A property owner’s guide to evictions in Ontario
If you find yourself in a situation where you are considering an eviction, you'll want to know the process inside and out. Any missteps could cause painful consequences for you and your investment property. Here are the nine most commonly asked questions about evictions in Ontario.
1. What are the most common reasons that tenants get evicted?
There are “for cause” and “no fault” reasons for ending a tenancy. To explain, “for cause” means that the tenant is being held accountable for their actions. “No fault” means that there are other non-tenant related reasons for the eviction. Below are some of the most common “for cause” and “no fault” reasons.
- The tenant is not paying the rent in full.
- The tenant is damaging the property. (Read more: What to do when your rental property is damaged)
- The tenant is causing disruption to other tenants in the building or the landlord. (Read more: My tenants are not getting along. What should I do?)
- The tenant is conducting illegal activities in the building.
- The property owner will be conducting renovations or repairs on the unit that are so extensive that the rental unit needs to be empty and the work requires a building permit.
The landlord, their immediate family, or someone who cares for their immediate family wants to move into the unit.
The landlord has sold the property and the person who purchased it, a member of their immediate family, or someone who cares for their immediate family wants to move in.
2. What is the proper legal process to evict a delinquent tenant?
Evicting a delinquent tenant can involve the following steps:
- The landlord must have a legal reason.
- Serve the tenant a notice form – the form must be served within the minimum notice period. You can find these details by reading The most commonly used forms for landlords.
- Wait the required waiting period – these windows of time vary depending on the reason for eviction.
- File an application form to evict the tenant with the landlord and tenant board (LTB).
- The LTB will notify the tenant of the hearing.
- The landlord should gather as much detailed evidence as possible.
- The landlord attends the hearing.
- An LTB member will make the decision on the matter – they will also notify the tenant of their decision.
- If the LTB member decides the tenant should be evicted, they must walk the tenant through their options, and provide them with the date they must move out by.
- If the tenant refuses to leave by the eviction deadline provided, the sheriff’s office must be contacted as they are the only person who can enforce the eviction.
3. What things should I watch out for (the ‘gotchas’) during the eviction process?
Some common mistakes made by landlords during the eviction process include:
- The form is not signed or is signed by the wrong person.
- The rental period is listed incorrectly.
- Inaccuracies when reporting issues related to money.
- Listing the wrong rental address and/or not including the unit number or apartment number on the form.
- The names listed on the form are incomplete or not accurate.
- The tenant was given the wrong notice period.
- The tenant was not served the document correctly.
4. What forms should I be using and how should they be delivered?
The legal reasons for evicting tenants all come with corresponding forms and application processes. Read more about the most commonly used forms and notices.
General rules for submitting the notice forms:
- The filled in notice form serves as a written notice and it can be delivered by either handing it to the tenant or an adult in the unit, putting it in their mailbox, mail slot, or under their front door, or via fax, courier, or mail. Sending notices via email or text is not considered proper notice.
- Helpful tip: disgruntled renters may have reasons for not receiving or finding their notice form. Cover your tracks by taking a picture of the delivered notice form as it is dropped off. Then immediately email/text them to let them know it has been dropped off and attach the picture. Save this as evidence for the LTB hearing.
- Submitting a notice of eviction to a tenant doesn’t mean the tenant has to move out. The landlord also needs to file an application with The Landlord and Tenant Board and from there (if the board accepts the application) this will bring about a hearing, allowing the tenant a chance to defend their tenancy.
5. What resources exist to help guide me through this eviction process?
The LTB website outlines all the forms that need to be completed to evict a tenant.
For unformal support, Facebook groups can also be a huge help. Here, landlords will often post hyper-specific scenarios and fellow landlords will share their opinions based on their own experience. It can also be comforting to get community support through these groups when facing stressful and complex circumstances.
6. How long does it take to get a trial and evict a tenant in Ontario?
Although sources claim that it is taking them up to eight months to get an eviction hearing with the LTB, vocal property owners in landlord Facebook groups allege that it is in fact currently taking over a year to get a hearing in Ontario.
7. Is there anything that I can do to speed up the LTB process?
Working with a lawyer or paralegal can help expedite the LTB process. The legal system can often be hard to navigate, and working with a legal professional can help a landlord avoid common errors that further stall the process.
Alternatively, a cash for keys agreement with your tenant could significantly reduce the time spent on the eviction process and avoid costly legal fees.
8. Is there anything that I should be doing in the meantime while I’m waiting for a hearing?
Getting legal advice before your hearing can be extremely helpful. The LTB’s rules (and how to apply and interpret them) can be difficult to understand. Legal aid Ontario provides support to Ontario’s small landlord community through the Landlord’s Self-Help Centre. Eligibility for legal aid depends on income, if the landlord lives on the same property as the tenant, and the number of units they rent out (it needs to be under three).
9. What are the possible repercussions of evicting a tenant?
- Further damage to unit by the disgruntled tenant.
- The tenant may not leave by eviction date.
- The tenant may stop paying for critical utilities which could cause damage to the unit.
- A tenant could become a nuisance or danger to neighbours or an on-site landlord.
Finding the right fit tenant is key. Rhenti's landlord tools simplify the process of finding and signing the right renter, so you can feel confident your property is in good hands. Reach out to our team to learn more!
The blog posts on this website are for the purpose of general introductory information. They can’t serve as an opinion or professional advice. Speak to a professional before making decisions related to your circumstances.