Tenants Paying Late?

As a property manager in the GTA and an avid real estate investor, I often get questions about tenants who don’t pay rent or who habitually pay rent late. With a vacancy rate of 1.6% in Toronto, it is hard to imagine a good landlord in a good neighbourhood struggling with tenants not paying rent. Unfortunately, landlords are at a disadvantage in that the laws work in the favour of the tenants unless the landlord is prepared, keeps proper records and follows the rules. The steps for evicting a tenant are simply:

1. Issue an N4. You might not want to do this, but you simply MUST. Even if a tenant asks you to hold a cheque or pay later in the week, you should still issue the N4. This simply protects you if the tenant doesn’t live up to their commitment.

2. File an L1. If the tenant doesn’t pay their rent by the date stated on the N4, file an L1 with the landlord tenant board the next day to start the eviction process.

3. Schedule a tribunal hearing as soon as possible.

4. Attend the tribunal hearing. Be prepared with proof if the tenant has been habitually late, the lease and bring any written correspondence. It is important to note that the tenant may try to claim repairs are required, illegal entry or attempt to make a partial payment. You need to be prepared for how you would handle this.

5. At the tribunal, mediation might be a way to pre-empt a lengthy process. This might be a good option if you think both parties are willing to co-operate.

6. Follow the next steps for eviction as outlined by the tribunal.

At all times, remember this is a business and sensitivity must prevail. We’ve heard of people saying some pretty nasty things to tenants or landlords and it coming back to haunt them later. At Mekler Inc, we can help you professionally prepare for these legal matters and potentially avoid a lengthy eviction process.

Mekler Property Management offers property management services in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information, please visit us at www.Mekler.ca - We help you be a landlord without being the landlord!

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