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AJ Murray Legal Services P.C. Blog

  • Writer's pictureArashdeep Grewal

How to Reclaim Your Rental Unit: The N12 Notice

In the realm of Ontario's residential tenancies, the issuance of an N12 notice carries significant legal weight for the termination of a tenancy. For landlords, it can represent a means of reclaiming possession of a rental unit. 

For tenants, receiving an N12 notice can be a very daunting and uncertain experience. 

Let's explore the process of when to use an N12 notice, the rights of landlords, and the options available to tenants.

Understanding the N12 Notice

The N12 notice, governed by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) in Ontario, is one of the initial steps in terminating a tenancy agreement. Primarily, it allows landlords to regain possession of their rental property for personal use or occupation by specified family members. Additionally, if the property is being sold and the purchaser or certain family members intend to live at the property, an N12 notice may be issued while adhering to the specific requirements under the RTA.

When to Issue an N12 Notice:

Landlords may issue an N12 notice in only one of the following two situations:

  1. The landlord and or one of the following persons intend to move into the rental unit and occupy it for at least one year:

  1. A spouse

  2. Children

  3. Parents 

  4. Spouse’s parent or child

  5. A person who provides or will provide care services to the landlord, their parent, their spouse, their child, their spouse’s child or their spouse’s parent.

The landlord has signed an Agreement of Purchase and Sale of the Rental Unit and the following person(s) intends to move into the rental unit:

  1. The purchaser.

  2. The purchaser's parent.

  3. The purchaser’s spouse.

  4. The purchaser’s child.

  5. The purchaser’s spouse’s parent or child. 

  6. A person who provides or will provide care services to one of the above persons.

 This requirement for possession must be bona fide. Notices must be served in good faith.

Landlord’s Rights and Obligations

A few of these include the following:

  1. Proper Service: Landlords must serve the N12 notice in writing, adhering to the specific requirements outlined in the RTA, accompanying Rules and Regulations. Failure to comply with these requirements may render the notice invalid/void.

  2. Genuine Intent: Landlords must have a genuine intention for occupancy as indicated within the notice. Notices issued in bad faith may fail to secure an eviction and or lead to other negative legal repercussions for the landlord. 

  3. Compensation: Upon issuing an N12 notice, landlords must compensate tenants with one month's rent or offer an acceptable alternative rental unit. 

  4. Timelines: Landlords must adhere to the prescribed timelines such as ensuring that the termination date in the notice is at least 60 days after the landlord serves the notice upon the tenant and that the date is the last day of the rental period.

It is important for landlords to be mindful of the fact that tenants do have specific legal options upon the issuance of these notices. These include:

  1. Challenging the Notice: Tenants reserve the right to challenge the validity of an N12 notice if they believe it was issued in bad faith or fails to meet the requirements stipulated in the RTA, Rules and Regulations.

  2. Seeking Legal Counsel: Tenants may seek legal advice to understand their rights and explore potential avenues for recourse in response to an N12 notice.

  3. Negotiation: Engaging in open dialogue with the landlord can facilitate negotiation regarding the specific details involved with the termination, including compensation and move-out date.

Navigating the intricacies of the N12 notice process demands a comprehensive understanding of the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants. Landlords and tenants can adhere to the provisions outlined in the RTA, Rules, and Regulations by always seeking legal assistance from experienced licensed professionals. 

Click the link below to get started with your complimentary consultation.

About the Author

Arashdeep Grewal

Licensed Paralegal

AJ Murray Legal Services P.C.


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