Information for tenants being pressured to leave their homes
In the wake of the tragic death of University of Toronto student Helen Guo, the Toronto Star has reported that the same landlord of five other properties has told their tenants to move out immediately. Some of those houses may be unlicensed rooming houses, and may violate property standards and fire safety codes. None of those things would make it legal to evict tenants without going through the Landlord and Tenant Board process.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO MOVE JUST BECAUSE YOUR LANDLORD TELLS YOU TO ‘GET OUT’
The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 protects most tenants* from evictions without
Your landlord cannot change your locks themselves. Your locks can only be changed by the Sheriff enforcing an LTB eviction order.
Even if your landlord or a city official says your house or apartment is “illegal,” your landlord still needs to follow this process before you have to leave.
- A notice of termination on a form from the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB),
- An eviction application to the LTB,
- A hearing (or trial) at the LTB, and
- An eviction order from the LTB (if the Landlord wins the case).
MAINTENANCE, FIRE SAFETY, BYLAWS
It is your landlord’s job to fix things in your apartment when they break, and to make sure your apartment complies with city bylaws and fire codes.
If your apartment needs repairs, write to your landlord.
If your landlord ignores you or does an inadequate job, call 3-1-1 and ask for an inspection from Municipal Licensing and Standards.
You may be able to apply to the LTB for compensation from your landlord.
To learn more about your rights in this situation, read “Does your landlord want you to move you?” from Community Legal Education Ontario available in English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.
To learn more about your other rights as a tenant, visit the Housing Law section at yourlegalrights.ca
If you are a student at the University of Toronto, or belong to a low-income household in Toronto, you may qualify for legal advice or assistance from Downtown Legal Services.
You may also qualify for help from your local community legal clinic.
If your lanldlord is trying to force you out of your home, you should contact the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit for immediate help.
*note: the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) does not protect you if you share a kitchen or bathroom with the family that owns the house or apartment. Some other special forms of housing are exempt from the RTA.