Making that tenant eviction comes with the territory when you buy income property in Ontario.
Make it easier on yourself by knowing the rules of tenant eviction.
Grounds for Tenant Evictions in Ontario
While grounds to evict exist, the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) encourages landlords and tenants to talk through disputes like noise, smoking, overcrowding, or non-payment of rent. That includes agreeing to break a lease early.
A tenant eviction can take six to eight months in Toronto. You could be further ahead to negotiate a tenant eviction than going to court.
Still, you can issue a tenant eviction:
- if you, immediate family or a caretaker plan to move into the rental unit
- for Ontario landlords selling a house, if the buyer wants to live there
- for major renovations with proper municipal permits
- to demolish or convert a rental unit
- if tenants fail to pay rent or are constantly late with payments
- if the unit is damaged by a tenant
- for illegal activity or safety issues
- for disturbing others’ or your enjoyment of the home
- or for overcrowding.
Yes, tenant eviction during pandemics is legal, as long as you issue a notice of termination.
What to Know About Tenant Eviction
Notice periods vary, depending on the reason for a tenant eviction. Find notice periods here (go to page 10). Evicting a tenant in Ontario takes an average of 70 to 110 days.
While you have rights, tenants do too. For example, you can’t hassle or threaten tenants who lose their jobs or demand they provide an employer letter to prove it. Where possible, the LTB suggests landlords allow rent postponements or alternate payment arrangements.
Tenants who want to leave must give notice (usually 60 days) and pay rent unless they assign or sublet their unit with your consent. But your tenant can refuse to leave while they await a LTB hearing and eviction order or until they are evicted by a sheriff for not following a LTB order.
As a landlord, you also cannot make unreasonable requests, such as refusing to let a tenant sublet or assign a unit, which means signing an agreement allowing someone else to rent your suite. But you may have remedies. For instance, if you didn’t consent to an assignment or sublet, you have up to 60 days to object. Landlord rights and obligations in Toronto.
Tenants who are late with rent can’t be charged fees or penalties. In fact, you may have to compensate a tenant if you wrongfully evict them, such as saying you plan to move into the unit and then not doing so.
And, you must follow timelines for tenant evictions — for example, waiting the specified number of days to allow your tenant to correct a problem. You can request a LTB hearing if that doesn’t fix the issue, but your tenant can also stay on until they receive a LTB order to go.
What to look for when you buy income property.
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2021 Changes to the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA)
Other recent legal changes affect tenant eviction. The RTA was amended as of Sept. 1, 2021 to include new provisions for landlords, such as:
- Orders for out-of-pocket expenses if a tenant:
⦁ interfered substantially with your reasonable enjoyment or lawful rights, privileges, or interests, or
⦁ failed to pay heat, electricity, or water bills not included in their rent.
- An order for rent arrears, NSF charges, unpaid utilities, property damages, or interference (see 1 above) by former tenants or their guests.
- A requirement to disclose if you asked previous tenants in the past two years to move because you, a family member, caretaker, or buyer wanted to move in or you planned to repair, demolish, or convert the unit. Tenants have up to two years to file a complaint with the LTB.
- Personal liability for up to 12 months rent if the LTB rules a tenant eviction was made in bad faith.
Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer
Buying a rental property in Ontario can be a great investment. Before or after you sign, let Axess Law real estate lawyers review your agreement of purchase and sale. We’ll look for errors, omissions, or clauses that could make revising your offer necessary.
What to include in the agreement of purchase and sale.
Your Axess Law real estate lawyer can negotiate with a seller’s representative to amend your offer if a home inspection or getting a mortgage loan takes longer than you expected. Latent (hidden) or obvious defects your home inspector finds may warrant a price reduction or repairs. We liaise with the seller’s lawyer to see if they agree.
Your 25 most common real estate law questions.
Axess Law talks to your lender to discharge existing loan obligations, and sign new mortgage documents. We search title to property and transfer it to your name to make your real estate purchase legal.
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Affordable Legal Services, Anywhere in Ontario
Access lawyers for less in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, or anywhere in Ontario when you buy, sell, or transfer property. Axess Law’s flat fee real estate lawyers are affordable, and our rates are all inclusive (excluding taxes, disbursements, and third-party charges). Axess Law offers you only the legal services you absolutely need. Your final invoice includes no surprises or hidden charges. Your itemized statement of adjustments is explained when we deliver it, and we answer any questions you have about it.
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Remote Legal Advice for Income Properties
Prefer to sign documents remotely? Axess Law has remote online video conferencing services for real estate buyers and sellers. You can sign legal documents using our secure, confidential virtual real estate lawyer services from anywhere in Ontario. If you want to meet in person, our Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa locations are open for business. We have onsite parking and easy transit access.
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Book Online or By Phone
Dial toll free to 1-877-402-4277 or, in the Greater Toronto Area, call our 647-479-0118 lawyer line for in-person appointments at Axess Law offices. We have day or evening appointments for your convenience. Go online to make your own bookings using our easy booking web form. Scheduling dates and times for in-person appointments in the Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa, or with virtual real estate lawyers anywhere in Ontario, takes just minutes.