A tenant could be evicted, if they withhold rent without getting approval from Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board.
What a tenant can do to avoid eviction for non-payment of rent
To avoid eviction for non-payment of rent, a tenant can do the following:
- Pay everything that is owed. If the tenant pays all the rent they owe before the landlord files an application to the Board, the N4 notice to end the tenancy is void and the tenant does not have to move.
- Work out a payment plan.
- Go to the hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board: At the hearing, the tenant can raise any issues that they could have raised had they filed their own application with the Board. This means that if the tenant has concerns about issues such as disrepair, harassment or the lawfulness of their rent, they can raise them at the hearing and the Board can make an order to remedy those issues if appropriate. Tenants should also come to the hearing prepared to present any evidence they need to support any issues they want to raise. They should bring three copies of any evidence they want to use (for example, receipts or pictures), as well as any people they want to use as witnesses.
- Stay in the unit and see if the landlord files an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board. You will have a chance to explain the situation at a hearing.
- Ask for financial assistance: If you qualify, Ontario Works can provide you with money to help you cover the costs of your basic needs (e.g. food) and housing costs. The amount of money you may receive from Ontario Works will depend on your family size, income, assets, and housing costs. There are three ways you can apply for Ontario Works: online, in person, and by phone (http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/ow/apply.aspx )
You have the right to stay in your unit until the Landlord and Tenant Board issues an eviction order.
The Landlord and Tenant Board contacts
For more information, or to obtain copies of forms and publications:
- 416-645-8080 or toll-free at 1-888-332-3234
You can visit your local Landlord and Tenant Board office. A list of Board office locations can be found on the website.