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COVID-19

Landlord and Tenant Helpline

During these difficult times, the best thing you can do it stay informed. Know your rights and where you can find help. If you have questions, drop us a line using the “Contact Us” form at the bottom of this page to set up a free 30 minute consultation. 

Important Notices

Landlord and Tenant Board (as of 04/14/2020)

Until further notice, the Landlord and Tenant Board is suspending the issuance of eviction orders and all hearings related to eviction applications — unless the matter relates to an urgent issue such as an illegal act or serious impairment of safety.

Tribunals Ontario (as of 04/14/2020)

Tribunals Ontario is implementing a new policy to postpone in-person hearings and reschedule to a later date. Where feasible, alternative hearing options such as written and telephone hearings will be considered to minimize disruption to hearings across the organization. In addition, all front-line counter services will be closed as of March 16 until further notice.

Financial Assistance (as of 04/22/2020)

For information on what assistance is available from the federal and provincial governments, click here.

Rights

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, you have rights under Ontario law.

Obligations

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, you have obligations under Ontario law.

Frequently Asked Questions

Common situations and what to do.

Helpful Links

Quick links to assistance programs available in Ontario and other resources.

Contact Us

We do our best to keep this page up to date, but things are changing constantly in these turbulent times. 

If you need to talk to someone about your particular situation, drop us a line.

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Landlord

Tenant

  • Continue to encourage your tenants to observe physical distancing requirements, as set out by Health Canada, and practice good hygiene. You may not disclose the name or unit number of the individual with the confirmed case. 

    See if you can come to a different payment arrangement. 

    Tenants are required to continue to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, landlords and tenants should, and are encouraged to discuss the lease and rental arrangements and make fair arrangements to keep tenants in their homes during this time.

    Under the Residential Tenancies Act, landlords cannot charge fees or penalties for late rent payments.

    Consider your legal options.

    Typically, where a commercial tenant default on rental payments, they will be considered in breach of the commercial lease. A landlord has a number of remedies available to it including, but not limited to:

    • Commence a civil action for rent due an owing or performance of the contract (the lease);
    • Seizure of property (distress rights)
    • Terminate the lease and re-enter the property.

    You should carefully review the terms of your commercial lease, particularly the force majeure clause. Also, review your insurance policies to determine if insurance is applicable in the circumstances (i.e. business interruptions).

    Yes, but you must give notice.

    The same rules regarding entry remain applicable: a landlord can only enter a tenant’s unit in certain circumstances, and must provide a tenant 24 hours written notice; state what date and time they will enter (must between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m) and state the reason for entering the unit. During COVID-19 pandemic, a Landlord should consider requesting entry only in urgent situations and follow strict physical distasting and hygiene practices.

    There are a few ways the bank can help.

    Banks and mortgage lenders are permitting mortgage deferrals. Schedule I Banks are also providing customers with various relief including deferring Line of Credit Payments.

    Customers of banks and lending institutions should contact their branch directly to obtain information of financial assistance options that are available.

    Not immediately.

    If money is owed to the Canada Revenue Agency for personal income tax, you can delay payment until August 31, 2020 without incurring any interest or penalties.

    For property tax, check with your municipality about any relief they are offering. For example, Toronto has implemented a 60 day grace period for property tax payments and penalties, as of March 16, 2020. 

  • Not at the moment, but you can still be given an eviction notice.

    On March 19, 2020, an Order was issued by the Ontario Government to cease all evictions until the Court and Tribunal offices resume normal operations. However, “urgent” matters are still being dealt with by the Superior Court of Justice, if a Landlord can demonstrate the urgency of a situation requiring eviction

    No new eviction orders will be issued until further notice, and the sheriff’s offices have postponed any scheduled enforcement of current eviction orders, unless the order relates to an urgent issues such as a safety concern or an illegal act. Landlords are still permitted to provide tenants with eviction notices. 

    You must pay what you can.

    You must still pay rent unless you and your landlord come to an agreement to defer it during the pandemic crisis.

    Even if you have been served with an eviction order, you must still pay rent. Landlords are allowed to collect compensation from a tenant for each day that an eviction order is not enforced. If a tenant is in self-isolation or cannot work should look to the emergency relief measures including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for financial assistance.

    Try to work it out with your landlord.

    Tenants who are having difficulty paying rent should speak with their landlords about deferring their rent or other payment arrangements. A landlord does not have to accept such arrangements. Failing to pay rent may lead to an eviction

    Tenants who can pay their rent must do so.

    No.

    It is illegal for a landlord to change the locks to a rental unit or the building, without giving the tenant a key for the new locks.

    There are a few ways the bank can help.

    Banks and mortgage lenders are permitting mortgage deferrals. Schedule I Banks are also providing customers with various relief including deferring Line of Credit Payments.

    For students, a six-month interest free reprieve on student loan payments is available.

    Customers of banks and lending institutions should contact their branch directly to obtain information of financial assistance options that are available.

    Not immediately.

    If money is owed to the Canada Revenue Agency in personal income tax, you can delay payment until August 31, 2020 without incurring any interest or penalties.

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