How to ACTUALLY evict tenants

Have you ever wondered how to evict tenants? Well here is how: get an order from the Landlord and Tenant Board terminating the tenancy. Any other method is either unlawful, or not considered an eviction. For example, if your tenant agrees to leave, and then does leave, not an eviction. If you move all of your tenants’ belongings onto the lawn and lock the door while they are at work, that is unlawful and they can have police enforce their right to get back in. This is why it is vitally important to cross your T’s and dot your i’s and use a paralegal who knows the ins and outs of the Residential Tenancies Act and how to complete the required eviction notice forms properly! Set yourself up for success when evicting and give us a call to get the process started effectively.

Eviction Restriction Blues

For Landlords, the current emergency order to temporarily pause the enforcement of residential evictions is just another hit in a long list of delays and setbacks causing financial hardship and stress. The LTB delays are at record timelines. Tenants are living rent free in properties while landlords are struggling to make mortgage payments on income properties with no income. This is a very frustrating time to be a real estate investor. So how do we deal? Well, the good news is that the LTB is still plodding along as best as they can with limited staff and resources. This means that hearings are still taking place. This means that yes, you should absolutely serve that N4 and file that L1 and get yourself in the queue to be heard. Chances are, if you file today, by the time you get to your hearing date, 5-6 months from now, the eviction ban will be lifted and your order will be enforced in due time. What Landlords should NOT do, is delay. If your tenant is in arrears, ACT NOW. Get in that queue, I know it seems hopeless but there will be light at the end of this tunnel. I am happy to guide you through this process to ensure that you do get results.. eventually.

Game on!

The Landlord and Tenant Board has announced that they will gradually be expanding services starting August 1st, 2020. What does this mean for Landlords?

  1. All those pending eviction orders will start to be issued! Finally!
  2. Eviction orders which are based on landlords and tenants settling their dispute through an agreement will be issued
  3. Urgent Eviction matters will continue to be heard by telephone
  4. Non Urgent Eviction matters will start to be scheduled/rescheduled
  5. Non-urgent eviction hearings will begin mid-August and into the fall

“As services gradually resume, the LTB is strengthening its ability to deliver fair, effective and timely services during the COVID-19 outbreak by holding hearings by video conference, phone or in writing

The LTB does encourage landlords and tenants to discuss settlement prior to an eviction application hearing with an adjudicator to minimize the number of files the board will have to schedule. The Board will be expanding the use of Case Management Hearings to include most eviction applications filed by landlords that do not include rent arrears”

The End of the Eviction Restriction

On July 6, the Superior Court of Justice order that had suspended residential evictions was amended. It now states that the suspension will end at the end of the month in which the state of emergency is terminated. What that means for landlords is this: the sheriff will be back in business enforcing all of those eviction orders that landlords have not been able to act on for months. To be clear, only the orders that have already been issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board can now enforced. The Board has not reopened and no regular hearings are being scheduled or rescheduled yet. So if you are a landlord and you have an order to terminate a tenancy and your tenant has not complied with the order, starting August 1st, you will be able to take that order to your local court enforcement office and request enforcement by the sheriff!

The Importance of Being Proactive

It’s July 2nd! Have your tenants paid the rent yet? If not, have you delivered an N4 notice yet? If not, WHY NOT? Did you know that once the rent is paid, before the deadline on that N4, the notice becomes void? This means that you can send the N4 as soon as the 2nd of the month when rent is not paid and your tenants can still take a few days to make that payment if times are a little tight after the holidays BUT, if they take too long, the termination date on that N4 will apply and you will be in the best possible position to apply to the board for eviction. With the board currently being overrun with applications, and the resulting delays, it can take up to 90 days to get to your hearing, which could mean more unpaid rent! Don’t delay! Get those N4 notices delivered and set yourself up for success! For help with Notices and Applications, Landlords can give us a call!

Your tenant owes you $4000.00 in rent arrears…

What do you do? Well, let’s rewind a little bit and I’ll explain how to avoid this situation. The first and most important step in being a landlord is screening your tenant applicants. This is where a property manager is your best ally. Screening your tenants properly not only tells you what their current and past situations are, but it lets your tenants know that you mean business and sending that message early on, can set you up for a better relationship for the duration of the tenancy. If you screen your tenants and see red flags, listen to your gut. If you feel sorry for the applicant, help them if you can but don’t make them your tenant!

Once you have screened your tenant thoroughly and feel confident that you have found a great candidate, set your expectations for rent payment clearly. Exceptions can me made, but not on a regular basis. If rent is late by even one day, have the N4 notice served on the tenant on the second day. If they pay, great! If they don’t, you have your first step covered early on.

Your accounting system or tenant ledger should always be up to date and accurate with exact dates when payments are made. This is very important because you may need that ledger of your tenant ends up at the Landlord & Tenant Board for a rent arrears hearing.

This brings me to the next step. If your tenant hasn’t paid the owing rent by the deadline on the N4, now is the time to contact a paralegal for help evicting a tenant for rent arrears

But I got a guarantor!

So your tenant applied for your rental property and he or she was not the ideal applicant due to low credit score or lower than ideal income. So they offered to have a parent or a friend sign as a guarantor for them. What does that mean?
A guarantor is a third party to a contract who agrees to become financially liable for a debt unpaid by your tenant to you.
Sounds perfect, right? Well, it’s not a ‘get out of arrears free card’. The process of collecting outstanding rent is just that – a process. The first step is to understand that this guarantor is not a tenant. He or she is not responsible for the terms of the lease and the LTB will not order the rent arrears be paid by the guarantor. This is where having a paralegal guide you through the process can be your saving grace. An experienced paralegal who knows the process and how to set yourself up for success is your best asset. If you don’t have the correct documents in order properly at the beginning of the tenancy, you won’t be able to collect the arrears from the guarantor at the end. If you or someone you know is dealing with a bad tenant, give us a call and we can guide you through the process and get you on the road to a healthy tenancy. Protect your investment! Contact Landriault Legal!

What’s the deal with tenant laws regarding pets?

Tenants have pets without permission? There is a sheepdog sized misconception about pets and renting in Ontario. Let’s see if we can groom out the details and clarify the terms surrounding fluffy and snowball and your rights as a landlord. To begin, separate your timeline into “before the lease is signed”, and “after the lease is signed”. The lease is the key here. Before a lease is signed, you, as a landlord, are within the law to refuse to rent your property to a particular applicant based on the fact that they have a pet. This is because having a pet is not a protected status under the Human Rights Code. (service animals are a different breed, if you will)

The Human Rights Code states that 1. Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability. Read: pets are not mentioned. This means that it is not a violation of the Human rights of your applicant to refuse to enter into a tenancy based on the fact that they have a pet.

If you do rent to an applicant, meaning money is exchanged for keys and occupancy, you are now leashed by tenant laws regarding pets. The Residential Tenancies Act DOES prohibit you from terminating a tenancy because your tenant has a pet, despite your landlord pet policy. Even a big one. Even two or three or as many as the local bylaws allow.