Area of Law: Landlord and Tenant
Answer # 445
What happens to a tenant's property after eviction?Region: Ontario Answer # 445
Only a Sheriff can evict tenants from their homes and only after the landlord has obtained an Order from the Landlord and Tenant Board.
What happens to a tenant’s property left behind after an eviction?
If a Sheriff evicts a tenant, the tenant will normally be required to leave immediately without being given an opportunity to take personal property. Tenants then have only 72 hours to return to the unit and remove all their belongings, unless the landlord allows a tenant more time. If the landlord will not give the tenant more time to retrieve their things, and the tenant does not remove their property within the 72-hour period, the landlord has the right to dispose of the property. This means that the landlord has the legal right to sell or throw away the tenant’s property.
If the Sheriff comes to evict you, it is a good idea to take important documents such as identification, passports or immigration papers, and any necessary medications, prescriptions and eyeglasses. If you have nowhere to go, take a change of clothes for yourself and any others living with you such as your children, and contact one of the emergency shelters near you.
What happens if a tenant abandons a unit?
A tenant has considered to have abandoned a unit if they owe rent and move out without making an agreement with the landlord to end the tenancy, giving notice to end tenancy, getting a notice to end tenancy from the landlord, or getting a Board Eviction Order.
In this case, if a landlord wants to sell, keep or dispose of a tenant’s abandoned property they must either:
- Apply to Board (L2 application) for an order stating the rental unit was abandoned and tenancy ended; or
- Serve a notice on the tenant stating they intend to sell, keep or dispose of property. The Board must also receive a copy.
The landlord must wait 30 days after giving the tenant notice, or receiving the Board’s order, before selling, keeping or disposing of the property. Special rules apply as to what happens during that 30-day period, and in the case of a tenant abandoning their unit, if the tenant wishes to reclaim their property within or after the 30 days have passed.
What happens if a tenant dies?
If a tenant dies, according to legislation, the tenancy agreement ends 30 days after the tenant dies. The property must remain in the unit for that 30 days. Special rules apply regarding the rights of the deceased tenant’s executor or representative regarding the property.
Contact the Landlord and Tenant Board for more information about tenancies and eviction procedures in Ontario.
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