What Landlords and Tenants need to know about Bill 184
On March 12, 2020, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing introduced Bill 184, proposing the new Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act.
The new legislation officially passed on July 22, 2020, and received Royal Assent. The changes will apply retroactively to March 17th, 2020. The legislation, which updates the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and Housing Services Act, 2011, will make it easier to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants.
Here are some important points from Bill 184 that will be an interest to you and to your landlords or tenants clients:
- Landlords are now required to compensate the tenant in the amount of one month’s rent for “no-fault” evictions;
- In addition, landlords must compensate a tenant in the amount equal to one month’s rent or offer the tenant another rental unit acceptable to the tenant if, the tenant receives notice of termination of the tenancy for the purposes of demolition or conversion to non-residential use. This rule also applies to the residential complex containing fewer than five residential units;
- The Board may order up to 12-month rent in compensation for eviction notices issued in bad faith or where the landlord does not allow the tenant to move back in after renovations or repairs;
- Maximum fine amounts for offences under the Act are doubled to $50,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a corporation;
- If a landlord brings an application for an order evicting a tenant based on unpaid rent arising from the period beginning on March 17, 2020, and ending on the prescribed date, the Board shall consider whether the landlord has attempted to negotiate an agreement with the tenant including terms of payment for the tenant’s arrears;
- The Board may order a tenant or former tenant to pay compensation to the landlord for the use and occupation of the rental unit after a notice of termination or an agreement to terminate the tenancy has taken effect if, the tenant or former tenant is or was in possession of the rental unit after the termination of the tenancy;
- The Board may order a tenant or former tenant to pay compensation to the landlord for the unpaid utilities that the tenant was required to pay under the terms of the tenancy agreement, while the tenant or former tenant is or was in possession of the rental unit. The costs referred are reasonable out-of-pocket expenses that the landlord has incurred or will incur as a result of a tenant’s or former tenant’s failure to pay utility costs that they were required to pay under the terms of the tenancy agreement;
- The Board may order a tenant or former tenant to pay compensation to the landlord reasonable costs that the landlord has incurred or will incur for the repair of or, where repairing is not reasonable, the replacement of damaged property while the tenant or former tenant is or was in possession of the rental unit, the tenant or former tenant, another occupant of the rental unit or a person permitted in the residential complex by the tenant or former tenant wilfully or negligently causes or caused undue damage to the rental unit or the residential complex;
- An increase in rent is deemed not to be void if the tenant has paid the increased rent in respect of each rental period for at least 12 consecutive months;
- The Act does not apply with respect to a rental unit that is a site on which a land lease home is located, if the rental unit is owned by an employer and is provided to an employee, or to an employee and the employee’s spouse, in connection with the employee’s employment.