Avoiding Eviction Court: Getting Tenants to Leave on Their Own

Posted on: 11 May 2015


The tenant eviction process is a notoriously long and expensive in Ontario. It can take over 90 days and cost upwards of $570 or more to get an unwanted renter out of your home or apartment building. This doesn't include the loss of rent and potential damages to the property that may occur while trying to get the tenant out. While you should always be willing to use the courts to evict the renter, there are a couple of things you can do to get the person to leave the facility on their own.

Offer to Mitigate the Consequences of an Eviction

As a landlord, you have the right to tell others about your experience renting to the tenant as well as to take the renter to court to obtain a judgment for any outstanding payments the person may owe. For instance, you can report the person's poor payment history to the major credit bureaus and tell any inquiring future landlords about how the individual's failure to pay and subsequent eviction. Needless to say, this can affect the renter's ability to get approved for another rental unit.

However, you can propose to forgo pursuing these avenues of recourse in exchange for the person moving out as quickly as possible. For instance, you could offer to give a positive reference to future landlords and not report the past due payments to the credit bureaus. Many people know how important having good credit is to securing places to live, and this may motivate the tenant to work with you.

Be aware, though, that this tactic only works on people who are in arrears and actually care about their credit. If you have an uncaring deadbeat on your hands or you want the person out of the place for reasons that have nothing to do with not paying rent, then you can try the second option.

Pay the Renter to Leave

It may seem absurd to offer to pay a renter to leave a house or apartment you own, especially if the person is behind on rent. Oftentimes, though, the losses you'll suffer trying to formally evict the person will be greater than the few hundred dollars you give the tenant to vacate the premises.

As previously discussed, it will cost at least $570 ($170 for submitting an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board and $400 for the eviction order) to legally evict the renter. Since the whole process can take 90 days or longer, that's a minimum of 3 months' worth of rent lost because you can't secure another tenant who'll pay until the current tenant is gone.

You don't even have to necessarily give the renter cash. If the person is behind on rent, you could offer to forgive some of the past due amount in exchange for leaving immediately.

Whatever you decide to do, be certain to consult with an attorney to ensure the steps you take are legal and fair. For assistance with getting a tenant to leave your rental unit, connect with a lawyer in your area.