These are challenging and unprecedented times, and recent weeks have been hard on many of us. It has been particularly hard on the communities we serve, who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
Government programs have been initiated in response to COVID-19 to support businesses, those who lost jobs recently, and homeowners but no concrete measures have been announced to support tenants. The only assurance that Ontario tenants have received is that there will be no evictions until further notice. This is not enough. Renters need security of tenure.
We support the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario demands calling all levels of government to deliver on emergency supports for tenants. It is critical that all three levels of government work together to ensure that everyone remains housed and supported during these hard times as well as after the lockdown ends.
We are concerned about recent reports of threats of eviction and harassment of Parkdale tenants for nonpayment of April rent. We strongly condemn these actions by landlords and oppose all evictions for non-payment of rent for the duration of the pandemic.
Toronto tenants were already living in unaffordable and inadequate housing. COVID-19 has only exacerbated this crisis. It was reported that 25% of tenants in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) were unable to pay April rent. May is fast approaching and there will be many more people having to choose between putting food on the table and paying rent.
A bright light in these uncertain times is the organizing undertaken by tenants in Parkdale and beyond. From Parkdale to Herongate, tenants are organized and making demands for rent amnesty and meaningful supports for renters. Will the government listen?
PCLS continues to provide services remotely by phone and email. Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm for general information and referrals. If you are seeking legal advice, please call 416-531-2411 during our intake hours:
Monday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and 2:00pm – 5:00 pm
Tuesday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
WHAT CAN MY LANDLORD DO IF I DON’T PAY MY RENT?
Step 1: Notice to Terminate for Arrears of Rent
If you don’t pay your rent your landlord can give you an N4: Notice to End Your Tenancy for Non-Payment of Rent. The Notice will tell you to pay up or move out. The Notice must give you at least 14 days in which to pay any rent owing. If you pay by the date in the Notice, that’s the end of the matter. If you don’t pay you do not have to move but your landlord can file an L1 Application to Evict A Tenant for Non-Payment of Rent.
On March 19, in response to COVID-19, the Ontario Superior Court suspended residential evictions “until otherwise ordered by the court”. This means that until otherwise stated, the Sheriff will not participate in the forceful removal of tenants from their homes and that new eviction orders will not be made. There is however no prohibition against landlords issuing eviction notices and other eviction threats.
Step 2: Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-Payment of Rent
The Landlord and Tenant Board is not currently scheduling eviction hearings for non-payment of rent. If your landlord files an L1 Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-Payment of Rent a hearing date may bet set at some time in the future. The LTB will mail you a copy of the application and the notice of hearing.
Step 3: What should I do if the landlord files an L1 application?
You can pay the rent owing plus the application filing of $175 to $190 any time prior to the hearing. This will be the end of the application. Let the LTB know that you have paid all monies owing.
You can go to the hearing. There are issues which you can raise which may reduce the amount of rent owing. They include evidence of disrepair and/or harassment. ACTO has produced a helpful guide about what issues you can raise at your hearing and the evidence you need to provide please see:
If an eviction is ordered you can still pay what’s owing to avoid eviction.
For information about what to do if you receive an eviction order that is wrong, please see:
What else do I need to know?
If you are frequently late with rent your landlord can file an L2 Application to End a Tenancy and Evict a Tenant for persistent late payment of rent. This can result in an order for your eviction and to pay $175-190 to the landlord for the application filing fee.
If you have an ongoing Landlord and Tenant Board mediated agreement or consent order saying that you will pay your rent on time you could risk eviction if you don’t pay it on time.