Ultimate Guide To Giving Your Tenant Proper Legal Notice To Leave Once Your Property Is Sold

November 19th, 2011 · 4 Comments · Buying or Selling Your Property, Landlord & Tenant Board, Rental Property

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After I wrote the last post about how to give proper notice to a tenant being evicted after a sale of a house in Ontario I got another request…so I have created this step by step ultimate guide to how the process works.

Reader Question

I have a tenant in my house. We signed a lease agreement for 9 months ending January 31st. In the agreement, it states that I have the right to sell the house and she must move within 30 days of me selling. How do I legally move her out?  Do I need to evict her? She is hunkering down and does not want to move and the new buyer does not want to close until she is gone. Pickeled.

My Answer

I cannot repeat this fact enough to landlords… You Cannot Contract Out of The Law. Leases are for the most part entirely useless because almost all the obligations set out for the landlord and the tenant are spelled out in minute detail in the Residential Tenancies Act or the Landlord & Tenant Board Guidelines or City Bylaws or any other legislation that applies.

Let me give you a most egregious example. You write in your lease that the tenant is responsible for water or utilities. The utility decides they don’t want to extend credit to deadbeat tenants. (Even thought they are quite happy for landlords to) So the city writes a law that any unpaid water bills will go on your property tax bill. They have just shifted responsibility from their collection department to your collection department. You did not use the water, you did not sign for the responsibility for the water, you cannot shut the water off but you can bend over and pay because you own an income property. So You’re Rich!

In the case of getting a tenant to move out after the sale of a property the law is very clear. The steps you have to take are very clear. There is no lease on earth you can sign that will make your tenants leave.

How to Evict A Tenant After The Sale Of The Property

So here’s how it’s done…you won’t be able to give a proper closing date unless you know when you can give notice for.

Step One – Sell The Property

You cannot give notice before, you can tell the tenant you are selling and they may choose to move but…until you actually sell there is no legal reason to give notice. You have a right to sell your house and the tenants are not supposed to block showings and so on.

Step Two – Figure Out The Proper Closing Date

  1. 60 Days

  2. From The End Of The Month (Last Day of the Rental Period)

  3. No Exceptions

The tenant can move out any time with 10 days notice once you give them the form. Let’s say you sell your property on October 1st… you rush out and give the form on the first…it’s no good (El-crapo) The earliest 60 day notice that would be valid is December 31st. From November 1st to December 31st… the last day you could give the form would be… October 31st.

Step Three – Fill Out and Give The Form

You can find the form known as the N-12 here  Fill it out and deliver it to the tenants by one of the methods found on the certificate of service. Don’t forget you have to add extra days if you courier or mail it. Read the instruction and do not make any mistakes on this form… the Landlord & Tenant Board will throw you and your bad paperwork out the door.

Step 3 – Pray They Leave

It’s taking way too long just to get a hearing date…almost a couple months. The legal process takes a long time… there’s a difference between what the tenant is required to do by law and forcing them to do it. Enforcement of the law is just too slow. I don’t even want to talk about the sheriff and how long they take to come out and bodily throw out the tenants who don’t leave on their own. It’s unbelievable.

I just had a case of straightforward non payment of rent… we applied for the sheriff to come out around the 1st of November. I have to call the Sheriff to tell them if they moved or not January 4th… OMG. Could it be any slower? That’s another 2 months of rent gone.


You cannot evict your tenant until the END of your lease. You can start the process before the end of the lease but you cannot legally terminate the tenancy before the end of the lease. For example, if you have a tenant with a one year lease that ends in December and you sell your property in June, the earliest termination date is December. You can ask them to leave, you can pay them to leave but, you cannot FORCE them to leave.

That’s It Folks! My ultimate guide to evicting tenants once a property is sold. Did I miss anything?



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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Donna

    Sold house, have month to month tenant no lease 40 days to close deal, vacant possession, how much notice to tenant?

  • Garden Grove Real Esate Experts

    Thank you for writing this awesome article.
    I’m a long time reader but I’ve never been compelled to leave
    a comment. I subscribed to your blog and shared
    this on my Facebook. Thanks again for a great post!

  • steve

    quick question since realitor or landlord hasn’t given any written notice that the place has been put up for sale.. can I refuse entery .. and 2nd question .,.. how many days notice do they have to give me for a open house and between what time can they have it

    • Rachelle

      Well they don’t need to give notice that the house is put up for sale, but they do need to give 24 notice in writing before every entry. Usually notice have to be pretty specific, so they can give notice every time a person schedules a showing for a specific time however as a practical matter it’s usually easier for everyone if there are regular scheduled days, so you can make yourself scarce and clean up a bit. So you could do Monday Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoon or something.

      The other day, I spoke to a tenant who said the realtor was staging his house!!! I was like What??? They just came and put all his shit away and redecorated his house. That is completely overreaching.