Ontario Strengthens Protections for Tenants

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Legislative changes encourage negotiated settlements between tenants and landlords

TORONTO ― The Ontario government is providing stability to Ontario’s rental market by increasing fines for unlawful evictions and reinforcing the necessity for landlords to explore repayment agreements before considering evictions. These measures are included in the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act which received Royal Assent today.

“We know tenants and landlords have struggled during COVID-19, and some households may be facing eviction due to unpaid rent during this crisis,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By making these changes we are trying to keep people in their homes, and at the same time, helping landlords receive payment through a mutual repayment agreement. It’s a better approach, especially during these difficult times.”

The legislation, which updates the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and Housing Services Act, 2011, will make it easier to resolve disputes while protecting tenants from unlawful evictions by:

Requiring tenant compensation of one month’s rent for “no fault” evictions;
Allowing the Landlord and Tenant Board to order up to 12 months’ rent in compensation for eviction notices issued in bad faith or where the landlord does not allow the tenant to move back in after renovations or repairs;
Doubling the maximum fine amounts for offences under the Act to $50,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a corporation.

The changes will also modernize and streamline the dispute resolution processes at the Landlord and Tenant Board and encourage the use of alternatives to formal hearings to resolve certain issues and encourage negotiated settlements. The Landlord and Tenant Board must now consider whether a landlord tried to negotiate a repayment agreement with a tenant before it can issue an eviction order for non-payment of rent related to COVID-19. Certain disputes, such as those related to unpaid utility bills, will shift from Small Claims Court to the Board.

In addition, as part of the multi-year strategy to stabilize and grow Ontario’s community housing sector, the government has made changes to the Housing Services Act, 2011. These amendments will help maintain the existing community housing supply by giving housing providers with expiring operating agreements and mortgages ways to remain in the community housing system by sigining a new service agreement with service managers as well as encourage existing and new housing providers to offer community housing. Changes would also require service managers to have an access system for housing assistance beyond just rent-geared-to-income housing, and enable an outcomes-based approach to accountability by modernizing outdated service level requirements.

Ontario will consult with service managers and stakeholders on regulations to protect, repair and grow community housing supply, new access system rules, and ways to encourage new, innovative approaches.

These changes build on the commitments in the government’s Community Housing Renewal Strategy and the steps already taken to make life easier for tenants and housing providers – including simplifying rent-geared-to-income calculations, and removing rules that penalize people for working more hours or going back to school.
 

20 COMMENTS

  1. Landlords have no rights, the tenants can do whatever they want to your property and when and if they do leave your left to clean up the mess and devastation at your own expense!

    • Why? because they can’t wrongfully evict people now without consequence?

      There’s lots of bad tenants out there, I won’t argue that fact, but there’s also a whole lot of bad landlords out there that take advantage of people as well.

      • This is great for those during hardship. However, those tenants that were already given a reduction on their rent and other benefits should not also be given 1 month free if the house sells.
        Too biased for sure

    • Nicky Hurshman I agree there is good and bad on both sides. But the rents go up because of damage caused and cost to get rid of bad tenants. Yes some because landlord is greedy etc. But I’ve seen what some landlords have been left with. Just sad and disgusting. And no way to ever really get any thing back with out more court cost etc.

    • Theresa Williams Nowhere in this article talk about tenants trashing properties or landlords not being able to recoup losses. It’s about wrongful evictions… So as per your original comment; Why does that make rent so high (or why we should pity landlords who wrongfully evict)?

    • Nicky Hurshman just voicing my opinion. I notice almost every other comment is about landlords wanting more control and your not commenting. So I guess I’m special. I think the landlord/ owner should have more rights then the tenant. I believe too many have their hands tied and have to do whatever works to get out bad tenants. If your a good tenant then it shouldn’t be a problem

    • Theresa Williams I’m sorry if you feel singled out/special, but yours was the only comment like this when I posted my reply. and you continue to address me. I have not the time, nor the energy to discuss things we every single person that posts a comment.

      I’m sorry but when you become a landlord, you should be fully aware and informed with the risks of renting (I can’t imagine anyone being ignorant to them, but stranger things have happened) Tenants need these safeguards in place to protect them, as that is their home… the place where they eat and sleep and should be at least the one sure stable thing in their life. Just like the terrible tenants that ruin it for the rest of the good tenants; the terrible landlords ruin it for the good ones.

    • Theresa Williams exactly, good tenants should have nothing to worry about, truth is though, they have to worry… Hence the what’s being discussed in the article.

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