I was served an N4 notice, what do I do?

It's scary to get an N4 notice when you're late on rent. Get the scoop on what to do, pronto.

Author: Openroom HQ

Published: Tuesday, August 1, 2023 | Updated: Tuesday, August 1, 2023

When the Landlord puts their property up for rent, they are running a business and therefore, have expenses to pay. As customers of businesses, it is our duty to make sure that we respect the agreement to pay for products and services rendered.

Sometimes, life gets tough and you, as the tenant, may not be able to make rent payment in a particular rent cycle. In the event that you couldn't make your rent payment, your landlord might have issued you an N4 notice, aiming to remove you from your rental residence.

What is an N4?

An N4 notice is an official document is the standard document made by the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) for situations when a tenant falls behind on their rent. The Landlord must fill it out and give it to you.

What does it look like?

Per the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario, as of August 2023, this is the Form N4 - Notice to End Your Tenancy Due to Non-Payment of Rent.

What are the official guidelines to issue one?

Per the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario, as of August 2023, these are the Instructions for issuing an N4 - Notice to End Your Tenancy Due to Non-Payment of Rent

Termination of lease date

When you are issued the N4 notice, you are not required to vacate the premises immediately upon reaching the termination date stated in the N4 notice. Breathe a little!

You actually have a 14-day period to settle the rent owed. Should you clear all outstanding rent and any additional dues before the termination date mentioned in the notice, the notice will be invalidated (cancelled).

Understand the Process

Remember: All (and each) of the below steps would no longer apply if you pay your rent owed.

  1. Tenant has overdue rent. Rent is considered overdue on the immediate next day when rent is supposed to be paid.

  2. Landlord serves you with an N4 - Notice to End Your Tenancy Due to Non-Payment of Rent.

  3. Landlord files the Form L1 - Application to Terminate Tenancy Due to Non-Payment of Rent and to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes application.

  4. Landlord and Tenant waits for the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to schedule a court hearing.

  5. Landlord and Tenant attends the hearing virtually (or in person where/if applicable).

  6. The Court Order is sent out.

  7. Landlord files with the Sheriff’s Department for eviction.

  8. Sheriff evicts Tenant and gives Vacant Possession to the Landlord.

  9. Tenant has 72 hours after that to retrieve items left at the rental property.

Is your N4 even legit?

Check for these three common issues regarding the N4 document you received.

First - Landlord serving the N4 document to you

There are guidelines for which a Landlord must abide by to give you this N4 document. A Landlord cannot give the Tenant this notice by posting it on the door of the Tenant’s rental unit.

The form and associated instructions for the Landlord is written in the Instructions for an N4 - Notice to End Your Tenancy Due to Non-Payment of Rent

Per the instructions, these are the allowable formats:

  • hand it directly to the tenant or to an adult in the rental unit,

  • leave it in the tenant's mailbox or where mail is ordinarily delivered,

  • place it under the door of the rental unit or through a mail slot in the door,

  • send it by fax to a fax machine where the tenant carries on business or to a fax machine in their home,

  • send it by courier, or

  • send it by mail.

Second - Is your name and rental unit spelt correctly?

The Landlord must write the correct name(s) of all of the Tenants associated on the lease agreement. In addition, the rental unit must be specified clearly as per stated in the lease agreement. A common mistake is when the Landlord does not indicate whether it was a Basement or Unit # of the rental unit.

Third - Check the amount on the N4

The N4 amounts owed should only have the rent amount you owe, and should not include the utilities or damages of any sort. If it does, it is not a valid N4 document.

Have questions?

Reach out to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). Customer Service Officers are can provide you with information about the Residential Tenancies Act and the LTB's processes; they cannot provide you with legal advice.

Tribunals Ontario – Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)

The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) resolves: disputes between residential landlords and tenants, and eviction applications filed by non-profit housing co-operatives. The LTB also provides information about its practices and procedures and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act.


Phone 416-645-8080 | Toll-free 1-888-332-3234

Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST

See Details

If you’re in need of more advice, check out the 7 free Tenant Rights Resources Guide our team has written. Many of the resources offer you some free legal consultation assistance.

Enjoyed this and want more? Send us a note with your feedback, a 🙌, or suggestions on what else we can write about! You can reach us at hello@openroom.ca.