Why Ontario Landlords Should Use The Form N4

The “professional tenant” needs to know right away that the landlord is not a charitable organization whose mission is to house everyone for free. Even if the rent is only a day or two late you should always serve the tenant with form N4. It will save a lot of headaches down the road.

 If the rent is due on the first of the month and the tenant has paid, then on the second of the month you should be serving the tenant a form N4. The N4 gives the tenant 14 days to pay in full or move out.

If the tenant fails to pay what they owe and fails to move out, on the 15th day you can file either an L1 or an L2 to collect what the tenant owes and evict them.

Serving the N4 can be helpful as it creates a paper trail of communication between you and the tenant that late rent is not acceptable. You can then serve the tenant with an N8 to terminate the tenancy at the end of the term for being persistently late with their rent.

If you make it common practice to serve the N4 to everyone who doesn’t pay their rent on time none of your tenants can claim you are picking on them or singling them out over other tenants who do the same thing.

If you try to end a tenancy because the tenant is persistently late paying their rent, the Landlord and Tenant Board may choose not to end the tenancy. In the past they have made orders requiring the tenant to pay their rent in full on the date it is due. If they miss just one payment the landlord can file an application and have the tenant evicted for not following a Board Order.

As landlords we all want tenants that pay their rent in full and on time. While we understand that sometimes there may be extenuating circumstances that prevent a tenant from paying their full rent on the day it is due, this should be the exception not the rule.

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Published in: Apartment Living

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