Landlord Forms

Non-Payment of Rent – Interesting Insights into Form N4


Every seasoned real estate investor will tell you to serve an N4 notice asap, if you have a tenant who is not paying rent. Yes, you don't want to create a hostile environment, but this is nothing personal. It should plain simply, be business norm.

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants are widely protected by the law. The only actual legal obligation of the tenant is to pay rent. If they fail this obligation, you have to take action in order to protect yourself. With serving the N4, the tenant still has a reasonable amount of time to come up with the rent, or if they choose so, to move out.

The following is important when filling out the N4:

  • Follow the steps as outlined on the LTB website; any mistakes can render the form void
  • Make sure you enter the rent periods correctly, e.g. 01.01.–31.01. (not 01.01.-01.02.)
  • Do not enter any rent deposits on the form

You can serve the N4 as early as one day after rent becomes due (and remains unpaid). You have to give the tenant a deadline of at least 14 days to pay or to move out. This date is called the termination date. In case they do not pay or move out by the termination date, your option is to file a form L1 or L9 with the LTB.

If you decide to file an L1 in order to collect rent and evict your tenant, you will have to include form N4 as well as the certificate of service. Processing an L1 can take several months and an application fee is due. With the current situation, where evictions are mostly impossible, you may want to think about filing an L9 instead of an L1. The L9 is for collecting the rent only, not asking for any eviction. You may be able to achieve a judgement against the tenant forcing them to pay.

You can find deeper insights here: L9 Article

Landlord Forms

Terminating a Tenancy for Own Use – The N12 explained

It is no secret that the application of form N12 can be tricky. There has been a lot of abuse in the past, which led the LTB to implement strict rules, when it comes to terminating a tenancy for own use. It is advisable that the landlord only use this form in situations of good faith, as the penalties for non-compliance can be quite severe. For example, if you are serving a tenant with an N12 and there is a history of problems between you and the tenant, the LTB will most likely assume bad faith on your end. Legal advice is strongly recommended.

The cornerstones of a successful N12 are:

  • Residential use of the unit by the landlord or an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent or caregiver)
  • Intention to live there for at least one year
  • If you are about to purchase the property, a few separate rules apply as well
The N12 comes with a number of obligations towards the landlord. You have to compensate the tenant with 1 month rent or offer another rental unit that is acceptable to them. You can also not break a fixed term lease with the N 12, but can only terminate at the end of a rental period. It can also not be used where the landlord is a corporation.

Consider filing a form L2 (eviction) with the LTB after serving an N12. This makes sense if you want to be proactive and safe time, but also if you believe that the tenant might not actually leave. Don't forget to properly serve the form, i.e. you may hand-deliver, put it in the tenants mailbox or under their door, you may also use a courier or regular mail. Remember that for the L2 as well as other purposes you may be required to prove proper service to the tenant. Documentation of serving, e.g. photos or videos may prove helpful.

For more detailed information, consult the LTB website, with has all the forms and instructions:

Landlord Forms

Ins & Outs of Form N1 – Notice for Rent Increase

If you are a value oriented investor, you definitely want to increase your rents on a regular basis. That helps you maximize not only cash flow but property value down the road when you might be selling your asset. Here are a few things to consider with increasing your rent and serving Form N1.

You can only increase rents every 12 months and you have to give 90 days notice. So if you want to increase your rent for September 1, you will have to serve notice by June 2. You can only increase the rent up to the maximum guideline percentage. When calculating that, you are not allowed to round up, only rounding down is permissible. Also be aware you cannot backtrack for missed rent increases, i.e. if you did not increase your rent in 2019 you cannot catch up on that, but only do the increase as per the 2020 guideline in 2020.

The guideline percentage is announced each year by August 31, and will then apply for the following year. For 2020 the percentage was 2.2%, and it was published in mid 2019. For 2021 the guideline amount has been set to zero due to Covid. There's only a defined number of exemptions to that zero increase rule (see Bill 204). Increases will be possible again after December 31, 2021. Once again the guideline percentage will be announced in either July or August this year. If you intend to increase the rent for January 1, 2020 to keep in mind the 90 day notice period. Make sure you serve your tenant by the end of September 2021, mark your calendar!

Servicing the N1 can be done either in person, into the tenants mailbox, under the door or by fax. The LTB / Tribunals Ontario website has a "certificate of service" that may help you in this regard. Service by email is possible with the written permission of the tenant. There's a consent form available from LTB for this purpose.

While the form itself is great, I find it doesn't look very friendly in the hands of the tenant. To avoid this, I write a personal letter, that includes all the content of Form N1, but looks a bit less like a parking ticket. On a side note, Forms N2, N3 and N10 are also rent increase forms. They apply in special situations.

Download forms here:

These resources may prove helpful in filling out Form N1 and give deeper insights:


Top 5 Rental Search Sites in Toronto

Looking to rent an apartment or house in Toronto can at times be challenging. Traditionally, you would have tried to find a place on MLS or Kijiji. However, there is an ever growing number of websites out there that can help you find your rental. Not all carry the same quality of listings. Here are the ones we found most helpful.

One of the older services but still very relevant. They have moved away from single family homes and now focus on apartments only. Used very broadly by landlords to post places for rent.

The official Multiple Listing System (MLS) of the real estate industry. Carries all the listings from licensed real estate professionals. This is an extremely reliable source.

Kijiji is a classifieds marketplace for buying and selling all sorts of things. It has an established section with real estate listings. It has become a bit cluttered over the years e.g. with adds and is a bit challenging to navigate at times. Still an excellent source for houses and apartments for rent.

A newer service not as broadly used as the ones above, but quickly gaining traction. Landlords and property managers love it for the easy-to-use features. Looking for a rental on there is more fun than on other platforms. There is plenty of additional information that will help you with your search.

Mostly identical listings to Padmapper and very similar functionality.


Residential Rent Increases in Ontario

If you're a landlord and trying to get the max out of your rentals, you are most likely aware that there are strict rules around increasing the rent for your existing tenants. You are generally limited to an annual increase based on the Ontario rent increase guidelines. For 2020 that max. increase is set at 2.2%. The complete list can be found here:

For 2021, most residential rents may not be increased at all, due to the covid related Government of Ontario Rent Freeze. Some exceptions apply and you can find all that information on the Ontario website.

One detail, that is often overlooked, is the 2019 Rent Control Change. This amendment relieves most newly built rental units from rent control, meaning you can increase the rent based on your preference. This allows the landlord to more easily catch up to market rates. The rule applies to residential units first occupied after November 15, 2018. Read on the LTB website for more details: