An eviction is the formal process a landlord must go through to remove a tenant. There must be a good reason to evict a tenant. In most cases, eviction occurs after the tenant has breached some rental agreement term, such as failing to pay rent on time. Landlords should consider non-payment of rent insurance to guarantee income while evicting the tenant. In more severe cases, eviction can arise if the tenant threatens other tenants or develops criminal activity on the property.
An eviction is initiated by the landlord giving an eviction notice which often takes the form of a Notice of Termination. If the tenant does not solve the problem, the landlord can escalate the eviction by formally applying to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). The Board conducts a tribunal where they hear from the landlord and tenant. Eventually, the Board makes a decision. If the Board rules in the landlord's favour, the tenant will need to vacate the property by a specific date.
In most situations, the landlord will serve a written notice to the tenant informing them that their lease will be terminated. Landlords must use a legal notice from the Board to achieve this goal. There are many different forms depending on the specific reason for eviction, which is explained later. The document highlights the reason for removal and a particular date to vacate the property. If the tenant complies with the reason for eviction before the date, it may prevent their tenancy from coming to an end. This is known as a tenant's remedy. Additionally, each reason for termination has a minimum time frame the landlord must wait before applying to the Board
COVID-19 Update: Landlords are encouraged to strike fair agreements to retain renters in their apartments throughout Covid. This may include delaying rent or other payment arrangements.
The fastest way to evict a tenant in Ontario is to buy them out of their lease. This is known as “cash for keys”. Although this seems counter-intuitive to pay a tenant for not paying you rent, the whole eviction process can take over 160 days and cost over $10,000. It is much faster to agree to pay the tenant 1-2 months rent in exchange for leaving at the end of the current month.
If the tenant fails to correct the problem or move out, the landlord can ask the Board to terminate the tenancy. Most applications must be made within 30 days of a notice's scheduled termination date. However, there is no deadline for requesting a termination of a lease due to non-payment of rent.
COVID-19 Update: The Landlord and Tenant Board's official counters are closed, but many types of applications may be submitted online.
In most situations, the Board schedules a hearing to evaluate the landlord's request. It will send a Notice of Hearing to the landlord(s) and tenant(s) along with a copy of the application.
However, the LTB may order the landlord to provide these documents to the tenant on occasion. If the landlord must serve the papers, the LTB will issue an "Order to Serve Documents," instructing them what documents to serve and when to service them. There are strict rules about how these papers should be served. There are two types of hearings:
However, instead of a hearing, the landlord and tenant may opt for mediation. Mediation is a free service provided by the LTB where a neutral third party helps the landlord and tenant come up with solutions. Mediation can also include issues that were not included in the board application.
Ontario landlords pay roughly $2,600 out of pocket when evicting a tenant. This amount includes legal, court, and sheriff fees. However, when factoring in lost rent, landlords lose an additional $9,000 on average. This amounts to $11,500 in costs per eviction in Ontario. Given the high fees, some landlords consider rental income insurance to guarantee they receive rent payments if their tenant doesn’t pay.
A Board member will review the landlord's request to terminate the tenancy and decide whether or not the tenant should be evicted. The decision is called an order and is made in writing by a Board member. Both the landlord and tenant will receive a copy of the order via postal service. The order may include terms or conditions that a party must adhere to. For example, the board member could decide that the tenancy should be terminated or that repairs must be made to the rental unit. In some cases, the eviction order can be voided. For example, if an eviction order was issued due to non-payment of rent, the tenant has the option to pay before a deadline. If the tenant pays for missed rent before the deadline, they can file a motion, and a board member could void the eviction.
Some tenants may attempt to stay in the unit after the eviction date. A landlord cannot enforce an eviction order personally and must rely on a Court Enforcement Office (also known as the Sheriff's Office). To enforce an eviction, the landlord must file the LTB's order with the Sheriff's Office, which will lawfully remove the tenant. It is illegal for the landlord to remove a tenant by changing locks or any other personal means - they must use the Sheriff's Office.
COVID-19 Update: On June 2nd, 2021, the pause on eviction enforcement was lifted. During COVID, landlords were unable to enforce the removal of tenants, but this is no longer the case.
On average, the eviction process takes 77.7 days after filing an LTB application. However, you have to provide written notice to your tenant before applying. This can add an extra 7 - 60 days to the process. Overall, the process can take 85 - 138 days after providing the tenant with an eviction notice. However, it can take up to 168 days if you need to remove the tenant forcefully.
As there are many reasons to evict a tenant, there are many forms depending on the circumstance. The landlord provides a tenancy termination date on the notice, but the tenant does not have to move out. If the tenant remains after the period, the landlord can apply to the LTB for a formal eviction. Here are some of the most common eviction forms and when to use them. However, please note that this is not an exhaustive list.
|Reason for Eviction||Form Required||Length Before LTB Application|
|The tenant is not paying rent.||N4 – Notice to End Your Tenancy for Non-payment of Rent.|
|The tenant is consistently paying rent late.||N8 – Notice to End Your Tenancy at the End of a Term.|
|The tenant is either:||N5 – Notice to End Your Tenancy for Interfering with Others, Damage or Overcrowding.|
|The tenant is either:||N7 – Notice to End your Tenancy for Causing Serious Problems in the Rental Unit or Residential Complex.|
|The tenant needs to move so an immediate family member of the landlord can move in||N12 – Notice to End Your Tenancy Because the Landlord, a Purchaser or a Family Member Requires the Rental Unit.|
|The tenant has acted illegally or operates an illegal business within the unit.||N6 – Notice to End Your Tenancy for Illegal Acts.|
To learn more about which form to use, landlords can use the Navigate Tribunals Ontario Tool to receive custom information.
How much notice do landlords have to give before eviction from rented property in Ontario?
Each type of eviction form requires a different amount of time before the landlord can formally apply to evict the tenant through the LTB. In general, the time frames range from 7-60 days of notice. It is best to review the form instructions.
How has COVID-19 changed the eviction process?
Landlords are still able to evict tenants during COVID. The significant changes to the eviction process are as follows:
How long does it take for an eviction notice to be processed by the government in Ontario, Canada?
Ontario has the longest eviction process in Canada. It can take up to three months to remove a tenant. The most significant contributors to the delays are:
How much does it cost to evict a tenant?
Landlords pay an average of $2500 out of pocket to evict a tenant in Ontario. These costs include legal, sheriff, and court fees. However, evicted tenants may also damage the property.
Can landlords serve an eviction notice during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes. A landlord can still serve an eviction notice during the pandemic. A landlord may apply for eviction with the LTB if they give the tenant a valid Notice of Termination in advance.
What must be included in the eviction notice?
The eviction notices can serve as an official eviction notice for landlords. If the eviction is done without the eviction notice, then they may be punished for improper eviction. The eviction notice must inform the tenant of the intent to evict them and tell them how they violate their rental agreement. It also states what date they will be evicted. There are several types of eviction notices available for landlords.
Can a landlord change locks to evict a tenant forcefully?
No. A landlord is not personally allowed to enforce an eviction order. Landlords must work with the Sheriff's Office to lawfully enforce the order.