This article relates to an Ontario landlord and tenant matter – specifically, when tenants think they have more ownership over a property than the actual owner.

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Our client came to us because he needed to move into the basement of his house and he required assistance evicting the basement tenants. At this time he was living in the house in the upper level. Regardless of the reasons for his request, which were understandable and acceptable in this case, the board allows property owners to move back into their property for personal use. Owners must use form N12, serve it to the tenants and complete other requirements in order for the N12 to be considered effectively executed.

The two reasons why an N12 can be used and served on tenant(s) are:

1. You, a member of your immediate family or a person who provides or will provide care services to you or a member of your immediate family wants to move into the rental unit and occupy it for at least one year.

2. The purchaser, a member of the purchaser’s immediate family or a person who provides or will provide care services to the purchaser or a member of the purchaser’s immediate family wants to move into the rental unit, and,

  • the complex contains no more than three residential units, and
  • you have entered into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale of the complex. (These requirements are stated on the instructions for using the N12.)

Our client also informed our office that he tried to work with the tenants in order to make sure they had a place to live, as they had two young children. Our client offered them the upper level, but the rental amount was too high for the tenants. Our client couldn’t reduce the amount as the space was much bigger, and he was left with no other choice but to retain our services to evict the tenants.

We started the process with an N12 form served to the tenants via regular mail with a termination date of more than 60 days. The landlord must give the tenant(s) 60 days’ notice from the date they are served as per the rules of the Landlord and Tennant Board. Which is exactly what our office did.

During this time our client had to complete an affidavit stating that he was going to be moving into the basement for a period of one year and would not rent it out to anyone during this time. This is another factor that must be completed for the N12 to be effective. Our client also had to give the tenant(s) one month’s compensation prior to the termination date. Our client did that and provided our office with a confirmation that the tenant collected the compensation. Both the affidavit and proof of the compensation paid was sent to the board prior to the termination date.

The termination date came and passed and the tenants did not move out. They didn’t believe that the landlord needed to move into the basement because of financial reasons. They made it seem like they had more rights to stay right where they were. This wasn’t fair to our client and the matter went before the board.

At the hearing, the tenant tried his level best to argue that the landlord didn’t really need the basement and he wasn’t suffering any financial hardship. The landlord explained his situation to the board. The adjudicator reminded the tenants that the property belongs to the landlord and he does require it for personal use due to financial reasons. Therefore there was no basis for our client not to move into the basement of his property and have the tenancy terminated, with the tenants being evicted. Our client even agreed to give the tenants a few extra months so they could find a place best suited for them.

In the end the board ordered the tenancy terminated between the landlord and tenant and our client finally was able to move into the basement of his property.

This goes to show that even though you may own a property, once you rent it out, sometimes it’s very difficult for you to regain possession. But if you follow the rules outlined by the LTB and you fight for your rights, you will eventually regain possession of your property.

You can contact me at any time for any legal question you may have regarding this article, or any other real estate legal matters you may have. The good news? It won’t cost you anything.


  1. Hi Avi. Unless I missed something, you don’t say in this article if the landlord was evicting at the end of the lease term. I’m assuming they were as it is my understanding that you can’t evict a tenant for any reason prior to the end of lease term (but I stand to be corrected, as I am not the expert here). So, are you saying that even if you evict a tenant giving a minimum of 60 days notice with the proper forms, etc that the landlord has to compensate the tenant one month’s rent as well???

  2. Thanks Avi, our client too has a tenant that won’t leave. The termination date of the initial N12 came and went. Even though the tenant sent an email saying he would be out on the termination date, the next day the tenant was still in the unit and had barricaded himself inside with the landlords locks removed. The closing date of the sale was extended but is now in jeopardy if the tenant ignores the second N12 once again. A Tribunal hearing has been scheduled


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