Ron and his mom have been dealing with landlord harassment for years. Among many other things, their landlord has given them informal eviction notices, cut electricity in some rooms, damaged their furniture, and made a make-shift fence (see picture) to stop Ron and his mom from enjoying access to the porch they are entitled to use.
After years of harassment, the landlord has taken Ron and his mum to the Landlord Tenant Board because he says he wants to move into their unit. They are waiting for the LTB to issue its ruling.
What is troubling to Ron and his mum is they fear this eviction is illegal. They fear the landlord has no intention of moving from his home into their home. He just wants them out.
Ron is not alone. More and more tenants in Toronto are being evicted because the landlord says they are moving in, or moving an immediate family member in. Once the tenant has moved out, however, the landlord sells the property, relists it for much higher rent, or posts it on AirBnB.
The problem, however, is that Ontario’s laws do not adequately protect Ron and his mum from illegal eviction.
Ontario’s fines are too low to stop landlords from illegally evicting because in this hot rental market a landlord can quickly recoup the money they might lose in fines.
There is also no enforcement because it’s the responsibility of the evicted RENTER to go private-eye, sleuth around, gather information, and then make their case to the LTB. Renters have almost zero chance of getting their apartment back if they take on this work most don’t bother. It should be the Ontario government that tracks and enforces these laws so renters can be protected from illegal eviction. It’s that simple.
Renters deserve to have safe and affordable homes.
If you want to do your part to stop illegal evictions, then here are two things you can do.
- You can support my provincial bill to protect renters from illegal evictions. This bill significantly increases fines for landlords that illegally evict, requires all evictions to be tracked, and directs the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit to investigate and enforce illegal evictions. https://www.jessicabellmpp.ca/stopillegalevictions
- You can support our work to end vacancy decontrol so there’s a cap on how much a landlord can raise the rent after a tenant leaves. The incentive to illegally evict goes away when the financial motivation to do so is reduced.