Brochure: If a Tenant Does Not Pay Rent


Information in this Brochure

This brochure provides information about what can happen when a tenant doesn't pay rent. It is not a complete summary of the Residential Tenancies Act and it is not legal advice.

Table of Contents

What a Landlord Can Do if a Tenant Does Not Pay Rent

If your tenant does not pay their rent:

  1. You can give the tenant a notice asking them to pay the rent they owe or move out. If the tenant does not pay or move out, you can apply to the LTB for an order to evict the tenant and to collect the rent that the tenant owes.
    OR
  2. You can apply to the LTB for an order to collect the rent that the tenant owes, without asking the LTB to make an order to evict the tenant.

Give the Tenant Notice to Pay Rent or Move Out

If a tenant does not pay the full rent on the day it's due, you can use the form Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent (N4) to tell the tenant that if they don't either pay the rent or move out, you can apply to the LTB to evict them.

Rules about termination dates

The date by which you want the tenant to pay the rent is called the "termination date".

If a tenant rents by the day or week, the termination date must be at least 7 days after the notice is given.

If a tenant rents month-by-month or has a lease for more than 1 month, the termination date must be at least 14 days after the notice is given.

Notice is void if tenant pays

If the tenant pays all the rent they owe before the landlord files an application to the LTB, the Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent is void and the tenant does not have to move out.

To void the notice the tenant must pay:

Example: A tenant did not pay May's rent and the landlord gave the tenant an N4 notice with a termination date of June 4th. If, on June 2nd, the tenant wants to pay the landlord everything they owe to void the notice, the tenant must pay the rent for May and June.

The Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent (N4) is available at sjto.ca/ltb/forms.

Apply for Rent Owed and to Evict the Tenant

If the tenant hasn't paid everything they owe or moved out by the termination date, you can apply to the LTB for an order that evicts the tenant and requires the tenant to pay all of the money they owe.

Use the Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-payment of Rent and to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes (L1). This application can be submitted online using LTB e-File, which is cheaper than filing a paper copy.

The earliest day you can file this application is the day after the termination date in the N4 notice. You can only file the application if the tenant is still living in the unit.

Apply for Just the Rent Owed

If your tenant owes you rent but you don't want to ask them to move, you can apply to the LTB for an order that requires the tenant to pay you the money they owe. Apply using the Application to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes (L9) form. You can only file this application if the tenant is still living in the unit. You can file this application the day after the rent is due.

Attend the Hearing

Once you file an application, the LTB will schedule a hearing. The LTB will send you and the tenant a copy of the application and the Notice of Hearing that says when and where the hearing will be held. It is important that you go to the hearing. You will have a chance to explain why the LTB should order your tenant to pay their rent and/or evict your tenant.

What a Tenant Can Do if Your Landlord Applies for an Eviction and/or Payment of Rent

If your landlord files an application with the LTB, you can pay what you owe, work out a payment plan, or go to the hearing and say why you shouldn't pay and/or be evicted.

Pay everything you owe

If you agree with the amount that the landlord says you owe, you can pay everything you owe before the LTB issues an order. The amount you must pay includes:

If your landlord applied to evict you for non-payment of rent (form L1), you can pay the money you owe to the landlord directly or to the LTB in trust. To pay the money in trust, get a deposit slip from an LTB office, then go to the bank and make the deposit into a trust account. After the hearing, the member will decide who gets the money.

If the landlord applied to collect the rent you owe (form L9), you can pay the money you owe to the landlord directly. Make sure you get a receipt form your landlord. Then contact the LTB to see if the hearing has been cancelled. If it hasn't, you will need to go to the hearing.

Work out a payment plan

You can contact your landlord to see if they are willing to work out a payment plan. You can use the Payment Agreement form, but it isn't mandatory.

If you reach an agreement, file a copy of the agreement with the LTB before the hearing. The LTB can issue an order based on the payment plan and, if an order is issued, the hearing will be cancelled.

You can also try to work out a payment plan on the day of your hearing with the help of an LTB dispute resolution officer at the hearing location.

Attend the hearing

If a hearing is held, you will have a chance to explain why the landlord should not get what they asked for. For example, if you disagree with the amount of rent the landlord claims they owe or you need more time to pay the rent, you can raise these issues. There are other issues you can raise too. For example, if you believe that the unit is not being maintained properly, the landlord is harassing you, or the landlord is charging an illegal amount of rent, you can raise these issues at the hearing as well.

A member can delay or refuse eviction

An LTB member will listen to both sides and make a decision about the application and any other issues raised at the hearing. If the member orders that the tenant be evicted, they could also order that the tenant first be given more time to pay the amount owing or be given more time to move before they are evicted. The member could also refuse or delay the eviction.

For More Information

For more information, read our brochures on these related topics:

These brochures are available at sjto.ca/ltb/brochures or by calling the LTB.


Contact the Landlord and Tenant Board


Call us:
Toll free: 1-888-332-3234
Toronto area: 416-645-8080
TTY: Bell Relay Service at 1-800-268-9242

Visit our website at sjto.ca/ltb
Visit your local LTB office. For office locations visit our website.


Last updated: June 2019