Can I Stop An Eviction By Paying the Money Owed?
There Are Usually Four Opportunities to Stop An Eviction For Non-Payment:
- Payment May Be Made Before the Date Shown Upon the Notice to Evict (Form N4);
- Payment May Be Made Before a Landlord Tenant Board Hearing Date;
- Payment May Be Made Before a Scheduled Eviction Date; and
- Payment May Be Made Before Eviction By the Sheriff.
How to Stop An Eviction For Non-Payment of Rent
When a notice to evict is issued, being the Form N4 - Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent, multiple opportunities remain available to pay the rent due and thus enable the tenant to avoid the pending eviction. In some circumstances, such as where late rent is chronic, stopping an eviction process may be difficult; however, in most circumstances opportunities to avoid the eviction do remain.
Pay By or On the Date Showing Upon the Notice of Eviction
The first opportunity to remedy a non-payment eviction process is by paying on or before the date stated within the eviction notice. The eviction notice is the Form N4 - Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent issued by the landlord and served upon the tenant. In most circumstances, where the tenancy is governed by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, Chapter 17, this is the statutorily required document and any other method of issuing notice of eviction is invalid. Accordingly, a letter, an email, a text message, or a verbal advisement, or anything else, is improper and insufficient.
The Form N4 - Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent document must contain the following information:
- The amount of money that the landlord states is the outstanding rent due;
- The calculations that show how the amount of money due was determined;
- The deadline date the tenant is to vacate the rental unit; and
- The other relevant information such as names, address, etc.
By paying the outstanding rent due within fourteen (14) days, where rent is usually paid on a monthly basis, the tenant may void or nullify the notice to evict and the threat of eviction should end. Of course, for your protection to prove that payment was made, always obtain a receipt from the landlord.
Pay By or On the Date of the Landlord Tenant Board Eviction Hearing
The second opportunity to remedy a non-payment eviction process is by paying on or before the Landlord Tenant Board Hearing date whereas if the first opportunity to remedy the eviction process was missed, the landlord may commence an Eviction Hearing by by filing a Form L1 - Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-payment of Rent and to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes.
After the Form L1 is filed by the landlord, the Landlord Tenant Board will schedule a hearing date and send copy of the Form L1, among other things, to the tenant. When the tenant receives the Form L1, among other things, the tenant may stop the eviction process by providing the payment required prior to, or on, the hearing date as scheduled by the Landlord Tenant Board; however, by waiting until this second opportunity, the tenant will now also owe the landlord for the fees paid to the Landlord Tenant Board as well as any further rent monies that became overdue since the landlord filed the Form L1 at the Landlord Tenant Board.
When making the payment to the landlord, the tenant should ensure to obtain a receipt and then attend and provide the receipt (always keep a copy) to a clerk at the Landlord Tenant Board. Alternatively, payment may be made directly to the clerk at the Landlord Tenant Board. Furthermore, to ensure that the adjudicator at the Hearing is fully aware that the rent arrears were paid, either to the landlord or paid to the clerk in trust on behalf of the landlord, and to ensure that the proceeding was cancelled, the tenant should appear on the Hearing date prepared to provide proof of the payment, if necessary. This is especially important as sometimes the case may remain scheduled despite providing the receipt from the landlord, or direct payment, to the clerk. By attending on the hearing date, the tenant can formally ensure that the proof of payment is noted on the record and that the rent is in good standing.
Pay By or On the Date Showing Upon An Order to Vacate
The third opportunity to remedy a non-payment eviction process is by paying on or before the date that the tenant is required to vacate (move-out) as per an Order issued by the Landlord Tenant Board. When doing so, the tenant is required to pay the full amount showing within the Order which will likely also include costs paid by the landlord to the Landlord Tenant Board. The details about the total amount required and the date the total amount must be paid will be shown on the Order document, likely on the last page. Additionally, any rent that came due since the Order was issued will also be required. Similar to the payment options described above, the tenant may make payment to the landlord, and be sure to obtain a receipt, or make payment to the clerk at the Landlord Tenant Board.
Regardless of whether payment is provided to the landlord or to the clerk, the tenant should then bring a Motion to Void an Eviction Order for Arrears of Rent so to ensure that the eviction process is formally cancelled. This procedure is an administrative procedure and only without requirement of an in-person Hearing. When reviewing the Motion paperwork, if satisfied that the arrears, and costs, are fully paid, the adjudicator for the Landlord Tenant Board will issue an Order that voids the previous Order to Evict. This new Order must then be filed with the local office of the Sheriff so to ensure that the eviction process is fully ceased.
Pay Before the Sheriff Attends to Enforce the Eviction
The fourth, and final, opportunity to remedy a non-payment eviction process is by paying on or before the date that the Sheriff arrives to enforce the eviction process (lock out the tenant). This final opportunity to cancel the eviction process may still be available after the vacate (move-out) date showing in the eviction Order. To do so the tenant make full payment, into the Landlord Tenant Board, of all amounts showing within the eviction Order including the rent arrears stated within the Order, any costs stated within the Order, as well as any subsequent rents due since the Order was issued. Additionally, a Motion to Void An Eviction Order for Arrears of Rent must follow the full payment of the monies required. The tenant must also provide a copy of the issued Notice to Void An Eviction Order for Arrears of Rent documentation to the office of the Sheriff. At the Motion Hearing, an adjudicator of the Landlord Tenant Board will determine whether full payment was made, including any further costs incurred by the landlord such as fees required by the Sheriff, and whether to cancel the eviction Order. Lastly, it is important to note that this final opportunity may be sought only once per tenancy.
The procedures and documents required to make benefit of the four opportunities to cancel the eviction process require careful attention to ensure completeness and correctness. Errors or missteps may result in failure to cancel the eviction process with the consequence of eviction. To minimize the risk of errors or missteps, assistance from experienced professionals should be sought such as that available from SFG Paralegal Services LLP.