Updated: Nov 17
As a paralegal, the most common complaint amongst landlords is non-payment of rent.
In Ontario a tenant who is late paying their rent, by even one day, can be served with an N4, a notice to evict for non-payment of rent. This form must be completed by the landlord or their legal representative and then served on the tenant before they can be evicted for non-payment. The most frequent mistake I see from landlords is to include amounts owed that are not rent. This commonly includes unpaid utilities bills, NSF charges, or late fees. Adding these to an N4 can invalidate the notice, which can cause your eviction application to fail.
The second most common problem to be aware of is in the notice period or “termination date” calculation. An N4 requires the landlord provide a minimum of 14 days for the tenant to make full payment before an application to the board can be made. I always suggest 15 days from the date the document is served on the tenant, as it is far easier than defending against a claim for insufficient notice.
I mentioned “service” and want to explain that here. You “serve” a document when you give it to another person. How you must give it to that person can change based on what the document is, or even which court or tribunal you are appearing for. Whoever serves a document for a Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) matter will need to complete a “certificate of service” form from the LTB.
If by the termination date on the N4 the tenant has still not paid their rent, the Landlord must then complete an L1 application, which is filed with Service Ontario. The L1 must be filed with a copy of the N4 and the Certificate of service for that N4.
As always, remember that this blog should not be taken as legal advice and is no substitute for a consult about your specific facts. If you have a tenant who isn't paying, call Jon today at 519-564-3242 to see how we can help you.