New Ontario legislation now allows ex parte (i.e., without any notice) eviction orders, allowing landlords to obtain an eviction order without appearing before the Landlord and Tenant Board (the “LTB”).
Firstly, with Bill 184, the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, when a tenant is behind on rent, they can now enter into an enforceable repayment agreement with their landlord without oversight from an LTB adjudicator.
If the tenant fails to meet the repayment agreement’s terms, they can be subject to an ex parte eviction, or eviction without a hearing.
This is entirely new, as previously no eviction could be ordered by the LTB without the tenant being properly notified in advance.
How does a landlord now do this?
The landlord must initially serve the tenant a Form N4 Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent, file a Form L1 Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-payment of Rent with the LTB, fill out another LTB form, which becomes the repayment agreement, following which both parties wait to receive the consent order from the board on that agreement.
However, if the tenant breaches the agreement, the landlord can then file an L4 application for eviction and does not have to serve notice to the tenant, nor have a hearing with the LTB.
The tenant has 10 days to file a set aside motion, to appear before the LTB to address the breach.
The tenant can also file a request to review the eviction order until 30 days post-eviction order.
Effectively, the new legislation shifts the onus to the tenant to prove why they did not uphold the agreement, while at a typical non-payment of rent hearing, the landlord has the onus to prove rent was not paid, to which the LTB applies an “equity reasoning”, determining whether there are circumstances that may justify delaying or refusing the eviction.
Some say that this new legislation further tips the scales of the power imbalance in favour of the landlord, namely by removing an opportunity for tenants to access much-needed assistance and protection at the LTD.