Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Advocates Warn of Unintended Consequences From Proposed 'Renovictions' Law in Ontario

The province of Ontario is considering a new law to strengthen tenant protections, but advocates say the law will have the exact opposite of the intended effect.
March 17, 2020, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
Ontario, Canada
Carlos Mendieta Gonzalez

Donovan Vincent reports: " The provincial government [of Ontario] is bringing forward proposed new rules it says will protect tenants from 'renovictions' — but critics say if the changes go through it will become easier for landlords to get rid of their renters."

The proposed law, called the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, would alter the province's Residential Tenancies Act with the purpose of preventing unlawful evictions, providing support for tenants in "no-fault" evictions, and increasing compensation for tenants evicted under bad faith.

On that last point, Vincent explains: "In a bid to discourage unlawful evictions, the government’s proposed changes would also double the maximum fines for offences under the Residential Tenancies Act to $50,000 for an individual and hike penalties from $100,000 to $250,00 for a corporation."

But opponents of the new law cite the potential for unintended consequences, namely that the law would actually make it easier for landlords to evict tenants. Vincent cites Cole Webber, a legal worker with Parkdale Community Legal Services in downtown Toronto, to explain that concern.

“The legislation aims to speed up eviction in two ways — the first is by limiting the ability of tenants to defend against eviction by raising (repair) and maintenance issues at an eviction hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board,” Webber said in an interview.

The source article includes a lot more explanation of the law and its potential consequences for landlords and tenants.

Share Tweet LinkedIn Email