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Managing Non Payment of Rent by a Tenant in Ontario

by Rhenti on


Whether a tenant is paying rent late, partially, or not paying at all, your options as a landlord in Ontario are the same:

  1. Serve notice
  2. Involve the Landlord Tenant Board (LTB)
  3. Consider a payment plan

Before we get to each of these steps in more detail, let’s look at common pitfalls to avoid when dealing with a non-paying tenant. 


FYI: This article assumes you’ve already tried speaking with your tenant to understand and resolve their issue person-to-person.


Common pitfalls when dealing with a non-paying tenant

As you go through the steps below, certain mistakes are easy to make and can delay—or even void—the process. Specifically, watch out for the following:


  • Forms aren’t signed or are signed by the wrong person 
  • The rental period isn’t listed incorrectly
  • Inaccuracies when reporting issues related to money
  • Listing the wrong rental address and/or not including the unit number or apartment number on the form
  • The names listed on the form are incorrect
  • The tenant is given the wrong notice period
  • The tenant is not served the document correctly


Now, let’s look at the steps for dealing with a non-paying tenant.


Serve notice

As soon as one day after rent is due (ex. June 1st if rent is due May 31st), you can serve a Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent (N4) to a non-paying tenant.


Never give a notice to your tenant by posting it to their door, emailing them, or texting them; these delivery methods aren’t legally valid. Instead, deliver the notice in any of the following ways:

  • Hand it to them in person
  • Hand to another adult in their unit
  • Place it in their mailbox or wherever their mail is delivered
  • Slide it under the door of the unit


Once the N4 form is successfully delivered to your tenant, they have 14 days to pay the outstanding rent. If the tenant pays within these 14 days, the tenancy continues as usual. If not, your next step is involving the LTB.


To make sure you’re using the right form for your situation, read our list of common forms all landlords should know.


Involve the LTB

If there’s still no payment from your tenant in the 14 days after they receive an N4, as soon as the 15th day, you may apply to the LTB with an:


These applications are for a hearing where you can present your case, and the LTB can issue an order for payment or possibly for eviction if necessary.


On average, it takes five months after applying to get your hearing. Assuming things continue as they are, as best you can, prepare to go this long without rent (or at least the full amount) from your tenant. 


Consider a payment plan

In the time leading up to your hearing, one thing you can offer your tenant is a payment plan. Tenants aren’t required to accept it, but these plans allow tenants to pay back their owed rent over a period of time rather than all at once.


The rules of your payment plan can be flexible and can even define payment methods outside of cash, such as working to make up for the owed rent. 


At the very least, though, they need to clearly state the total amount owed, the size and frequency of payments, and any deadlines for completing the payments. Both you and the tenant need to sign the plan as well.


A platform to help you vet tenants

Following these steps, handling your next non-paying tenant will hopefully be easier than ever. But something else you can do to avoid non-paying tenants is a thorough vetting process in the first place with Rhenti. 


From credit checks, employment docs, and references, Rhenti's unified marketing automation and transaction tools provide full visibility into each applicant, so you can feel confident about renting your property.


Sign up for Rhenti today.



The blog posts on this website are for the purpose of general introductory information. They can’t serve as an opinion or professional advice. Speak to a professional before making decisions related to your circumstances.