Landlords and Tenants need to know the rules about eviction in April.
With so much anxiety and confusion happening during a time when many are not working in Ontario, it's wise to know what forgiveness the Residential Tenancies Act allows for tenants in order to avoid eviction.
The absolute truth is this: Hardly any.
Despite the petitions calling for "rent strikes" across the Province, and announcements that seem to suggest that one cannot be evicted in April, we feel in order to avoid unnecessary evictions, that it's important to clear the air.
Is it true that one cannot be evicted in April?
That may be true, but not for the reason you may think. Understand that there is nothing from the Ontario govenrment indicating that. The only reason that one is not likely to be evicted in April is that the Landlord Tenant Board is currently rescheduling hearings to be heard remotely in order to follow social distancing guidelines we all must conform to during this pandemic.
For the same reason, the Sherriff is not enforcing orders...yet.
However, you must understand this:
If a tenant is unable to make their rent, the Landlord can still issue a Notice of Termination. That notice gives a tenant fourteeen days to pay their rent before the Landlord can apply to the Board for an eviction hearing.
While hearings are being rescheduled, the Board is still taking applications.
In these uncertain times, tenants should not be making the mistake, or allow their selves to be ill-advised that April rent will be forgiven, or otherwise discounted due to the pandemic. If rent can be paid, it should be.
Otherwise, tenants and Landlords should be communicating, working out a payment plan if need be, and though it mean frugal grocery spending, accessing government or emergency funds, tenants will have to catch up.
Any rent not paid in April, and subsequent rent, will have to be paid before any eviction hearing a Landlord chooses to schedule, or one can find their self evicted.
We recognize that this pandemic has disrupted life for many -- we don't want to see tenants, or Landlords, blindsided by misinformation, or understanding.
Do not for any reason, other than being in a spot where you have no other option, withhold your rent.