Giving notice to your landlord
Tenants must give proper notice when they want to move. This means that you must tell your landlord in writing that you are moving. The form you use to do this is called a Tenant’s Notice to Terminate the Tenancy (Form N9). You can get this form from the Landlord and Tenant Board. See Where to get help for contact information for the Board.
It is best to use the Form N9. But if you write a notice yourself, the notice must include:
- the address of the place you are moving out of,
- the date you are moving,
- your signature, and
- the date you signed the notice.
You do not need to give a reason why you are moving.
Important: If you do not move out when your notice says you will, your landlord can apply right away to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an eviction order. Your landlord can do this without telling you or giving you any papers.
For your notice to be legal, you must make sure that:
- you choose the right date to end your tenancy, which is called the termination date, and
- you give the notice to your landlord on time.
The right termination date and when to give notice both depend on what kind of tenancy you have. This is explained in the next section.
Definition: The term tenancy means your legal right to live in your place. Usually this right comes from an agreement between you and your landlord. This agreement might be called a tenancy agreement, a lease, or a rental agreement. The agreement does not have to be in writing to be legal. It can be a spoken agreement or even an unspoken understanding between you and your landlord.
Choosing the right termination date
The termination date is the day your notice says you will end your tenancy and move out. There are only certain days that you can choose as your termination date. To choose the right termination date, you need to know what kind of tenancy you have:
- If you have an agreement with the landlord to live in a place for a certain length of time, you have a fixed‑term tenancy. The agreement is often called a lease and is usually for a one-year term. It will probably be in writing but it does not have to be. To end this kind of tenancy, you must choose the last day of the term as the termination day on your notice.
- If you do not have an agreement for a fixed term or if your term has ended, your tenancy automatically renews at the end of each rental period. The most common rental period is a month, but for many rooming houses it is a week. This kind of tenancy is called a periodic tenancy. To end it, you must choose the last day of a rental period as the termination date on your notice. For most tenants, this is the day before the rent is due.
Note: You do not have to move out when the term ends. You have the right to stay in your place as a monthly tenant. Or, you can renew for another term if you and your landlord both agree.
When to give notice
If you pay your rent by the month or the year, or if you have any kind of fixed-term tenancy, you must give the notice to your landlord at least 60 days before your termination date.
Exception for February: You can give a little less than 60 days’ notice if February is one of the months in your notice period. If you want to move out the last day of February, you have until January 1 to give the notice to your landlord. And if you want to move out on March 31, you have until February 1 to give the notice to your landlord.
If you have a periodic tenancy and pay your rent by the day or the week, you must give the notice to your landlord at least 28 days before your termination date.
You can end any kind of tenancy on any termination date by giving at least 10 days’ notice if your landlord has given you a notice to move out that says your landlord wants to:
- live in your place or have a close family member or caregiver live there,
- use your place for something other than living space,
- make major repairs, or
- renovate or tear down your place.
Note: If your landlord gives you one of these kinds of notices, you might not have to move and you might have other rights. Try to get legal help.
How to give the notice
You can mail or fax the notice, or give it to your landlord in person. You can also deliver the notice to your landlord’s agent. An agent can be someone who works for your landlord, for example, the superintendent or someone who works in the property manager’s office.
Make sure to keep a copy of the notice. If you give the notice to someone in person, you can ask them to sign and date your copy.
If you mail your notice, keep a record of when you mailed it. The best way to do this is to get a receipt from the post office.
It is very important that you give your landlord the notice on time. If your notice is even one day late, your tenancy will not end on the termination date you have chosen. That might mean that you will owe your landlord more money.
Important: To count the number of days correctly, start on the day after your landlord gets the notice and end on the termination date. If you mail your notice, start counting on the sixth day after you mail it.