Sarah Forsyth | Staff Lawyer
Has your landlord asked you to move out of your rental unit because the landlord’s family member wants to move in?
Here is what you need to know.
Most tenancies are protected by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. Just because your landlord says you have to leave, does not mean you need to move out. The Landlord and Tenant Board is the body that decides whether or not tenancies end.
The N12 Notice
To ask you to leave so a family member can move in, your landlord must serve you with a “Notice to End your Tenancy Because the Landlord, a Purchaser or a Family Member Requires the Rental Unit”. This is also called an N12 Notice.
The landlord can only use this notice for specific, close family members. It cannot be used for extended family. The N12 can be used for:
- The landlord
- The landlord’s spouse
- The landlord’s child
- The landlord’s parent
The N12 Notice must follow certain rules. If the rules are not followed, the N12 Notice could be void and the landlord may have to start over.
If you receive an N12 Notice, check for the following:
- There must be 60 days between the date the landlord gives you the N12 Notice and the termination date
- The termination date must be on the last day of a rental period. This means that if you pay rent on the first of each month, the termination date must be the last day of the month
- Your rental unit must be listed properly
- All tenants must be named
What Happens Next?
You do not have to move out by the termination date. If the landlord wants you to leave, it may file an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board and ask for a hearing. At the hearing, the Board will decide whether or not to issue an order evicting the tenant.
At the Hearing
A landlord has up until the day of the hearing to produce an affidavit from the family member moving in. The affidavit should explain:
- The reason the family member wants to move in
- That the family member wants to live in the unit for at least one year
A landlord must also provide the tenant with a cheque for one month’s rent by the termination date on the N12 Notice at the latest.
What if I Do Not Believe the N12 is Truthful?
A landlord must give an N12 Notice in “good faith.” This means that the family member identified on the N12 must genuinely intend to move into the rental unit for at least one year.
If you do not believe this to be true, you may allege that the N12 Notice was given in “bad faith” at the hearing. You must be prepared to bring evidence with you that proves your suspicions.
Possible examples of evidence showing bad faith:
- Your landlord recently tried to illegally increase your rent
- Your landlord told you or someone else that the notice is not genuine
After the Hearing – What if I am Evicted?
If the Board orders that the tenants must vacate the rental unit, they must do so by the date ordered. If the tenants do not vacate by that date, the landlord may ask the Sheriff to enforce the Board’s order by changing the locks to the unit.
Tenants should keep an eye on the rental unit for one year after the date they vacate. If the tenant learns that the family member either never moved into the rental unit, or lived there only for a short period of time, the tenant may bring an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board and request compensation. Possible remedies include:
- The difference in rent for one year, if the tenant’s new rental unit has a higher rent
- Costs of moving expenses
If you have questions, receive an N12 Notice, or other notice, you are welcome to contact Kingston Community Legal Clinic for assistance.