Lots of Landlords ask me when they should issue an N4, and in many cases delay issuing an N4 because they feel bad, or they have communicated with their tenants about the rent, and the tenant said they would pay.
Unfortunately, many of these same Landlord’s are those that end up with tenant rental arrears in the tens of thousands. Being too lenient or nice can cause the tenant to take advantage of the situation and leave the Landlord vulnerable to significant rental debt.
Landlords have mortgages to pay, and other bills on the property. As a tenant becomes significantly in debt to the Landlord, the Landlord often becomes indebted to the city for taxes, the bank for mortgage payments, and other property related expenses.
Unfortunately, and in many cases, once a tenant becomes so far in debt, they just cannot maintain the premise or payback the owed amount. This leaves even more indebtedness and even more problems to the Landlord.
Allowing one or two months of rent to go by can be a major hurdle for a tenant to overcome and leave the landlord vulnerable to more missed payments. Eventually, the Landlord ends up with tens of thousands of unrecovered monies in just a matter of a few months.
The banks, the city and other financial institutions are not going to give the Landlord months to payback the debts incurred and will eventually lead to enforcement action. Not to mention, the debt incurred often results in interest and other penalties leaving the landlord even more in debt.
The result is that the Landlord must sell the property or is forced to sell the property to pay off the mounting expenses and debts.
To avoid the headaches to the Landlord, the Landlord should not feel guilty serving an N4 the day after rent is due. It is your right, as a landlord, to collect money for occupation of your rental space. Therefore, pursue the money owed to you immediately, do not wait. Waiting causes more delays, and more delinquent accounts, you should not feel guilty attempting to collect your money.
How do you approach the Tenant?
Advise the Tenant that you must serve this notice as per the law, and to preserve your own legal rights. Further advise the tenant that if the rent is paid in accordance with the notice, the N4 can be void, and the Board will not know about the missed payment. However, the N4 must be served as this is a professional property, professional business, and I am a professional landlord; therefore, I must treat this as a business transaction. Please pay to avoid further notices, and so that we can clear this matter up.
Does it make you as the Landlord look bad?
Absolutely not! Collecting your money, is your right, and it does not make you look bad, it makes you look professional and commands respect. You cannot allow tenants to push you around or push the boundaries on what is acceptable or what is not acceptable. You have a business to run, and when services supplied are not paid for, you must act to preserve your own legal rights and business. Therefore, it does not look bad, it looks professional, and you will have better tenants and fewer issues in the future.
What if they do not pay?
If the Tenant does not pay the N4 Notice, file the document with the Board, do not delay. Allow the tenant to make a payment plan on approved board forms and create mediated consequences for failure to pay the arranged terms. This is a business, and as a landlord, you must treat your property as a professional business. You will sleep better at night, have more control over your property and command the respect you deserve.
Therefore, draft and serve an N4 the day after the rent is due. Should you have any questions, concerns, or need help with the N4 Process reach out to me, I will be glad to coach, prepare your forms, and walk you through the process.
Jordan Nieuwhof Legal Coach & Paralegal
4551 Zimmerman Avenue,
Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 3M5