landlord tenant act

It could soon be easier for landlords to evict tenants in Toronto

As if Toronto wasn't already scary enough for renters, Premier Doug Ford's government is looking to make some changes that are not likely to be popular among residents who don't own their homes.

On the table is a movement that would shorten the wait period for eviction orders to just six days.

Currently, the wait can be from a minimum of 11 days for eviction orders issued by the Landlord and Tenant board to up to 365 days for notices a landlord issues a tenant — often enough time for tenants to get money together for unpaid rent before the whole process of evicting them gets into motion.

According to internal government documents sourced by the Toronto Star, the Progressive Conservatives are also considering permitting landlords to use private bailiffs to get tenants and their belongings off of a property, which is currently not permitted.

All of this is, apparently, to help free up more rental housing amid dramatic scarcity in the city.

The vacancy rate for apartments in Toronto — apartments that cost more than $2,300 per month, on average, making us the priciest city in Canada and one of the most expensive places in the world to live — is currently around 1 per cent, and is below 2 per cent across the GTA.

Experts, though, don't think expediting evictions is the best way to go about solving the city's affordable housing crisis, calling it "dangerous" and a "misplaced priority" when speaking with Vice.

Because of the city's skyrocketing prices, some landlords have employed some nefarious tactics to get rid of tenants so they can jack up the rent further than what is currently permitted by rent controls.  This is how the term renoviction was recently coined.

Unfortunately for commercial tenants, landlords are allowed to go ahead and pursue other, more lucrative tenants at the end of every lease period.

Renoviction refers to a situation in which a landlord boots tenants for no reason other than to relist the unit at a substantially higher price, but does so under the guise of completing massive renovations or having family move in, which are valid grounds for eviction under current Ontario laws.

There is obvious concern that further chipping away at tenant rights in any way, like Ford is proposing, will exacerbate such problems and others when Toronto renters are already struggling enough as it is.

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