Eviction and Lease Notices FAQ - Canada

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Contents

General

How much notice is the landlord or tenant entitled to?

The amount of notice varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and depends upon your reason for giving notice. You must consult the applicable local laws to determine the minimum notice with which you are legally required to provide. You can check the required notice for your jurisdiction by clicking on the link to your jurisdiction's statutes provided in the Governing Law section of the Questions Page.

What if I select a notice period that is too short?

You must provide the landlord or tenant with at least the statutory minimum amount of notice. If the notice period is less than the minimum period prescribed by law, then the notice may not be legally valid.

What is proof of service?

It is evidence that can be introduced into court to verify that the tenant did in fact receive a copy of the document. Anytime a process server or court official is used to deliver a notice to the landlord or tenant, it is advisable that you request proof of service.

If I deliver the document myself, how do I prove in court that the landlord or tenant received it?

If you deliver the document in person, you should ensure that an objective third party (a person who is unrelated to you and has no interest in the matter) witnesses the event, just in case the landlord or tenant later tries to deny having received the notice.

Can I serve the document by certified or registered mail?

Yes, but if the landlord or tenant refuses to pick it up, then they may not be viewed as having received it. You are better off ensuring the notice is hand-delivered to the landlord or tenant.

What is a notary public?

A Notary Public is a state-appointed official who is authorized to authenticate certain legal documents, such as declarations, acknowledgments, deeds, mortgages, and other contracts. Swearing or signing in front of a Notary Public is better evidence that the proof of service was signed by that person.

Eviction Notice

What is an eviction notice?

It is a notice from a landlord to a tenant to vacate a certain property. Examples of eviction notices would be Notice to Quit, Notice to Pay or Quit, Notice of Termination, Notice of Lease Violation, Demand for Compliance and Demand for Possession.

Does a landlord need 'just cause' to evict a tenant?

In some jurisdictions, landlords can evict a tenant without cause. In other jurisdictions, the law requires landlords to have 'just cause' such as nonpayment of rent or damaging the property.

Are there any special requirements for 'serving' the notice?

In some communities, landlords must put an official eviction notice on the property a certain number of days before the tenant can be forced off the property. In other communities, the landlord must get the police to post the notice or the landlord must obtain a court order before the tenant can be evicted. Usually, the notice can be served by delivering it to any adult tenant of the property. It is important to know which rules apply to your situation. Contact a local Landlord/Tenant Advisory Board or a lawyer if you are unsure of your obligations.

Notice to Quit

Do I need to file the Notice to Quit at the courthouse?

No, this is not an official court document, and needs only to be served on the tenant. However, the landlord should retain a copy of the Notice to Quit in case the tenant refuses to leave and the landlord is forced to use the Notice to Quit as evidence in order to get a court order evicting the tenant.

Is there a specific delivery method that I am required to use for the Notice to Quit?

No, as long as the tenant receives a copy of the Notice to Quit, it does not matter who delivers the document. It can be delivered by a Sheriff, Constable, Bailiff, the landlord, or anyone else.

How do I evict a tenant?

The first step is to end or terminate the lease with a Notice to Quit.

What do I do if the tenant has not paid his rent on time?

You would file a Notice to Pay Rent or a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. You would only use the Notice to Pay Rent or Quit where you want the lease to automatically end if the tenant does not pay the rent. Note that some jurisdictions require a Notice to Pay Rent to be used first and you can only use the Notice to Pay Rent or Quit in certain circumstances.

If I have served the Notice to Quit, but the tenant refuses to vacate the premises, what should I do?

To force the tenant to leave the property, you must commence an action for eviction or unlawful detainer. The requirements of this process vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so you should check the specific eviction requirements for your jurisdiction by clicking on the link to your jurisdiction's statutes provided in the governing law section, or by seeking legal advice from a local attorney.

Where do I get the documents needed to commence an action for eviction or unlawful detainer?

In most jurisdictions, these documents are available from the courthouse, or may even be downloadable from a government website.

When can I commence an action for eviction or unlawful detainer?

You must wait for the Notice to Quit to have run its course.

If the tenant does not have a written lease, can I evict the tenant without using a Notice to Quit?

No, if you have allowed a person to reside on your premises as a tenant under the belief that they will be able to remain on the property, the tenant is still entitled to notice prior to being forced to leave, despite there not being a written lease.

Notice of Lease Violation

When can I use the Notice of Lease Violation?

This document can be used where the tenant has violated any term of the lease, other than failing to pay rent. Use the Notice to Pay if a tenant has not paid it's rent. The Notice of Lease Violation alerts the tenant that the lease has been violated, and states how much time the tenant has to correct the violation.

Can I end the lease if the violation is not fixed?

The procedure for ending a lease varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so you must check your local laws to see if the Notice of Lease Violation can be used to end the lease if the violation is not remedied. In most jurisdictions, the landlord can only end the lease for significant breaches or violations. Some jurisdictions require other documents such as the Notice to Quit to be used to end a lease.

Do I need to file the Notice of Lease Violation in court?

No, this is not an official court document so it must only be served on the tenant. You should retain a copy of the Notice of Lease Violation in case you need to go to court in order to get the violation corrected or the tenant evicted.

If I have served the Notice of Lease Violation, but the tenant refuses to correct the violation, what should I do?

You can serve the tenant with a Demand for Compliance or Possession, or terminate the lease by serving the tenant with a Notice to Quit.

Notice of Termination by Landlord

When can I use a Notice of Termination?

The Notice of Termination is used to end a periodic tenancy or where the lease requires advance notice of termination.

How do I know if my lease is a periodic tenancy?

Periodic tenancy means that the lease does not state a specific end date. Instead, the lease runs and is automatically renewed from week-to-week, month-to-month, or year-to-year. In most jurisdictions, if a fixed term lease expires but you continue to allow the tenant to live in the premises, then the lease may become a periodic tenancy.

How much notice do I need to give the tenant?

The amount of notice required varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and often depends on the type of periodic tenancy. You can check the required notice for your jurisdiction by clicking on the link to your jurisdiction's statutes provided in the Governing Law section of the Questions Page.

Do I need to file the Notice of Termination in court?

No, this is not an official court document so it must only be served on the tenant. However, you should retain a copy of the Notice of Termination in case you have to take further legal action against the tenant.

Can I end the lease without using a Notice of Termination?

Only if you and the tenant have mutually agreed to end the lease prematurely, and have both signed a written Surrender of Lease agreement.

What do I do if the tenant refuses to move out of the property after I have served the Notice of Termination?

The Notice of Termination is not an eviction order, so you must go to court and file a Summons of Eviction or Unlawful Detainer in order to legally remove the tenant.

Demand for Compliance or Possession

When can I use the Demand for Compliance or Possession?

This document can be used after you have served the tenant with either a Notice to Quit, Notice to Pay, or Notice of Lease Violation, but the tenant hasn't complied.

What do I do if the tenant ignores the Demand for Compliance or Possession?

The Demand for Compliance or Possession is not an eviction order, so you must go to court and file a Summons of Eviction or Unlawful Detainer in order to legally remove the tenant.

Do I need to file the Demand for Compliance or Possession in court?

No, this is not an official court document so it must only be served on the tenant. However, you should retain a copy of the Demand for Compliance or Possession in case you have to take further legal action against the tenant.

Notice to Increase Rent

How soon can the new rent take effect?

The minimum notice that you are required to give a tenant of an increase in rent varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and on the type of periodic and fixed tenancy, so you should check the required notice for your jurisdiction by clicking on the link to your jurisdiction's statutes provided in the Governing Law section of the Questions Page.

Can I increase the rent without serving the tenant with a Notice to Increase Rent?

No, a tenant is always entitled to notice of an increase in rent, regardless of the type of lease.

What do I do if the tenant refuses to pay the increased rent?

You can serve the tenant with a Notice to Pay or Quit. If they still refuse to pay the increased rent, then you can either serve them with a Demand for Compliance or Possession, or file a summons of eviction or unlawful detainer. Check with your jurisdiction's statutes to see which are available to you.

Do I need to file the Notice to Increase Rent in court?

No, this is not an official court document so it must only be served on the tenant. However, you should retain a copy of the Notice to Increase Rent in case you have to take further legal action against the tenant. Some jurisdictions may require that you also file your notice with a landlord and tenant advisory board or Residential Tenancies Board in certain circumstances.

Notice to Repair

Can I terminate the lease if the damages pose a threat to my health or safety?

Some jurisdictions will allow a tenant to end a lease if the damages to the property pose a threat to the tenant's health and/or safety. You should check the applicable laws of your jurisdiction by clicking on the link to your jurisdiction's statutes provided in the Governing Law section of the Questions Page or contact a local attorney before attempting to abandon the premises or end the lease.

What do I do if the landlord refuses to make the necessary repairs?

You can serve the landlord with a Notice of Termination, which states that the landlord failed to make the repairs. These repairs will have to be significant for most courts to end the lease.

What if I caused the damage to the property that I am asking the landlord to repair?

You should check the terms of the lease, as these damages may be the responsibility of the landlord, or you may be required to perform these repairs yourself. If you caused the damage to the property, you will likely forfeit part of your security deposit.

Do I need to file the Notice to Repair in court?

No, this is not an official court document so it must only be served on the tenant. However, you should retain a copy of the Notice to Repair in case you have to take further legal action against the tenant.

Notice of Intent to Vacate

When can I use the Notice of Intent to Vacate?

This form is used where the tenant has entered a fixed term lease with the landlord, and the tenant has opted to leave the premises when the term of the lease ends.

What is a fixed term lease?

A lease with a fixed term has a specified end date (e.g. July 4, 2005), rather than being continuously renewed indefinitely.

When can I serve the landlord with a Notice of Intent to Vacate?

The terms of the lease will state when this notice may be given. Some leases allow the tenant to serve the Notice of Intent to Vacate mid-way through the lease, but other leases require it to be served on the last day that rent is due.

Do I need to file the Notice of Intent to Vacate in court?

No, this is not an official court document so it must only be served on the landlord. However, you should retain a copy of the Notice of Intent to Vacate in case you have to take further legal action against the landlord.

What if I decide to stay in the premises after filing the Notice of Intent to Vacate?

Once the landlord has been served with the Notice of Intent to Vacate, you must leave the premises at the end of the lease term, unless the landlord expressly allows you to continue residing there.

Notice of Termination by Tenant

When can I use the Notice of Termination?

A tenant can use the Notice of Termination when they have a valid reason to end a fixed term lease (e.g. landlord refuses to make repairs), or to end a periodic tenancy.

Can I vacate the property before the term of the fixed lease has expired?

Yes, you can end the lease prematurely if you serve the landlord with a Notice of Termination which clearly states a legally valid reason for ending the lease before the term is up.

Do I need to file the Notice of Termination in court?

No, this is not an official court document so it must only be served on the tenant. However, you should retain a copy of the Notice of Termination in case you have to take further legal action against the landlord.

Will I be able to recover my security deposit if I end the fixed term lease early?

You will need to check the terms of the lease, but as long as you have a legally valid reason for ending the lease, you should be able to recover your security deposit (if you haven't caused damage to the property). You may have to sue the landlord if he refuses to return your security deposit.