Presentation on theme: "What does the new RTA mean for Tenants November 20, 2006 ONPHA Educational Program Grace Vaccarelli and Kristina Brousalis Advocacy Centre for Tenants."— Presentation transcript:
What does the new RTA mean for Tenants November 20, 2006 ONPHA Educational Program Grace Vaccarelli and Kristina Brousalis Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario
Residential Tenancies Act: RTA removes the default process: hearing scheduled and held for (almost) all matters Where a tenant ‘not reasonably able to participate in the proceeding’ matter may still be reviewed [s.209(2)]
Tenant Rights Security of tenure Unit in good state of repair and fit for habitation Quiet enjoyment Free from harassment Rent only subject to certain increases while living in unit Any tenant may file an application with the Board if any of the above rights have been violated within ONE YEAR of the problem occurring.
Tenant Obligations pay rent on or before the 1st of the month maintain ordinary cleanliness of unit not interfere with other tenants or the landlord not commit illegal acts or run illegal businesses on the premises
Eviction Eviction only for reasons set out in the RTA Must follow procedure in RTA Only Sheriff can physically evict a tenant – landlord cannot change locks 72 hours to remove belongings after a legal eviction – new!
Reasons for Eviction Mid tenancy arrears of rent – can result from failure to report change in income or other SHRA related reasons substantial interference **changes from TPA impairing safety damage ** changes from TPA illegal act misrepresentation of income overcrowding
Reasons for Eviction (con’d) End of tenancy persistent late payment of rent landlord’s own use (“approved” family member OR [new] caregiver) purchaser’s own use demolition & conversion
Forms for Eviction First Notice Will be required for most grounds for termination of tenancy Current form numbers may change Application Current form numbers may change Board to send information about upcoming hearing to defending party
Eviction: Step 1 Landlord must give Notice of Termination (in most circumstances) Notice of Termination sets out a « termination date » Tenant does NOT have to leave by the termination date in the Notice of Termination
Eviction: Step 2a (voidable notices) Tenant can « void » or cancel the Notice of Termination by: Paying all arrears owing under the notice within 14 days Stopping behaviour outlined in the Notice **with new exceptions – see next slide Fixing damage or paying for it to be fixed within 7 days **with new exceptions – see next slide * some notices CANNOT be cancelled…
Eviction: Step 2b (non-voidable, fast track eviction notices) Tenant does not have the option to void or cancel certain notices: Illegal act Substantial interference where owner lives in complex and where complex has 3 or less units (new) Wilful and Undue Damage or use of the unit in a way which might lead to extreme damage (new, example: grow ops)
Eviction – Step 2b – fast track evictions In the case of: Willfully caused damage Using the residential unit in a manner inconsistent with residential use that could reasonably be expected to cause damage Impaired safety The Board has the jurisdiction to order a tenant evicted even before the termination date in the notice
Eviction: Step 3 Landlord may apply at the Landlord and Tenant Board for an eviction hearing Landlord must give Notice of Hearing to the tenant The most important change under the RTA is that now EVERY tenant will have a hearing. A problem with the RTA is that it does not provide for a set aside motion.
Eviction: Step 4 – Agreement to Settle Matter If parties can agreed to a payment plan for arrears owing, they can file their settlement with the Landlord and Tenant Board who may issue a consent order based on that agreement Consent order can only include payment of arrears, NSF charges, rent and fees Consent order cannot include a termination of the tenancy
Eviction: Step 5 - The Hearing Day (1 of 2) A. Mediation Tenant may ask for mediation on the hearing day If landlord agrees, there will be a mediation. Tenant can try to work out a payment plan or other solutions with landlord in mediation Mediated agreement can include a termination of the tenancy
Eviction: Step 5 - The Hearing Day (2 of 2) B. The Hearing Prove rent already paid Receipts, bank records, cheques Pay all rent owing and application fee (unknown at present) before hearing day; OR Prove tenant did not do what landlord claims witnesses, documents, photographs Ask for relief against eviction – the Board can order a payment plan or make any other condition in an order if not unfair in the circumstances
Eviction: Step 5 - The Hearing Day, Adjudicator’s considerations The Board is now required to review all the circumstances and consider whether or not to grant the eviction Unlike under the TPA, the Board may now hear set-off arguments from tenants about their own issues at an eviction hearing.
Eviction – Step 5 – Determining arrears at the hearing Under the RTA the Landlord and Tenant Board shall not make determinations or review decisions concerning eligibility for rent-geared-to-income or the amount of geared-to-income rent payable There is still no independent review of a subsidy revocation
Eviction: Step 6 – After the Hearing (1 of 2) If tenant is unhappy with a decision made by the Board, tenant has 30 days to: REVIEW: ask Board to review the decision internally Serious error in law or in MATERIAL fact APPEAL: go to a higher court Error in law only *** Tenant should get legal advice first
Eviction: Step 6 – After the Hearing (2 of 2) Tenant may void an eviction order for arrears by paying the amount ordered before the termination date in the order. Where tenant has been ordered to pay arrears, tenant may avoid eviction by paying all monies owed plus costs to the landlord any time before the Sheriff attends. This provision can only be used once in any tenancy.
Eviction - Step 7 – After Enforcement of Eviction RTA extends time to reclaim possessions to 72 hours from time eviction order enforced Landlord must provide tenant access between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. RTA gives Board express jurisdiction to hear tenant application’s respecting landlord’s failure to provide access
Reality for Tenants Facing Eviction for Non-Payment at the Board There is no limitation in the RTA as to when landlord can apply for arrears If tenant does owe money, tenant must be able to repay, often within 7 to 11 days of the hearing
Tenant Applications harassment, illegal lock-out, denial of vital services, interference with reasonable enjoyment (currently T2 form – may change) repair & maintenance (currently T6 form – may change) rebate of illegal rent or deposits already paid (currently T1 form – may change
Limitation Dates Tenant must apply within 1 year of incident There are some exceptions
Evidence on Tenant Application Evidence Expert reports witnesses photographs documents & letters Tenant must prove allegations See T2 & T6 Tip Sheets (for now) Check www.acto.ca for updated tip sheetswww.acto.ca
The Top 5 Problems with the RTA Lack of set aside provision Tenant is now responsible for the repair of “undue damage” Lack of protection for family members who are not named in the agreement The Board will not take jurisdiction over calculation of rent subsidies Apportionment of utility costs
Helpful Websites www.acto.ca for tenant tip sheets www.acto.ca www.cleo.ca for pamphlets on tenant rights and responsibilities and other issues www.cleo.ca
Common Tenant Myths I can’t get evicted in winter. I can hold back rent if the landlord doesn’t make repairs. If I signed a lease that says I accept the place « as is », the landlord does not have to do work in my unit. I am not allowed to have guests, children or pets in my unit. The landlord can charge me extra if I have guests