Seeking Feedback on Timeframe for Occupancy for Landlord's Own Use Evictions
Bill or Act:
Residential Tenancies Act, 2006
Summary of Decision:
Bill 97, the Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act, 2023 was passed by the Legislature and received Royal Assent on June 8, 2023.
Bill 97 amends rules in the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) around evictions for a landlord's own use to provide the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing with the authority to set, in regulation, a timeframe within which a landlord (or their family member/caregiver) must occupy the unit for personal use after the tenant has vacated.
Under the changes, if this timeframe elapses, the landlord would be presumed to have acted in bad faith if an application is made by the tenant to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) for a remedy. The LTB would retain the authority to determine the good faith intention of a landlord if they can prove that the prescribed period could not reasonably be met.
The Ministry also sought feedback on what a reasonable timeframe would be to require a landlord to move into the unit, as well as the circumstances that might prevent a landlord from reasonably meeting this timeframe.
The feedback received was mixed. Some expressed support for prescribing a timeframe for a landlord to occupy the unit, with responses varying from 11 days to one year, many recommending 60 days. Others noted that setting a timeframe would create burdens or discourage landlords from providing rental housing. Some encouraged the government to make additional improvements to the residential tenancy system including further LTB investments and to establish further tenant protections.
Feedback on circumstances that might prevent a landlord/family member from reasonably meeting a prescribed timeframe included changes to health, living or financial circumstances of the individual who intended to move in, the unit requiring repairs or renovations, and/or LTB delays.
The legislative changes will come into force upon Proclamation. The government is considering the feedback received to inform any future regulation under this new authority.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The legislative changes are not anticipated to create any new administrative burden or cost for business.
April 6, 2023
Summary of Proposal:
The government is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) intended to deter and protect tenants from bad faith evictions, where a landlord has falsely indicated they require the rental unit for their own use.
Section 48 of the RTA allows a landlord to evict a tenant if the landlord, in good faith, requires the unit to live in for a period of at least one year. The section also permits this type of eviction if the unit is required by certain immediate family members related to the landlord (e.g., spouse or child), or a caregiver.
The RTA requires that a landlord seeking to end a tenancy for personal use must:
- Provide at least 60 days' notice to the tenant using the proper Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) form, ending on the last day of a rental period or term of the tenancy;
- Apply to the LTB to end the tenancy (unless the tenant vacates in accordance with the notice); and
- Compensate the tenant in an amount equal to one month's rent or offer another rental unit acceptable to the tenant.
The RTA does not identify a specific timeframe within which the landlord, or their family member or caregiver, must move into a unit for their personal use if they evict a tenant for this reason.
An evicted tenant may apply to the LTB for a determination that a landlord has given notice in bad faith if the landlord does not occupy the unit within a "reasonable time" after the tenant has vacated the unit. At a hearing, the LTB determines on a case-by-case basis what is a "reasonable time".
The government is proposing to amend the RTA to provide the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing with the authority to set, in regulation, a timeframe within which a landlord (or their family member or caregiver) must occupy the unit for personal use. If this timeframe elapses, the landlord would be presumed to have acted in bad faith if an application is made by the tenant to the LTB for a remedy.
The LTB would retain the authority to determine the good faith intention of a landlord if the landlord can prove that the prescribed period could not reasonably be met (e.g., renovations to the unit were delayed or the landlord was hospitalized).
To help inform this proposed legislative amendment and a potential future regulation, the government is seeking input on the following:
1. What would be a reasonable timeframe to require that a landlord move in after the tenant has vacated the unit, and why?
2. What circumstances might prevent a landlord from reasonably meeting a prescribed timeframe?
Royal Assent Date:
June 8, 2023