Common Landlord Legal Issues Faced In Ontario
Renting a home is a complex process for both the property owner and the renter. In Ontario, there are many legal issues that landlords face that are as complex as they are absurd. Overall, the tenants have the most rights when it comes to rental claims, even if they are in the wrong. With the passing of Bill 184, which is currently Law, things get a bit more complicated. We here at Oracle Legal Services will discuss some of the common legal issues faced by landlords due to the changes in the law in the metro area.
Many people thought that Bill 184 clearly defined the jurisdiction the landlords wanted. Mainly along the lines of utility issues, damage to the property, unpaid rent after departure, and utility bills. Now, this bill has created a 12-month period in which landlords can place a claim at the Board. In the past, only tenants could claim following the year after their departure, not both parties are on equal footing. If for example the landlord gets fined for the behavior of the tenant, they are able to file a claim as long as a year following their tenant’s departure. In addition, the fact that most smaller landlords have been charging rent was deemed illegal in 2007, but this has finally been remedied.
The bill also made it easier for the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit to look into offenses committed by both tenants and landlords. Fines against landlords have been increased, and compensation requirements from landlords are now better defined. They will need to be provided for bad faith notices, eviction applications, and demolitions. When filing for N12 or N13 notices, landlords will need to disclose more information and be very clear about their intended uses of the notice.
Some of the changes are considered good news for landlords such as shorter processing times. Tenants are also required to give notice before filing to help reduce the load on the courts, however, adjudicators still have to hear evidence regarding landlord breaches according to section 83.3. Even without notice, the Member may decide to hear the claim.
No one wants to be tossed out on the street nor deal with an unruly tenant. According to the new law, landlords are able to file an eviction application without informing the tenant. The caveat is that the terms of the lease must have been breached, and a N4 termination notice must be served in advance. Then, an L 1 application will need to be filed along with all of the previous rules. Basically, the amended s.206 will mean faster evictions for certain tenants though there is still a process to be followed. Informal rental agreements are not subject to ex-parte eviction. Overall, the new bill is better for tenants than it is for landlords if you don’t look at the fairness and jurisdictional aspects.
The Bottom Line
Overall, though a few changes in the law “The Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020” are good for landlords, in general, the climate is still favoring tenants. The government, after all, is not tasked with ensuring rental profits, but rather they look out for the tenant to ensure they get their fair take. For more information on Toronto Landlord Laws and the new changes to The Housing Law, give us a call at 647-872-3484.