Mustering the confidence to evict a tenant is never easy. However, sometimes it is black and white and you need to let go to keep your real estate investment portfolio afloat. In Ontario, the legal process to evict a tenant through the Landlord Tenant Board can be tricky. We spoke with Rachelle Berube, founder of Landlord Rescue, who has been in the collections/evictions business for over 25 years. She walked us through the eviction process in Ontario step-by-step.

 

Naborly: Why do people stop paying rent?

Rachelle: More than 75% of cases in the LTB are due to nonpayment of rent. Or, It can simply be that you’ve run out of post-dated checks and those people won’t appreciate an eviction notice because your admin game is not on point.

 

N: At what point after the nonpayment of rent can the landlord take any action?

R: Anywhere between the 5th to 7th day of the month, the real notices will be issued to the tenants. That notice in Ontario is called the N-4; a few guidelines:

  • If mailed you have to allow an extra 5 days;
  • The day you serve it doesn’t count so add an extra day (15 days);
  • Don’t forget the landlord address. The tenant address goes below but the landlord address goes below the name;
  • Print off two copies, one for you and one for them.

 

N: How do I serve the N-4 to the tenant? Do I sent it digitally or manually?

R: This part can get a little tricky, because you need to follow the rules of service. Best choice is to shove the form under the door or leave it in the mailbox. I like to take a picture of it, so I can prove that what time and date I served the documents. For all the methods of service available to you, just print off the Certificate of Service from the LTB website, and fill out how you served the document.

 

N: How long do I wait for the LTB to receive my notice?

R: 15 days or 20 days depending on how you served it.

 

N: Let’s say that the reason for eviction is a non-payment of rent, are there any other additional forms i need to fill out?

R: You will need to fill out the L-1 form. Information that you need to know are: when the tenant moved in, how much rent they pay, when you last paid interest on their Last Month’s Rent deposit and if they bounced any checks.

Then, you ready your money and you can file online, it costs $175 to file. If you are not a digital person or you are filing a combined application or you are just uncertain, you can go get counter service, but you will pay $190 filing fee there.

 

N: What’s the next step after I’ve submitted by L-1?

R: Depending on where you filed, you will get a court date where you have to show up at the Landlord & Tenant Board. I always recommend going and observing a few times to get comfortable or hiring a competent paralegal with Landlord & Tenant Board experience.

 

N: Many landlords have never been to a hearing, let alone the LTB – what can they expect?

At the hearing you will also have to fill out a hearing update form to record any payments the tenant may have made.

The hearings for Non-payment of rent are a zoo, and very fast paced, as they are overbooked. Tenants can consult with Duty Counsel, and you may have to wait until they are done to either Mediate or go into a Hearing.

 

N: What if the landlord doesn’t want to go to court? Do I have any other options?

R: Mediation is also an option, you and your tenant can agree to a payment plan or when they will move out, and consent to an order or a mediated agreement.

 

N: What if my tenant doesn’t show up?

R: If your tenant doesn’t show up, or you can’t agree on the amount of money owed then you go to the hearing where the adjudicator will make a determination and write an Order terminating the tenancy if the tenant doesn’t pay.

 

N: What sort of information is in the Order?

R: You will get your termination Order in the mail and on the Order it will say something like:

  • The tenancy between the Landlord and the Tenants is terminated effective (Date). The Tenants must move out of the rental unit on or before (Date).
  • The Tenants shall pay to the Landlord $11,425.00 for arrears of rent up to (Date) and costs. This amount shall be paid as follows:
    • $2,250.00 on or before (Date) by e-transfer.
    • If the Tenants fail to make the payment in accordance with paragraph 2(1) of this order, the Landlord may, within 30 days of the Tenants’ breach and without notice to the Tenants, apply to the Board pursuant to section 78 of the Act for an order terminating the tenancy and evicting the Tenants on a date prior to (Date)
    • The outstanding balance owing shall be paid to the Landlord on or before (Date)
    • If the Tenants do not pay the Landlord the full amount owing on or before (Date) the Tenants will start to owe interest. This will be simple interest calculated from (Date) at 3.00% annually on the balance outstanding.
  • If the unit is not vacated on or before (Date), then starting (Date +1 day), the Landlord may file this order with the Court Enforcement Office (Sheriff) so that the eviction may be enforced.
  • Upon receipt of this order, the Court Enforcement Office (Sheriff) is directed to give vacant possession of the unit to the Landlord, on or after (Date).
  • This order settles all issues arising out of the tenancy.

 

N: What if, even after placing an Order, my tenant still does not pay?

R: Until the date mentioned in your Order above as (Date +1 day) you can take the Original order to the Sheriff Enforcement Office in your area, in Toronto that’s 393 University Avenue, and you fill out another form and give them a copy of the Order.

You will get an information sheet with a time to call, if your tenant hasn’t already moved by this point.

 

N: What can I do until then?

R: You’ve done everything you can in the book. You then have to wait until the Eviction Day where the Sheriff will come and tell the tenants to leave.

Hopefully as a landlord you never have to evict a tenant, it’s stressful and a sign that you haven’t screened your tenant properly. That’s where a service like Naborly can help avoid problems before they start, avoiding bad tenants is so much more fun than learning the process which is about as fun as ingrown toenail surgery.

Learn more about how you can get a Naborly Report on your prospective tenants for free with Naborly.