This brochure provides information about what can happen when a tenant doesn’t pay rent. It is not a complete summary of the Residential Tenancies Act and it is not legal advice.
If your tenant does not pay their rent:
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) to tell the tenant that if they don’t either pay the rent or move out, you can apply to the LTB to evict them.
The date by which you want the tenant to pay the rent is called the “termination date”.
If a tenant rents by the day or week, the termination date must be at least 7 days after the notice is given.
If a tenant rents month-by-month or has a lease for more than 1 month, the termination date must be at least 14 days after the notice is given.
If the tenant pays all the rent they owe before the landlord files an application to the LTB, the Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent is void and the tenant does not have to move out.
To void the notice the tenant must pay:
Example: A tenant did not pay May’s rent and the landlord gave the tenant an N4 notice with a termination date of June 4th. If, on June 2nd, the tenant wants to pay the landlord everything they owe to void the notice, the tenant must pay the rent for May and June.
The Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent (N4) is available at tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/.
If the tenant hasn’t paid everything they owe or moved out by the termination date, you can apply to the LTB for an order that:
Use the Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-payment of Rent and to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes (L1). This application can be submitted by mail, courier or online using the Tribunals Ontario Portal. You can save time and money by filing your application through the Tribunals Ontario Portal.
The earliest day you can file this application is the day after the termination date in the N4 notice. You can only file the application if the tenant is still living in the unit.
If your tenant owes you rent but you don’t want to ask them to move out, you can apply to the LTB for an order that requires the tenant to pay you the money they owe. Apply using the Application to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes (L9) form. You can only file this application if the tenant is still living in the unit. You can file this application the day after the rent is due.
If your former tenant owes you money for unpaid rent or compensation, you can ask the LTB to order your former tenant to pay you what they owe. “Unpaid rent” is money the tenant owes you for rent that they didn’t pay during the tenancy and “compensation” is money the former tenant owed you for time they lived in the rental unit after the tenancy ended. Use the Application to Collect Money the Former Tenant Owes (L10). You can only file this application if the tenant moved out of the rental unit on or after September 1, 2021. You cannot file this application more than one year after the date the tenant moved out.
Once you file an application, you will receive a hearing date. You and the tenant will receive a copy of the application and the Notice of Hearing that says when and in what format the hearing will be held. It is important that you go to the hearing. You will have a chance to explain why the LTB should order your tenant to pay their rent and/or evict your tenant.
If your landlord files an application with the LTB, you can pay what you owe, work out a payment plan, or go to the hearing and say why you shouldn’t pay and/or be evicted.
If you agree with the amount that the landlord says you owe, you can pay everything you owe before the LTB issues an order. The amount you must pay includes:
If your landlord applied to evict you for non-payment of rent (Form L1), you can pay the money you owe to the landlord directly or to the LTB in trust at the CIBC. After the hearing, the member will decide who gets the money. To pay the money in trust, call us or email the office handling your file for instructions. You will need a deposit slip or LTB trust account numbers.
If the landlord applied to collect the rent you owe (Form L9), you can pay the money you owe to the landlord directly. Make sure you get a receipt from your landlord. Then contact the LTB to see if the hearing has been cancelled. If it hasn’t, you will need to go to the hearing.
You can contact your landlord to see if they are willing to work out a payment plan. You can use the Payment Agreement form, but it isn’t mandatory.
If you reach an agreement, file a copy of the agreement with the LTB before the hearing. The LTB can issue an order based on the payment plan and, if an order is issued, the hearing will be cancelled.
You can also try to work out a payment plan on the day of your hearing with the help of an LTB dispute resolution officer.
If a hearing is held, you will have a chance to explain why the landlord should not get what they asked for. For example, if you disagree with the amount of rent the landlord claims you owe or you need more time to pay the rent, you can raise these issues.
There are other issues you can raise too. For example, if you believe that the unit is not being maintained properly, the landlord is harassing you, or the landlord is charging an illegal amount of rent, you can raise these issues at the hearing. You must provide the landlord and the LTB with your evidence and a list of the issues you plan to raise at least 5 days before the hearing. For more information, read the Practice Direction on Evidence.
An LTB member will listen to both sides and make a decision about the application and any other issues raised at the hearing. If the member orders that the tenant 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 allow the tenant to pay the amount they owe using a payment plan or refuse the eviction.
For more information, read our brochures on these related topics:
These brochures are available at tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/brochures-videos or by calling the LTB.
Last updated: September 2021