I have occupied a room in freehold from a family for about 2 years now. There was never a lease.

For the past 10 months I have not been living there (but at my girlfriend's place), I go there once a month etc. I have not paid the rent for about 3-4 months now.

The landlord is saying pay the rent or else they can take "action". Should I be worried if I decided not to pay the rent? Rent is $800.

I never told landlord about staying at GF's place. We have been "texting"/"calling".

  • 3
    Even a verbal agreement is a contract. A lease is just a contract.
    – Trish
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 22:34

1 Answer 1


Your lawyer will advise you whether to worry, but it is not a crime to not pay the rent. The action that the landlord can take is (a) evicting you and (b) suing you for the unpaid rent. Whether a written lease is necessary depends on which province / territory you are in, since that is the level at which landlord-tenant law is determined. As far as I know, no province allows a person to avoid their rent obligation on the grounds that there was no signed lease. It doesn't matter if you have been living elsewhere most of the time or all of the time.

  • I live in Ontario. Wouldn't it be landlords responsibility to collect rent on time and evict as desired?
    – 10101010
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 22:33
  • 3
    @10101010 No. The responsibility/obligation of the Landlord is to have the housing unit in a rentable condition. It is the responsibility of the tenant to pay on time in a manner prescribed by the agreement (verbal counts). It is a right of the landlord to evict a non-paying tenant.
    – Trish
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 22:37
  • 3
    In other words, they can sue you for unpaid rent and to evict you.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 23:56

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