Game-Changing New Eviction Rules in Place to Protect Tenants in Halton

Nobody wants to be evicted, but if you're a renter in Oakville, Burlington, Milton, or Halton Hills, you might face that risk. Now, Ontario has announced some new rules - effective immediately - for the circumstances in which landlords can evict tenants.

You can breathe a little easier if you're a tenant in Halton, thanks to some new requirements for landlords.

Starting today, when a landlord ends a tenancy so that they or a family member can use a rental unit, landlords must provide one month’s rent to the tenant as compensation, or offer the tenant another acceptable rental unit.

What's more - landlords must also express intent to occupy the unit for at least one year. So, they can't evict a tenant unless they've given the tenant fair warning.

"If the landlord advertises, re-rents or demolishes/converts the unit within one year, she or he will be considered to have acted in bad faith unless they can prove otherwise, and could face a fine of up to $25,000," said the province in a statement Friday morning.

There are approximately 1.2 million private rental households in Ontario, and for anyone living in one of those households, this news might level the playing field where landlords and tenants are involved.

"The new measures will help protect tenants by discouraging landlords from unlawfully evicting them, whether for conversion of the unit into a short-term rental or immediately re-renting it at a higher rate," said the province.

These measures are, indeed, all part of the protections for tenants that are rolling out under the province's Fair Housing Plan. The changes are building on other protections, such as the expansion of rent control to all private rental units, including those first occupied on or after November 1, 1991.

"When a tenant is evicted through no fault of their own, they are forced to scramble to find new accommodations and cover the costs of a sudden move. These new measures will help make that transition easier and, in some cases, prevent it from happening at all by curbing unlawful evictions. It's just another way our Fair Housing Plan is continuing the province's strong track record of protecting tenants and ensuring everyone in Ontario has a place to call home," said Peter Milczyn, minister of housing and minister responsible for the poverty reduction strategy.

With these rules in mind, it is officially an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act for a landlord to knowingly end a tenancy by giving notice "in bad faith."

A conviction for this offence can result in a fine of up to $25,000 for an individual landlord.

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