Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and uncertainties have thrown everybody into a spin. People lost their jobs while businesses closed down, leaving people in panic and destitution.
People have been unsure of living arrangements and tenancy status, having fallen back in rental payments. The dreaded eviction notice can be served at any moment. Landlords have found themselves in a corner where rent hasn’t been paid, and some cannot service their mortgages. Despite the gravity of the situation, landlords have contemplated ending tenancies.
Ending A Tenancy
How can a landlord end a tenancy in Ontario? What are the provisions in law about ending a tenancy? The Residential Tenancies Act of 2006 spells out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in Ontario. A landlord must follow all the steps provided in the act to evict a tenant from their rental property.
Step 1: Give The Tenant A Written Notice
The landlord must give a written letter, the Notice of Termination of tenancy Ontario, to the tenant spelling out the reason for their eviction. The reasons could be frequent late payments, failure to pay rent, or damage to the property. The landlord’s notice to vacate must give a window for the tenant to prepare to move out and after which the landlord can initiate legal action with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Normally, it is a 60-day notice for fixed-term agreements and 28 days for the other agreements. The legal action considered is dependent on the reason given for eviction.
Notice Of Termination
The eviction of tenants from a rental unit needs to be undertaken legally. The tenant also has rights as outlined in the Act; a landlord must notify the tenant to vacate. The following are possible reasons and the notices given under law to the tenant. Each form will have a specific reason and the termination date.
You may also visit https://www.surex.com/blog/can-tenant-refuse-entry-to-landlord to learn more about your rights concerning situations where a landlord wants to check your rental apartment.
- Form N4: Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent
- Form N5: Notice to End your Tenancy for Interfering with Others, Damage, or Overcrowding
- Form N6: Notice to End your Tenancy for Illegal Acts or Misrepresenting Income in a Rent-Geared-To-Income Rental Unit
- Form N7: Notice to End your Tenancy for Causing Serious Problems in the Rental Unit or Residential Complex
- Form N8: Notice to End your Tenancy at the End of the Term
- Form N12: Notice to End your Tenancy Because the Landlord, a Purchaser, or a Family Member Requires the Rental Unit
- Form N13: Notice to End your Tenancy Because the Landlord Wants to Demolish the Rental Unit, Repair it or Convert it to Another Use
Step 2: File with the Landlord and Tenant Board
After the given period in the notice to the tenant to vacate Ontario has elapsed, the landlord will apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a hearing date. They will fill out an Application to Terminate a Tenancy and Evict a Tenant form by paying a small fee. They will then wait to hear from the board about a hearing date.
Step 3: Deliver The Application And Hearing Date To The Tenant
Within 5-10 days of the hearing date, the landlord must serve the tenant with the Landlord and Tenant Board and the Notice of Hearing application. The length of time given is dependent on the reason stated to the board. Eviction due to failure to pay rent requires ten days, while serious issues require a 5-day notice. Both the notice for termination and the Landlord and Tenant Board application can be served via mail, dropping in your tenant’s mailbox, or personally handing it to the tenant.
Step 4: File A Certificate of Service
The landlord must then file a Certificate of Service with the Landlord and Tenant Board to ascertain that they served the tenant with all the necessary documents. The Certificate of Service must be filed no later than five days after serving the tenant.
Step 5: The Hearing
The Residential Tenancies Act mandates that the landlord and tenant, or their representatives, must attend the hearing at the appointed time and date.
Step 6: Eviction Order
Following the hearing and the board agreeing to eviction, the board will issue an Eviction Order, which gives the date that the tenant must vacate the residential property. Failure of the tenant to leave the property on the said date will have some consequences. The landlord can file for an Order with the Court Enforcement Office to have the tenant escorted out of the residential unit. At that point, the landlord is allowed to change the house’s locks in the presence of a Sheriff. The landlord is not allowed under the Act to escort a tenant of their property without the presence of a law enforcement officer.
Agreement to End Tenancy Early
Other ways can be used to end a tenancy without going through the tortuous legal process and making it a protracted legal battle. The landlord and the tenant can agree on the date to move out. The date is still technically considered the termination date.
The agreement to end the tenancy early will eliminate the need to involve other parties and is still perfectly legal. Landlords may find it favorable to them to amicably discuss and agree with a tenant to leave and then find a new tenant to pay more in rent for the same unit. Both the tenant and the landlord must have the agreement in writing.
The Agreement to Terminate Tenancy, Form N11, is filled and duly signed by both the tenant and the landlord. The form is essential for fixed-term tenancy. Fixed-term tenancies mean that a tenant has signed on to pay rent for a specific duration, typically one year before moving to the month-to-month payments. Form N11 outlines the rental address, the termination date, the tenant’s statements, and the landlord regarding terminating the tenancy period earlier than initially agreed upon.