When a tenant has not paid their rent a landlord needs to act quickly! Unfortunately, time is not on the side of a landlord and the process can quickly become a waiting game.
Currently in Ontario, a smooth eviction can take approximately two to three months or longer depending on the facts of pertaining to a case. The Landlord and Tenant Board (LLTB) have procedures in place for evictions. Real Property Management Service would like to offer a review and real life timelines for landlords.
When a tenant does not pay their rent, Form N4 is issued. An N4 provides a tenant with an additional 14 days to pay their rent. If the N4 is sent by mail, an additional five days must be allowed. At the same time, a Certificate of Service (COS) needs to be completed as this certificate will need to be filed with the LLTB.
If at any time prior to expiry date on the order a tenant pays their outstanding rent, the process is stopped as the tenant is in good standing again.
If a tenant does not pay their rent and the N4 expires, a Form L1; an application for a hearing with the LLTB needs to be filed. Once the L1 is filed, it generally takes two weeks to receive a hearing date. The actual hearing date will be four to six weeks later depending on LLTB scheduling.
The Forms N4 and L1 only deal with rent owed. Other tenant matters, while important, will not be considered under these applications; however, a tenant may raise and argue other issues at the hearing without submitting an application in advance of the hearing. These and all issues will be considered by the LLTB.
On the day of the hearing, a landlord will present their case along with copies of all notices, ledgers and an update form. This documentation is most useful and assists greatly! If a tenant is present at the hearing, they will also be able to present their case. An adjudicator will rule on the evidence provided and an order will be mailed out.
In most cases a "win" results in a standard order. This allows a tenant an additional 11 days to pay their rent or vacate the premises.
After the 11 days if a tenant has not paid their rent in full or vacated, a landlord will need to hire a Sheriff to enforce the order. A Sherriff wait time can vary widely from region to region, but normally takes approximately 30 days.
Below is a timeline of events for reference purposes:
January 1st: Rent due
January 4th: Form N4 issued
January 26th: File for eviction
February 10th: Notice about hearing received
February 20th: Hearing date, eviction order granted and mailed out
February 25th: LLTB order received in mail
March 8th: Tenant has still not paid balance and order has come due
March 30th: Sheriff enforces eviction
April 3rd: Tenant possessions, if any left, are removed and damage assessed
I hope that the above offers assistance and has provided an outline of the eviction process in Ontario.