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Can a Tenant Withhold Their Rent?

Wexler v. Youssef, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that tenants cannot withhold rent even if their landlord is not complying with their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). The court held that a tenant's only remedy for a landlord's non-compliance with the RTA is to file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) for an order to compel the landlord to comply.

This decision highlights the importance of following proper legal procedures when dealing with issues related to late payment of rent. Tenants cannot withhold rent in response to a landlord's failure to comply with the RTA. Instead, tenants must seek legal redress through the appropriate channels.

The appropriate remedy for the Landlord is to serve an N4 and proceed with a rent arrears application (L1).


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