There are plenty of reasons why Ontario is a lucrative place for investing in real estate. To be a successful rental property owner, you need to know how to choose your renters carefully. One of the major causes of financial losses for many landlords is having a problematic renter.
Tenants who do not care for your property can cause costly property damage. Also, bad tenants usually don’t pay their rent on time, which can adversely affect your profitability. In most cases, when renters fail to do their duties as stated in the lease agreement, or if they deliberately violate the terms of the lease, landlords have the right to evict them.
However, Ontario landlords need to follow the legal process for eviction to avoid getting into unnecessary trouble with the law. That is why as a landlord, it is crucial to get familiar with landlord-tenant law and the proper eviction process so you’ll know what to do in case you encounter this kind of problem.
Ontario Eviction Process: A Guide
In Ontario, landlords are required to follow the legal process for eviction. The process can take up to three months and it generally involves up to five steps.
Notice for Lease Termination with Legal Cause
Landlords in Ontario have the option to evict a renter as long as they have valid reasons for doing so. Such reasons include:
- Failing to pay the rent on time.
- Violating the terms of the rental agreement.
- Being involved in criminal activity on the property.
- Threatening other tenants.
Serving a Tenant with an Eviction Notice in Ontario
In Ontario, the eviction process begins with serving the tenant a notice that the lease will be terminated. Ontario landlords are required to use a legal notice from the Landlord and Tenant Board. Different forms are available, and the form that the landlord should use will depend on the reason for eviction.
In general, the notice should indicate the reason for removal and state the specific date that the tenant should vacate the property. In some cases, tenants have a period of time to fix the issues and remedy the situation without being evicted.
The amount of notice will depend on the reason for eviction, such as follows:
- Non-payment of rent: Landlords should serve the Notice to End Tenancy for Nonpayment of Rent, the amount of notice depends on the frequency of rent payments:
- Bi-weekly or monthly: 14 days
- Daily or weekly: 7 days
- Consistent late rent payments: Landlords must serve the Notice to End Tenancy at the End of the Term, the amount of notice depends on the frequency of rent payments:
- Daily or weekly: 28 days
- Bi-weekly, monthly, or annually: 60 days
- Fixed-term: When the contract ends
- Minor violations of lease terms such as disturbing other tenants, damaging the property due to negligence, or too many people living in the unit: Landlords are required to serve the Notice to End Tenancy for Interfering with Others, Damage, or Overcrowding:
- First warning: 20 days
- Second warning within a six-month period: 14 days
- Major lease violations, such as seriously endangering other tenants and causing severe damage to the property: Landlords should serve at least 10 days’ Notice to End Tenancy for Causing Serious Problems in the Rental Unit or Residential Complex
- Illegal activity: Landlords should serve at least 10 days’ Notice to End Tenancy for Illegal Acts
- The landlord requires the rental unit: A Notice to End Tenancy Because the Landlord, a Purchaser, or a Family Member Requires the Rental Unit must be given for a minimum of 60 days.
Filing for Eviction and Hearing in Ontario
If the tenant fails to fix the issue and refuses to move out, the landlord can file for eviction with the Landlord and Tenant Board. The Board will then schedule a hearing, which can either be a:
- Telephone or video hearing: Both parties will show evidence by phone or video link during the hearing.
- Written hearing: Both parties will provide supporting documents.
Instead of a hearing, the landlord and tenant may also opt for mediation, which is a free service to help both parties come up with a solution.
Eviction Order in Ontario
A Board member will decide whether or not to grant the landlord’s request to terminate the tenancy. The decision, called an order, will be sent to both parties via postal service. The order typically includes the terms or conditions that parties must adhere to. In some cases, the order will give the tenant a chance to fix the issue with a deadline before the final eviction.
Enforcing the Order in Ontario
If the tenant refuses to move out of the property even after the eviction date, the landlord should not attempt to enforce the eviction order on their own. To enforce the eviction, the landlord must file the order to the sheriff’s office, and the sheriff will remove the tenant lawfully.
Keep in mind that Ontario landlords are prohibited from forcefully removing a tenant by changing locks, removing tenants’ belongings, or any other personal means without going to the Sheriff’s office.
Evicting a tenant is the best course of action a landlord can take when faced with a difficult renter. It’s crucial to understand the eviction process in Ontario and follow the steps carefully to ensure that you’re not violating the law. When in doubt, it’s best to work with an experienced property manager who is skilled and knowledgeable about the law.
Rent In Ottawa is a leading property management company serving Ottawa and the surrounding areas. We are here to take care of all of your property management needs. Get in touch with us today to learn more!
Disclaimer: This blog isn’t intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Laws change and this information may become obsolete at the time you read it. For further help, please get in touch with a qualified attorney or an experienced property management company.