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Jul 29, 2020

Province Introduces Consequential Amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and Other Statutes with the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020

By Matthew Helfand

Bill 184, the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020, was passed into law on July 21, 2020. Bill 184 predominantly introduces changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (“RTA”), the statute which regulates all residential tenancies in Ontario. In addition, Bill 184 introduces amendments to the Building Code Act, 1992 and Housing Services Act, 2011 as well as introduces the Ontario Mortgage Housing Corporation Repeal Act, 2020.

Bill 184 amendments to the RTA will impact both landlords and tenants, and include the following:

Compensation for Tenant

  • New section 49.1 provides that where the landlord gives a notice of termination on behalf of a purchaser who requires the rental unit, the landlord must provide a tenant with compensation equal to one month’s rent or to offer the tenant another rental unit acceptable to the tenant.
  • New subsections 52(2), and 54(3) and (4) provide that where a landlord gives a notice of termination for the purposes of demolition or conversion to non-residential use, or for the purpose of repairs or renovations, the landlord must compensate the tenant an amount equal to one month’s rent or offer the tenant another rental unit acceptable to the tenant. Previously, such compensation was only available with respect to residential complexes with more than 5 units.
  • Amendments to subsection 57(3) now authorize the Landlord and Tenant Board to order that a landlord pay a tenant a specified sum of money as general compensation where certain notices of termination were given to a tenant in bad faith.

Applications by Landlord to Terminate a Tenancy

  • New section 71.1 introduces the following new requirements for a landlord who files an application with the Board for an order to terminate a tenancy:
    • A landlord is now required to file an affidavit with the Board in support of an application to terminate a tenancy under section 48 or section 49 at the same time that the application is filed with the Board; and
    • The landlord must indicate in the application to the Board whether or not the landlord has, within two years prior to filing the application, given any other notice of termination under section 48, 49 or 50 in respect of the same or a different rental unit.
  • New subsections 72 (3) and 73 (2) now allow the Board, in determining the good faith of a landlord with respect to certain applications to terminate a tenancy, to consider any relevant evidence that relates to the landlord’s previous use of notices of termination.

Ability of a Tenant to Raise Issues on Application

  • New section 82 allows a tenant, during a hearing of an application to terminate a tenancy, to raise any issue that could be the subject of an application made by the tenant if the tenant provides advance notice to the landlord that they intend to raise the issue, or if the tenant provides a satisfactory explanation why advance notice was not given.

Landlord’s Application to Terminate Tenancy based on Breached Settlement

  • Amendments to section 78 expand the ability of a landlord to apply to the Board to terminate a tenancy, without notice to the tenant, to include instances where the tenant fails to comply with a settlement agreed upon between the landlord and tenant.

Landlord’s Application for Compensation

  • Amendments to sections 87 and 89 provide that the following landlord’s applications may be made either while the tenant is in possession of the unit or no later than one year after the tenant or former tenant ceased to occupy the unit:
    • arrears of rent;
    • compensation for use and occupation by an overholding tenant; and
    • compensation for damage to the rental unit.
  • Previously, a landlord was not permitted to commence such an application if the tenant was no longer in possession of the unit, and the landlord’s recourse was through the court system.
  • New sections 88.1 and 88.2, allow a landlord to make an application to the Board for compensation arising from tenant’s interference with the reasonable enjoyment of the residential complex or with another lawful right, privilege or interest of the landlord, or due to a tenant’s failure to pay utility costs that they were required to pay. This application may be made while the tenant is in possession of the unit, or no later than one year after the tenant or former tenant ceased to occupy the unit. If the Board makes an order for compensation under these new sections, the Board shall set off the amount required to be paid by the tenant against the amount of any rent deposit or interest on a rent deposit that would be owing to the tenant on termination.

Rent increase deemed not void

  • New section 135.1 provides that a rent increase that would otherwise be void due to failure of the landlord to provide adequate notice will be deemed not to be void if the tenant has paid the increased rent for 12 consecutive months and has not made an application to the Board to challenge the increase in rent within one year after the date the rent increase is first charged.

Other Bill 184 Amendments

  • In addition to RTA amendments described above, Bill 184 introduces amendments to several other statutes which will be of interest to municipalities and the development industry.
  • The Building Code Act, 1992 is amended to permit the Lieutenant Governor in Council to designate a not-for-profit corporation as the “administrative authority”, which authority may be delegated the power to administer certain provisions of the Building Code Act, 1992 and the Building Code.
  • The Ontario Mortgage and Housing Corporation is dissolved, and all its assets, liabilities, rights and obligations have been transferred to the Crown.
  • The Housing Services Act, 2011 is amended to introduce, inter alia, new rules governing what will qualify as a designated housing project under the statute.

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