Property Investors: How to Evict a Tenant

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.

Quick Read

How long does it take to evict a tenant in Toronto?

Can you evict a tenant in Ontario right now?

How much notice must a landlord give a tenant to move out in Ontario?

How long does it take for a landlord to evict a tenant in Ontario?

Did the Rental Tenancy Act change?

Discussing problems with partner regarding eviction of tenant

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

Can buyers cancel during COVID? 

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 to get a lawyer

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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