Tenant rights and responsibilities | paying rent

Landlords always expect their tenants to pay rent on time. Although it is true that paying rent with post-dated cheques is a convenience for both parties, there are some provinces in which it is illegal for a landlord to require this type of payment. For more specific information, please refer to the Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets.

NOTE: Not paying your rent means going to court

68,877 landlord applications for eviction were made to the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal, and failure to pay the rent was the grounds for 75% of these eviction proceedings.

Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal (ORHT) 2004 – 2005 Annual Report

When is the Rent Due?

Your rent is due on the agreed upon day in the lease or rental agreement. In a majority of provinces and territories throughout Canada, rent is considered to be late the day after when it is officially due. If the rental agreement you signed stipulates that you have to pay rent on the first of the month, paying it on the second would mean it is late. Most landlords charge a fee for every day that the rent is late, and the amount of the fee varies depending on what the landlord deems fair. For more specific information on this subject, refer to the Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets.

In certain provinces, landlords are legally obligated to provide tenants with a grace period of up to 3 days to allow them to pay their rent. In other provinces, landlords can legally notify the tenant that their lease is terminated as soon as rent in late. After the tenant pays their rent, the termination of rental agreement notice is rendered null and void.

It is always a good idea for tenants to pay their rent on them, as consistently being late on rate could mean not being able to re-new one’s lease when the time comes.

What if you can’t Afford to Pay?

If you start to have financial problems that prevent you from paying your rent on time, you may be able to get assistance from a local rent bank. You can get more information on this subject from How to Rent with Bad Credit.

What is a Landlord Legally able to do?

If a tenant does not pay their rent on time, their landlord has every right to give them notice to move. In a vast majority of provinces, a landlord can give this type of notice the day the rent is late, but in others they have to wait up to 3 days.

A notice for non-payment of rent has to include:

  • The exact amount the tenant owes the landlord
  • The date the tenant is to move out
  • A statement that notifies the tenant that they can disagree with what the landlord is claiming

If a tenant does not pay their rent and refuses to move, the landlord has the right to get help from the local provincial or territorial rental authority to order them to move. For more information on how to go about doing this, the landlord should contact the local office that is responsible for landlord and tenant disputes.

A tenant has the right to apply to their provincial authority for a reduction of rent in certain provinces. Tenants can submit an application in the event that their landlord fails to make certain repairs or fails to provide services as a condition of a rent increase. You can also apply for a rent reduction, but only if municipal taxes have been lowered or in the event that a building service or facility is reduced or removed and the landlord does not raise the rent at all.