Dealing with Non-Payment of Rent in Ontario

Dealing with Non-Payment of Rent in Ontario

Being a landlord in Ontario, one of the most common challenges many property managers and property owners face is dealing with tenants who fail to pay their rent. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to navigate this frustrating situation and ensure that you receive the rent you’re owed in a timely manner. 

This comprehensive guide will explore into the ins and outs of dealing with non-payment of rent in Ontario, providing you with the knowledge and resources to protect your investment and assert your rights as a landlord. 

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    Late Rent Payment Notice and Initial Steps in Ontario

    The first step is to communicate with the tenant. Reach out to them and discuss the situation, reminding them of their obligation to pay rent on time. Sometimes, tenants may simply forget or face temporary financial difficulties.  

    If your tenant still has no positive response and has fallen behind on rent payments, issue a late rent notice. This document serves as a formal notice to the tenant, informing them of the outstanding amount and the deadline for payment.  

    It is important to clearly state the consequences of not paying within the specified time frame, such as eviction or legal action. Familiarize yourself with the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) of Ontario to understand your rights and obligations as a landlord.  

    Sample Letter of Failure to Pay Rent

    This document is served to the tenant as a reminder to pay overdue rent. 

    This letter is ideally served between the 6th and the 10th day of a month to minimize the overdue amount and to remind the tenant of the missed rent payment. Please be aware that this document has no legal implications and is served to the tenant out of courtesy. 


    Dear Tenant, 
    This letter notifies you that your rent is payable and due on the first day of each month and is late if paid after the fifth. We still have not received your entire monthly rent payment. 
    Failure to pay rent is the most common reason tenants are evicted, and we are concerned about the due balance. Your current due balance is $_____________________.  
    Kindly pay this amount quickly. If you require assistance, please contact the property manager as soon as possible to determine whether you are eligible for a payment plan. 
    If not, you may qualify for outside assistance to ensure timely rent payment. 
    [Landlord/ Property Manager] 

    Sample Final Notice of Failure To Pay Rent Before Legal Action

    This document will remind the tenant that the tenancy is in jeopardy, just as the initial Notice of Failure to Pay Rent did. Please be aware that this document has no legal implications and is served to the tenant out of courtesy. 


    [Tenant’s Name, Address] 
    Dear [Mr./Mrs./Ms. Tenant] 
    The purpose of this letter is to inform you that your rent is due for the unit. Inability to pay the rent due or arrange for a payment plan (if eligible) will result in taking legal action to reclaim control of the rental property. Otherwise, you have to move out after making the payments. 
    We strongly advise you to contact the property manager as soon as possible to negotiate a payment plan or get advice on identifying services to help you pay your rent. 
    [Landlord / Property Manager] 

    N4 Form Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent

    In Ontario, landlords can use an N4 Form Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent provided by the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). This form gives the tenant a deadline to pay the overdue rent or face eviction.  

    The termination date in the Ontario N4 form: 

    • for a monthly tenancy should be at least 14 days after the notice is given 
    • for a weekly tenancy should be at least 7 days after the notice is given 


    It’s important to allow the tenant to comply and resolve the issue before proceeding further. If the tenant does, however, pay the overdue rent and any additional rent payments due after receiving the notice, the N4 Form Notice is void. 

    Eviction for Non-Payment of Rent

    If the tenant does not pay the rent within the specified timeframe, you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to pursue an eviction. This process involves completing a Form L1 Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-payment of Rent and to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes, specifically designed for eviction due to rental arrears.  

    The Board will review the case, and if it rules in your favor, you can proceed with the eviction process. 

    You can submit this application online using the Tribunals Ontario Portal, by courier or mail.   

    The earliest day on which you may submit this application is the day following the N4 notice’s termination date. You may submit the application only when the tenant is still residing in the apartment. 

    Collecting Unpaid Rent After Tenant Moves Out

    A landlord or a property manager can file an L10 Application to Collect Money the Former Tenant Owes if the tenant has already moved out but still owes rent or unpaid utilities, and the compensation for staying in the rental property after the termination date. After applying, the landlord can obtain an order from the LTB for the collection of the arrears of rent or unpaid utilities. 

    You must complete forms and pay some fees. You must also provide all necessary and relevant documents, including the lease agreement and any written communication regarding the unpaid rent. 

    Rent Arrears Assistance

    Rent arrears are overdue rent payments which are not paid on the agreed-upon due date. For tenants in Canada facing financial difficulties and unable to pay the rent or utilities, you can contact and seek the help of some organizations.  

    You can check out the list of organizations by 211 Ontario to contact them. 

    The Hearing Process at the LTB

    Preparing for the Hearing

    Landlords must gather all relevant documentation, including copies of the lease agreement, the Notice of Termination, and any communication with the renter not paying rent. 

    Presenting Your Case

    During the hearing, both the landlord and the tenant will have the opportunity to present their case before a member of the LTB. It’s essential to provide clear and concise evidence to support your claim for non-payment of rent. 

    Receiving a Decision

    After considering all the evidence presented, the LTB will issue a decision regarding the non-payment of rent. If the decision is in favor of the landlord, the tenant will be ordered to pay the outstanding rent or face eviction. 

    Enforcing the Decision After the Hearing at LTB

    Collecting Rent Arrears

    If the tenant fails to comply with the LTB’s decision to pay the outstanding rent, landlords have several options for enforcing the decision. This may include garnishing the tenant’s wages or obtaining a writ of seizure and sale against their property.

    Executing an Eviction Order

    In cases where the tenant refuses to move out of the rental property despite the LTB’s decision, landlords can proceed to enforce the eviction order with the assistance of the local sheriff’s office. This involves physically removing the tenant from the property. 

    What to do when Tenants are Persistently Late with Rent Payments

    A landlord or a property manager can serve a Form N8 Notice to End your Tenancy at the End of the Term to a Tenant who consistently pays the rent late. This is a formality to notify the tenant to rectify the problem of paying late. 

    Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

    Tenants in Ontario also have rights and responsibilities regarding non-payment of rent.  

    Right to Dispute

    Tenants have the right to dispute a Notice of Termination or an eviction application filed by the landlord. They can present their case before the LTB and provide evidence to support their claim. 

    Duty to Communicate

    Tenants must communicate with their landlords and property managers about any issues or difficulties they face paying rent. Open and honest communication can sometimes lead to mutually beneficial solutions, such as payment plans or rent adjustments. 

    MIPropertyPortal (MIPP) offers a comprehensive suite of tools and features to streamline property management operations such as :  

    • Online Rent Collection  
    • Vendor and supplier management, invoicing, and payment processing. 
    • Property Inspection  
    • Automated LTB Forms  
    • Storage and management of communications. 
    • Automated Lease Creation  
    • Assistance with compliance requirements 
    • Maintenance Tracking and many more… 

    Why should you choose MIPP 

    MiPropertyPortal has automated many of the provincial Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) forms in the software. It is awarded as ‘2023 best valued’ software in the ‘Rental Property Management’ category.   

     Get a free demo or contact us to take your property management business to the next level.   

    The software is available on the App Store and Google Play so that you can take your property management business on the go. 


    Dealing with non-payment of rent in Ontario requires landlords to understand complex legal processes. Landlords can effectively address such issues by understanding their rights and following the appropriate procedures outlined by the Residential Tenancies Act. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Non-Payment of Rent in Ontario

    No, landlords must follow the legal process, which includes serving notice and obtaining an eviction order from the Landlord and Tenant Board.

    If a tenant disputes the allegations, they can present evidence and defend themselves at the eviction hearing ordered by the court. 

    The timeline for eviction proceedings varies, but it typically takes several weeks to months to obtain an eviction order. 

    In some cases, landlords may be able to garnish a tenant's wages with a court order to recover unpaid rent. 

    Yes, government assistance programs, such as the Ontario Rent Relief Program, provide financial support to eligible tenants facing hardship. 

    In Ontario, tenants cannot withhold rent for maintenance issues. Instead, they should report the issues to the landlord or appropriate authorities for resolution.

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