Bill 184 has become law despite receiving widespread backlash from Ontario tenants advocates. Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord you will need to know this vital information and how they might affect you.
Compensation from former tenants
Currently, landlords are permitted to apply under the Residential Tenancies Act to seek compensation for rental arrears, overholding, or damage to a rental unit. However, they are only permitted to do so where a tenant remains in possession of the rental unit beyond the expiry date of the lease. Bill 184 allows the landlord to do the following:
- to apply to the Landlord & Tenant Board AFTER the tenant moves out of the rental unit within 1 year from the date that the tenant moves out.
- to apply to the Landlord & Tenant Board with respect to a tenant interfering with another tenant’s enjoyment. For example noise, smoking, etc.
- to recoup unpaid utilities within 1 year from the date that the tenant has moved out by bringing an application to the Landlord & Tenant Board.
- landlords will no longer be restricted from pursuing a former tenant from compensation after the tenant has moved out.
2. Illegal rent increases deemed not void
Currently, the Residential Tenancies Act states that a tenant can apply to the Landlord & Tenant Board for an order requiring the landlord to pay the tenant any money that the landlord collected as rent in contravention of the Residential Tenancies Act. Whether as a result of an improper notice of a rental increase or a rental increase above the allowed guideline amount set out by the Ontario Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs on an annual basis.
Bill 184 sets out that a tenant CANNOT seek reimbursement for an improper rent increase IF the tenant has already paid the increased rent for at least 12 consecutive months. This is provided that the tenant did not make an application to the Landlord & Tenant Board challenging the validity of the increase within 1 year from the date that the increase was first charged.
3. Increased cost consequences of terminating tenancy in bad faith
Currently, the Residential Tenancies Act states that if the landlord gives notice in bad faith (N12/N13), the board can order the landlord to pay compensation remedies to the former tenant:
- Reasonable out-of-pocket moving, storage, or similar expenses incurred Rent abatements
- Administrative fees not to exceed $35,000
Bill 184 will allow the Landlord & Tenant Board to supplement these penalties by awarding the tenant up to 12 months’ rent at a monthly rate charged by the landlord to that tenant.
4. Affidavits now required in connection with applications to the LTB to terminate a tenancy
Bill 184 requires that the landlord includes in its application a sworn affidavit setting out the particulars of the reason for termination. In addition, landlords must indicate on the affidavit whether or not it has within 2 years prior to filing the present application, given any other notice of termination to the tenant.
Currently, corporations found in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act are liable to pay fines up to $100,000. Bill 184 increases the maximum fines for corporations up to $250,000.
6. Fast-Tracked Evictions Via Repayment Agreements
Under Bill 184 a landlord can give a tenant (without prior consent) a take-it or leave-it repayment plan, with terms that are unaffordable for the tenant. It also includes a clause that permits the landlord to seek an eviction order (‘ex parte’) without a hearing or notice if the tenant breaches the agreement. If a tenant receives an eviction order in the mail, they have 10 days to file a Motion to Set Aside the eviction order and request a hearing at the Landlord & Tenant Board to explain their circumstances.
Tenants who are offered repayment plans by their landlords should proceed with caution. Tenants should seek advice from their legal clinic or Tenant Duty Counsel. They must carefully read and understand every term and its consequences. A tenant is not required to sign anything they do not understand or cannot afford. Tenants also have the right to present their own repayment plan to the landlord with terms they are confident they can meet on their income. If the landlord and tenant cannot agree on a reasonable repayment plan, the matter will be heard at the Landlord & Tenant Board. However, at the hearing, the adjudicator will consider whether the landlord offered the tenant a repayment plan in their decision. A tenant should explain why they felt it was not fair or feasible for them to sign it.