Province revives Bill making residential evictions easier
After the Ford Government promised no one would be evicted from their home as a result of COVID-19, they might be ready to walk that back.
In the midst of the pandemic, the Province has decided to revive Bill 184, which would completely overhaul landlord-tenant law and make it easier for residential tenants to be evicted.
“Similar to the decision to ignore the crisis in long-term care, this Bill is an extremely short-sighted approach to a long-ignored and pressing social problem,” Kenneth Hale, director of advocacy and legal services for the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO), said in a news release.
“The pandemic crisis has deepened tenants’ vulnerabilities and Bill 184 fails to provide a clear plan to protect tenant homes when this pandemic crisis subsides," he continued.
The Bill, if passed, would increase fines for landlords who evict rent-paying tenants in good standing, as well as slightly change the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) regulations for landlords, to make it easier to become one.
It would also add a massive caseload of debt collection to the LTB's workload, which would not protect tenants, but rather make them more insecure.
As a result, the ACTO is urging the government to rewrite the bill to include the following:
- The continued restriction of evictions to urgent cases where public safety is at stake.
- Restricting rent increases to maintain current rents, which already are unaffordable for nearly half of Ontario’s tenants.
- Eliminate rent increases in newer units that are exempt from rent regulation as of November 2018.
- Limit rent gouging by landlords by restricting rent increases between tenancies.
- Ensure that the Landlord and Tenant Board’s rules make ongoing preservation of homes the object of the dispute resolution processes.
“Protecting public health must take priority over protecting the financial wealth of property owners,” Hale said. “Putting tenants in jeopardy of homelessness and increased poverty is cruel, and puts the lives of all Ontarians at risk.”
Cover photo courtesy of @flyingdick88’s Instagram
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