The eviction process can be a confusing and stressful situation
for any tenant. There are many rules and procedures that you have
to follow. More importantly, your ability to remain in your home
hangs in the balance. This article will provide a review of the
basic procedure for an eviction. However, it must be remembered
that every case is different and you may need the assistance of
someone else to guide you through the process.
The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 is the law in
Ontario that governs the relationship between a landlord and their
tenants. This law is meant to provide protection to a tenant and
the right to remain in their unit. As a result of this law,
landlords are limited to only being able to evict a tenant in
certain situations. In addition, only the Sheriff can actually
evict a tenant in Ontario and they will only do so if they have an
Order from the Landlord and Tenant Board which says that they can.
If you are still living in your unit, and have not been evicted by
the Sherriff, your landlord is not allowed to change your locks in
an attempt to evict you. If your landlord does change your locks
without providing you a new set of keys you can apply to the
Landlord and Tenant Board to require your landlord to let you back
into the unit.
You Can Always Agree
A landlord and tenant can come to an agreement to end the
tenancy arrangement at any time. If you and your landlord want to
end your tenancy the Landlord and Tenant Board has a form you can
use for this purpose. It is recommended you put your agreement in
However, if you sign this form but later change your mind and
want to stay in your unit, your landlord could apply to the
Landlord and Tenant Board to evict you. Therefore you should think
long and hard before deciding to voluntarily leave your unit.
If You Don't Agree
If your landlord wants to end your tenancy agreement but you do
not want to, your landlord will have to apply to the Landlord and
Tenant Board and this Board will have to order that you are
The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 provides that a
landlord is only allowed to end your tenancy in certain situations.
For each situation your landlord will have different requirements
they must meet and each situation has different times when a
landlord can try to evict you. For example, there are different
requirements that your landlord must follow if they want to evict
you for not paying your rent as compared to the situation when they
want to evict you because they want to live in your unit. The
Landlord and Tenant Board has a document which outlines all of the
potential reasons that a landlord can apply to evict a tenant.
The first step that a landlord must do is to provide you with
"Notice" of their intention to evict you. There are many
different types of Notice forms. As a tenant who receives a notice
you should read this form carefully as they explain important
information about what you must do in response to this Notice. In
addition, you should make sure that this Notice is accurate. Some
of these Notice forms will provide you with a way to remain in your
unit if you follow the Notice's instructions. For example, if
you are not paying your rent, your landlord may give you a N4
Notice Form and if you pay the amount that you owe, you should be
able to remain in your unit, so long as your landlord is not trying
to evict you for another reason.
If you disagree with the Notice and you do not want to leave
your unit on the "Termination Date" provided for in the
Notice, your landlord will have to ask the Landlord and Tenant
Board for a hearing date to determine the issues that you disagree
over and to determine if you should be evicted. Your landlord will
give you a copy of the Notice of Hearing which will tell you when
the hearing will be held and where it will be held.
On the hearing date, it will be your responsibility to show up
and speak to your case. Your landlord will present their case and
you will have a chance to respond to them. The Landlord and Tenant
Board will then issue an Order which will decide whether or not
your eviction should be allowed, refused, or delayed.
If you are ordered to be evicted and you refuse to leave, a
Sheriff will then come to your unit to enforce your eviction.
Your eviction process can be confusing and stressful. As a
result, you may want to seek legal assistance early on so that you
can address, understand, and properly fight your eviction. If you
are unable to speak to a lawyer before the date of your eviction
most Landlord and Tenant Board offices have a "Tenant Duty
Counsel" who you can speak with. This individual is either a
lawyer or other legal professional who assists tenants on the date
of their hearing but is separate and independent from the Landlord
and Tenant Board.
Russell v. Township of Georgian Bay provides a useful reminder of the fact that while municipal officials sometimes appear to hold all of the cards in disputes with home owners, that is not always the case.
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