Tenants in Ontario can be evicted if their landlord, or their landlord’s close family member or caregiver, wants to move into their unit. The law about this recently changed to give tenants a little more protection.
This month’s On the Radar explains what’s changed and what options tenants have when they’re in this situation.
If a landlord, or their close family member or caregiver, wants to move into a tenant’s unit, the landlord can give the tenant 60 days’ notice. They do this using a Form N12 from the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Starting September 1, 2017, landlords who give tenants a Form N12 for this reason must follow some new rules.
One month’s rent or another place to live
Now, the landlord must either:
- offer the tenant another rental unit that’s acceptable to the tenant, or
- pay the tenant at least one month’s rent.
Living in the unit for one year
The landlord, or their family member or caregiver, now must be planning to live in the unit for at least one full year.
Landlord must be a human
In the past, some court and Board decisions allowed corporations to evict tenants for personal use by an owner of the corporation.
Corporations can’t do this anymore. To use this reason to evict someone, the landlord must be an individual and the unit must be at least partly owned by an individual.
What tenants can do
As in the past, a tenant does not have to move just because they get a Form N12 from their landlord.
Tenants might want to look for signs that their landlord isn’t telling the truth about their plans. Many tenants have moved out after getting a Form N12, only to find that instead of moving in, the landlord has:
- rented the place to someone else at a higher rent
- listed it on a service like Airbnb
- put it up for sale
Tenants should also check to make sure that the landlord properly filled out the Form N12 and gave it to them atleast 60 days before the termination date on the form.
If the tenant decides to move, they can give the landlord as little as 10 days’ notice instead of the usual 60 days.
If the landlord offers another unit that the tenant likes and can afford, the tenant might be satisfied with that.
It will be much more common for landlords to offer the tenant one month’s rent instead. But if the tenant moves out, they could end up paying a higher rent for a long time. So, the extra month’s rent might not help all that much.
Having a hearing
If the landlord wants to try to force the tenant to move out, they have to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an eviction order.
The landlord can apply any time after giving the Form N12 and up to 30 days after the termination date on the form.
Unless the tenant and landlord can make an agreement, the Board holds a hearing. The landlord has to prove that they truly plan to move in for at least a year and that they have paid the tenant one month’s rent.
If the landlord does prove these things, the Board can still consider if there are reasons to delay the eviction or, in rare cases, refuse the eviction.
If the landlord does not do what they said they would
If the tenant moves out or is evicted and later discovers that the landlord did not do what they said on the Form N12, the tenant can apply to the Board.
They must do this within one year of the date they moved out.
The Board could order the landlord to pay the tenant money, including for things like moving expenses and increased rent.
The Board will only do that if they find that the landlord was not being honest on the Form N12. The recent changes in the law could make it a little bit easier for tenants to prove this in some situations.
Getting legal help
Tenants who have a low income may be able to get help from their local community legal clinic.
And there are other options for tenants needing legal help.
More information at CLEO/Steps to Justice