According to a Globe and Mail story, the use of N12s has risen
sharply in recent years. In 2012, N12s were used for 1,542 eviction applications,
the story states, but by 2018, that number increased to 2,919, as Toronto’s
rental market dropped to record low vacancy.
The leader of a Toronto tenants association said concerns about illegal evictions are
the “No. 1” concern of renters, the story states. “It’s just through the roof,” he
According to information on the N12 form, the termination date for the rental unit
must be at least 60 days after the landlord gives the notice.
If the tenants don’t move by the date, the landlord can request an eviction notice
from the Landlord and Tenant Board, explains Murray. It’s then up to the tenant to
prove the landlord is acting in bad faith, which can
be very difficult, she says.
Even after being evicted, tenants can challenge their former landlords about their
intentions with the unit by filing a T5 form, Murray says. The document,
downloadable online, asks people to explain in detail why they
believe the landlord acted in bad faith.
“They can explain they visited the property months later and found a new tenant there
that was not a family member,” she says. “And if that tenant is paying an increased
rent, that would indicate the eviction was just a
way to allow the landlord to increase the rent.”
Murray says former tenants have a year to challenge their eviction, and if
successful, they can request compensation for moving costs, or the difference in
rent they are paying for their new unit.
Many landlords tend to overlook their responsibilities to the renter when handing out
N12s, she says.
“Landlords seem to forget that when they file an N12 citing reason 1, they are
required to compensate the unit owner for at least one month’s rent, or offer
another rental unit that is acceptable to them,” Murray says.
If landlords want to end a lease so they can demolish the rental unit, or do
extensive upgrades on it, she says they can give the tenant an N13 form, which has
longer deadlines to move out of the unit.
While the N12 option is susceptible to abuse by landlords, Murray says she sees a
need for the government to keep it.
“Without this provision, landlords who, in good faith, simply wish to regain
possession of their property, would be left without recourse,” she says.
“I’ve seen many occasions where landlords just want to stop having tenants and enjoy
the use of their entire property,” Murray says. “The N12 helps in that situation, as
there is really nothing else they can do if they
genuinely just want their home back.”