12 Jun 2020

Renovictions: Putting a Stop to Deceptive Residential Eviction Tactics Featured

Under the Residential Tenancies Act (“RTA”), landlords may only evict tenants for certain reasons. However, in a hot rental market, landlords may falsify reasons to evict a tenant, so that the unit may be renovated and re-rented at a much higher price. This is known as a “renoviction”.

This behaviour is highly problematic as, according to statistics released by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation in 2018, the demand for rental units dramatically outpaces the number of units in the market. To combat renovictions, the provincial government has proposed new rules to protect tenants. 

Since renovictions are motivated by money, the changes dramatically increase financial penalties to detract from monetary incentives. Maximum fines under the RTA are going to be doubled from $25,000 to $50,000. The new rules will also allow the Landlord and Tenant Board (the “LTB”), the institution responsible for administering the RTA, to order the landlord to pay the wrongly evicted tenant a year’s rent up to a maximum of $35,000. This is a dramatic change as current rules only permit the LTB to order payment of the difference between the former and new rent for up to one year. Lastly, when tenants are evicted for reasons beyond their control (such as the landlord taking occupancy of the unit), the landlord must provide compensation. Under the proposed rules, this mandatory compensation will now be required where landlords evict a renter on behalf of a homebuyer. The proposed changes also include non-monetary measures. 

In order to track landlords who repeatedly engage in this behaviour, landlords who seek to evict tenants for the reason that they want to live in the unit will have to disclose whether they have evicted tenants for that reason in the past. By tracking “repeat offenders”, the LTB will be able to build profiles on landlords and make decisions on renoviction disputes more effectively. Finally, the rules also give tenants the opportunity to move back into the unit with the established rental rate when they were evicted to allow the landlord to carry out repairs or renovations.

These rules have not yet been set in stone and time will tell whether or not these measures are effective. Hopefully, they will end up being a positive step toward ending dishonest and predatory landlord behaviour. We will be hosting a property webinar on June 24 where we will discuss this issue and other property issues. We welcome you to join us. You may sign up here.

Tanya Walker obtained her law degree from Osgoode Hall at York University in 2005 and her Honours Bachelor of Commerce with a minor in Economics from McMaster University in 2002. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006. Tanya is currently serving a term as Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario; elected by her peers as not only the first Black elected female Bencher from Toronto, in the 220-year history of the Law Society, but also as one of the youngest sitting Benchers.

Tanya is a frequent speaker on legal issues to the Toronto Community and regularly appears on the CTV Show, Your Morning as a legal expert. She has also been named in the 2017 and 2018 Lexpert Guides as one of the Leading Lawyers to Watch in Corporate/Commercial Litigation and is also the recipient of the 2018 Women’s Business Enterprise of the Year Award.

 Tel: 647-342-2334 ext. 302 
 Email: tanya(at)tcwalkerlawyers.com

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Read 480 times Last modified on Friday, 12 June 2020 14:40
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