Domestic Dispute - Landlord Problem?

13 Replies

Ontario, Canada


I have 2 tenants who recently moved in together.  One tenant decided she wasn't happy with her partner and decided to take his apartment key and kick him out.  That other tenant is asking me for a key so he can go home.  (that was early yesterday)

Later yesterday, the she-tenant asked if the he-tenant could break the lease and move out.  I told them I'd welcome a formal request (letter/email) from him and review it.  5 minutes later, I have an email to the effect that he wants to break his lease and move out and leave the place to her.  And another email from her saying she wants to take over the lease and that her ODSP would pay for the rent in full.

This morning, I get a text from him telling me he's cold and broke and wants food.  That he doesn't like sleeping outside.  My spider senses tingling, I asked him about the email he sent about breaking his lease.  He didn't know what I was talking about.  Then I asked him if she had access to his email.  He said yes..and to his bank account as well.

Regardless of dealing with population that seem to have trouble advocating for themselves, I'm trying to figure out what I SHOULD and CAN do.

Any suggestions that would make sense and not break the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act or upset the folks at the Landlord and Tenant Board?

I plan on meeting with them later today to try and sort out the truth in all of this.  Not sure if the truth matters much at this point.  Though I do believe the she-tenant is manipulative and a pathological liar.

On the bright side, rent paid direct by ODSP and they are clean!

Thanks for any feedback.

@Account Closed

I'm not in Canada and I have no idea on how to work the Canadian bureaucracy, but I would have absolutely nothing to do with the she-tenant if given any choice. People like that can make terrifying choices.

Leave your tenants to resolve the matter themselves. Domestic disputes are no business of a landlord. I would not get involved and would not meet with them. Tell them to resolve the problem and let you know the outcome.

Obviously he will have to leave or both will have to go. Preferably both for you sake.

Welfare tennats in Ontario are th ehighest risk tennats you can have so you would be farther ahead if they both leave and you get a working tenant. Personally, due to many past negative experiences, I refuse to rent to anyone on qovernment assistance in Ontario. ODSP are by far th eworst as you will now learn. 

Thanks @Jim K. and @Thomas S. .

I don't want to get into it with them regarding their dispute.  My hope, with a combination of forms N9, N11 and N15 in hand, that we can come to an agreement to go our separate ways.  That's why I'm meeting with them.  We have other tenants on ODSP and they have been the easiest, most quiet and clean tenants I could ask for.  However, they are in their retirement age.  These ones in particular are in their 20s.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

Since two of them are on the lease, can one break from the lease? Or do they both have to?

If you and the tenants agree to break the contract (lease) it is no longer in effect.  Whether you establish a new contract with either former tenant is typically your purview  .... however, the Ontario LTB may interpret matters differently  (Thomas would have more insight).

Tell them that you are leaving them alone to fight it out and the surviving person needs to keep paying the rent . I’d inform them that if you wanted more drama in your life then you’d watch the lifetime channel

I ended up calling the LTB and was informed that I could allow one tenant to break the lease (my choice since they are still in the first year of their 1 year lease agreement) and then redo the lease, with the same parameters, for the tenant that wants to stay behind.  I was not allowed to start that "new" lease from today's date, just basically take the name of the tenant who is leaving off of the lease and resign it.

Another thing I learned is that I cannot prevent a tenant from having a guest or roommate stay with them.  And that I could not force a roommate to be on the lease either.  Did not know that.

Thanks for all your help on this.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :


Another thing I learned is that I cannot prevent a tenant from having a guest or roommate stay with them.  And that I could not force a roommate to be on the lease either.  Did not know that.


One reason why Ontario is not high on our list of places to acquire residential properties .... Nova Scotia and Québec are two other rather tenant friendly jurisdictions.   

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

I’m OK with friendly, as long as it is fair.

It's not as you will eventually discover ... which is why screening is so vitally important - your best, perhaps only, opportunity to rid yourself of a problem tenant is before they sign the lease and move-in.

I fully agree with that. Inheriting tenants is another story...and a huge factor in whether or not we buy a property even if it has good cashflow on paper.