Renting Well Blog

What To Do When You’re Not Getting Paid in Ontario: Serving an N4 and Submitting an L1

The business of owning rental property includes a very important element in the relationship between a landlord and their tenants. Getting paid the rent. 

You’re a landlord and your tenant’s check just bounced. This is the beginning of what could be a real pain. Believe it or not, many private residential landlords in Ontario aren’t that well equipped to handle the situation and don’t know the legal route to go about addressing it. Part of this is because the process is ridiculously complicated if you’re going the board route. I don’t see how anyone can disagree with this, but if you do, feel free to comment here. I’ve personally done this 3 times since becoming a landlord and came away from the first time feeling like learning how to fly a commercial airliner would be simpler. I wanted to put this together to simplify this process with the Ontario LTB for readers and users alike, because it doesn’t have to be this hard. I just think someone needs to boil it down. That’s why I had a great conversation today with The Terminator. No, not Arnold. I’m talking about April Stewart over at Landlord Legal.

April’s an expert when it comes to this kind of thing, and she’s seen a lot of small landlords in Ontario make a big mistake with the basics when you don’t get paid. Serving an N4 to a tenant in arrears and submitting an L1 to the Ontario LTB is not easy. If it were, she wouldn’t be in business. If you’re not familiar with April – you should be. She dropped some valuable tips through the course of writing this post and she’s a passionate advocate for landlord’s rights.

Ok – first things first. Bookmark this link. This is the page at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board for termination notices. This is where you’re going to print and use the forms required to address an issue of non payment – not to mention a whole bunch of other stuff. We’re just focusing on what to do when you don’t get paid here though, for now.

1: Reaction and Preparedness with an N4

Whether you’ve received a post dated bum check (which can take up to a few days for you to realize with a bank) or whether the tenant pays you by an agreed date and simply has not given you the rent, it’s important that you’re always prepared. If a check bounces, you need to hop on this right away. If it’s 12:01 a.m. on the second day of the month, and you still don’t have money – you need to react. This is the single biggest mistake landlords will make. Not reacting quickly enough.  I’ll get into this in a little more detail further into this post. You need to fill out two of the N4 forms. One for the tenant, and one for you (for your records). Always fill out two. Here are the other important things you need to do.

  • Know the “termination date“. That’s the date you’ve indicated, according to the law, that acts as kind of a line in the sand. The termination date is: 14 days after the landlord gives you the notice, if you rent by the month or year, or days after the landlord gives you the notice, if you rent by the day or week. As an example. If they pay you on the first of the month, and at 12:01 a.m. on the 2nd of the month you still don’t have your rent, you would list the termination date as the 16th if they rent by the month or year, and the 9th if they rent by the day or the week. Ensuring that the termination date is correctly indicated is hugely important when filling out an N4. Make sure they’re correct.  If you get paid by post dated check, and the bank takes 3-5 days to show the check as NSF – your dates would need to fall in line with this. It’s not retroactive to the first of the month – it’s 14 or 7 days from the service of the notice. If you make an error with dates, the board reserves the right to consider the notice improperly served and you’re back at square one if that happens.
  • Don’t make a mistake with serving the notice. Taping a notice to the door of a unit will get you in trouble and can lead to a dismissal of your application. The best route with this, is to personally drop it off in a mailbox, and record the date of the service of the notice. One of the ways you can do this, is by using the Renting Well logbook (shameless plug) and plugging a scan of your copy into the logbook entry. Keep your copy of the notice as a duplicate. Have a timeline of events. Here’s another few tips courtesy of April Stewart. If the mailbox is shared by other tenants, don’t serve it that way. If the mailbox is only for newspapers and flyers and not Canada Post mail, don’t serve it that way either. You can serve under the door of a unit, as long as the envelope goes all the way into the unit – but whatever you do, don’t open the door and toss it in, as that’s illegal entry! For out of town landlords who can’t serve personally, hire a reputable process serving company, not a fly-by-nighter. If you must serve by regular mail or Express Post, add 5 days to the termination date – another common mistake that will deem your N4 defective if not done right! April recommends NEVER serving via Registered Mail – it’s outdated and tenants tend to refuse the delivery in any event.

At this point, the tenant has either 14 or 7 days to pay you. Let’s just assume they don’t pay you though. Booya. You need an L1.

2. The L1 form – Application to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent and to collect rent the tenant owes

This part kind of sucks, mainly because you need to file with the board and dish out $170 filing fee. The good news is that if you win, the tenant will have to pay that all back to you. Keep in mind, this is if you win a judgement.

The form is relatively straightforward, however, a couple of things to note:

  • You need to submit this application at the least the DAY AFTER the termination date as indicate in your N4. This is super important. If you do it before, you’re back to square one.
  • You need to include your copy of the N4 your served the tenant, as well as your certificate of service for the N4.
  • Make sure your dates are correct, your math is right, and that you’ve signed the form.

I always recommend visiting the LTB office in your city and filing the application personally. Do it in person. Know why? They’ll issue a hearing date and give you the essentials you’ll require to serve your tenant the same day. Otherwise, you’re waiting for it to be processed and then sent to you via the mail – and that’s just a whole bunch of extra days you don’t need tacked onto the whole thing. Here’s a list of the offices in all of Ontario. I’ve experienced the first hand pain in the butt of faxing it in, and then it not being received by the office for whatever reason. Do it in person if you can. If you fax it in, it could take a few days if not longer.

You’ll receive a hearing notice (for both you and the tenant), a receipt of your payment of the filing fee ($170), and a certificate of service – what you’ll need to provide the tenant at least 10 days before the hearing. This is another one of those things where I suggest ensuring the service has been done personally. If you can “give” it to the tenant in person – great. Don’t make a mistake with serving the notice of hearing. Taping a notice to the door of a unit will get you in trouble and can lead to a potential dismissal of your claim. Drop it in the mailbox if you can’t get them in person. Again, If the mailbox is only for newspapers and flyers and not Canada Post mail, don’t serve it that way either. You can serve under the door of a unit, as long as the envelope goes all the way into the unit – but whatever you do, don’t open the door and toss it in, as that’s illegal entry!

Again, the logbook in Renting Well is handy for things like this. Having a timeline of when the payment was late, the serving of the N4, the application of the L1, and ultimately the notice of hearing and the certificate of service in a nice little packet of chronological info with notes is helpful in organization when you do visit the board. Even saving scans of the documents ensures you’re all up to speed in one spot. You don’t have to go by memory, you don’t have to juggle paperwork, and it’s useful when referencing dates.

When the hearing date comes – and assuming your tenant shows up – one of two things is going to happen. You’re going to be offered mediation or you’re going to go into your hearing and sit in front of an adjudicator. If you’re at this point, you’ve followed the steps correctly.

Do you have any stories about an N4 and an L1 in Ontario? Share them!

Author: Chris Saracino

Chris is a co-founder of Renting Well and heads up our marketing and communication efforts. He's also the landlord of two buildings and 8 units in Ottawa, Ontario.


  1. Dear madam terminator,
    I have tenants renting my entire house. He said that he is a priest and he just sold his house because the church will pay the rent if he is just renting.
    After he moved, he just give us the 1 month rent not the deposit agreed. After a month when we are collecting the rent, he was late and the cheque bounced.
    We found out too from the agent who sold his house that he is not the real owner of the house, he was just a tenant that got evicted by court for not paying the rent and destroying the place.
    He is also not a real priest, he has wife and kids. I called the non emergency police to ask if my tenants have criminal record because he is a liar and he said it’s confidential. How can we protect our property if there is no way for us to know the background of our tenants? What if they have illegal activity or the will destroy my house?
    The Landloard and Tenancy board too is more on the tenant side because of the long process of eviction. They tolerate delinquent tenants and giving them a chance to get free rent.
    We invested savings on the house because i’m not working, i need to take care of my husband who needs supervision for 24 hours due to disability. I thought i will have income on the property but I ended up paying for mortgage, tax and utility bills while the government is pampering delinquent tenants staying at my home. Even if i could evict them, the process would take me months of no income. the tenants will not pay me just like what they did to other house and they will move to the next victim.

    thanks madam..

  2. Hi Edna,

    Thanks for your comment. Just to clarify – April (The Terminator) was the source for this post, not the author. I am replying to your comment.

    There’s a few flags that I’m picking up on here. They all relate back to what sounds to me like an absence of due diligence on your part. Regardless of the fact that this tenant claimed to have been a priest, a better vetting process could have been conducted here. Why did you allow him to move in before getting the proper deposit? When the cheque bounced, why did you not serve him an N4 as we’re describing in this post, immediately? You suggest that there’s no way to conduct a background check on a prospective tenant, but in fact there are multiple ways to do just that.

    Residential tenancy laws can slightly favor tenants in certain provinces and states – but that doesn’t mean landlords are helpless. This isn’t a hopeless situation, but I would suggest speaking with a paralegal to pursue this via the residential tenancy branch in your province. Remember – this is your house. This tenant is breaching the conditions of a contract and agreement that was created. They can’t do that, and there are legal and financial consequences for this kind of thing.

    Your situation sounds stressful, and I’m certainly sympathetic to that. I’d be glad to suggest some next steps for you or make a referral to a paralegal in your area if you wanted to contact me directly at Let me know!

  3. I have a Couple of Questions, 1- Is landlord have right to ask Post Dated Chqs from Tenant ?
    2- After moving tenant they start arguing to fix the small small things and If you not fix then they threat they will deduct the rent.

    Please answer those questions , I will appreciate.

    Thank you

  4. Hi Zeeshan,

    Thanks for your comment. Quick question, are you a landlord or a tenant? It sounds to me like you’re a landlord.

    You do have a right to ask for post dated checks, but you do not have a right to “require” post dated checks. In other words, if the tenant would prefer to have a check ready for you by the first of every month, you’re required to accept that. You do have the right to state a preference though.

    Tenants cannot deduct repair costs from the rent because of issues related to maintenance. They’re required to file with the tenancy board in their province or state in the vast majority of cases.

    I’d recommend boning up on the law in the province or state that you reside. Could you let me know where you are? I’d be glad to share a link or a contact number for the appropriate resource.



  5. Hi Chris,

    My tenant didn’t pay back in October, I have served them an N4 and an L1 after payment was not received. My question is, can I keep serving them every month with an N4, because technically they are still in arrears, even if they are paying the current month’s rent?

    Is one notice enough? The hearing is not until January 2014.

    Thanks in advance!


  6. Hey Stu,

    Thanks for your note. You can’t serve them multiple notices. As soon as the date of termination passes that was indicated on the N4, you apply with the L1 (which it sounds like you did). Just an FYI though – you don’t give the tenant the L1. You give the Ontario LTB the L1. Once received – the LTB will provide you with an application package, which indicates the hearing date. In this package is the copy of the hearing declaration that you provide to the tenant (so they show up).

    To answer your question though – yes. They are still in arrears if they haven’t paid October yet. This sounds like a peculiar situation though. Why did they not pay October, but seem to be paying the current months?

  7. Hey.
    First off I have a duplex I have an older couple in the back half. After the first six mnths they started to have money problems, so we helped them out and let them use there last months rent up. Since then it is like pulling teeth to get rent it is always late or isn’t the full amount. Since Oct. they have owed us $250. Another thing is that they are the ones incharge of stalking the fire for our outdoor wood furnace. In Nov. when they were cleaning out the ashes and they started a field fire. When it happened they said they would take care of the coast for it. We just received the bill and now they don’t want to pay. I asked the fire chief who’s bill it was cause the tenants are on it as well as us. He said, them but if the tenants don’t pay it will fall on us because we own the property.
    I think it will be a fight to get them to pay it.
    What should we do?

  8. Hi, I would like to issue a N4 notice. Tenant owes me 3 month rent up to July, 2014. I want to issue the notice on 1st week of Aug with Aug rent due. Tenant has last month deposit. Should I deduct this amount in N4 from the last month? or I claim for 4 month and LTB will decide on hearing? Thanks..

  9. Hello,
    I have one house that I am renting. My tenant has been late every month for the last 6 months. She is now owing 2 full months rent. I have only sent out 2 N4’s so far as I fall for the single mom stories. I am ready to file the L1 now. Do I have the right to be at her door every day asking for the rent if she is late or is there a 24 hour notice issue. Is it harassment and does she have the right to call the police? Also, I have a garage on the property that she does not rent. Do I have to give 24 hours notice to go into the garage or to do yard work? I’m having a hard time finding this info & your help is appreciated.

  10. We’ve won the eviction and the tenants move out , but don’t pay the money that has been order what’s the next step to collect it

  11. Hey Bill – thanks for your comment. You’d have to pursue the matter in civil court or you could hire a collections agency.

  12. I have given tenants an N4. They have not moved out and it is past the date on the form. Can they up and leave at any time now if they want to? I have not followed up to file anything. Are they still obligated by the lease if they do not move out by the date on the N4 form? Prior to that date they could have left I think and not been obligated by the lease, but after that date can they still leave free of any obligation. They pay by the month but are in arrears/ thanks for any help steve

  13. Hi Chris , can I serve my tenant an N4 via E-mail as I’m out of town and tenant has already stated he will not pay ( late not 3 weeks ) after the 14 days will tenant have to leave ? Will I be able to evict them after the 14 days? They will refuse to leave after the 14 days? They said they won’t leave after 14 days? Thank you for your prompt response .


  14. Hi Steve,

    The date of termination on an N4 is the point where you apply to the board to have the tenants evicted via a formal hearing. Tenants don’t just move out past the point of termination. You’ll have to press the issue further….you can email directly at for some more info.

  15. Hi George – no. You can’t serve tenants an N4 via email. It must be done in person – either by having the notice placed in a mailbox or in person (hand to hand). Also – there is no eviction post date of termination. That’s the point where you need to file an L1 with the LTB.

  16. I am a tenant whos landlord refuses to give rent reciepts since I will admit I do pay late every month. He has told me that when I pay on the 1st then he will give me a reciept. He served me an N4 dated Feb 1st (which was a sunday) and I paid it at his bank in cash right into is account. He has now emailed me stating that he will file an L1 since I paid late. He is telling me that the bank needs to process (cash) payments so technically since it posted on his statement on the 2nd that I am late and is proceeding. I contacted the LTB and was told that an N$ termination date cannot be dated on a weekend. Is this correct. Please help

  17. Tina,

    I think the least of your worries is receipts for your rent, but legally – your landlord is required to give you them if you ask, regardless of when you paid or notices you’ve been provided. With that said, it sounds like you’ve cultivated a bad relationship with them. FYI – an N4 can be provided ANY day of the week, even Sundays. If you’re under the impression that the Sunday absolves you of being given a notice because you habitually pay late, you’re incorrect. Also – pay your landlord on time. You’re admitting you pay late – every month. The fact that you admit that doesn’t absolve you of it. Maybe if you were more reliable with your rent payments, your landlord wouldn’t be giving you N4s and filing L1s. You should be putting effort into getting that figured out – not trying to counter the notices and applications.

  18. Hello Chris,
    I am a landlord in ON and my tenant in my basement is not paying rent for a few months now. I am going to give an N4. I have a few questions.
    1) Do I include the last month rent that she paid as 1 month rent that has not been paid or not.
    2) Do i just give her the 2 page N4 form filled or do I put it in an envelop saying N4 form
    3) If I give her personally or slide it under the door she can say later that she never got it, what do I do in that case.
    Please reply to my questions.
    Your help is really appreciated.

  19. Hi Rony,

    Thanks for your comment.

    1. I wasn’t 100% sure about this, so I called a paralegal friend of mine. You do not. The last month’s rent will be considered if and when you get to the tribunal.
    2. The total N4 form is 2 pages. You must give her the full two pages. Put it in an envelope, and simply put her name and address on it.
    3. Never slide anything under a door. Put it in her mailbox or wherever she gets mail. THAT – or you can hand it to her.

  20. I am a tenant that had to change my move out date after getting my last months rent back. because of miscommunication between the landlords and myself i agreed to pay each months rent leading up to my move out date. 10 days after I paid the rent the landlord said I owed them 2mths rent. and sent me a 2nd and 3rd final notice. I never received an N4.
    What do I do?

  21. Sorry Nicola – I don’t follow this at all.

    I don’t understand why your move out date changed. I don’t understand why you got your last month’s rent back (why didn’t your landlord simply apply it to your last month?). I don’t understand why you were paying each month leading up to your move out date, and finally, I don’t understand what miscommunication occurred to lead up to all of this.

    What notices is your landlord giving you? If he’s not giving you a formal N4, then he’s giving you either another form (check the form and tell me what you’re receiving) or he’s giving you self made notices of some sort. Whatever the case – you’re giving me nothing to work with here.

  22. Chris,
    after serving the N4 and full (only partial payments) have been made, can i continue to collect payments after i have submitted the L1?? especially if it continues into the next months rent cycle.

  23. Hell Chris,
    We have served an N4 for perpetual late and non payments of rent. We have now filed our L1 and awaiting a date.
    Since rent arrears has not been paid and rent again for Mar 1, 2017 has not been paid. Is is correct that we do NOT file another N4? My other question is do we also give the Certificate form to the tenant? The one that is accompanied with the L1. Thank you

  24. I’m a tenant. My landlord has emailed me and n4 notice. I know he’s unable to do that. How do I explain to him that it’s void and he needs to issue another one. Or do I just wait till court. If I don’t come up with the money by then.

  25. Hi Judith. The N4 is not used for perpetual late payment. That’s another form. You should give additional N4’s with each passing month while you wait for the hearing on the L1. Can you provide some more details here?

  26. You can – but why? You should be expecting full payment…unless you agree to this arrangement.

  27. Hi Chris,
    I filed L1 today at Board Landlord & Tenant office but I misspelled my name on L1. Should I be concerned about this error? I have received notice of hearing from the court but just wondering if misspelled name may cause any issues.


  28. Umer – thanks for your comment.

    50/50 chance that the misspelling could throw a wrench in your hearing. I’ve personally been affected by a typo on the N4 I provided in one situation about 7 years ago. The OLTB can be notoriously picky and the act leans more to the tenant.

  29. Hi Chris, this is a great article! I am a landlord about to go through the process…thank you for your help. I will be posting if I have any Qs 🙂 PS. I have also contacted April!

  30. Hi Chris, I am preparing for the L1 now and will be attending the hearing. If my tenant shows up, I’m wondering even if i win my case against my tenant, what are the ways she can get out of actually paying me and how can I avoid these issues?

  31. Hi Amanda,

    Great question. Your tenant will be offered free legal aid from a mediator at the tribunal. You will not. More than likely – they will give her a chance to pay you. If that’s the case, insist on certified check or cash. If she gives you a check – and it bounces – they will have bought time. If the don’t pay you the arrears – engage whatever response through the board immediately.

  32. Hi Chris,
    My tenant’s first year lease agreement will be due on September 23, 2017. We have her last month rent deposit and the tenant did not pay her rent for the period of August 23-September 22, 2017, stating that she had already paid her rent (last month deposit). I called the Ontario LTB and they said that the tenant cannot use the last month rent deposit for August, she can only use it for the last month rent payment if she decided to move out of the condo unit. After I told the tenant about my conversation with the LTB, she still insisted that she already paid her August rent. Would an N4 be appropriate in this situation? She is thinking that August is the last month of the lease term therefore she can use the deposit and thereafter the tenancy will be month-to-month.


  33. If that is what the Ontario LTB told you, then an N4 would be appropriate – yes.

  34. This is wonderful site.
    I have a question about the N4. My husband and myself both signed the lease agreement. Do I need to put both names on the N$ and L1? And so we both need to attend the hearing? Or can I just put myself name on and go through the whole process by myself.

  35. Oh, one more question when went through the N4 Form filling process about the landlord and representative.
    The house’s owners are my son and his wife but when we signed the lease agreement, we put my husband and myself as Landlord (now I think it is wrong). We do have “Power of Attorney” paper from them.
    Now, when we fill the N4 Form, should we choose Landlord or representative?

    Thanks a lot,

  36. Hey Chris,
    Great article. I have a couple of questions. I got into a bit of financial plight, and ended up with an N8. I don’t begrudge the landlord this I know my, and their, rights pretty well. The agent acting on behalf of my landlord was incredibly rude however, and they are asking for a fee that I think is illegal. My question is, can a landlord charge my rental account the 190$ application fee for filing an N8, and requesting a hearing to terminate my tenancy? They are claiming the landlord tenant act gives them the right, yet I’ve seen absolutely no literature that backs this up.
    Thanks for any help or insight you can provide!

  37. No…you’re definitely not the landlords. I would identify yourselves as “representatives”.

  38. I have a tenant in my basement who’s rent is paid by two different depts of the city government. Part by St.Thomas housing, and part by Ontario Works. The Ontario Works cheque is mailed to me and always arrives late because the tenant doesn’t do what’s required to have it released in time. This also means he loses his on time Rental Incentive of $35. I didn’t receive the OW portion until Sept 13/15 and served him an N4 on Sept 15/17 for the $35, which I then received on the 20th. If I don’t receive full payment by 12:01 on the 2nd of each month am I allowed to serve and N4 every month, even if I never have to apply for an N1.
    Also, I believe he has just moved in his girlfriend. I pay all utilities and if I was to rent to two people, which I never have, I would charge more rent to cover the double utilities used. Do I have the right to tell him she cannot live there?

  39. Good morning!
    A landlord has given a N4 and given the date as the 25th of the month, as well the tenants lease is up after the year contract. If they leave before the 25th, but still pay the owed about say on the 26th, can the tenant be held resposnsible for the 60 days landlords are supposed to recieve ? Even after a N4 has been delievered and the tenants have been been removed, and rent for said month has been paid? Im sorry if my thoughts are all jumbled.

  40. Chris:
    I served the N4 to my tenant via mail and filed the L1 when he did not make any payments by the termination date. Now the tenant says he never received the N4 via mail at all. Is the onus on me (the landlord) or him (the tenant) to prove whether or not the N4 was in fact sent and received via mail? How could either of us prove this – would it not be my word against his? It was sent via regular mail so I have no proof other than my word, and he cannot possibly have proof that he didn’t receive it either except his word. Who wins in this case or how will the board determine whether the notice was sent and received? My understanding is if someone can prove service was not provided correctly the application can be thrown out.

    Follow-up: if I were to have gone in person and put the notice either in his mailbox or under his door, how would I provide proof of this other than my word again? Could he not simply say he never received it and it once again be a case of which of us is telling the truth?

  41. I rent in Ontario from a corporation (as opposed to a privately owned landlord). I paid partial rent and will pay rest of the rent on the 10th of the month. Can my landlord serve me a N4 for paying rent late even if I have a conversation with him to assure him I’m paying rent.

  42. Hi Deborah – you need to serve this tenant an N4 at 12:01 a.m. the day after the rent is due in full. It doesn’t matter if a portion of it is on time and another portion is not. Never wait beyond when the rent is due by an length to issue that N4. Also – if there are two people living in the unit instead of 1, then that constitutes a material change in the lease (assuming there is a lease). Does the lease indicate clearly the leasee is a single individual and not a couple?

  43. Do not mail the N4. Personally serve it, whenever possible. A tenant claiming they never received a notice is a common occurrence. Sometimes it’s legit, but most of the time it’s not. This will come down to who is viewed as more credible with the claim in front of a tribunal. I’d recommend taking a picture or video of yourself properly putting the notice in the tenant’s mailbox if they are in the same city. If they are not, hire a courier company, and ensure they provide a tracking number and proof of delivery. If you are going to send it by mail, most postal services have an expedited option where you can get a confirmation of delivery. The whole thing will come down to one person’s word vs. the other. If they claim they never received it, and you counter that claim with proof of delivery or a confirmation in some capacity – in the vast majority of cases it will hold up. Always do everything by the book.

  44. Of course they can – and they should. You may have come to an arrangement with the property manager or landlord, but if you change your mind or suddenly can’t pay the rent by the agreed upon later date, then the the landlord has lost a degree of opportunity to pursue the claim. I’m an advocate of issuing an N4 immediately if you don’t have the rent by 12:01 a.m. the day after it’s due – even if I know I am being paid late or received a reasonable heads up from the tenant – regardless of the circumstances. This is a loophole in Ontario. After an N4 is issued, the tenant has 14 days to get the rent to a landlord. If they do, then the N4 is void. Conceivably, a tenant could buy 13 extra days of time every month with a landlord if they wanted to, provided they paid by or before the termination date set out in the notice.

  45. Hi I need a little information I served my tenant with N212 to take back the property. I served them with a L1 to take them to court as they said they would not leave with out me doing that .so I did I went to mediation as that’s what my tenant wanted .I gave her 3 months longer so January 31 they must be out but now she decided to only give me half the rent .and will not take my calls .She said I must work with her .and I know if I serve her with an N4 she would wait until I serve her with N9 for non pay payment rent .which cost 190$ .then I will have the same problem in December and January as they already used up there last months rent in Oct as that was there date to move out Oct 31 ..can I just ask the court to evict because they bargain in bad faith be late the 1st month and only giving me half the rent ..what are my rights I was nice enough to try and work with her but and give her more time to find something but she not paying the full rent .and the judge told her she still had to pay rent .i really need advice .I know I should of given her an N9 or a L9 not sure but my thing was to collect any money oweing in January as I’m sure I will have a problem every month. Can you help me any advice or rights I have would be great
    Sorry it’s so long .

  46. Hi
    I have a tenant that will not pay me rent until she is order to by the board. I’m in Ontario, and have been told she can do this for the entire year and I am at her mercy till end of lease. I have been to board 3 times which is now TOTAL OF 6 MONTHS OF CONSISTANT LATE RENT. She never shows up at board as far as I know. I have gotten and order ever time. Is this not considered interfering with my right to do business? Also she has moved her boyfriend in to the unit , which I’ve been told to bad she can move anyone in she wants. Can I file N5 or serve the N8 early? Do I have any recourse at all? Also she leaves cigarette filled bags and a ash tray filled out front of which we have cleaned several times. She has told me not to talk to her, however she said if there is a problem she will contact me. She makes sure she complains about something just before rent is due. Very minor things, like the other day the tenant did her laundry on the wrong day. She went on a bit of rant in the e-mail. When I had to call the other lady who has lived there 32 years and is a sweet heart she felt bad as she thought it was her day and made an honest mistake. I am a very good landlord to my tenants. I have 2 places ,this one for 9 years and never had a problem and never been to the board before . She is a pro . I vet my tenants well. She has a good job, she gets child benefits, Checked her job references. and her credit. All was good. She recently bought a new car. I know this because they tried to deliver car to my other tenant and she was frightened by the gentleman he was insisting that he came along way and did not want to be played. So she called me. It was straighten out as she arrived while I was on phone with the man. I just cannot understand why she wants to pay $190 dollar filing fee every 7 weeks, It makes no sense to me. And I cannot seen to get any help. Frustrated in Ontario.
    If you have any suggestions please contact me.

  47. Hello, I’m a senior lady, moved in 1 a half years ago. Signed 1 year lease. My daughter signed the 1 yr. lease as guarantor. Lease ended 6 months ago but landlord claims she’s still guarantee. I always pay on time. Also, 2 months after I moved in she tried to change the lease agreement. Is my daughter still responsible? There’s nothing in the lease that says she is after 1 year. Lease ended & month to month now. Thankyou kindly, Sylvia.

  48. Hi quick question if you don’t mind. We have a monthly tenant who just decided to tell us he is unable to keep the place financially and needs to leave. It is nearing the end of December now. He basically did not five any notice. Is leaving the apt at the end of Dec. So within 1 week. Just wondering what form it would fall under to try to have him pay the 2 months that he did not give. We are advertising now but with it being Xmas and new years how would we good a reputable tenant so fast. Thanks for any advice

  49. I filed for an L1 but i have not heard anything back in over a month. I just looked over the N4 that i sent the tenant and I miscalculated the termination date by a day, so i did not allow the full 14 days. Is that possibly why I havent heard back with a date for the hearing? Should i reissue the n4 or how do i proceed?

  50. Hi Patricia,

    I don’t think I follow your story here. Who’s telling you she can do this for the entire year? That’s wrong. This is very simple. If she’s not paying the rent, then you serve her an N4. If she doesn’t pay by the termination date, then you file with the board. What happened at the board that had you there 3 times and some how still manage to keep her as a tenant? Please elaborate…

  51. Hi Sylvia – you’re a month to month tenant, and your daughter is no longer a guarantor if the lease has expired – legally.

  52. Hi Crystal – sorry to hear you’re having an issue here. This has happened to me too. If he leaves without giving you the required 60 days notice, you can pursue him legally to recoup it, but I’m afraid to say this is a matter that might be worth more trouble than you need.

  53. Hi Serena. Potentially. If you included your N4 in with the application, they could have seen you made the error on the termination date. Your application will be rejected one way or the other without the correct date being indicated on the initial notice. Follow up with the board via phone call.

  54. Hi Chris,
    My husband and I are landlords for years. our first house we bought 15 years ago and when we were able to upgrade to a bigger house we kept it for renting it out as an investment for our kids. We never had problems thankfully until now. We never had signed a longer lease than two years until now. Now we signed for 5 years which is backfiring us. Unfortunately, this family is late every month since they moved in 7 months ago. We have to bother them each month for the rent and they always have different story to give us.the women is amazing to come up with excuses and took us couple of month ma to find out that this will be like this every month. Sigh! We have given them 2 N4 already and once we had to go as far as applying to the board. Ugh! Every time my husband serving them with the N4 she always sorry and she promises it won’t happen again and they don’t want to move that’s while they signed 5 years! This is the area they want to be etc. And when my husband say to her that they can’t afford this house, she insist that she can and she will be on time etc. Yet here we are and late again, paying partially and who knows when she can pay the rest. My question is here, how many times we have to serve them with the N4 before we can file to the board asking to evict them esrly despite the 5 years lease as they never pay the rent on time and we keep having to serve them every month? I mean I can’t imagine this going on for 5 years or can it??? This would be absolute nightmare with them.

  55. Hi Melinda. Thanks for your comment here. I’m sorry to say that it sounds to me like you have some professional tenants on your hands. This is nothing other than an opinion, but I’ve been a landlord myself for 10 years and have encountered tenants like this before. The bottom line is that you have an agreement with these people and they’re holding their end of it up. The good news is that you’ve supplied two N4s to them already and also had an application to the board. How far did that go?
    You should apply to the board for habitual late payment. Once the tenant has been late in paying rent several times, you can serve him or her with an N4 and also an N8 – a Notice of Termination for persistently late payment of rent. Once you’ve done this you can go ahead with an application to terminate the tenancy for non-payment of rent, or for habitually paying late. From there, the process for evicting the tenant for lateness of payment of rent is similar to the case of evicting a tenant for non-payment. You can file an L2 application with the Landlord and Tenant Board right after issuing the N8, and attend the hearing when it is scheduled.

  56. My landlord used his key to enter my unit and kicked in my bedroom door that was locked with me sleeping naked in my bedroom. That N4 form he gave me is pretty useless now. He refused rent and cut off the Internet witch is included in my rent. So I’m paying for my own now. He screwed up big time! Police removed him from my unit and I have gotten the incident number already.

  57. Hi Jay. Your landlord definitely made a big mistake on that one. I think he might have bigger issues than whether the N4 form he gave you is valid.

  58. Hello,
    I just filed an application of L1 and L3 to LTB today and I have 2 questions.

    1. My tenant text message me saying he will move out at the end of March. I called LTB and the lady told me to file L3 along with L1. I asked if I need the tenant to sign the N11 but was told it’s not needed because of the text message. I see on the landlord self help website and it says text message not valid. Who should I believe.

    2. I asked the LTB in person if my address would be inlcuded in the copy of the L1 sent to tenant. It was only then that I knew I have to give tenant my address. Our lease agreement was done by the realtors of both parties and was missing my address. The tenant never demanded afterwards and I want to know if it will affect my existing application?

  59. Hi Jackie,

    Here are my comments…

    1. My tenant text message me saying he will move out at the end of March. I called LTB and the lady told me to file L3 along with L1. I asked if I need the tenant to sign the N11 but was told it’s not needed because of the text message. I see on the landlord self help website and it says text message not valid. Who should I believe.

    Who told you the text message is not valid? What landlords self help site is saying this? Technically, a text message qualifies as a written notice to vacate.

    2. I asked the LTB in person if my address would be inlcuded in the copy of the L1 sent to tenant. It was only then that I knew I have to give tenant my address. Our lease agreement was done by the realtors of both parties and was missing my address. The tenant never demanded afterwards and I want to know if it will affect my existing application?

    It likely will or could. Have you contacted the Ontario LTB, SJTO at all on the matter?

  60. Hi Chris,

    My tenant wants to break the lease 3 months earlier. She didn’t even ask my permission, just sending me a message ”Good evening, I’m giving you a 60 days notice from my mom and uncle that we would be moving out as of June 1st 2018.”
    But I planned to sell the unit on Sep 1 when the lease ends and my mortgage expires. And Sep is one of the best months to sell the property. Now it is almost impossible to find a tenant to rent the unit from June 1 to Sep 1, which means I will lose 3 months’ rent or $7200.
    The tenant’s check for this month’s rent was bounced. I assume she is using her last two months’ deposit to pay the rent for April and May.
    Please advise me what should I do. Should I send them a N4, later a L1? Or I just wait for them to move out and file a case in a small claim court afterwards. Thank you very much for your help and time!

  61. Quick question – can a property manager or landlord sign a N# or L# form or does it have to be authorized (signed) by a paralegal or lawyer?

  62. Hi Chris,

    I served my tenant personally last week with a N4 due to late payment (cheque was returned NSF). It appears there is no intention of him to leave the premises. I do have post-dated cheques from him for the rest of his lease. Should/can I attempt to cash the cheque for this month’s rent?

    Also, in my N4, I included the late payment/NSF fee. I’m reading now that my N4 may be deemed invalid if I include the late payment/NSF fee. Can you confirm this.

    One last question. If I hire a paralegal to deal with the eviction, and I am successful but have to have the Sheriff evict the tenant, will these costs be recoverable from the tenant.

    Thank you.

  63. Hi Chris

    I have a long standing issue with my Ontario tenants who have habitually failed to pay the monthly rent in full. I gave them many chances to improve but they only fell further behind. For the purposes of accounting I have been applying any payments received towards the arrears. The tenants are now 11 months behind in rent ($16,000). I will be serving an N4 again and following through with the L1 process. Does the application need to be filed in the office where the tenants are residing or can I file in my local LTB location?

  64. My tenant gave me notice to vacate as of May 31, 2018 They have not left the apartment. I also gave them an N4 for non payment of rent, to vacate by Mar 20, 2018. Since they gave notice to vacate, I did not put in an L1 form at that time. I want to put in the paperwork now and I’m unsure if I should use the L1 form or the L3 form. Which would be faster

  65. HI Dave – I’d wait and file a claim in small claims/civil court and see what happens.

  66. The landlord or a representative of the landlord is required to sign. That could be a property manager or lawyer/paralegal.

  67. Hi Mary. Question 1: Yes. Question 2: It can be deeemed invalid. Question 3: No.

  68. Hi Chris. Why did you let it get to 11 months and $16,000 in arrears? Serve the N4 – wait the 14 days – and then file correctly and in person.

  69. Hi my tenants have been causing a lot of issues that interfere with neighbors (police were called a few times). I have issued N5 once but L2 hasn’t been issued. Now he is also late on payment and doesn’t seem like he has any intent to pay. Can I issue him N4 on top of N5? It’s likely that L2 will also be applicable because I continue to get complaints. Thanks.

  70. Went to tribunal and my case was dismissed because I made a minor mistake on the N4. Dismissed even thought the tenant did t show up!

  71. I have a condo unit that a tenant is renting. Can I serve an N4 by opening the tenant’s mailbox with the key, placing it in the box or is this considered illegal?

  72. Hi Vivian. Sorry you’re dealing with this. If the L2 hasn’t been issued, find out when it will be. You can and should also issue the N4 if you haven’t been paid rent. Issue it asap.

  73. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    My tenant has been late on rent since July. She paid me partial of the rent end of July. And now, Aug and sept rent checks was bounced. I have serve the N4 on Aug 24th so the termination date is Sept 7th (is this right?). She was mentioning the reason not to pay rent was because her ex-husband did not pay her the spousal and child support and she’s working towards with the lawyer to collect money. She asked the lawyer to sent me a short email to advice us that they will be bringing a motion at the Family Court, seeking an order for spousal support and child support. I dont know what I should do here since she dont have money to pay me and I need the rent to pay my mortgage. In your opinion, should I apply the L1 right aways? Or, can i give my tenant another N4 to give her another 14 days? Since whe dont have money at this point, do you think the board will be on her side since she won’t have money to move to anywhere else?


  74. Hi Chris,
    I want to challenge the rule of one month deposit only allowed as courts take on average 75days to evict a professional tenant.

    Landlords are people that require their rights protected as much as tenants. Not to mention the application fees, sheriff eviction fees and more are beyond unfair to the landlord.

    I want to write to challenge this ridiculous benefiting freeloaders and hurting hard working tax paying landlords.

    Where and to whom should I write?

  75. Hey Lisa,

    Thanks for your comment. I couldn’t agree with you more. I would recommend writing your local provincial MPP.

  76. Thanks for your comment.

    First of all, your termination date of September 7th is correct. As far as your tenant’s financial or personal issues go, that’s her problem, not yours. Getting her lawyer to send you an email is just a waste of time in my opinion. I’m sure you’re sympathetic to her cause but it doesn’t change the fact that you have lease that needs to be fulfilled. Your bank would consider any personal excuse you have in not paying your mortgage to be your problem, not theirs. It’s ultimately up to you to have a back up plan in place to ensure your obligations are met. The same principle applies to your tenant.

  77. I went to the tribunal to ask for eviction due to non payment of rent. While we are waiting for the decision, more rent has come due. Can I issue a new n4 in case the eviction is not granted, to avoid losing time?

  78. I stated Jan 2 not Jan as beginning of tenancy. Is this a fatal error on an N4 notice? Thanks

  79. i gave my tenant an n4 form. I listed my wife and I as the landlords on page 1 but I was the only one to sign the last page for the space saying landlord. Can this be considered void

  80. Hi,
    Thank you for taking the time to answer queries. I filed an L1 (for non payment of rent) to my tenant and spent $175 for filing and $225 towards a paralegal to attend the hearing and obtain a standard order. Now the tenant has paid up his rent dues and wants to continue renting. So can I ask the tenant to pay my expenses of filing – $175 and the $225? Thanks.

  81. Hello Chris,
    My husband and I have moved out of the country for the next 2 years and we are renting out our house in Ontario. We have a one year least (started in Sept. 2018) with the tenants at the moment and they have been late paying the rent since Oct. The first month they paid on the 1st and 15th and then they assumed they could do that each month but then it became the 2nd and 20th and my husband had to ask for payments. Long story short, they are not paying so we sent a N4 in Jan of 2019. The 14 days have passed and they have not paid the rent in full. We do have someone in Ontario looking out for our house and they put the N4 in the mailbox but what will happen after the L1 is filed and we have to go to court? We are overseas. Also, my husband has yet to send the L1 because he is feeling sorry for the tenants. Is this going to cause some problems if he doesn’t do this immediately? I would like to terminate the least early. Can we give them two months notice and do this as a back up plan even though we did not put this in our lease? Thank you

  82. Hi. I served a tenant an N8 and filed with the board to have a tenant evicted after he paid his rent late 7 out of 12 months. Then I served an N4 because the next month’s rent was late. Did serving the N4 void the N8?

  83. Hi Cecila,

    Sorry about the late reply here. You can have a representative attend the hearing for you. How did this all play out?

  84. Hello. a little background. My tenants have been in the condo for almost 5 years – they are overall good tenants. However, then often are late with the paying the water bill. In November, I was notified that they were 2 months in arrears, which at some point can be transferred to my tax bill. I emailed the gentleman and explained that I am notified whenever they are late and that I have let it slide as they do always get caught up but the being 2 months in arrears is not acceptable and that the outstanding amount must be cleared up within the next 45 days or they would be forcing me to proceed with eviction process. They did pay it – so relieved. So, last month I get an email from the wife saying they will pay the rent on Friday -point blank. That would make them 5 days late. I couldn’t even bring myself to respond – they did pay it on that Friday. Looks like it is happening again except that I haven’t heard anything yet but I know that if I have not received it yet, then it won’t by until Friday as that will be his payday. I feel that I should re-act this time as I don’t want them to think this late payment is ok with me. I thought I would use the N5 form but have read that is not the correct form – which one is? Another advice? Thank you. Rose

  85. Hi Rose,

    Thanks for your email. I would strongly suggest you rethink the leniency you are providing to this tenant. While they always end up getting caught up, the degree of arrears seems to be increasing and you’re setting a precedent with allowing such acceptance and flexibility. You need to issue an N4 (for late rent everytime they’re late) and you can elect to issue an N8 if you want to evict them on the basis of habitual late payment. I can guide you through this process as a part of one of our consultations. You can learn more here:

  86. I don’t have last month rent. Tenant did not pay may 2019 rent. I had a payment date of the 5th of the month. Rent is 2800 and tenant paid 800 for May. Money to pay tent is coming from Dubai and is held up at the bank. This is what I am told. I want to serve n4 but is worried that tenant will just stop paying rent altogether. What can I do

  87. Hi Chris,
    I have two questions,
    1) I own a town house which is on rent. However all the utilities are on my name, I know it was a mistake, but rent agreement clearly states that tenant will pay all bills to me. Every month I sum up all the bills and tell them total amount they have to pay and they make a payment. However they stopped paying bills from last couple of months, can I disrupt these services? If not then what options do I have.
    2) Can board dismiss case if ‘Rent Period’ dates are incorrect on N4 form?
    Thank you for your help

  88. Hi chris, I am very worried about my mothers (55) and myself tendency at an appartment.

    Before I get into that though, first id like to say this. After reading about 50% of the comments on here (stopped a Nicola so far) I have noticed you manner changes drastically once you realize you are talking to a tendant. it seems as if you despise them. like you are talking down to them with no respect. I could be wrong, and I hope I am… but could you let me know if you will be honest with me and treat me as a equal like you do landlords that post here?

    Okay so long story short. my mother has been in and out of psychwards since I was about 11. then in and out of nursing homes. Finally, as of October she moved in with me. We happend to receive an N4 form a few months ago due to bank fees being prioritized even though they come out on the 2nd and not the first like rent. (it happend to fall on a weekend) we paid the rent before the 14 days. no problem. May, we got an N4 form and a lot happend. we paid that back though before 14 days.

    Near the end of may, my landlord gave me paperwork stating they have paid on my mothers behalf (to hydro company) so that we do not get disconnected. She said we have to pay them by the 31st (for hydro) and that we are no longer in deactivation. I gave them a certified cheque within 2 days. well, on the 28th.. my hydro was shut off at 10 am. turns out my landlord never deposited the cheque, nor spoke with Wyse (hydro) and I was charged $237 for a reconnection fee. (for flipping a breaker switch that takes 30 seconds) head office phones the company to let them know they “paid” and I emailed photocopies of all paperwork and certified cheque. well… hydro took out 247 dollars from my mothers bank account. the same day rent comes out. so now we will have ANOTHER “cheque” (preauthorized withdrawal) bounce.

    my question is, since they know the situation, and they told us IN PAPERWORK they paid the hydro company (and we paid them back within a few days) and my 55 year old mother on disability and CPP is now short on rent… will a THIRD n4 form be cause for an eviction? My mother is having a panic attack and im really worried as well.
    sure we made a mistake by not being caught up on our hydro. but we did what we could to make it right, and were told we were safe from deactivation. now, due to the fact we believed everything was okay after we paid our landlord back… we lost almost 250 dollars just before rent comes out.

    What do we do? im really worried. I saw on a forum for landlords that a third N4 means you can evict someone. I live in Niagara falls Ontario. please get back as soon as you can.

    Thank you for your time and patience, Dave

  89. I have filed a L1 against a tenant and have found out that they vacated the premises already, before the notice of hearing showed up at the rental suite. What should I do now? can I enter the suite?? is the hearing date cancelled? do I proceed to the hearing? I cannot serve them certificate of service

  90. Hi Richard. They vacated the premises. Enter the unit and inspect for damage asap. The hearing date is not cancelled. You can still obtain a judgement against them – but what did you file the L1 for?

  91. Hi..

    Wondering if I can get some insight. I hired a property manager for a property that’s 2 hours away from my home. The tenant did not pay rent and so we proceeded with an N4. I asked if I should email the PM a scanned and signed copy of the N4 for him to bring to the tenant in person. He suggested we just use DocuSign to fill out and sign the N4 via electronically. We went ahead with this but I’m wondering if this is even allowed (Docusign).

    Also I wanted to confirm next steps ….so we serve the N4 and then it no payment is made by the termination date, we then apply for L1. We will then get a date? What happens if the tenant show up? How long could this dance go on for?

  92. Hi Velle.

    Who suggested using Docusign? I’m confused…the property manager or someone else?

  93. Hi Chris

    The property manager I hired uses DocuSign as part of his business — he suggested he set up the completion of the N4 via DocuSign so I can sign it complete it and sign electronically. Once signed, we would both (myself and the PM) get a PDF copy of the N4 with the appropriate dates and my e-signature. Anyway, he would then print a copy of the completed/signed N4 and deliver it to the tenant in person. Hope this makes sense.

  94. Hi Chris. I have a tenant who has bounced his rent cheque 3 times in the last 6 months. I would like to give him an N8 to evict him for paying rent late. Is this doable?

  95. Hi Starnino. Be mindful of what you want to accomplish here. The answer to your questions is yes. Have you given him an N4 every single time his rent check bounced? Are they in arrears currently? I’m happy to consult with you on the issue in a little more depth. We offer a consultative service for Canadian landlords at:

  96. Hi , Chris , my tenant signed lease Aug 15, 2019~Aug 14, 2020 .And Dec he said using last month deposit as last payment.But he want stay until Feb 6, not ending Jan 14, 2020 which last month deposit covered.And he don’t pay extra. He mailed me N11 but I didn’t signed back. I give N4 on Jan 4 , and I will fill L1 on Jan 18 if not receive payment.My question is on L1 ,how i calculate , Dec 15,2019 ~Jan.14,2020 and Jan 15 , 2020 ~Feb 6 ? or Feb 14, 2020? Second question, he don’t meet me so can I use carriers to delivery notice of hearing ? or it still have time , maybe board mail to him is best ?Is notice of hearing have my address on it ?Be honest i don’t want he know where I live . Which I give 24 h notice want show new tenant which he plan move out . and he said if I am not sign back N11, he will call police if I come :(. Third, if i win , and order shows he owes me , and he refuse to pay and disappear, It’s only will only go to credit bureau ,nothing i can do ,right ?how many years of this order valid?sorry , first time, too much questions. too much pain all things mess up.

  97. hello Chris,
    I’m on Ontario lease for 1 year agreement and i have given them first and last months rent upon signing the lease. I’m an international immigrant and was living in Ontario on my work permit. due to some unforeseen circumstances I will not be able to come back to Canada, so i asked my landlord a month back that i want to end my tenancy as I’m not coming back, he told me that you have pay rent for all the months remaining or else have to find another tenant in place of me, so my question here is, if i dont pay the rent and landlord gives me n4 notice and i evict the unit within the notice time and give him the keys, can he still take any legal action or take me yo the court ? do i have to travel overseas and attend my court hearing or i can just let it go as i don’t have any further plans of coming back due to some medical problems. i want to know what action can he take if i evict the apartment within notice yime ? what will be the consequences after that and do i still have to pay him money or what can he do to the most ?

  98. Hi Chris!
    I have served my tenant an N4 for not receiving November rent and am waiting for the 14 days to proceed with the L1! Meanwhile the cheque for December has also bounced! Can I deliver another N4 to the tenant?

  99. i have a tenant who waits every month for an N4.
    every month she pays around the 18th to the 22nd.
    her rent is due on the 1st . i have 14 N4s on file. How many N4s do i have to give before i can file to have her evicted. ?

  100. Hi. What happens if the N4 was delivered incorrectly ( posted on the window of an inside, private door)? How do I start the process again and when? They have not paid this months rent in full and are not moving out. I want to get things right before moving to the eviction process. Thanks for your help.

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