Facing Eviction for Landlord’s Own Use? Know Your Rights and How to Stand Your Ground

Receiving a notice from your landlord asking you to move out can be both shocking and unwelcome. If your landlord has given you a “Notice to End your Tenancy Because the Landlord, a Purchaser or a Family Member Requires the Rental Unit” (known as an N12), claiming they or their family need your home, don’t pack your bags just yet. It is time to arm yourself with knowledge and explore your options. Let’s break down what this all means in simpler terms and learn how to challenge this type of eviction notice.

What is an N12 Notice all about?

An N12 notice is your landlord saying, “I need your unit back for personal use.” But it is more complex than it sounds. They have to follow some strict rules:

  • They need to give you 60 days’ notice, ending on your rent cycle or lease term.
  • They must genuinely need your place to live for at least one year. They cannot just say they need your unit to get you to move out.
  • They owe you one month’s rent as compensation or must offer you another suitable place to live by the Terminate date on the notice.

You can view Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) forms online here.

Are You Smelling Something Fishy?

Sometimes a landlord may use an N12 notice to get a tenant to move out so they can raise the rent with a new tenant. In Ontario we have vacancy decontrol, which means a landlord can raise the rent any amount when a new tenant moves into a unit.

If you think your landlord may be acting in bad faith, here is how to dive deeper.

First, politely ask your landlord in writing how they plan to use your unit. Genuine intentions often come with plans or documents. Will they be moving in or is an immediate family member moving in?

Second, inspect the N12 notice. The notice has to meet legal requirements, and errors or missing information on the N12 can be your ticket to challenge it. For example, the N12 has to be given to you at least 60 days before the day your landlord requires you to move out, which is called a termination date. t=The termination date also has to be the last day of your rental period, which means that the termination date has to be the last day of a month if your rental period starts on the first day of a month. Remember, every detail matters!

Third, get some backup. Contact a legal professional for guidance. Lawyers and paralegals at your community legal clinic are like navigators in the stormy seas of housing law. If you live within our catchment area, you can call our Intake Line at 416-441-1764 ext. 1.

Fourth, prepare for a showdown at the Landlord and Tenant Board. If things escalate, you might find yourself presenting your case at a hearing. Gather all of your evidence, including emails, texts or notes from conversations that prove the landlord might be playing games. Your best defence is a good archive. Keep records of everything, especially if your landlord has tried similar moves with other tenants in your building. Last but not least, negotiation is the art of the deal. Talking it out to get a better deal or more time to move can work in your favour. It’s worth a shot.

Any eviction notice can be intimidating, but understanding your rights under the N12 notice allows you to keep your home or move out on your own terms. Don’t let the fear of eviction silence you. Stand up, speak out, and seek help when you need it. After all, your home is your castle, and it’s worth defending!

You can find more information on the Steps to Justice website.

This is legal information and not legal advice. If you need further information or need legal advice, please call our Intake Line at 416-441-1764 ext. 1 or complete our online Intake Form.