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What does the new RTA mean for Tenants November 20, 2006 ONPHA Educational Program Grace Vaccarelli and Kristina Brousalis Advocacy Centre for Tenants.

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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:

1 What does the new RTA mean for Tenants November 20, 2006 ONPHA Educational Program Grace Vaccarelli and Kristina Brousalis Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario

2 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)]

3 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.

4 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

5 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!

6 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

7 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

8 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

9 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

10 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…

11 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)

12 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

13 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.

14 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

15 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

16 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

17 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.

18 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

19 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

20 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.

21 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

22 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

23 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

24 Limitation Dates  Tenant must apply within 1 year of incident  There are some exceptions

25 Evidence on Tenant Application  Evidence Expert reports witnesses photographs documents & letters  Tenant must prove allegations  See T2 & T6 Tip Sheets (for now)  Check for updated tip sheetswww.acto.ca

26 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

27 Helpful Websites  for tenant tip sheets  for pamphlets on tenant rights and responsibilities and other issues

28 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


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