If you are a landlord or a tenant involved in a dispute a housing lawyer can help you understand your rights and obligations.
Most tenancies don’t end because of an eviction. Often tenants will leave of their own accord by giving their landlord 60 days written notice when they are not on a fixed term lease. But there is also the option to dispense with the 60-day requirement or to end a tenancy mid lease via mutual agreement between the two parties. Perhaps the landlord has an offer for more rent from a prospective tenant and the existing tenant wants to move to a bigger apartment. The Residential Tenancies Act acknowledges such a possibility and there is a mechanism to end a tenancy via mutual agreement.
Agreement In Writing
If the parties agree to end the tenancy it is highly recommended that they put that agreement in writing so as to make it enforceable. The Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) has a very simple form that can be used for that purpose called the N11 Agreement to Terminate a Tenancy. Both parties should be given a copy of the signed agreement.
Ex Parte Order
If there is no doubt that a tenant will leave per their signed agreement, then both parties can be satisfied with the signed N11. However, a landlord can use a signed N11 to file with the LTB for an enforceable eviction Order, by using the L3 form. There will not be a hearing. A landlord may consider doing this if they believe the tenant may renege on their agreement to terminate and try and stay past the agreed upon termination date. The LTB cannot give a termination date earlier than the date listed in the agreement. It costs $190 to file this application. The Order will be mailed to both the landlord and the Tenant.
Motion To Set Aside
If a tenant files a Motion to Set Aside an Ex Parte Order, within 10 days of the date the LTB issued their Order there will be a hearing scheduled. The tenant may allege that they signed the agreement to terminate under duress or that the landlord did not follow their end of the bargain. If 10 days have elapsed a tenant can still file the motion and attach a request to extend time, but the LTB will have the discretion to deny the Motion if the delay cannot be adequately explained. If a hearing is scheduled both parties will have the opportunity to make submissions as to why or why not the eviction order and agreement to terminate the tenancy should stand.
If there is an Order to evict per the agreement to end the tenancy and the tenant does not leave by the termination date the landlord can enforce the Order with the Sheriff and have the locks changed and the tenant forcibly removed. The landlord must not dispose of the tenant’s belongings for 72 hours after enforcement.
The end of a tenancy can be a legally complicated matter. The best way to protect yourself is to hire an experienced housing lawyer to work on your case. Mehdi Au LLP has housing lawyers on staff who would be happy to assist with your case.
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