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Unpaid rent: Ontario landlords want to be able to evict more easily

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar23,2024

Unpaid rent: Ontario landlords want to be able to evict more easily< /p>Open full screen

Landlord Christopher Seepe has launched a petition asking the provincial government to make it easier to evict tenants for non-payment rent.


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More than 30,000 Ontario homeowners have signed a petition calling on the provincial government to make it easier to evict tenants who don't pay their rent.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The author, Christopher Seepe, says the petition is the result of his frustration with delays at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) and its impact on small owners.

It's a reflection of years of pent-up emotions, he admits.

His petition, titled We Demand Automatic Eviction Orders for Non-Payment of Residential Rent, proposes a system similar to that in place in British Columbia, where landlords can easily obtain an eviction order without a hearing in cases where the opinion is not contested.

Mr. Seepe says he has sent the petition to all Ontario MPPs and is encouraging homeowners to contact their local MPP directly.

CBC asked Ontario's Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing if it would consider changing the province's laws surrounding tenant evictions, but did not receive a response.

Zahid Mahmood is one of the owners who signed Christopher Seepe's petition.

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When he Bought a home in Oshawa in 2021, he hoped the rental income would help him and his wife save money to pay for post-secondary education for their three children.

Upon entering the house last month, Mr Mahmood said he was confronted with the mess left by the previous tenants. There were, among other things, piles of garbage, bottles of urine, rodents and dog feces.

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When Zahid Mahmood returned to his house earlier this month, he discovered a space filled with rodents, droppings and of waste.

Mr. Mahmood says the tenants moved in in May 2022 and stopped paying rent a year later.

In August, he and his wife served the tenants with an N4 eviction notice and filed an application with the CLI to end the tenancy due to non-payment of rent.

After several months of waiting, the Commission issued an order terminating the lease last month. According to the document, the total unpaid rent amounts to more than $24,000.

All this caused us stress and mental torture and put us in a financial crisis as we had to pay the mortgage throughout this 10 month period.

A quote from Zahid Mahmood

In 2022-2023, the CLI received more than 37,000 requests for eviction of tenants for non-payment of rent, or more than half of all owner requests.

That year, only 7 percent of hearings were scheduled within the target time of 50 or 55 calendar days, depending on the type of request. The CLI has worked to reduce the backlog, including by recruiting more adjudicators.

More recent indicators published on the Tribunals Ontario website show that wait times for hearings are improving, with 73% of them scheduled on time during the second quarter of the 2023-2024 financial year.

Mr. Seepe argues that many cases do not necessarily need to be resolved at an LTB hearing.

In British Columbia, if a tenant has not paid their rent, the landlord can give them 10 days' notice to end the tenancy. The tenant then has five days to pay the amount or ask the province's Residential Tenancy Branch (BC Residential Tenancy Branch) to contest the notice.

If the tenant does neither, then the landlord can apply for a possession order without a hearing.

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According to lawyer Robert Patterson, the adoption of the British Columbia regulations could making Ontario renters more vulnerable.

Attorney and tenant advocate Robert Patterson believes this system can allow for quick evictions, but it can also be exploited by bad actors . He encourages other provinces not to consider British Columbia as a model for evictions.

He says he regularly hears tenants who claim their landlord lied by giving them notice before applying for a possession order.

I think when we talk about " speed up eviction deadlines and make eviction easier, we must always remember that the flip side of the coin is that tenants are more vulnerable in their homes, warns Mr Patterson. /p>

With information from Sarah MacMillan

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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