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Know Your Rights: Landlord Edition

The Application of N12 Notices for Landlords

Are you a landlord in need of a unit that is currently occupied by a tenant?

If you require the unit for your own use or your family’s use, serving an N12 notice to a tenant may be an option for you.

It is important to be aware of the impact and rules surrounding the application of an N12 notice. 

What is an N12 notice?

The N12 form is used as a notice to terminate a tenancy. Under section 48 of the Residential Tenancies Act, such notice may be given to tenants when the landlord requires the rental unit for their own use.  

What is the meaning of the landlord’s “own use”?

A landlord may produce an N12 form to terminate a tenancy when the rental property is required for residential use by:

  • The landlord;
  • The landlord’s spouse, parent, or child; or
  • A person providing personal care services to one of these people. 

Likewise, if a rental unit is sold with no more than three residential units in the residential complex, the landlord can serve an N12 to tenants on behalf of the purchaser, if the purchaser, their immediate family, or a personal care service provider require the unit for residential use. 

Requirements for Serving an N12 Notice 

Error Free

The N12 form must be completed without error. That is, all names, locations, and rental units must be identified accurately within the notice. The Landlord and Tenant Board will not allow a landlord to amend a notice and has the discretion to dismiss N12 notices if any information within the notice is inaccurate. 

Provide Sufficient Notice 

The notice must be given to tenants at least 60 days prior to the date of termination. Additionally, the termination date must occur after the lease term and on the last day of a rental period. For example, if a tenant pays rent on the 1st of the month, the termination date must occur on the last day of that month. 


Under section 48.1 of the Residential Tenancies Act, upon serving an N12 notice, the landlord is required to provide compensation to the tenant in an amount equal to one month’s rent. Alternatively, the landlord may offer the tenant another rental unit within the same rental complex that is as suitable to the tenant. If the tenant agrees to rent an alternate unit within the complex, the landlord will not be required to provide monetary compensation. 

Acting in Good Faith 

When evicting a tenant for their own use, the landlord must have good faith intentions. Of course, it is impossible to read the mind of a landlord, but the case law indicates that dishonest and dishonourable conduct may indicate bad faith intentions on the part of the landlord. If the tenant feels that the eviction lacks good faith, they can refuse to vacate and bring the matter to the Landlord and Tenant Board. If the Board decides that the notice was given in the absence of good faith, the N12 notice will be invalidated. 

Full-Time Residency 

The Residential Tenancies Act does not stipulate that the use of the unit by the landlord or their family must be a full-time occupancy. However, previous court decisions indicate that when serving an N12 notice, the landlord, their family, or a personal care service provider must reside in the unit full-time on a year-round basis. 

Ownership by Individuals Rather than Corporations

The application of an N12 notice will only be available to landlords who at least in part, own the rental property as individuals. If the property is held by a corporation, then eviction for the landlord’s own use will not be available. 

In Sum 

When serving an N12 letter to tenants it is crucial that the requirements mentioned above are all met. Failure to do so will often result in the invalidation of a notice to evict for the landlord’s own use.