Are you an Ontario landlord looking to evict your tenant? There are many reasons you may wish to evict a tenant. And, no matter your reason, you must always follow all the steps outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).
In this post, we will answer all your commonly asked questions and provide an overview to the eviction process in Ontario!
What are legally justified reasons to evict a tenant?
As a landlord in Ontario, you can evict your tenant for many reasons.
Here are some of the legally justified reasons:
- Nonpayment of rent. If your tenant doesn’t pay rent when it’s due, you can serve them with a Notice to End a Tenancy Early. The notice will give them exactly 14 days to either pay the rent due or move out.
- Habitual late rent payment. According to the Residential Tenancies Act, you must serve the tenant with a 28 days’ notice if a tenant constantly pays their rent late.
- Excessive property damage. This is also another common cause for evictions in Ontario. Some examples of excessive property damage can include unauthorized painting, torn or missing curtains and/or holes in the wall. You must give tenants a 7 days’ notice to fix the damages or pay you the cost of repairs. If the tenant isn’t able to do so, you can serve them a 20-days’ notice to either move out or get evicted.
- Exceeding the rental limit. You may also be able to evict your tenant for exceeding the rental limit. Under Ontario law, overcrowding violates the safety, health and housing codes. You must serve tenants a 7-days’ notice to either rectify the issue or get evicted.
- Breach of other tenants’ quiet and peaceful enjoyment. Ontario tenants have a right to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their rented premises. And as a landlord, you can evict a tenant for interfering with another tenant’s lawful rights. If you’re seeking to evict such a tenant, you must serve them with a 7 days’ notice.
- Engaging in illegal activity while at the rental premises. Besides reporting to relevant agencies, you must serve the tenant with a notice of 10 days. If the tenant doesn’t move out, you may begin eviction proceedings against them.
- Landlord decision. If you’re seeking to repair, convert or demolish the rental premises, you must give your tenant a notice of at least 120 days.
What happens if your tenant doesn’t move out?
Usually, a tenant has two options after being served an eviction notice:
- The first option is to rectify the issue.
- The second option is to move out.
However, what happens if the tenant ignores the eviction notice and stays put? In such a case, you’ll need to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an eviction order. The Board will then schedule a hearing to hear what both parties have to say prior to making a ruling.
If your tenant chooses not to attend the hearing, the Board will likely give a default judgment in your favor.
Also, there are some situations where the Board can make an eviction order without holding any hearing. This is referred to as an “ex-parte” order.
You can apply for an ex parte order in any of the following cases:
- Both you and your tenant made an agreement to terminate the lease.
- Your tenant gave you a notice to end their tenancy.
- Your tenant failed to follow the Board’s order during a previous eviction case.
What if the tenant disagrees with the outcome of an eviction hearing?
While appeals are uncommon, your tenant may be able to file a Request to Review the decision of the Landlord and Tenant Board within 30 days of the order being issued. The tenant must pay a $50 fee to file the review request.
The tenant may file the appeal at the Division Court.
Who enforces the eviction order?
Self-help evictions are illegal in Ontario. Even with an eviction order at hand, only the Court Enforcement Office can enforce the eviction. If you engage in self-help eviction tactics, you risk getting sued.
Here are some examples of self-help eviction tactics:
- Shutting off utilities
- Changing the locks
- Taking out the tenant’s belongings
- Removing the front door
- Turning off the heat or electricity
The only person who can enforce or carry out an eviction order is the Sheriff. The law doesn’t allow the landlord, a security guard, or a private bailiff to physically evict a tenant.
Sometimes after an eviction, you may realize that the tenant has left behind some of their belongings in the rental. Under Ontario Residential Tenancies Act, you have a right to dispose the belongings in any way you deem right. You can throw them, keep them, or even sell them – the decision is solely yours to make!
What are bad faith evictions?
When carrying out an eviction, your intentions must be clear. For example, if you’re evicting a tenant to personally use the premises, then that’s exactly what you should do. The same holds true if you’re evicting the tenant to renovate or repair the unit.
You must also disclose to the Board about previous use of no-fault evictions when applying for a no-fault eviction. This information can help the Board determine whether or not the eviction is based on merit.
Bad faith evictions carry a number of financial repercussions. Here are a few:
- You may need to pay for the out-of-pocket expenses the tenant may incur while moving.
- You may need to pay the tenant a year’s worth of rent.
- You may be forced to pay the tenant the additional cost of renting another apartment for up to 12 months.
Bottom Line: How to Evict a Tenant in Ontario – Ontario Eviction Laws
As an Ontario landlord, you have a right to evict tenants for many reasons. However, when doing so, you must follow the eviction process in Ontario.
If you follow the steps outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act, you can feel certain that you’ll be able to legally and successfully evict your tenants!
We hope this article was helpful! Should you have further questions, feel free to contact Property Hunters today!
Disclaimer: This blog is in no way a substitute for professional legal advice. For further help, get in touch with a qualified attorney or an experienced property management company.