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When can my landlord evict me?
Your landlord can evict you from your home if they have legal reason to do so. What constitutes legal reason is set out by the Residential Tenancies Act of Ontario.
You can be evicted for breaking the landlord/tenant agreement and not doing what is expected or for unacceptable behaviour. It can also involve having guests that are not complying with the tenant/landlord rules.
These are some of the top reasons that can get you evicted:
- Frequently paying rent late or missing payments altogether.
- You or your guest(s) do something illegal in your unit or building.
- Causing excessive damage to the rental property or building.
- Unreasonably disturbing the landlord or other tenants in the building (this applies to you or your guests).
- Overcrowding/having too many people living in one unit. (See below for how many people can live in one rented apartment)
- Lying about your income when you applied to rent the unit.
- The owner needs the apartment for their own use - they, a member of the owner's family (spouse, child, parent, spouse's child, spouse's parent)
- The owner will destroy the building, make extensive repairs that require the unit to be empty, or convert it (change the unit so that it is no longer used as housing)
How many people can live in my apartment?
The measurement standard for overcrowding most frequently used in Canada was set out by the Canadian National Occupancy Standards (CNOS).
This standard says that:
- Every adult couple (adult is 18+) requires a separate bedroom.
- Every non-coupled individual 18+ also requires a separate bedroom (3 individual adults must rent a 3 bedroom apartment).
- Kids under 5 can share a bedroom with any other sibling under age 5.
- Kids between the ages of 5-17 can share a bedroom with a same-gender sibling.
A household formed by an adult couple with two sons age 4 and 6, would require housing with a minimum of two bedrooms to avoid being considered overcrowded.
A landlord cannot physically remove you from the home. They must file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board first and follow the proper eviction process. In most cases, the Landlord and Tenant Board will hold a hearing, and if the board decides that you can be evicted, only the Sheriff has the power to physically evict you.
If your court hearing has already been scheduled with the Landlord and Tenant Board, you can get free legal help to prepare for your court appearance from the Eviction Help: The Tenant-Lawyer Connection Portal (TLCP).
You can also use the Navigate Tribunals Ontario online tool and customize your search to access resources on your rights and and responsibilities as a tenant or landlord. The tool is designed to help you navigate the rules set out by the Landlord and Tenant Board.
For questions about a wrongful eviction or if you have questions about being kicked out of your home, you can also contact a legal clinic or housing help centre for more information. Go to Services Near Me to find help in your area.
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there are special temporary rental rules that apply. Read about the Renting Changes on the Ontario.ca page. If you have more questions about your tenant rights during the pandemic you can also visit the COVID-19 Housing Laws page from Steps to Justice.
For More Information
- Does your landlord want you to move out? - This fact sheet covers the basics of an eviction process. Available in more than 5 languages. From CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario).
- Moving Out - This booklet describes what tenants have to do if they want to move out, and what can happen if they do not follow the rules.
- Can your landlord take your stuff? - This booklet explains what landlords can do with personal property that tenants leave behind when they move or are evicted.
- Landlord and Tenant Board - Provides information about the RTA and to resolve disputes between most residential landlords and tenants.
- What Tenants Need to Know About the Law - Topics covered include rent increases, deposits and other charges, repairs and maintenance, privacy, moving out, and eviction.
December 8, 2022