Tenant advocates raise alarms as personal use evictions soar

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Upset woman sitting with cardboard boxes

Toronto housing providers have filed for more personal use evictions so far this year than in the whole of 2022, raising concerns about their motivations.

According to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB), there were 1,767 N12 applications from January to September 2023 – a 77% increase from the same period last year.

Tenant advocates argue that personal use evictions are vulnerable to misuse since landlords simply need to “prove” their intention or that of a family member or caretaker to move into the property, which can often be poorly evidenced. Advocates claim such evictions are often used as a convenient way to remove a tenant and replace them with a higher-paying one, avoiding Ontario’s within-tenancy rent increase guideline.

In response to these concerns, Bill 97, the Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act, 2023, was passed earlier this year. The new law will require landlords who evict tenants using N12s to have the new person move in by a certain deadline or the application will be deemed unlawful – the maximum fine for which has been doubled to $100,000 for an individual landlord, or $500,000 for a corporation.

It should be noted the data from the LTB does not specify how many of the glut of N12s submitted this year were filed dishonestly. As the average national rent reaches a record high, landlords may genuinely need their property for themselves or their loved ones. As such, the growth in N12 applications could be completely legitimate, driven by personal circumstances rather than ulterior motives.

Still, property managers would do well to ensure their landlords are aware of the ethical and legal implications of their actions before sending out eviction notices on their behalf.

More tenant rights headlines

Will extra LTB funding cut the eviction backlog? – PayProp

Olivia Chow will create $100M fund to prevent renovictions – Storeys

Niagara landlord says she offered non-paying tenants $10K to leave. It didn’t work. – CBC

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