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What can happen if I don't pay my rent on time?

Question
What can happen if I don't pay my rent on time?

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Reviewed: 
December, 2015
Answer

There are different things that your landlord can do if you do not pay your rent on time.

If you owe rent

If your rent is overdue by even one day, your landlord might give you a Notice to End your Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent (Form N4).

You can cancel this notice by paying all the rent that you owe within 14 days after you get the notice. You must pay within 7 days if you rent by the day or week. Make sure the landlord gives you a receipt for your payment.

Your payment must also include any rent that comes due after the date on the notice.

If you don't pay everything that you owe by the deadline, your landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict you.

In some situations, your landlord might choose to ask for payment without asking you to move out. Your landlord could apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an order to make you pay.

Landlords sometimes ask only for payment if they think they will not be able to find a new tenant. They might also do this if you have a fixed-term lease and they want to keep you responsible for the rent until the end of the term.

Your landlord could also report your overdue rent to a credit reporting agency. This can affect your credit rating and make it harder in the future for you to rent a place or get a loan.

If your rent is often late

If you are often late with your rent, your landlord might give you a different notice, called Notice to End your Tenancy at the End of the Term (Form N8). On the form, your landlord would check the box called, "You have persistently paid your rent late."

There is no exact definition of what "persistently" paying rent late means. It can depend on many things, including how late your payments were, how often it happened, and for how long it has been happening.

You cannot cancel this notice by paying the rent that you owe. In fact, your landlord can give you this kind of notice even if you have paid all your rent.

After giving you this notice, your landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict you.

Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)

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