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What can I do if my landlord locks me out illegally?
Important COVID-19 updates
Time limits: When figuring out the deadline to take a legal step, the time between March 16 and September 14, 2020 does not count. This is because of an emergency order that stopped all time limits to start a case during that time. Find out how this could affect you.
Landlord and Tenant Board: The LTB is holding most hearings remotely, by phone, video, or in writing. Some people have had trouble connecting to remote hearings. If you have a video hearing scheduled, download Microsoft Teams ahead of time and make sure your setup is working.
If your place is covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, it is against the law for a landlord to evict you or change your locks without an order from the Landlord and Tenant Board. Even with an order, only the Sheriff is allowed to physically evict you.
The police are not allowed to evict a tenant unless the Sheriff asks them for help.
If your landlord, or anyone else, has evicted you or changed your locks without the Sheriff being there, it is probably an illegal lockout.
Before you apply to the Board
If you have been locked out illegally, you can try to solve the problem by contacting your landlord. A letter or phone call from a lawyer, community legal clinic, or student legal aid society might also convince your landlord to allow you to return to your home.
You could also call the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit (RHEU), a government office at 1-888-772-9277 (toll-free) or 416-585-7214. If the RHEU thinks that you may have been locked out illegally, they may contact your landlord to discuss it. Sometimes, this can solve the problem.
Or you can call the police non-emergency number. But often police officers will not get involved in this kind of situation.
If these things don’t work, you can apply to the Board using the Board Form T2.
The Board can order your landlord to let you back in and to give you a key if the locks have been changed.
The Board can also order your landlord to pay you compensation for any losses or harm caused by the illegal eviction.
The Board also has other powers. Get legal advice to make sure you ask for everything you might be entitled to in your case.
You must follow the right steps to get the Board to hear your case. And you will have to show evidence to the Board to prove that there is a problem.
It is best to apply to the Board within one year after the illegal eviction. The Board can only give you money for problems going back one year before you applied.
If you want to get your place back, you should apply as soon as possible. The Board can make the landlord let you back in only if the place is still vacant.