Tenants live rent-free for three months before eviction enforced
Ontario’s rental property owners say the rent dispute process is broken. Owners spend thousands of dollars a year providing free housing to tenants who have not paid their rent.
They are asking the provincial government to modernize the eviction process, bringing it in line with the majority of other Canadian provinces.
“No other business is required to provide goods or services without payment, yet landlords must by law allow tenants to remain in their apartments for months with faint hope of recovering the cost,” said Vince Brescia, President and CEO of the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario. “This situation is patently absurd. It places a huge financial burden on landlords, particularly small ones who must find ways of making up these expenses from rents charged to the majority of tenants who do meet their payments.”
Ontario has approximately 1.3 million rental households, representing 29 percent of the population, according to FRPO.
If tenants do not pay their rent on time, landlords in Ontario are required to go through a lengthy dispute-resolution process which will result in eviction if payment is not made.
Last year in Ontario, about 4.5 percent of tenants required their landlords to utilize this process.
About two-thirds of tenants who fall in to arrears do manage to make the rent payment, clear up their debt and retain their occupancy.
But 1.5 percent of tenants ultimately leave without paying their rent.
They appeal the eviction notice, take advantage of a lengthy appeal process and remain in their units until the process runs its course and they leave, or are removed.
During this time, no rent is paid.
“With a typical monthly rent of $1,000 per month, that is a $3,000 subsidy in lost rent alone, excluding legal and application fees associated with the non-payment process,” Brescia said. “This is a large cost for one landlord to incur with respect to one unit. In the case of a small landlord, it is devastating. This process, including legal fees, costs the landlord anywhere between $5,200 and $6,500.”
FRPO is asking the provincial government to:
Reduce the initial removal notification period from the current 14 days to five days.
Require hearings to take place in five days instead of the current 29 days.
Eliminate the 11 day delay to file for removal with the sheriff once the tribunal approves the eviction.
Allow private bailiffs to enforce the eviction instead of waiting weeks for the sheriff to do it.
“The hearing delay in Ontario alone is the longest in any Canadian jurisdiction, longer than the entire process in four Canadian provinces,” Brescia added. “Surely the country’s most populous province with the most rental units can come up with a modern, efficient rent dispute system that is both fair to the tenants, and, the landlords. What we have now is a broken system.”
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.