In Ontario rent is considered late as of midnight on the day the landlord and tenant have set it to be paid. Most landlords/owners will set payment date on the first of each month (assuming you and the renters are on a monthly basis).
So, rent is late, now what can be done? As a property manager We have a process in place, part of which calls for an automatic reminder to be sent out. Sometimes, a payment may be late simply because the tenant hasn't realized it's the first of the month. This can be escpecially true around the holiday season.
Also, in my experience, even the best tenants can wind up with a surprise such as delay in pay or an unexpected emergency. It’s preferable to work with the tenants towards a successful resolution. Open communication is important and I try to encourage tenants to let me know right away if they expect their rent payment to be delayed. This way, the owners and I can make arrangements on our end to cover things until it does arrive.
I’ll make sure the tenants are aware, provided they have paid before the filing notice on the N4, it’s back to business as usual. My goal is to build long term relationships with the renters after all.
If the tenants have had a good history with us thus far and have found themselves struggling to make payments on the first we can have a discussion about moving rent around their pay periods to avoid frequent lates.
It should be noted I try to avoid trading rent for work on their unit as this could become a "rent reduction plan" and often clouds the relationship of landlord and tenant.
If the termination date has arrived and the tenants have not yet paid you must wait until the day after to file an L1 Application to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent and to collect rent the tenant owes. If you want to collect the rent but do not wish to evict the tenant an L9 can be used to accomplish this.
If you've made that tough decision to file on the tenant, in Ontario a late payment plan must be offered to the tenant. This should be done prior to your hearing. You and the tenant can work together to come up with a plan to make up for the rent arrears over time. It's recommended to make this an obtainable goal, demonstrating to the Landlord Tenant Board you are working with the tenant will go a ways to reaching a mutually desirable outcome. If you have been able to make an agreement, take this before the board and they can put it in an order. This must take place to make the agreement binding.
Keeping on top of things will prevent you both from losing track of how much is owed and to which month they are paying towards. Following the guidelines of the Landlord and Tenant Board and using your own discretion are part of having a successful tenancy.
*The above information is opinion and legal advice should always be sought before taking action.
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Glenn Brown is owner of My Rental Unit property management and has enjoyed success with multiple unit investing.