Are you a real person? Ontario. What do you mean? I'm trying to end my fixed 1 year lease and want to know what my

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Customer: I'm trying to end my fixed 1 year lease and want to know what my options are
Answered by JJL11 in 1 hour 1 year ago
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JJL11
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JJL11, Expert

Hello - My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to assist you today. I am an Ontario lawyer who is able to answer tenancy law questions.

Can you tell me when your lease ends and why you want to get out of your lease ?

Customer
Hi, i recently put a down payment on a home and the closing is Jan 20th. Everything happened so fast and my realtor told me I could give my current landlord a 60 days notice and that should be good.
Customer
i sent an email to the landlord and the reply I got was "..that lease agreement is a one year fix term, so that means it would be effective unless the year has passed. You would be able to sublease the place but would need my consent, and the main tenant would still be you. Please let me know how you would like to proceed."...
Customer
now I'm not sure what to do and I dont want to be paying a mortgage and a rent which I cannot afford to do both.
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JJL11, Expert

I see and I understand your concern.

When does your lease end ?

Customer
Our lease is supposed to end on the 19th of July 2021
Customer
is the 60 days notice not sufficient to end the lease ?
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JJL11, Expert

Since you have so many more months left on your lease, finding a sublet tenant or someone to assign your lease to is your best option. What your landlord told you is correct in that you need him consent to the subtenant you find. When you subtenant, you are still the main tenant until the end the lease. If you find someone to assign the lease to, you are no longer the tenant and the assignee takes over the lease.

When you have a fixed term lease, you cannot move out until the end of the fixed term. After the lease ends, you become a month by month tenant and in that instance, you can leave at any time with 60 days written notice. However, since the term of your lease has not ended, you cannot just leave with 60 days notice.

If you do so without finding a subtenant or assignee, and you move out, your landlord can sue you for the rent owing up until July 19, 2021. The Court though will look to see if your landlord mitigated his loss by trying to re-rent the unit as soon as possible.

Customer
what is the purpose of even providing a 60 days notice period if the commitment is for a whole year ? And how can people move to a mortgage house and time it in such a way that the lease end, because that's is very hard to achieve
Customer
what you're saying is that if I cannot find a subtenant or an assignee i will have to continue paying the rent ? It will be very hard to find a tenant for the same rent so what if the landlord does not give consent for who we find ?
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JJL11, Expert

I understand your point but the 60 days notice is for tenants who do not have a fixed term lease. Usually, it is best not to sign a fixed term rental agreement if you know you might need to move out quickly because once you sign a fixed term lease, you are contractually bound for that one year to pay the rent.

If you cannot find a subtenant or assignee, you can move out but your landlord may sue you for the rent owing until July. If he is able to re-rent your unit before that time, this will decrease the amount you owe him.

I would suggest that to increase your chances of finding a subtenant, to offer rent lower than what you are paying . Even if you have to pay the difference in rent until July, this is still better than not finding a sub-tenant or assignee at all.

Customer
But there are so many vacant units in this apartment and rents have dropped drastically during Covid. Even if it means I shoulder a portion the difference, I may have to spend 600 dollars or more each month until the lease expires ! That's more than 3,600 dollars !
Customer
initially the plan was to stay for a full year but situations changed and we want to move out of the city. What happens if the landlord does not approve the subtenant? And what are the other alternatives we have, will we have to pay the full amount if it goes to court ?
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JJL11, Expert

Your landlord cannot arbitrarily refuse to give consent to a possible subtenant or be unreasonable about withholding consent. If he does, you can file an A2 application to the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board to have the Board order that the landlord give consent.

If you move out without finding a subtenant, your landlord can go after you in Court but if the landlord finds a new tenant before July, 2021, the amount you owe to your landlord will be limited to the date your landlord found a new tenant.

Customer
Sorry for not replying sooner, it get very late and I feel asleep. I'm thinking since its Covid and the landlord knows they wont be able to get the same rent, will it not be in their interest to reject the subtenent citing reasons like insecure job or inadequate/unacceptable credit history to then push us into still paying the current monthly rent ? Also if we find a subtenant, we will still be liable to the landlord for damages if any caused byt he subtenant right ?
Customer
If the landlord does decide to go to court and force us to pay this rent for the remaining term (assuming she does not find another tenant) how long will it take for the court proceedings and other formalities to finally rule in the landlord's favour ? And what kind of costs, apart from the rent would I be potentially be looking at ?
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JJL11, Expert

Hello again . - No worries about not replying. I may also be away from my computer from time to time.

If your landlord tries to unreasonably withhold consent because he wants more money, I would file the A2 to the Board to get them to issue an order for the landlord to give consent.

When you find a subtenant, I would suggest that you make an sub-tenancy agreement with your subtenant which is similar to the rental agreement you signed which outlines your legal rights as a landlord and protects both parties. Another option, as I mentioned before is that you can try to find someone to assign your lease to which means that person takes your place as a tenant and you are no longer involved in that tenancy.

If your landlord decides to sue you, he most likely will do this in Small Claims Court. I cannot comment on accurate time lines for a case now given COVID 19 and because each location has a different timeline. You would need to contact the Small Claims Court location your landlord uses when the claim is actually filed to get an accurate timeline. Usually, the Court will schedule a settlement conference shortly after the Claim is filed and at that conference, if you and your landlord are not able to reach a settlement, you will find out how long it will be before a hearing is scheduled. Since your case is not a complicated one, there should not be any additional costs apart from the rent you owe.

Here is a link to the Small Claims Court website which explains the procedure and costs involved

https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/scc/

Customer
I've been completely stressing out about it as I was not fully informed by our r/e agent that a break of a fixed contract would be this challenging. A lease assignment is out of the question as no one will pick the lease for this amount, we are paying 2,300 and units now are going for 1,700. What happens if I find a sublease and these things happen:
1) They pay the first few months and then dont pay. Since its Covid I heard eviction is not possible. Will this be my responsibility?
2) What if they pay until end of my lease and after that choose to not vacate? At that point will it be my responsibility as my lease with my landlord ended ?
What can be done to mitigate these situations.
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JJL11, Expert

I am sorry to hear that your real estate agent did not fully explain to you the legal ramifications of breaking a rental agreement.

The freeze on evictions has lifted so if your sub-tenant does not pay rent after the first month, you can go to the Board to evict your sub-tenant.

If the sub-tenant does not want to move out at the end of the lease, you can also go to the Board to get an order to evict your sub-tenant. Another option will be for the sub-tenant to become the main tenant with the landlord if you landlord is wiling to treat this sub-tenant as his tenant because your legal obligations have ended.

Customer
based on a lot of rethinking I have decided it does not make sense to do sub lease, there are many variables including not sure if the then tenant will pay or leave on time. So I've decided to pay the client and leave amicably. Here are the terms that is the landlord sent to me, could you check and confirm the ramifications of the terms (apart from the monetary agreement) especially the so called N11 form.
Customer
I have discussed with my agent and we understand that doing showings would be putting you and your wife at risk of COVID. Therefore, we will agree with removing that term. Please see below the modified terms:
The below is with regard to the one year lease (July 20, 2020 to July 19, 2021) between Yidan Fang and Shaiju Joseph for unit 6208,***** Toronto, ON.
1. You will need to pay a total of $6900 on December 20th, 2020. This is for December 20, 2020 to January 19 2021 rent (which I will deposit the post dated cheque of $2300) plus 2 month extra rent for breaching of our lease contract (you will EMT for $4600)
2. You will move out on or before January 24th, 2021.
3. You will not be getting the last month rent of $2300 that you paid at the beginning of the lease term back from me.
4. You will need to professional clean the condo before you move out so it is in the same condition as you move in.
Please confirm back to me via email once you have reviewed all the terms I have listed here.
My agent will also be sending you a N11 form to set out the terms in this email and both of us will sign to indicate that we come to a mutual agreement.
Customer
Follow on question: is it legal to ask that amount of money in one shot although the lease is being broken ?
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JJL11, Expert

When you are negotiating the terms of ending a fixed rental agreement, there is no prohibition regarding how much money the landlord can request you pay in a lump sum. You do not have to agree to this requested sum though and can negotiate further if you want.

Customer
If I were to give the landlord an N9 form giving 60 days notice starting tomorrow, offer to pay only 2 months rent (4,600) on December 20 (so that will cover rent until end of Feb) and whether landlord accepts it or not, I leave the apartment on Jan 23rd, how realistic/practical is for the landlord to come after me filing a complaint in court given it takes a very long time in the LTB for cases like this? I guess my question is also how expensive is it for the landlord to file a case and is it even worth the landlord's time?I feel the landlord is not being very cooperative and wants to take advantage of my naiveness. Can I also file a case back showing how the landlord is not constructive ?
Customer
If I were to give the landlord an N9 form giving 60 days notice starting tomorrow, offer to pay only 2 months rent (4,600) on December 20 (so that will cover rent until end of Feb) and whether landlord accepts it or not, I leave the apartment on Jan 23rd, how realistic/practical is for the landlord to come after me filing a complaint in court given Covid backlogs and how long it takes the LTB for cases like this? I guess my question is also how expensive is it for the landlord to file a case and is it even worth the landlord's time?I feel the landlord is not being very cooperative and wants to take advantage of my naiveness. Can I also file a case back showing how the landlord is not constructive ?
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JJL11, Expert

You can give your landlord a N9 if you wish. If your landlord does not accept this N9, can he still legally pursue the rent you owe. The filing fee for a claim in Small Claims Court or the LTB is less than $200 and he can self represent which means the cost to him for pursuing the rent owed is not much.

With any negotiations, you may feel that the other party is not being reasonable but if you move out and he is not able to re-rent the apartment for some time after your move out, he has legal grounds to pursue a legal claim. Not accepting your offer to get out of your lease early is not really strong enough grounds for a counter claim.

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JJL11, Expert

Hi - I am following up to see if you have any further questions for me. If you do not, I would like to thank you for using JustAnswer.

Take care.

Customer
Thanks for your guidance and help. I've decided it makes sense to end this amicably with the landlord and pay to close chapter. Thanks again for your support.
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JJL11, Expert

You are very welcome.

I am glad to hear about your decision.

All the best.

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