Can I withhold rent to get my landlord to do something?

Important COVID-19 update about the Landlord and Tenant Board

Because of COVID-19, the Landlord and Tenant Board has changed some of its processes. You can learn more in the question: How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way the LTB handles cases?

Sometimes it might seem fair to stop paying some or all of your rent if your landlord isn't giving you what you are paying for. For example, your landlord might be harassing you, invading your privacy, or refusing to do repairs.

But it can be very risky to stop paying your rent in order to resolve problems with your landlord.

If you do not pay your full rent, your landlord can apply to the (LTB) to try to have you evicted.

If your landlord applies to the LTB, you can ask the LTB to consider the problems you are having with your landlord. But you could still be evicted if the LTB doesn't believe you, or doesn't think the problems are serious enough.

If you want to move

Even if you plan to move out because of the problems, it can still be risky to stop paying the rent. While you are still living there, your landlord can apply to the LTB to you to pay. Or after you move, your landlord can sue you in court.

It might be hard to convince a or a judge that you shouldn't have to pay the rent. You will need strong that the problem was very serious.

If the LTB or a court orders you to pay, it can affect your credit record. This can make it harder for you to rent another place or borrow money.

And if you didn't give proper notice to move, you might owe even more rent.

A safer way

If you can't get your landlord to respect your rights, it is safer to apply to the LTB instead of holding back rent.

There are several kinds of the LTB can order when landlords don’t do repairs, don’t respect your privacy, and in many other situations.

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