Area of Law: Landlord and Tenant
Answer # 442
How does a landlord evict a tenant?Region: Ontario Answer # 442
Legal reasons to evict a tenant
Under the law, a landlord must have a good legal reason to evict a tenant. This includes: if the tenant does not pay rent or frequently pays rent late, if the tenant or the tenant’s guests damage the premises or disturb others tenants, or if the landlord requires the unit for their personal use. Although a landlord may have a valid reason to evict a tenant, if the tenant refuses to move, the landlord cannot evict the tenant without going through the proper legal steps.
Proper legal steps to evicting a tenant
There are six steps that a landlord must take to evict a tenant.
1. Give tenant written notice
First, the landlord is required to give the tenant a Notice of Termination form that states the reason for the eviction and when the landlord can start legal action at the Landlord and Tenant Board. The type of notice form and the number of days that a landlord must wait before applying to the Board will depend on the reason for eviction. Notice forms and instruction kits are available from the Board.
2. File an application with the Board
Second, after a landlord has given the tenant a notice form, and the required notice period has passed, the landlord can apply to the Board for a hearing date. The landlord must fill out a form called an Application to Terminate a Tenancy and Evict a Tenant, and file it at the Board together with an application fee. The staff at the Board office will set a date for the hearing and prepare a Notice of Hearing form while the landlord waits.
3. Deliver the Application and Notice of Hearing to the tenant
Third, the landlord must deliver a copy of both the Application and Notice of Hearing to the tenant at least five or ten calendar days before the hearing, depending on the basis for the application. For example, if the landlord is evicting the tenant because the tenant is engaged in an illegal act involving trafficking, it is five days, if the reason for the eviction is for non-payment of rent, it is ten days.
4. File a Certificate of Service with the Board
To verify that the landlord delivered the documents, they are required to fill out a Certificate of Service form and file it with the Board Office. This Certificate must be filed no later than five days after the documents were delivered to the tenant.
In some cases, a mediator from the Board may contact both the landlord and the tenant to help them resolve the issues. If the matter is not resolved through mediation, it will normally go to a hearing.
5. Attend the Hearing
Both parties should attend the hearing. If the landlord (or their representative) does not attend the hearing, their application may be dismissed. If the tenant (or their representative) does not attend, the Board member may make a decision in their absence.
6. Eviction Order
Lastly, if the Board allows the eviction, an Eviction Order will be issued. The Order will state when the tenant must vacate the premises. If the tenant does not leave by the date specified in the Order, the landlord will need to file the Order with the Court Enforcement Office (Sheriff’s Office) in order for the Sheriff to evict the tenant. A landlord cannot evict a tenant or change the locks without the Sheriff being present.
For additional information about eviction proceedings in Ontario and to obtain forms online, visit the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Changes during COVID-19
There are a number of temporary changes to residential rental processes, including evictions, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Visit Ontario.ca for more info.
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