Many in Ontario were temporarily laid off due to the closure of local businesses. Besides the worries of not having a stable income, some concern that they will not be able to afford the rent and what action they should take if they are behind the rent payment. In this post, you may find some useful information that helps solve your tenancy issues.
Recent changes to the Ontario tenancy law
I would like to highlight a couple of changes to the Ontario justice system including the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB):
- As of March 19, 2020, The LTB suspended all hearings with respect to eviction applications and issuance of eviction orders, unless it is urgent, until further notice. Although the LTB may still accept those applications, new hearings will not be scheduled if it is eviction-related.
- As of March 16, 2020, any period of time established by the Government of Ontario as well as the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), 2006 is suspended until further notice.
In light of the changes, for example, if you receive a notice of termination after March 16, 2020, the notice period will not be running. In such a case, your landlord cannot start an eviction application with the LTB until the notice period is over.
Should you tell your landlord if you have foreseen you will be late for rent?
This is not a mandatory requirement. However, it is a courtesy that you give your landlord a heads-up if you are going to be late in rent payment. This may ease the tension between you and your landlord and help solve the issue more easily.
Some steps you can do before talking to your landlord
Before telling your landlord that you will be late for rent, consider taking the following steps:
1. Read through your lease agreement and determine if you are covered by the RTA.
2. Evaluate your current financial capacity regarding
- whether you will be able to pay the rent in full on time,
- How likely you will be late in rent payment,
- How late it will be, and
- If possible, whether you can make a payment plan.
3. Determine whether the cause of your late rent payment is in good faith.
Determine if you are covered by the RTA
Generally speaking, you are not a tenant if you are one of the following categories:
- a roommate of your landlord,
- a roommate of a current tenant, and you are not on the lease agreement, or
- a commercial tenant.
If you are not a tenant under the RTA, different rules will apply. Call us for a free consultation if you have further questions.
Evaluate your current financial status
It is my suggestion that you have already had a clear plan of your rent payment if you are about to miss the due date. Your landlord will want to know this information, and this will provide the landlord with the confidence.
The cause of your late rent payment is in good faith
If you are going to be late in your rent payment, make sure it is in good faith. Good faith means that you have good reasons to support your position.
If you have enough financial capacities but do not pay your rent simply because of the coronavirus itself, it will not be considered a good reason.
Although the law and current changes have almost made an eviction impossible around this unique period of time, those issues are actually already beyond the law. To solve those issues, mutual understanding and cooperation are what we need the most.
Nonetheless, if any of you is having tenancy issues with your landlord, please feel free to contact me by email or phone call for a free consultation and legal advice.
LegalRoots wishes you all safe and healthy.