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Can I be evicted during COVID-19?

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Can I be evicted during COVID-19?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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Can I be evicted during COVID-19?updated
Reviewed: 
January 14, 2021
Answer

On January 13, 2021, the government put another order in place that stops the Sheriff's office from evicting most tenants during the second COVID-19 state of emergency. This order lasts until the emergency order is over.

Only Sheriffs can enforce eviction orders in Ontario.

Most tenants who rent a place to live are protected by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). If you're a tenant under the RTA, your landlord, or anyone else like a private bailiff, can't evict you. That was illegal before the freeze on evictions, and it's still illegal.

If you think your landlord might evict you without the Sheriff, you can call the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit (RHEU), a government office at 1-888-772-9277 (toll-free) or 416-585-7214. They might contact your landlord to discuss it. Sometimes this can solve the problem.

If that doesn't work, try to get legal help right away.

Urgent applications

If you can't get legal help, you can make an urgent application to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) using their online Form T2. There is a $48 filing fee which you will have to pay by credit card or debit card.

All LTB offices are closed to the public because of COVID-19, so you can't file documents in-person at the LTB.

If you can't file or pay online, visit ServiceOntario Centres for a list of locations that accept applications for the LTB. At ServiceOntario you can pay by cash, certified cheque, or money order. There is a $53 filing fee. But you can request a fee waiver using the Fee Waiver Request form if you're eligible.

Eviction hearings

If you receive a notice of hearing, it’s important that you respond. The LTB is still holding eviction hearings during the state of emergency, and can make eviction orders. Most of these eviction orders won’t be enforced by the Sheriff as long as the freeze on evictions is in place.

COVID-19 Evictions for non-payment of rent
COVID-19 Evictions for non-payment of rent

Learn about L1 eviction hearings

But some orders might say that the Sheriff can speed up the eviction. This might happen in cases where tenants are accused of unsafe or illegal conduct.

At this time, the LTB is holding most hearings remotely by phone, videoconference, or in writing. There are some reasons when the LTB might consider having an in-person hearing. For example, if you have a disability that would make it difficult for you to have a remote hearing. Or, if a remote hearing would be unfair because you don’t have a phone or reliable internet access. In-person hearings are very rare.

Legal help

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