My landlord wants to evict me for illegal acts. What should I do?
Question & AnswerMy landlord wants to evict me for illegal acts. What should I do?
3. Show that your landlord did not prove their case against you
Your landlord doesn’t have to prove that you were convicted or even charged with a crime. You can be evicted for an illegal act even if the police are not involved.
But the Board should not you just because someone didn’t like something you did. Your landlord must show that what happened is actually an illegal act under the law. Here are some questions to think about:
Is it more likely than not that you committed or allowed someone to commit an illegal act?
The standard or legal test of proof to evict for committing an illegal act is a . The Board does not ask for the same level of proof as in a criminal court. Your landlord only has to prove to the Board that it is more likely than not that you committed the illegal act. The Board member must decide whose evidence is more believable, yours or your landlord’s.
But if your landlord or the Board member only suspects you committed an illegal act but there is no real proof of this, the Board should not evict you.
Did the illegal act happen on the property?
The law says you can be evicted for an illegal act on the property you live at. This includes not just your unit but anywhere in the building or the grounds. But the Board should not evict you if the illegal act happened somewhere else.
Who committed the illegal act?
You can be evicted because of something that you allowed someone else to do on the property. But it is not enough that you allowed the person to be there. Your landlord must also prove that you allowed the person to commit the illegal act.
What kind of illegal act was it?
Even if the illegal act is fairly serious, your landlord has to prove that it is a type of act that is disruptive or dangerous to other tenants, the landlord, or staff of the landlord. Some examples are assaulting someone or having illegal weapons. But it does not have to be something that is a criminal offense. For example, doing something that is against city by-laws or against the provincial Building Code could be considered an illegal act.
If your landlord gave you less than 20 days’ because they checked Reason 1 on the N6, it is not enough for them to prove you had or used illegal drugs – they will have to prove that you produced the drugs or were involved in trafficking (selling or distributing the drugs).
As of October 17, 2018, recreational use of cannabis became legal in Canada. But possessing, growing, using, and distributing it is still highly regulated. Many activities involving cannabis are still crimes or violations of provincial laws. There is more information in What do the new laws on cannabis mean?
Was the act a result of a disability?
If the illegal act is a result of or illness, the Board must consider and apply human rights law before deciding to evict you. This means making allowances for people’s disabilities.