BOTH LANDLORD AND TENANT HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES WHEN ENTERING INTO A RENTAL AGREEMENT
In Ontario, a landlord can end the tenancy for non-payment of rent, consistently paying the rent late or not paying the rent in full each month.
Most tenants who rent pay monthly and when you have a late rent payment you better have a good reason and a landlord who is understanding.
Related: A Guide To Help You Negotiate A Rent Increase (Sample Letter)
Below you find out what happens when you have a late rent payment as a tenant in Ontario, what a landlord can do when there is a late rent payment along with a free printable late rent notice for landlords.
At the end of this post you will find links to all Provincial and Territorial Landlord and Tenancy Acts or Information leading to it so you can research where you live.
Since we live in Ontario most of this blog info will be Ontario, Canada based however where possible I will add info for other provinces and territories.
Always do your own homework with government websites and making phone calls to respective organizations.
The Landlord And Tenant Board
In Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) serves as a body who resolves disputes between landlords and tenants along with eviction notices sent out by non-profit housing organizations.
In other words, they are the mediators when it comes to disputes when a landlord has problems with a tenant and vice-versa a tenant has concerns with a landlord.
The LTB also provides information about its practices and procedures and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act.
The LTB is one of the eight tribunals that make up Social Justice Tribunals Ontario (SJTO).
When you have no money to pay rent and your landlord is standing at your apartment door you must figure out a way to
- Negotiate with your landlord to avoid eviction
- Pay rent in full
You simply can’t live for free because bills need to be paid and that’s the way life goes.
Entering into a rental lease with a landlord means you should always understand three things about paying rent.
- When the rent is due each month
- Acceptable forms of rental payment options
- Who to give your rent payment to
Tenant Not Paying Rent
If you chose not to pay rent the landlord can do two things:
- Send you a late rent notice and ask you to pay the rent or move out or Apply to Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) to have you evicted.
- The landlord can apply to the LTB asking for an order or rent payment without having you evicted.
In other words, if your landlord goes for option 2, they like you and want you to stay but you need to pay the rent.
To start the process of option 2 your landlord will fill out a form called L9-An application to collect rent the tenant owes.
This process can only take place if the tenant is still living in the rented space and it has been one day since the rent has come due.
To avoid this entire process the tenant can pay everything that is due including any new rent not paid.
You can either pay your landlord directly or in trust by getting a deposit slip from the LTB and going to your bank to deposit the money.
The money will be held until after the hearing and the LTB will decide how to manage the money in the trust.
If the process is already in place and you’ve made an agreement to pay rent that you owe to your landlord he/she can fill out a Payment Agreement Form and submit it to the board.
The reason you will want to do this is that the board can then decide whether to cancel the hearing or follow-through based on what is presented.
Automatic Rent Payment
In Ontario, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) can pay rent directly to your landlord so the tenant does not have to worry about rent payments.
This process is called, “Pay Direct” and is used for housing and utilities if the person applies for it.
Other than that as a tenant you are responsible for paying your landlord rent on time each month without question.
Can I pay rent online?
If you are someone who wants to pay rent online or in cash I would strongly advise you not to simply to keep a money trail.
Your best option for paying rent is using a cheque which you can order from your bank for a small fee.
A bank in Canada such as Simplii Financial offers clients free cheques and no-fee banking so certainly a budget-friendly banking option.
I know some tenants like to pre-authorize or sign 12 cheques for the year to give to their landlord so it’s automatically taken care of each month.
As a tenant, you still need to make sure your rent payment is in the bank account each month or face non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee charges from the bank and possibly your landlord.
Rent Receipt Is A Must
Always collect a rent receipt from your landlord for income tax purposes and for tracking and legal purposes.
The landlord should never charge a tenant for a rent receipt.
What should be on a rent receipt?
A rent receipt should state:
- Address of the rental
- Names of the tenants
- Amount and Date of each payment and what it was for
- Landlords Name
- Signature of the landlord or rental agency
Tenant Late Rent Payment Every Month
How to handle a late rent payment?
When a landlord has a renter not paying rent or consistently late paying the rent it can be frustrating because bills still need to be paid on the dwelling.
A tenant and landlord enter into an agreement that rent will be paid on time each month on a specific day or week.
When a tenant is unable to pay the rent and a landlord can’t pay the bills it can cause major problems.
Not all landlords who enter into the rental business have excess cash hanging around to pay a mortgage when tenants don’t pay rent.
This is the number one reason a landlord will fail at being successful in the rental business because they must be ready to face situations like this.
Financially becoming a landlord is a big investment and having nothing in the bank to support financial uproar is a big mistake.
As a tenant, you may not realize what you are doing when you pay rent late or not at all but it’s not fair to the landlord.
You as a tenant must come up with the money to pay your rent on time or negotiate some sort of a rental payment plan with your landlord ahead of time.
Late Rent Notice
As a landlord you should provide your tenant with a late rent notice for two reasons;
- As a reminder that the rent is due and has not been paid and is now late
- It is your responsibility as a landlord
Sample Late Rent Payment Notice
You can find the free template for the sample letter late rent payment notice on the Free Downloads and Money Saving Tools Page.
City, Postal Code
City, Postal Code
Re: Late Rent Payment Notice
Dear (Insert Tenant(s) Name):
This notice is to formally notify you that we have not been in receipt of your rent payment for the month(s) of March 2019.
Your rent for the following property below as set out in our rental agreement is now past due and must be paid in full with-in (xx) days or we will be forced to start the eviction process.
(Add property Information here)
(Add how much money is due plus any late payment fees)
(Add due date of late rent payment)
If this was an oversight please send your late rent payment along with any late payment fees as described above immediately to avoid incurring further late charges.
Thank You for your prompt attention to this matter.
You can reach me at (insert phone number) between the hours of (insert hours) and (days if applicable) if you have any questions about this late rent payment notice.
(Add your name here)
Sign your name here <<< Remove this before printing and sign.
Becoming a landlord isn’t just about collecting rent, it’s far more than that because you must look after the property you own.
Keeping your property in working order means that you must ensure that everything works, follows property standards, health, and safety including fire safety laws.
- Heating Units
- Laundry Room
- Walls, Roofs, Ceilings
- Carpets in the unit and common areas
All of the above are responsibilities that a landlord must adhere to under the LTB and must fix or repair however nothing needs to be replaced or updated to new models.
In other words, if your refrigerator no longer works as a tenant you can’t ask for a new model.
As long as the refrigerator that is replaced works to do the job it is intended to then that’s all the landlord needs to do.
A landlord must also take responsibility to ensure that the property is kept clean and is free from pests and rodents.
This means that a landlord whether in a building or a house must adhere to property standards, local by-laws and health, and safety regulations.
Where there are no property standards or local by-laws the landlord must follow provincial maintenance standards set out by Residential Tenancies Act regulations.
These regulations are monitored and enforced by the municipality in which one resides.
The landlord must not interfere with any vital services such as water, electricity, fuel, heat, during certain times of the year.
For example, if the landlord provides heat it must be kept at a minimum of 20 degrees from Sept 1 to June 15.
If for any reason your landlord needs to enter the rental unit for inspection or maintenance they must give 24 hours written notice.
The notice must include;
- Date and time of entry into the unit
- Reason for entering the unit
- The time range of entry. Between 1 pm and 3 pm for example
If you have a problem with any of the landlord responsibilities above it’s your duty to inform the landlord about your concern or to fix the problem.
Ideally, you would want to inform your landlord in writing by filling out a maintenance order or writing a letter and keep a copy for your records.
If the landlord does not fix or rectify the problem in a timely manner the tenant can apply to the Landlord Tenant Board or report it to the local government.
At no time shall a tenant hold back the rent because concerns are not taken care of as the landlord can apply to have you evicted for non-payment of rent.
As a tenant your responsibilities are simple:
- Pay your rent on time
- Keep your rental clean and free from clutter and fire hazards
- Fix and repair any damages that are not normal wear and tear even those caused by a guest
A tenant cannot be evicted for not keeping the apartment clean however if the rental is to keep unreasonably filthy and it is interfering with the reasonable enjoyment of the landlord or other tenants you can be evicted.
Remember that filth attracts pests and no one should have to live in a dwelling where another tenant cannot keep it clean or present with fire hazards.
As a tenant, if you do not fix any repairs or hazards made by anyone on the lease or guests in the rental the landlord can apply to end the tenancy with you in writing and filling out the form with LTB.
Eviction For Late Rent Payment
If a landlord has not received rent payment he/she can end a tenancy by filling out an N4: Notice to End your Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent.
Before a landlord can serve a tenant with a notice to end the tenancy early they must wait until the day after rent is due.
This gives the tenant the entire day when payment is due to come up with the rent before action is legally pursued.
When action is put in motion for the N4 the landlord is only allowed to calculate for non-payment of rent and parking.
Not even NSF Non-Sufficient Funds payments on bounced cheques, late payment fees or last month’s rent payment.
Any utility bills paid outside of the rent payment is not considered rent and must not be included on the N4 form.
As a tenant, if you rent monthly or yearly your landlord must give you 14 days’ notice to move out or 7 days notice if you rent weekly or daily.
When the landlord delivers a notice to end tenancy they must not add the day of delivery into the days of notice.
So if your landlord’s hand delivers a 14 or 7-day eviction notice the date must start the following day.
Notice of Tenancy Termination Tues, Aug 13 means the landlord must deliver the notice on the 12th where the 14 or 7 days begins on the 13th.
If your landlord does not live in the same city, province or country as you they must calculate courier delivery time into the process.
A tenant who is served the N4 form can avoid eviction by paying the rent on time before the end date on the form plus any additional rent that is due.
If the tenant does so before the termination date the landlord cannot apply to the board for eviction with said notice.
As a tenant, if you do not pay rent and are served the N4 you do not have to move out however the landlord can apply to the board to evict you.
You will be made aware of the application notice by your landlord as the Board will send you a copy of the application and a Hearing date.
Once this process takes place if an eviction notice is approved you may be faced with paying the fees of your landlord plus your own.
If you disagree with the N4 notice you can appeal it by letting the board know that you would like to discuss the matter in a scheduled hearing.
Ultimately if you can discuss this with your landlord beforehand to avoid this entire process it would make things easier.
Even if you choose to move out before the end of the termination notice you will still owe your landlord money.
Moving out does not void what you owe and your landlord can still take you to court to pay any rent in arrears.
The morale of the rental agreement is to always pay your rent on time to avoid late rent fees and possible eviction.
Discussion: Share any late rent situations you’ve been in and how it was handled by yourself and the landlord below.
Contact the Landlord and Tenant Board
For more information about this notice or about your rights, you can contact the Landlord
and Tenant Board. You can reach the Board by phone at 416-645-8080 or
1-888-332-3234. You can also visit the Board’s website for more information and to access all the forms sjto.ca/LTB.
- Call us: Toll-free: 1-888-332-3234
Toronto area: 416-645-8080
TTY: Bell Relay Service at 1-800-268-9242
For those not aware please be advised that Rental Laws in Canada differ by Province so please research your own province as this is for Ontario only.
Provincial and Territorial Landlord Tenant Act Information
Canada’s 10 Provinces and their respective Landlord Tenant Act or Information Leading to it.
If you find a link error kindly please report it to me via email or my contact form.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Canada’s 3 Territories