What can you do if a tenant misses rent?

At Living Properties, we work and interact with lots of landlords and one of the most common questions we hear from them is: “what can I do if a tenant misses rent?” So, what is the answer? Let’s take a look…

In Ontario, disputes between landlords and tenants are dealt with by the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). Fortunately for landlords, the LTB has very clear guidelines outlining the options available if a tenant fails to pay their rent.

Firstly, rent is considered late if it is not paid by the end of the day (11:59pm) that it is due. If the rent is late, an informal step might be to contact your tenant and ask when the rent will be paid, although this will depend on how good the landlord-tenant relationship is. If a landlord prefers a more formal approach, then there are two steps available through the LTB:

  • Apply to the LTB for an order to collect the rent.
  • Give the tenant notice requesting payment of rent and then, if no payment is received, applying to the LTB for an order to collect the rent and to evict the tenant

Order to Collect Rent

If you choose to go with the first step, as a landlord you can apply to the LTB to collect the rent owed by completing form L9 – Application to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes. An important point to note with this is that this application can only be made if the tenant still lives in the rental property. If a tenant has moved out and still owes you money, there is a separate form to use called L10 – Application to Collect Money the Former Tenant Owes, which can be used to apply for money owed by any tenant who moved out after 1 September, 2021.

Notice for Payment and Requesting Eviction

The second of the two steps above is the more serious one and there are guidelines that a landlord must follow. If a tenant hasn’t paid their rent, a landlord can use the LTB’s Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent (N4) form, which informs the tenant of the landlord’s right to apply for a notice of eviction if rent isn’t paid. In the form, you must set a termination date by which rent must be paid, after which you can begin to apply for eviction. The termination date must be at least 14 days after the notice is delivered if the tenant is renting on a monthly or yearly basis, or at east 7 days if the tenant is renting on a daily or weekly basis.

If the tenant pays the rent before the termination date, the notice (N4) becomes void. If, however, they fail to pay the rent by this date, the landlord can begin the application to evict by completing the LTB’s form L1 – Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-payment of Rent and to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes.

Form L1 asks the landlord a number of questions, including but not limited to:

  • Did you give the tenant an N4 notice?
  • Are you applying after the termination date on the N4 notice?
  • Have you included a copy of the N4 notice and a Certificate of Service for that notice with your application?

Once you have made an application to the LTB, you will receive notice of a hearing date. It is important for the landlord or a representative of the landlord to attend the hearing and explain to the board why the tenant should pay the disputed money. The LTB will listen to both sides and make a decision on the case that both sides must respect.


Of course, a simpler step for landlords is to let someone take care of these matters on your behalf. At Living Properties, we manage many rental properties on behalf of landlords and have many years’ experiences dealing with rental disputes. If you’d like to take the stress and complication out of managing your rental portfolio, contact us today to see what services we could offer you.