Ontario Renters Could Now Get Up To 12 Months Of Compensation If Evicted
Fines for landlords have also increased.
New rules are coming for renters. In a news release on Wednesday, the Ontario government announced that tenants could receive compensation if they are unfairly evicted. The move comes after Ontario tenant evictions have been a source of protest over the past few months.
In a news release, the government has stated that they are looking to stabilize the rental market after the recent economic disaster that the pandemic created.
Before removing someone from their rental, the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act (Bill 184) requires landlords to first explore repayment options with those who cannot get the money in on time.
Landlords will no longer be eligible to process an eviction without first trying to negotiate repayment.
"We know tenants and landlords have struggled during COVID-19, and some households may be facing eviction due to unpaid rent during this crisis," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
The press release states that a tenant will be entitled to a minimum of one month's rent compensation if they have been the target of wrongful eviction.
According to Conrad Spezowka, spokesperson for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing this could include being evicted so that another buyer can move in.
On top of this, the Landlord and Tenant Board will even be able to demand up to 12 months rent in compensation if an "eviction notices issued in bad faith or where the landlord does not allow the tenant to move back in after renovations or repairs."
"The changes give tenants two years to file a claim if they were not given right of first refusal," Spezowka wrote to Narcity in an email.
Maximum fines for landlords have also doubled to $50,000 for an individual caught breaking the law. The max fine for a corporation is $250,000.
The press release also states that disputes such as unpaid utility bills will not be dealt with by Small Claims court anymore, but will shift to the Landlord and Tenant Board.
However, there have been protests against Bill 184 earlier this month.
A protestor told CBC, that repayment negotiations could be a threat to tenants because it will give landlords the power to make a payment plan without a hearing from the Board.