The tenant entered into an agreement to lease a condominium in
downtown Toronto starting in September, 2015. The rent for the
first month cleared but the rent for October bounced. The tenant
has not paid another cent since that time, although he continued to
reside in the unit.
The landlord served a "Notice to End Tenancy Early for
Non-Payment of Rent" on October 16, 2015. On November 19,
2015, the landlord filed an application with the Landlord and
Tenant Board (the "Board") seeking an order to terminate
the tenancy, payment of rental arrears and to evict the tenant from
The landlord's application was heard on January 4, 2016 (at
which time the tenant was now 4 months in arrears of rent). The
tenant consented to an order terminating the tenancy,
requiring him to pay the rental arrears along with per diem
compensation to the date of move out and costs. The order also
provided that if the tenant had not moved out by January 31, 2016
that the landlord could have the Sheriff evict the tenant.
The tenant did not pay any of the amounts ordered, nor did he
move out of the unit. On January 29, 2016, the last business day
before the landlord could file the eviction papers with the
Sheriff, the tenant initiated an appeal with the Ontario Divisional
Court which had the effect of staying any potential eviction
The landlord was proactive and brought a motion to quash the
appeal on a variety of grounds before it was heard on its merits.
Even still, the landlord had to wait until April 14th for his
hearing. The tenant did not file any responding materials nor did
he attend the hearing, despite being explicitly directed to do so
by the presiding Judge.
The presiding Judge quashed the appeal, lifted the stay
permitting the immediate eviction of the tenant and ordered the
tenant to pay the landlord's substantial indemnity costs.
Inclusive of costs, the tenant, who signed a lease for $1,700 a
month, owes the landlord $16,786.82.
What makes the tenant's disgraceful conduct even more
reprehensible is that he pulled a nearly identical stunt with his
previously landlord. In that case, the
tenant had rung up over $15,000 in rental arrears.
The tenant was found, in both cases, to be "gaming the
system". In the more recent case the presiding Judge urged
legislative changes to be made, and in particular urged the
government to consider modifying the existing legislation to remove
the automatic right to appeal decisions of the Board and instead
require that leave (permission) be granted before an appeal can be
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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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