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Landlord and Tenant Legal Services In Toronto (GTA)

Residential Tenancy Evictions and Landlord and Tenant Board
Oracle Legal Services > Areas of Practice > Landlord and Tenant Legal Services In Toronto (GTA)
Landlord Tenant Legal Services Toronto

The Landlord and Tenant Board can be an intimidating institution. Extremely strict about its forms and expectations, it is far too easy when dealing with this Board to make a small mistake that can cost you your entire case. Landlord and Tenant matters deal with one’s rights to one’s own home. They are too important to leave up to chance.

What To Do When The Tenant Does Not Pay Rent

If the tenant does not pay rent, you can do the following:

  1. You can either give the tenant a legal notice asking them to pay the rent they owe, or have them vacate the unit. If the tenant does not pay or move out by the specific date (also known as the “Termination Date”) that is provided on the notice, then you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict the tenant and to collect the rent that the tenant owes. You have to be mindful that any errors on the legal notice will be considered a defective notice. In this situation, the board may not issue an eviction order or the case could be dismissed.
  2. You can apply to the LTB for an order to collect the rent that the tenant owes, without asking the LTB to make an order to evict the tenant.

Even if you obtain an order from Landlord and tenant Board for non-payment of rent, the order is a “voidable order”, this means that if the tenant pays full rent on the specific date that is indicated in the order, the tenant does not have to move out and can still continue the tenancy.

What Is The Legal Notice To Pay Rent Or Move Out?

If a tenant does not pay the full rent on the day it’s due, you can use the form “Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent (N4)”. This form can be found on the LTB website, and the purpose of this form is to tell the tenant that if they do not pay the rent or move out, you can apply to the LTB to evict them.

The Notice Is A Voidable Notice

If the tenant pays all the rent they owe before the landlord files an application to LTB, the Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment (N4) of rent is void and the tenant does not have to move out. In order to void the notice that the landlord has given you, the tenant must pay the entire amount of arrears (overdue rent) in the N4 notice, plus any additional rent payment that was due after the tenant received the notice.

Receiving The Hearing Notice

Once you file an application, the LTB will schedule a hearing. The LTB will send the Landlord and the Tenant a copy of the application and the Notice of Hearing. This notice will specify where and when the hearing will be conducted. It is very important that all parties attend the hearing; if the tenant does not show up at the hearing the board will make a decision, and issue an eviction order against the tenant. If the Landlord does not show up at the hearing, the case will be dismissed.

Attending A Hearing

If a hearing is held, the tenant will have a chance to explain why the landlord should not get what they requested on their application. For instance, if the tenant disagrees with the amount of the rent the landlord is claiming or if the tenant needs more time to pay the rent, the tenant can raise these issues at the hearing. Other issues that tenants can raise at the merit hearing are issues with the rental unit such the unit is not being maintained properly, the landlord is harassing the tenant, or the landlord charging an illegal amount of rent. The tenant can raise these issues at the proper hearing as well. As you can see, a simple application for rent arrears can become a complex matter. For that reason, it is highly recommended that the landlord hire a legal representative who has experience and ramifications for all the issues noted above.

Implications Of Member Or Refusal Of Eviction

An LTB member will listen to both sides and make a determination about the application and any other issues raised at the hearing. If the member orders the tenant to be evicted, they could also order that the tenant first be given more time to pay the amount owing or be given more time to move before they are evicted. The member could also refuse or delay the eviction.

Whether you are a Landlord or a Tenant yourself, it is in your best interests to be represented before the Landlord and Tenant Board. Oracle Legal Services has extensive experience dealing with the Landlord and Tenant Board, and can help you navigate the sometimes confusing process of bringing an application, or defending against one.

Landlord And Tenant FAQs

Can I grow cannabis plant in my rental unit?

In accordance with the Cannabis Act under Federal law you can grow up to four plants in your backyard for personal use. However, if the Lease agreement prevents you form grow cannabis, you won’t be allowed to grow them in the premises. It is vital to mention this in the Lease agreement at the very outset, and the lease must be done by a legal professional who specialized in the area of Landlord and Tenant and good knowledge of contract.

What is Standard Lease and why do I need to execute one with my new tenant?

Standard lease was introduced in Ontario on April 30, 2018, as result that, any new tenancy required to have a standard Lease.  If the landlord fails to provide the Standard Lease within 21 days after the tenant (s) asked for it in writing, the tenant may withhold one month’s rent.

If the tenant does not pay rent, what Legal Notice do I have to serve to the tenant?

The Landlord must first provide a N4 Notice to End Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent. The notice must be served on the tenant and the termination date must be at least 14 days.

It is important to read the instruction about the termination date, also depending on your lease agreement and how the Tenant pays rent, the termination date could change accordingly.

Please see the link below for more information: https://tribunalsontario.ca/documents/ltb/Notices%20of%20Termination%20&%20Instructions/N4%20instructions_final_Nov30_2015.pdf

What happens if I make mistake on the N4 notice?

If the N4 notice has been served on a Tenant, and if the spelling of the name is incorrect, or the rent arrears is not the right amount, the (LTB) may dismiss the application. Occasionally, the board may order to pay the rent arrears if the error is not misleading; however, the Board may not issue an eviction order. If the rental complex contains multiple units and the unit number is not mentioned on the N4 the Board may dismiss the application.

Can Landlord raise the rent every year?

The landlord can raise the rent every 12 months once, upon providing the Tenant(s) 90 days legal notice which must be properly served upon Tenant(s). In addition, the Landlord must follow the Ontario Rent Increase Guideline to check what percentage they can legally increase the rent.

Can the Tenants withhold the rent if the unit requires maintenance?

Despite, the Landlord’s obligation to keep the rental unit in state of repair, the Tenants can not unilaterally withhold to pay the rent. However, if the unit requires to be repaired, the tenants should first inform the Landlord in writing, and if the Landlord does not fix the rental unit, file a claim with Landlord and Tenant Board.

Can the Landlord change the lock without providing a copy to Tenant?

No, the Landlord cannot change the lock without providing a copy to the Tenant. The Residential Tenancy Act does not permit the Landlord to change the lock without providing a copy to the Tenant.

As a landlord how can I protect myself with allegation of non-repair of rental unit?

The best possible protection is contemporaneous evidence such as emails correspondences text messages or emails about the repairs with Tenant (s), keep all the receipts for repairs, and finally pictures of repair with date and time on them.

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