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Evicting a difficult tenant

Whether you have a single property for rent or you own several multi-family dwellings, you have one thing in common with other landlords: tenants. Tenants are the lifeblood of your business, and you appreciate the ones who make your job easy. Unfortunately, you may have some bad experiences with tenants who expect too much of you.

You could ultimately reach a breaking point with a particularly obnoxious or frustrating tenant. The thought of dealing with this renter month after month throughout the term of the lease may be more than you can stand. Nevertheless, you must be careful to abide by Ontario law if you decide to evict your troublesome tenant.

Limits on your eviction rights

Eviction is a serious step to take, and the law rightly protects tenants from the arbitrary actions of landlords. When you evict tenants, you are not simply removing them from your property. You are also removing them from their homes. This is why you must have a valid reason for taking this action. By law, you may only evict a tenant under these circumstances:

  • The tenant pays none or only part of the rent by its due date, or he or she is consistently late with the rent payment.
  • The tenant or someone in the unit causes unnecessary damage.
  • The behaviour of the residents interferes with the peaceful living of others in the complex.
  • The actions of the tenant or others in the unit endanger the safety of other people.
  • The residents of the unit are involved in illegal activity.
  • The tenant has more people living in the unit than the lease specifies or the law allows for health and safety reasons.

With any of these factors, you must go through the proper channels, such as giving adequate notice to the tenant and presenting your case to the Landlord and Tenant Board. Additionally, you cannot remove the tenant's belongings from your unit on your own, including hiring someone to clean out the items. Contacting the Court Enforcement Office prior to an eviction is the best way to avoid violating this legal stipulation.

When it's not the tenant's fault

In some cases, a landlord must evict a tenant when the tenant has done nothing wrong. This could be because the landlord needs the unit for a family member, is selling the unit, or is planning to renovate or demolish the building. These cases still require you to go through the proper channels.

No matter the reasons for evicting your tenant, you want to be careful to follow the legal restrictions and obligations to avoid negative repercussions from your tenant. You may find that the advice of an experienced lawyer can help you avoid making critical mistakes.

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