Does Toronto anti-renoviction bylaw punish honest landlords?

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Room being renovated

Toronto councillors have approved a new motion aimed at protecting tenants from "renovictions.”

The new bylaw draws inspiration from a similar one in nearby Hamilton, which introduces new regulations to curb the misuse of N13 eviction notices to remove tenants under the guise of renovations.

From 1 January 2025, Hamilton's bylaw will require landlords or property managers to apply for a renovation license within seven days of issuing an N13 eviction notice. This license is only granted if all building permits are secured and an engineer's report confirms a vacancy is necessary. Housing providers must also make arrangements for tenants wishing to return after the work is completed.

Toronto's forthcoming bylaw will include similar provisions, with fines up to $10,000 for individuals and $50,000 for corporations who fail to comply.

In Ontario, N13 filings increased by nearly 300% from 2017 to 2022, with Toronto leading the province. Toronto saw a total of 950 N13s filed from 2017 to August 2023 – however, it's unclear how many of these were in bad faith.

Some argue that Toronto's new anti-renoviction bylaw will create unnecessary red tape for honest housing providers, while supporters of the bylaw believe it is essential to prevent unjust evictions and protect tenants.

More housing policy headlines

Tenant advocates raise alarms as personal use evictions soar – PayProp blog

RentSafeTO tightens measures on non-compliant landlords – PayProp blog

Tenant advocate calls for policy reform for renters to avoid "double bind" – Storeys

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