LANDLORD AND TENANT: ENFORCEMENT
In Ontario, the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 covers all aspects of Landlord-Tenant relationships. According to this Act, the Landlord and Tenant Board was created to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants through either mediation or adjudication. The Landlord and Tenant Board is one of Ontario’s “quasi-judicial” agencies. “Quasi-judicial” means “almost like a court of law.”
Either a landlord or a tenant can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board. Their disputes can be worked out through mediation or adjudication. In mediation, a Board Mediator helps a landlord and tenant reach an agreement they are both satisfied with. In adjudication, a hearing is usually held. A Board Member makes a decision based on the evidence the landlord and tenant present, and then issues an order. An order is the final, written version of the Board Member’s decision.
The Landlord and Tenant Board is an independent agency. Any decision which the Board makes about the rights or responsibilities of individual landlords or tenants cannot be influenced by any Member of Provincial Parliament or Minister of the Crown.
If a landlord or tenant refuses to pay money they were ordered to pay by the Landlord and Tenant Board
Orders issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board are legally binding decisions – they must be obeyed. If one person is ordered to pay the other person money and they do not, then the person who is owed the money can file the order with Small Claims Court to have it enforced.
Evicting a tenant
The Residential Tenancies Act permits a landlord to terminate a tenancy early for several reasons. In some situations, a landlord can evict a tenant. Most provisions for early termination of tenancy provide a tenant the option of avoiding termination by correcting the problem within a specific time frame. If a landlord gives a tenant(s) a notice that he/she wants them to leave, and they do not agree, a landlord have the right to file an application and have a hearing with the Landlord and Tenant Board. If a tenant does not agree with what is in the notice, they do not have to move out of the unit. This means the landlord would be required to apply for an eviction hearing and order through the Landlord and Tenant Board. A landlord may terminate a tenancy early for specific grounds including (but not limited to):
- non-payment of rent
- persistent late payments
- undue damage
- interference with the reasonable enjoyment or lawful right of the landlord
- impairing safety
- illegal act
There are a series of “no-fault” applications where landlords can apply to evict tenants even if the tenant has done nothing wrong. The most common type is the “Landlord’s Personal Use” application. Another of the no-fault applications is the application based on a notice of an intention to perform extensive repairs or renovation, or to demolish the property, or to convert it to a purpose other than residential
In most cases, a landlord is required to give a tenant a Notice of Termination. Then, if the tenant doesn’t leave as requested, the landlord must file an application with the Board for an eviction order. The tenant is required to move out only if the Board decides that the tenant must be evicted and the Board issues an eviction order.
If a tenant does not move out of the unit by the date set out in the eviction order
If a tenant is ordered by the Landlord and Tenant Board to leave the rental unit by a specific date and has not, then the landlord can file the eviction order at the Court Enforcement Office (Sheriff’s Office), pay the applicable fee, and ask the Sheriff to remove the tenant from the unit.
The Sheriff will usually give the tenant a notice that tells them the date they will come to the unit to evict the tenant. If the tenant has not moved out by that date, the Sheriff will go to the unit and remove the tenant from the unit. The locks on the unit can then be changed.
Only the Sheriff can evict a tenant who does not leave a unit as directed by an eviction order issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board.
If you are a landlord and think that your rights have been violated, do not wait. Act fast! Do you know that you have to wait minimum 14 days after serving a notice of termination to your tenant prior to filing the application to terminate the tenancy? It can take up to 4 months from the time notice is served, until the Sheriff shows up to enforce the eviction. Often, it is not about money. In most cases, a landlord is happy enough to get the tenant out of their property. As a landlord you should remember, that at Landlord and Tenant Board you will not be provided with any legal advice. Contact CP Paralegal Services as soon as rent is late, and we will prepare the proper notice for you and fight for your rights.
CP Paralegal Services can give you an advice on all residential tenancy matters or represent you at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board.
We are licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada and can ensure you are in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act.