*This blog contains general information. It is not a substitute for getting legal advice about your particular situation. Contact your community legal clinic for legal advice.
Are you worried that you’ll be short on your next rent payment? There are many reasons why tenants are struggling financially. With the cost of necessities like food and gas continuing to jump, climbing Ontario-wide rent increases, and a never-ending wait for wages to keep pace with inflation, people across Ontario are struggling. Here are some resources that may help you.
What they are
Rent Banks provide financial support to tenants that need help paying a rent deposit or are behind on their monthly rent payment. Some Rent Banks may provide financial support for other payments outside of rent and deposits. Rent Banks are available across Ontario as part of an eviction prevention strategy.
Am I eligible?
Along with demonstrating financial need, you need to live in the area the Rent Bank serves. For example, you must live in or be moving to Toronto to access the Toronto Rent Bank. They require information on your specific living situation, where you live, how long you have lived there or when you plan to live there, and how much your rent is.
What types of assistance are there?
This depends on your local Rent Bank. If you are eligible, you will receive a grant and/or a loan. A loan can be low-interest or interest free, and the payment you receive may be a one-time payment or monthly. Your local Rent Bank will limit the number of months you are eligible for support, and the amount you receive will be specific to you and your situation. For some Rent Banks, the amount will vary by the type of unit you live in.
Requirements by Municipality
*Please note that requirements are subject to change at any time, refer directly to the municipality website for the most up-to-date information.
Only a few of Ontario’s highly populated municipalities are listed here. If you don’t see your municipality, there may still be a Rent Bank you can access. Contact your local government or community legal clinic to learn more.
What to do if you receive an N4
Your landlord can give you a Form N4 or a “Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent” any time after the day your rent was due but not paid. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) gives you at least 14 days after you receive the notice to pay all overdue rent—check the payment deadline on the N4. If you manage to pay all overdue rent within this time, the notice will be “voided”, and you cannot be evicted. If you do not pay by the deadline, the landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). The LTB will then schedule a hearing to determine whether you should be evicted. You should attend the hearing to present your side of the story and try to avoid eviction. You do not need to move out until after an eviction order has been made by the LTB.
You can access our Tip Sheet called “What to do if you get an N4 notice” to learn more about what you can do if you receive this type of notice.
There may be cases where you are given an ex parte order, which means your landlord can evict you without an N4 notice. You can learn more about how to reverse an ex parte order here.
For more information on your rights as a tenant, ACTO has developed a number of tip sheets and guides, which can be accessed here.