My landlord wants to evict me for serious damage. What should I do?

4. Show that the landlord did not prove a reason to evict you

The Board should not you just because the landlord says you caused damage or that you are using your unit for something other than living space. Your landlord must show that what happened fits the wording of the law. Here are some questions to think about.

Did you use the place in a way that is not suitable for a residential unit?

If your landlord checked Reason 3 on the N7, they must prove that you used your place in a way that is “inconsistent with its use as residential premises”.

An example of this might be a commercial growing or manufacturing operation. But not all commercial uses would fit this wording. For example, if you do bookkeeping or childcare in your home, that might not be “inconsistent” with residential use.

If your landlord can’t prove this then you should not be evicted based on the Form N7.

Is the damage serious?

If the landlord has checked Reason 3 on the N7, they must also prove that the way you used your place caused or can be expected to cause serious damage. Some examples of damage that the Board might find serious are:

  • breaking down doors
  • tearing out cabinets
  • ripping up flooring
  • putting large holes in walls with a sledgehammer
  • causing a lot of mold by growing a lot of plants

Was the damage caused on purpose?

If the landlord checked Reason 2 on the Form N7, they must prove that the damage was caused wilfully.

“Wilful” means that you caused the damage on purpose. This means you shouldn’t be evicted for damage caused by accident or even carelessness or negligence.

Who caused the damage?

You can be evicted because of something that was done by a person living with you or someone you allowed to be on the property. So consider whether the person was there with your permission when they caused the damage.

Was the damage a result of a disability?

When damage is a result of or illness, it can still be used as a reason to evict someone. However, the Board must consider and apply human rights law. This can mean making allowances for damage related to someone’s mental or physical disability.

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