A tenant does not have to move out if they receive an eviction notice. Landlords are required to give official notices of eviction which starts the eviction process. However, a tenant does not have to do anything until the landlord files an eviction application with The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). The Landlord and Tenant Board will notify a tenant of the application and hearing date if/when this happens.

Landlords are not legally entitled to evict tenants. Only The Landlord and Tenant Board, which is a provincial body, can authorize an eviction. Only if The Landlord and Tenant Board issues an eviction order, which happens after a hearing, will a tenant need to move out. Tenants should follow the following steps:

1) First, tenants should identify where they are in the eviction process. If a tenant is starting to have issues with their landlord or rental property owner, they should try to resolve it before the eviction process starts. An eviction is a formal procedure that is managed by The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) of Ontario. Every landlord must follow a series of steps to legally evict a tenant.

 

Diagram of the eviction process. Icon of a house depicting tenant in housing and beginning process with issue with your rental property. Icon of a notice depicting an eviction notice with stage 1 of eviction being that the landlord gives you a formal Notice of Eviction. Stage 2 is the Notice of hearing and is depicted by an icon of a form with a pencil, representing the landlord submitting an eviction application. Stage 3 is the Eviction hearing depicted by an icon of three people at a panel table depicting that you and the landlord attend the hearing. The last stage is depicted by an icon of a person with their hands out, with a checkmark and an x on either side of their arms. This depicts an Eviction Order in which the tenant receives an eviction order

 

If a landlord verbally asks a tenant to leave or writes them an email or note asking them to leave, this does not begin the formal eviction process. Only a judge from The Landlord and Tenant Board can issue an Eviction Order and only a Sheriff can carry out an eviction. The landlord must take the following steps to carry out a legitimate eviction:

  1. Provide a notice terminating the tenancy giving the reasons;
  2. Apply to the Landlord & Tenant Board for an order to evict a tenant; and
  3. Present evidence at the hearing as to why a tenant is being evicted. Tenants have the right to attend the hearing and present any evidence to support their case / counter a landlord’s claim against them.

Important Exception: If a tenant shares a kitchen or a bathroom with their landlord or a member of the landlord’s immediate family, they are not protected by the Residential Tenancies Act . In this situation, the landlord does not need to follow the legal eviction process. They may ask a tenant to leave at any time and the tenant has little recourse. In a situation like this, they should reach out to a legal clinic for assistance.

2) Next, read more about the eviction process, types of evictions, and a tenants rights and responsibilities.

3) After a tenant has read about the eviction process, they should contact a legal clinic for assistance. Legal clinics are often able to give free legal advice.

Stage 0: Before A Notice

If there any issues or tensions between a tenant and their landlord during the tenancy it is important that these issues are documented including any correspondence between the tenant and landlord. Example: photos, emails, take notes for any verbal conversations.

Stage 1: When You Get A Notice

If a tenant has received an informal letter asking them to move out or received a Notice to End Tenancy form (N4, N5, N6, N7, N8, N12, or N13) from their landlord, this is not an eviction and it does not mean they will have to move out. The landlord cannot change a tenants locks or tell them to leave. If a tenant has experienced this, get legal advice or contact Ontario’s Rental Housing Enforcement Unit. Tenants can fight the eviction if they think their landlord does not have a valid reason for issuing the eviction notice.

Informal Notice

What it is: Informal notice – anything other than a formal notice from The Landlord and Tenant Board, such as: an email, letter, a verbal notice from your landlord.

Do: Find out what tenants rights are online, seek legal advice from a legal clinic. Tenants can also talk to tenants in the same building to organize.

Do not have to: A tenant does not have to move out.

Notice of Eviction

What they are: The Landlord and Tenant Board N-forms are simply notices to inform tenants of a landlord’s intention to file an LTB application (L-form). A tenant is not required to take any action upon receiving a notice unless they are able to void the notice (by paying owed rent, for example). Receiving a notice does not mean they have been evicted. A tenant do not need to move out.

Only Notices from The Landlord and Tenant Board are legal. If a tenant receives any other kind of notice, it is not valid.

Stage 2: After a landlord has Filed an Eviction Application

What they are: Landlords must file an L-form Application with The Landlord and Tenant Board. This starts the application process.

After the landlord files an application, The Landlord and Tenant Board will give a tenant Notice of Hearing – A Notice of Hearing sets out the date, time and location of the hearing scheduled before The Landlord and Tenant Board.

Under exceptional circumstances (usually medical), a tenant may be able to reschedule the hearing date.

Do: Attend the scheduled hearing.

Do not have to: Move out.

Stage 3: Prepare for Eviction Hearing

  • Write down everything that happened and when;
  • Make a list of the evidence the landlord may want to present;
  • Make a list of any witnesses the tenant would want to speak at the hearing and think about what the tenant would want them to say;
  • Gather any relevant requests that have been made to the landlord;
  • Gather any relevant photos, videos, pictures, screenshots;
  • Gather any relevant letters from physicians, social workers, or caseworkers;
  • Gather any relevant letters, notes, forms or communications from the landlord.

Stage 4: Attend the Eviction Hearing

It is important to attend the hearing. 58 per cent of tenants that received an eviction notice did not attend their eviction hearing to argue why they shouldn’t be evicted. When a tenant does not appear at their hearing to represent their case, the landlord’s eviction application is granted unless there were administrative/technical errors made.

Tenants may represent themselves or obtain legal representation at the hearing. It is important to find legal representation if you are able to access it. Only 2.6 per cent of tenants attend a hearing with legal representation. Find legal help.

Stage 5: Eviction Hearing Result

If The Landlord and Tenant Board orders an eviction, they will send the tenant an eviction order. This order can be legally acted upon by the Enforcement office (also known as the Sheriff). It is only at this time – when a tenant can receive an eviction order from The Landlord and Tenant Board – that they need to move out.

Stage 6: Request to Review & Appeal

If a tenant disagrees with the outcome of a hearing they may file a Request to Review with The Landlord and Tenant Board within 30 days of the order being issued. There is a $50 fee to file a request for review.

If a tenant believes there was a mistake in how the Residential Tenancy Act was applied to their case, they may file an Appeal at Division Court. Note: appeals are uncommon.

Most people living in rental housing in Ontario must abide by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), which is the Provincial law that governs landlord and tenant relations. It outlines both your rights and your obligations as a tenant. The RTA covers people living in rental housing.

The RTA does not apply to people living in:

  • Emergency shelters;
  • hospitals or nursing homes (long-term care facilities);
  • Prison;
  • Student residents or dormitories;
  • Temporary or seasonal use units;
  • Units that share a kitchen or bathroom with their landlord or a member of their immediate family;
  • People not on a lease.

There is an increasing trend of using Notices of Eviction in “bad faith.” In particular, N5-N7 notices have been observed used as a basis for formal litigation and N12 – N13 notices have been observed to be served to long-term tenants in order to move new tenants in at a higher rent.

 

When served with these notices, please seek legal advice to ensure that these notices are used in good faith and used for legal cases of eviction.

In Ontario, these are the only valid types of evictions:

  • N4 – Late payment of rent
  • N5 – Damage, Substantial interference, Impairing safety or Overcrowding
  • N6 – Misrepresentation of Income (if tenant pays Rent Geared to Income)
  • N7 – Illegal Act
  • N8 – Persistent late payment
  • N12 – Landlord’s or Purchaser’s own use – there is an increasing trend of N12 applications being used in “bad faith” to evict long-term tenants in order to move new tenants in at a higher rent.
  • N13 – Demolition or conversion – there is an increasing trend of N13 applications being used in “bad faith” to evict long-term tenants in order to move new tenants in at a higher rent.

All other reasons are not valid. A tenant cannot be evicted if:

  • A tenants children are noisy;
  • A tenants requests repairs; or
  • A tenant joins a tenant association.

Notice: N4 – Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non‐payment of Rent

Link to N4 forms and notices

What it is: An eviction notice indicating you have fallen behind on your rent payments

Do: 

  • Pay rent if it is owed. It is best to pay the rent to the landlord by the deadline in the notice. This will void the notice, meaning that a landlord cannot apply for your eviction at The Landlord and Tenant Board.
  • Check the termination date on the notice. If the termination date is less than 14 days from the day of notice for units rented on a monthly or yearly basis, or less than seven days from the day of notice for units rented on a daily or weekly basis, then the notice is void.
  • If a tenant is unable to pay the rent owed, they may be eligible for City programs that can provide assistance. Another option is to form or join a Tenant Association.
  • Correct the behaviour within 7 days. After 7 days, the landlord has the right to apply to The Landlord Tenant Board for an Application.

Do not have to: Move out.

Landlords have to: A landlord must file an application for eviction at The Landlord and Tenant Board and can do this the day after the termination date stated in the notice (N4). If accepted, a landlord’s application for eviction will prompt a hearing. As a result, a tenant will have defend their tenancy.

LTB Application: L1 – Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-payment of Rent and to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes

Landlords cannot issue an eviction order. The only authority that can issue an eviction order is The Landlord and Tenant Board and the only authority that can enforce an eviction order is the Sheriff. Both the Sheriff and The Landlord and Tenant Board must provide written notice in advance of an eviction.

Notice: N5 – Notice to End Tenancy for Interfering with Others, Damage, or Overcrowding

Link to N5 forms and notices

What it is: A tenant or tenants guest’s behaviour is disturbing the neighbours, or has resulted in damage of property. This notice may also be served if a tenant is found to have too many people living in a unit which is considered overcrowding.

Do:

  • Check the termination date to see if the notice is valid.
    • If this is a tenant’s first N5 Notice to End Tenancy in the past 6 months, the termination date on page 1 must be at least 20 days after notice is given.
    • If this is a tenants second N5 Notice to End Tenancy in the past 6 months, the termination date on page 1 must be at least 14 days after notice is given.
    • Notice is void if the dates are shorter than these dates.
  • Seek legal advice from a legal clinic.
  • Talk to neighbours and community organizations to see if they are having the same problems.
  • Form or join a Tenant Association.
  • Correct the behaviour within 7 days. After 7 days, the landlord has the right to apply to The Landlord Tenant Board for an Application.

Do not have to: Move out.

Landlords have to:

  • Give 7 days for the tenant to correct the behaviour.
  • Your landlord must file an application for eviction at the Landlord and Tenant Board and can do this the day after the termination date stated in the notice (N5). If accepted, your landlord’s application for eviction will prompt a hearing where you can defend your tenancy.

LTB Application: L2 – Application to End a Tenancy and Evict A Tenant

Notice: N6 – Notice to Terminate a Tenancy Early: Illegal Act or Misrepresentation of Income

Link to N6 forms and notices

What it is: This applies to people receiving rent-geared-to-income or other housing subsidies where the amount of rent is determined based on the reported income. It may be grounds for eviction if it is found that a tenant is earning more income than is reported OR a tenant or their guests did something illegal on the property.

Do: 

  • Seek legal advice from a legal clinic.
  • Talk to neighbours and community organizations to see if they are having the same problems.
  • Form or join a Tenant Association.

Do not have to: Move out if you disagree with the notice.

Landlords must file an application for eviction at the Landlord and Tenant Board and can do this the
day after the termination date stated in the notice (N6). If accepted, your landlord’s application for eviction will prompt a hearing where you can defend your tenancy.

LTB Application: L2 – Application to End a Tenancy and Evict A Tenant

Notice: N7 – Notice to End your Tenancy For Causing Serious Problems in the Rental Unit or Residential Complex

Link to N7 forms and notices

What it is: A tenant or their guests have caused damage or serious problems for their landlord or other tenants.

Do: 

  • Seek legal advice from a legal clinic.
  • Talk to neighbours and community organizations to see if they are having the same problems.
  • Form or join a Tenant Association.

Do not have to: Move out if you disagree with the notice.

Landlords have to file an application for eviction at The Landlord and Tenant Board and can do this the day after the termination date stated in the notice (N7). If accepted, a landlord’s application for eviction will prompt a hearing where a tenant will have to defend their tenancy.

LTB Application: L2 – Application to End a Tenancy and Evict A Tenant

Notice: N8 – Notice to Terminate Tenancy at the End of the Term

Link to N8 forms and notices

What it is: At the end of a lease the landlord can file for eviction if:

  • A tenant has persistently paid rent late;
  • A tenant no longer qualifies for subsidized housing;
  • The rental unit was part of an employment agreement and a tenants employment ended;
  • The tenancy was created in good faith as a result of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a proposed condominium unit, and the agreement has been terminated; or
  • The unit was rented so the tenant could receive therapeutic care and the agreed period of tenancy has ended.

Do: For persistent late payments, the tenant should demonstrate that they have funds to afford the rent, and are committed to paying on time in future. It might be helpful to put this in writing for a landlord, or provide any rent receipts indicating the payment date. Seek legal advice.

Landlords must file an application for eviction at The Landlord and Tenant Board and can do this the day after the termination date stated in the notice (N8). If accepted, a landlord’s application for eviction will prompt a hearing where a tenant will have to defend their tenancy.

LTB Application: L2 – Application to End a Tenancy and Evict A Tenant

Notice: N11 – Agreement to End the Tenancy

Link to N11 forms and notices

What it is: Voluntary end of lease. An N11: “Agreement to End the Tenancy” is a form stating that the landlord and tenant both want to end a lease and must be signed by both parties. If a tenants signs the N11, they are agreeing to voluntarily move out.

Do: 

  • If a tenant wants to stay in their unit, they can refuse to sign the N11.
  • A tenant can challenge the notice if they think it is not true or there are other errors within it.
  • Get legal advice from a legal clinic or other professional before signing anything.
  • Consider the cost of moving and paying higher rent for the long-term as a result of moving out.
  • Talk to neighbours and community organizations to see if they are having the same problems.
  • Form or join a Tenant Association.

Do not have to: A tenant does not need to sign the N11 if they don’t want to move out. A tenant can refuse to sign the N11 if they want to stay in their unit.

Landlords have to have an agreement in writing and must offer a tenant with compensation in exchange for signing the N11.

Notice: N12 – Notice to End your Tenancy Because the Landlord, a Purchaser or a Family Member Requires the Rental Unit

Link to N12 forms and notices

What it is: A landlord, landlord’s family, someone buying a tenants rental unit, or the buyer’s family wants to move in. Family includes only:

  • Spouse;
  • Child;
  • Parent;
  • Spouse’s child; and
  • Spouse’s parent;
  • It also includes a caregiver for any of them.

Important: These applications are commonly used in “bad faith” to evict long-term tenants in order to move new tenants in at a higher rent.

Do:

  • Challenge the notice if there is something wrong with it or if it is not true. Ask the landlord what family member is moving in.
  • Get legal advice from a legal clinic or other professional before signing anything.
  • Challenge the application and defend your tenancy at The Landlord and Tenant Board.
  • Talk to your neighbours and community organizations to see if they are having the same problems.
  • Form or join a Tenant Association.

Do not have to: Move out unless a tenant receives an eviction order from The Landlord and Tenant Board following a hearing.

Landlords have to:

  • Compensate for one month of rent in the case that the tenant does move out;
  • Give 60 days’ notice using an N12 form for their application to the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict you to be valid; and
  • File an L2 with the Landlord and Tenant Board no later than 30 days after the termination date on the N12. If accepted, your landlord’s application for eviction will prompt a hearing where you can defend your tenancy.

LTB Application: L2 – Application to End a Tenancy and Evict A Tenant

Notice: N13 – Notice to End Tenancy Because the Landlord Wants to Demolish the Rental Unit, Repair it or Convert it to Another Use

Link to N13 forms and notices

What it is: A landlord wants to tear down the building, use it for something else,or is planning to do extensive renovations that will render the unit uninhabitable.

Important: There is an increasing trend of some landlords serving this eviction notice to tenants as a way to get them to move out so they can re-rent the unit at a higher rent.

In order for this type of eviction to be valid, a landlord must have applied for building permits. If a tenant is served a N13 and thinks the landlord is acting in bad faith, they can check if the landlord has applied for the necessary building permit using  Building Application Status Search.

Do: 

  • Find out if there is a development/building application for the site.
  • Challenge the notice if there is something wrong with it or that what it says isn’t true.
  • Talk to your neighbours and community organizations to see if they are having the same problems.
  • Form or join a Tenant Association.

Do not have to: The development process can take years, so a tenant should not have to have to move immediately.

Landlords have to:

  • Give 120 days’ notice in the form of an N13 form for their application to The Landlord and Tenant Board in order for the eviction order to be valid.
  • File an L2 with the Landlord Tenant Board no later than 30 days after the termination date on the N13. If accepted, your landlord’s application for eviction will prompt a hearing where you can defend your tenancy.

LTB Application: L2 – Application to End a Tenancy and Evict A Tenant

  • Give compensation in most circumstances. If the landlord is giving notice for reasons 1 (landlord intends to demolish the rental unit or the residential complex) or reason 3 (landlord intends to convert the rental unit or the residential complex into non-residential use), the landlord must pay the tenant an amount equal to 3 months’ rent or offer the tenant another acceptable rental unit.
  • If the landlord is giving notice for reason 2 (landlord requires the rental unit to be vacant in order to do repairs or renovations so extensive that they require to get a building permit and the rental unit
    must be vacant to do the work), they must offer Right of Return: This type of eviction requires your landlord to offer your old unit back to you after renovations are complete – called “right to return”. It is important to note that this is rarely the case, as there is an increasing trend of landlords
    trying to rent the renovated unit to a new tenant at a much higher rent.

The Eviction Prevention in the Community (EPIC) Program is a program project that provides wrap around eviction prevention services in order to help tenants facing imminent risk of eviction.

The program offers the following services:

  • wrap around case management supports
  • mediation with landlords to stabilize housing
  • referrals to community legal supports
  • navigation/accompaniment to the Landlord Tenant Board
  • assistance securing income supports, trusteeship, or money management programs
  • system navigation and referral to other services and supports
  • rehousing supports and shelter diversion where the existing tenancy cannot be sustained

Clients are directed into the program in the following pathway:

  1. The referral source pre-screen clients based on the eligibility criteria
  2. The referral source makes a service request. The EPIC service request referral form is submitted to the EPIC pilot lead
  3. The EPIC program lead verifies eligibility within one business day
  4. If accepted into the EPIC program, the client is assigned to one of the EPIC teams based on the client’s geographic location