Real Estate

Renter won't leave vacation property

  • Last Updated:
  • May 25th, 2020 3:57 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 3, 2007
28 posts
2 upvotes
Toronto

Renter won't leave vacation property

I own a vacation property that we rent weekly through the summer. We rented the property to someone local through the winter at a much lower monthly rate to help pay bills. They signed a lease and were supposed to leave May 1. Because of Covid-19 we have now extended their stay twice with no friction whatsoever - they needed a place to stay and we re-arranged our plans to accommodate them.

Now they've requested to stay until the 21st of June - which is a mysterious move-in day for their next renta. We said we really needed to take over the property again to get it ready for the summer season and declined the last extension. To that, they told us they will not be leaving (until June 21st). It's really beginning to seem like their plan might be to try and stay there through the high season. We are concerned about losing the high season rental income, as it is considerably higher - and how we are able to afford the property. Do we have any options here? I'm also worried about serving an N-12 form - because I think the tenant will look at it like a lease to stay for two more months.

Any help is appreciated.
5 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
11725 posts
7988 upvotes
Edmonton
IMHO, you should talk to a lawyer or paralegal specializing in landlord tenant issues.

If you serve then an N12 form and then turn around to rent it out weekly, you’re opening yourself up for a lawsuit where you end up paying the tenant all kinds of damages, plus potentially punitive fines by the LTB. Plus you’ll have no way of enforcing it in the short term, since the LTB isn’t doing much to make evictions happen. You may be better off “buying your tenant out”, and just paying them to get out of your property. It sucks, but it might be better than losing out on your lucrative months.

C
Jr. Member
Jun 1, 2019
169 posts
186 upvotes
My wife and I have faced this issue before. We ended up having to bring in a negotiator and giving the renter 2 months free, so that she would leave before the Summer. It was a terrible situation.

The solution is, for next time: no lease, no mail to the residence, no utilities. Renters in the off-season pay weekly. You pay all utilities - like in the Summer. This way, you are in a far stronger position to make them leave... you're running it more hotel-like than tenant/LTB-like.
Full Service Realtor
Niagara / Hamilton-Burlington
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
11725 posts
7988 upvotes
Edmonton
Tailwind72 wrote: My wife and I have faced this issue before. We ended up having to bring in a negotiator and giving the renter 2 months free, so that she would leave before the Summer. It was a terrible situation.

The solution is, for next time: no lease, no mail to the residence, no utilities. Renters in the off-season pay weekly. You pay all utilities - like in the Summer. This way, you are in a far stronger position to make them leave... you're running it more hotel-like than tenant/LTB-like.
Are you sure about your second paragraph? The fact that you pay for utilities doesn't mean there's not a valid landlord/tenant relationship in effect, and neither does the fact that there's no written lease or a weekly rental period. The RTA has a limited number of exemptions from it, and you'd want to make sure your i's are dotted and t's are crossed.

From the RTA:
Exemptions from Act
5 This Act does not apply with respect to,

(a) living accommodation intended to be provided to the travelling or vacationing public or occupied for a seasonal or temporary period in a hotel, motel or motor hotel, resort, lodge, tourist camp, cottage or cabin establishment, inn, campground, trailer park, tourist home, bed and breakfast vacation establishment or vacation home;
You'd want to make sure that whatever agreement you have is explicit in establishing your relationship as exempt, as per this section. Daily, weekly, and monthly tenancies are all covered under the RTA, as are "unwritten" leases. Personally, I'd get a lawyer to draw up the agreement; it's a one-time tax deductible cost (assuming you're paying tax on your rental income).

C
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
5865 posts
1921 upvotes
Ottawa
I would speak to a lawyer but if they fall under the LTA, you might not be able to force them to leave. Under the LTA, after lease expiry, they automatically go month-to-month and can stay like that indefinitely. Unless you plan on using it for personal use, you cannot simply evict them (and if you do evict them for personal use, you must occupy it for a minimum of 1 year).
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 8, 2007
8877 posts
9944 upvotes
Way Out of GTA
I think you've unsuspectingly walked into pseudo professional renters. They negotiate low off seasons rates with an owner who wants to top up their income with what looks to be someone just looking off season.

The reality you have to ask is so they plan to move right in the middle of busy season when there is nothing else to rent? Never trust or give the benefit of doubt in these regards.

You have two things going against you a) the ability of them to turn it into an on going month to month rental at their option...why I always recommend leave the unit vacate. There's no such thing as a short term rental in Ontario at the landlord's option. Tenant wants to stay, tenant can stay unless landlord is legitimately planing to occupy. b) evictions are shut down right now (Ford pandering).

Might have to suck it up. Unfortunately they appear to know the game.

One option would be to agree to extend to June 21st on the basis of a signed N11 by both parties.
"It is in times of great fear or greed that the most opportunity exists."

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