If you rent your home, there may come a day when your landlord will inform you that they need to end your tenancy because either they, a member of their immediate family, or a caregiver of either your landlord or your landlord’s immediate family wants to move into the rental unit. Another possibility is that your landlord may tell you that they are selling the rental unit, and that either the buyer, the buyer’s immediate family, or a caregiver of either the buyer or of someone in the buyer’s immediate family wants to move in. The Residential Tenancies Act, the legislation which establishes the rules and requirements for residential tenancies, is very specific about which individuals the landlord can end a tenancy for; for example, your landlord cannot end your tenancy if your landlord’s sibling or cousin wants to move in. The Residential Tenancies Act also provides the requirements that must be met for your landlord to be able to end your tenancy.
Section 48(1) of the Residential Tenancies Act allows your landlord to give you a notice of termination if your landlord, in good faith, plans to move into the rental unit or if your landlord needs the rental unit to provide a home for your landlord’s spouse, or for a child or a parent(s) of your landlord or your landlord’s spouse, or for someone providing care services to your landlord, your landlord’s spouse, or a child or parent(s) of your landlord or your landlord’s spouse; if the person receiving the care services lives in, or will live in, the same building or complex in which the rental unit is located. Section 48 (1) of the Residential Tenancies Act requires that the person who will be living in the rental unit (should you move out or be ordered to move out at a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board) live in the rental unit for a period of at least one year.
If your landlord is selling the rental unit, section 49(1) of the Residential Tenancies Act allows your landlord to give you a notice of termination on behalf of a purchaser, if the purchaser, in good faith (there it is again — the requirement of good faith), needs possession of the rental unit for the purpose of living there himself/herself/themself, or if the purchaser’s spouse, child or parent(s) of the purchaser or the purchaser’s spouse, or someone providing care services to the purchaser, the purchaser’s spouse, or a child or parent(s) of the purchaser or the purchaser’s spouse will be living in the rental unit. Again, for this to apply to someone providing care services to the purchaser, the purchaser’s spouse or a child or parent(s) of the purchaser or the purchaser’s spouse, the requirement is that the person receiving the care services lives in, or will live in, the same building or complex in which the rental unit is located.
The form which the landlord would give you is called the “Notice to End your Tenancy because the Landlord, a Purchaser, or a Family Member Requires the Rental Unit N12”. (I will refer to this form as the “N12”.) Before you start to pack your belongings and move out, there are important things to know.
The key point here is that your landlord, in good faith needs the rental unit. If you think that your landlord is just using this as an excuse to end your tenancy, then do not move out, and let your landlord bring this matter before the Landlord and Tenant Board. Your landlord will have the burden of proof to prove that he/she/they require the rental unit in good faith. How do you prove that your landlord is not trying to end the tenancy in good faith? If, for example, your relationship with your landlord is not very good, or if your landlord is complaining that he/she/they could be getting more money for rent, that could be enough to make the decision maker at the Landlord Tenant Board question whether your landlord really needs the rental unit in good faith.
If your lease is for a fixed term, for example for one year, your landlord must provide you with at least 60 days’ notice. The termination date in the notice of termination must be at least 60 days after the N12 notice is given and it must be on the last day of the fixed term tenancy; for example, if your lease goes from January 1. 2022 until December 31, 2022, then the termination date must be December 31, 2022;
In other words, if your lease is for one year, the termination date cannot be before the last day of the one-year period set out in the lease.
If your landlord tries to give you an N12, it will be useless because it cannot be used if you are still in a fixed term lease. In that case, your landlord may try to get you to sign an “Agreement to End the Tenancy N11” (I will refer to this form as the “N11”). DO NOT SIGN IT!!!! If you do sign the N11, then according to the N11, you are agreeing to end the tenancy, and the landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an order to evict you. Your landlord cannot force you to sign the N11. Regardless of what your landlord tries to tell you, DO NOT SIGN IT!!!! As long as you do not sign the N11 (and as long as you have been paying your rent on time and not doing anything that could justify your landlord trying to end your lease early (this will be addressed in a future article)), your landlord will have to wait until the end of the fixed term to give you the N12 and end your tenancy.
If the lease is now on a month-to-month basis, or if there is no fixed term, the termination date must be on the last day of the rental period. If your rent is due on the first day of every month, and your landlord gives you the notice of termination on March 14; although May 8 is the 60th day, since the termination date must be at the end of the rental period, then the termination date would be May 31. This is because May 31 is the last day of the May rental period.
It is important to remember that if the termination date on the N12 is not correct, then the N12 is defective. A defective N12 cannot be amended after it has been given to the tenant. Furthermore, the Landlord and Tenant Board cannot issue an order terminating a tenancy on the basis of a defective N12.
If you do not agree with what the landlord stated in the N12, you do not have to move out; however, the landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an Order to evict you. The Landlord and Tenant Board will schedule a hearing where you can explain why you disagree with what the landlord is stating in the N12.
Another important point to remember is that if your landlord terminates your lease under section 48 of the Residential Tenancies Act, your landlord is required to compensate you by paying you an amount equal to one’s month’s rent or your landlord must offer you another rental unit acceptable to you. Furthermore, your landlord must pay you the amount equal to one month’s rent by the termination date stated in the notice.
The obligation to compensate you is the obligation of the landlord who gives you the notice of termination; even if the landlord is giving you the notice of termination on behalf of a purchaser. It is always the landlord’s obligation. It does not become the purchaser’s obligation.
If you do not want to move out, you can fight your landlord’s application at the hearing which will be held at the Landlord and Tenant Board If you do move out, but you believe that your landlord gave the notice in bad faith, and that neither your landlord, nor a member of your landlord’s immediate family, nor someone providing care services to your landlord or to your landlord’s immediate family moved into the rental unit; you can file an application called a “T5: Tenant Application – Landlord Gave a Notice of Termination in Bad Faith” (I will refer to this application as the “T5”) in which you describe why you believe that your landlord was not acting in good faith, and you can request that you be compensated: You can request that your landlord pay you a rent abatement. You would have to explain how you calculated the rent abatement. You could also request that the landlord be ordered to pay fine to the Landlord and Tenant Board. If you move and you are paying more rent now, you could request that your landlord pay you the difference in rent between your old rental unit and your current rental unit for one year from the date you moved out. You could also request that your landlord pay for your moving and storage expenses.
Please note these materials have been prepared for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to seek legal advice by contacting Frank Feldman* regarding any specific legal issues.