COVID-19: Housing Update- what tenants should know during the outbreak…as of April 3, 2020

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Can I be evicted during the COVID-19 Outbreak?
Evictions will NOT take place until further notice. There will be no new eviction orders, and
outstanding eviction order will be postponed by the Sheriff’s office. Your landlord is not
allowed to evict you or lock you out from your unit without an Order from the Landlord and
Tenant Board that is being enforced by the Sheriff. This means that at this time you cannot be evicted or locked out.

Note: your landlord can still serve eviction notices; however, no evictions are presently being enforced.

If my landlord tries to evict me or lock me out anyway, what can I do?
If you are locked out of your unit, you can call the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit to escort you back in:
Tel: 416-585-7214 Toll-free: 1-888-772-9277 MHO.RHEU.Info@Ontario.ca.

Is the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) open?
The physical location and front counter is closed to the public at this time. Many of the most common applications can still be filed online: http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/e-file/. Where feasible, hearings may proceed by telephone or in writing; if you have submitted an
application, your application will still be processed. There is presently no official update from the LTB or Social Justice Tribunals Ontario on whether applications submitted during this period of time will be given hearing dates.

What do I do if I have a hearing before the LTB?
All in-person hearings have been postponed. You may receive a new Notice of Hearing if your matter is now proceeding via alternate means (and is not eviction-related).
All hearings for evictions have been suspended. If you think your hearing involves an urgent issue, such as your safety, you may still have your matter heard at this time.
I want to make an application to the LTB but I missed the deadline because of the
COVID-19 outbreak.

Depending on when your deadline ended, you may still have time. The Government of Ontario has suspended limitation periods and procedural time periods relevant to tribunal
proceedings, from March 16, 2020 to present. This includes the timeline for submitting an
application to a tribunal, which tenants will now be able to submit at a later date. If you are
not sure please seek assistance from a legal clinic like SALCO.

Do I have to pay my rent during this time?
Yes. You are still legally required to pay your rent. If you cannot, you can contact your landlord to make alternate arrangements. If there is no arrangement and you do not pay your rent, you do not face removal from your home during this period. Your landlord may still serve you with a notice for rent arrears, and may then apply to the LTB for eviction for non-payment of rent at a later date (this is NOT the same as an LTB Order for an eviction and you CANNOT be removed from your home). You will have the chance to participate in a hearing before a decision is made. If you are served with anything by your landlord, do not sign or agree to anything without legal advice and contact your local legal clinic immediately for help.
Some tenants have heard of the #keepyourrent campaign* and may wish to gather more legal information about such campaigns. We encourage them to contact their local legal clinic for information and advice.
Does my landlord need to observe physical (social) distancing if entering
my unit?
Normally, a landlord must give 24 hours notice, state the time of day they will
enter (between 8am-8pm), and state their reason for entering. At present, this
remains true. During the outbreak, landlords are also urged (but not required)
to only make requests to enter in urgent situations, and to observe the rules
around physical (social) distancing.

Resources:

  • South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario: 416-487-6371
  • Find your local legal clinic: www.legalaid.on.ca/legal-clinics/, or call: 416 979
    1446
  • Advocacy Centre for Tenants in Ontario (ACTO): www.acto.ca/for-tenants/
  • Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA): www.torontotenants.org, or
    call the Tenant Information Hotline: 416 921 9494
  • Provincial renting information: https://www.ontario.ca/page/renting-changesduring-
    covid-19
  • Contact the Landlord and Tenant Board: http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/contact/

    With the community quarantine still in place, we encourage everyone to:
    Stay home and #StopTheSpread.