What is Bill 184?
Bill 184 is comprised of at least in part changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, the law governing relations between residential landlords and tenants in Ontario. Prior to the Bill’s passage, many tenant groups protested and warned us all that thousands of tenants will be evicted without a hearing. In fact, nothing much at that end has changed, other than allowing landlords and tenants to make private arrangements outside the Landlord and Tenant Board that can be enforced in the same way as if they attended mediation on Hearing Day.
Can a Tenant be Evicted Without a Hearing Under this New Law?
First, we need to discuss facts about the existing Act before Bill 184 came into place. As someone that has represented hundreds of parties before the Board over the years of its existence, the Act always had an option for what is called an ‘ex parte’ hearing. The Landlord and Tenant go to a Hearing but, before the hearing they sort out their issues with the help of a Mediator. After they arrive at an agreement, they attend before the Adjudicator and ask for a consent order. A Consent Order is what makes the agreement enforceable and less likely to be overturned on review. Read more… “Evictions Under Bill 184: Are They Really Easier?”
The Province of Ontario called a state of emergency on March 16, 2020. A staged lock-down of the Province’s normal activities of business was called to contain the COVID-19 virus. Among other tribunals, the Landlord and Tenant Board closed its doors to many of its services. However, the Board still conducts telephone hearings and accepts new Applications.
The enforcement of evictions through the Sheriff is suspended. The activities of the Board appear to be ground to a halt.
How This Impacts Landlords
As soon as the pandemic began and our economy began to shut down, many tenants across Ontario lost their jobs. It was evident that many would be unable to pay their rent in April 2020. A tenant movement across the province encouraged people to “keep their rent”, while our economy shut down. Many small landlords have called our office for help. Read more… “Navigating the Complexities of Landlord and Tenant Law in the Times of Pandemic”
Landlording as a Business
Many prospective investors have asked me if it was worth their while becoming a Landlord. They read the horror stories in the newspapers about tenants that overstay their ‘visit’ for months at a time. These tenants squat while their landlords continue to pay the bills. They read about tenants that have left their newly renovated properties in such a wreck that one wonders how they can find good tenants that would care for their property as they have done.
Prospective landlords also want to know how much to ask for in rent, as they do not want to overcharge or lose money. Asking for too little over the long term might seem worth it to attract tenants, but over time expenses might absorb most or all of it. Asking too much might not attract many tenants, or it might put one at risk of tenants falling behind in payments. Striking that fine balance is a business decision all landlords have to make. It is important to know that most tenants are decent people who will treat your property with care and pay their rent on time. Read more… “Pros and Cons of Becoming a Landlord in Ontario”
Sample Additional Terms for potential use in Section 15 of the Standard Lease, Residential Landlord and Tenant issues in Ontario
PLEASE NOTE – legal disclaimer, these are sample clauses designed to demonstrate the types of clauses that can be used to upgrade and personalize the Standard Lease. The sample clauses do not and are not meant to capture every possibility or to be an exhaustive list. The sample clauses are not intended for use by any party and not designed for any particular situation or any landlord or tenant. No liability can attach to the author for any use of these clauses.
Read more… “Resource – Sample Additional Clauses for the Standard Lease for Landlords and Tenants”