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What happens if there's an eviction order against me and I don’t move?

Question
What happens if there's an eviction order against me and I don’t move?

Glossary

Clear language definitions to common legal terms. 

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Reviewed: 
December, 2015
Answer

After the Landlord and Tenant Board makes an order to evict a tenant, a court official called the Sheriff is in charge of enforcing or carrying out the order.

If you have not moved out by the date the eviction order says you must move, the Sheriff can make you leave and let your landlord change the locks.

Only the Sheriff is allowed to physically evict you

The law does not let your landlord, a private bailiff, or a security guard physically evict you or lock you out. Only the Sheriff can do this. The police can't evict you either but the Sheriff can ask the police for help if the Sheriff thinks there might be violence.

You can get evicted at any time of year

Many tenants believe that the law does not allow evictions in the winter. That is not true. The Sheriff can enforce eviction orders at any time of year.

The Sheriff does not have to tell you when they are coming to evict you

If you have an eviction order against you, the Sheriff could come to change your locks on any weekday after the date the Board ordered you to move out.

It's important to act quickly. Get legal advice as soon as possible if you want to try to stop the eviction. If you've decided to move, make sure you're ready to go as soon as possible.

Sometimes the Sheriff will mail you a "Sheriff’s Notice to Vacate" that tells you the date that they will come to your place and change the locks. But the Sheriff does not have to send you a notice. In many parts of Ontario, they never tell you when they are coming.

You can try to phone your local Sheriff’s office to find out when they are coming but they do not have to tell you. The phone number may be listed as "Enforcement – Superior Court of Justice" for the courthouse in your location. If there is no such listing, try the courthouses for nearby larger municipalities.

Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)

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