Those who are currently renting in the Greater Toronto Area know that it is very challenging to find good value in this market.
A study by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (“CMHC”) shows that the vacancy rate of rental properties in the GTA is the lowest it has ever been in 16 years. With rental properties becoming more scarce in the GTA and the average cost of rent increasing, some landlords are looking to get around the 2.5 percent rent increase cap as prescribed by the Ontario Fair Housing Plan through creative means.
Personal Use Evictions
The Residential Tenancies Act (“RTA”) governs non-commercial, residential tenancies.
According to the RTA, if the landlord requires the property for “personal use”, a landlord may apply to the Landlord Tenant Board (“LTB”) to terminate the tenancy and evict the tenant. Personal use involves use by the landlord, the landlord’s family member, or a person who provides or will provide care services to the landlord or the landlord’s family.
To initiate a personal use eviction, the landlord will file a “Notice to End your Tenancy”, and deliver it to the tenant. The termination date in the notice must be at least 60 days after the landlord provides the notice to the tenant.
If you have a month to month tenancy, the termination date must be on the last day of the rental period. In the alternative, if you have a fixed term tenancy, the termination date must be on or after the last day of the fixed term. An incorrect termination date would render the notice of termination defective.
Key Requirements to Note
In evicting the tenant for personal use, the landlord must be acting in good faith. The landlord must demonstrate to the LTB that the landlord (or the landlord’s family member) will indeed move into the unit within a reasonable time after the rental property becomes vacant.
The unit also must be used for “residential occupation” post eviction. For the most part, this means that the unit cannot be left empty, used as storage of items for the landlord, or be turned into a home office or study (a common occurrence for basement rental units).
Finally, for notices given after September 1, 2017, the landlord must compensate the tenant for eviction. This amount will be equal to one month’s rent. The compensation must be made before the termination date.
If the landlord terminated your tenancy in bad faith or otherwise, you could apply to the LTB for certain reliefs.
Amongst other things, the LTB can provide relief from eviction, a specified sum for increased rent that you may incur for one-year after vacating the rental unit, reasonable out-of-pocket moving expenses and more.
If you feel that your tenancy has been unfairly terminated, the lawyers at Erudite Law LLP may be able to help. Please drop us a line at http://Eruditelaw.com/#contact. We look forward to hearing from you!
By: Jimmie Z. Chen