Does a Landlord take a tenant to Small Claims Court for unpaid utilities?

Does a Landlord take a tenant to Small Claims Court after the tenant has moved out of the unit?

What happens if I sell the property and the new owner wants vacant possession?

Can I renovate the property if a tenant is living there?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed below.

Most importantly, in recent years, there has been large debate over the jurisdiction

between the Landlord Tenant Board and the Small Claims Court.

Even Case Law gave contradictory information. 

Thankfully this has been addressed providing some clarity, yet some would argue

‚Äčthat fairness is still unbalanced in favour of the tenant.

Bill 184 as the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, S.O. 2020,

Chapter 16, Schedule 4 makes various changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.

Change to s. 49 regarding compensation if serving an N12 for purchaser's use, the landlord must now provide compensation just as an N12 for Landlord's use. The obligation is that of the Landlord, not of the purchaser.

Change to s. 52 adds compensation for properties with fewer than 5 units, including 1 month's compensation payable by the Landlord for an N13 for demolition or conversion. Renovations that have a material change to a unit, ie. converting from a one bedroom to a two bedroom unit, are considered demolition or conversion.                                                                                                       Properties with more than 5 units, is 3 month's compensation. 

Change to s. 55.1 adding 49(1) regarding compensation for purchaser's use N12's. This section sets out that compensation has to be paid prior to the termination date in the N12 notice. 

Changes to Section 87 and 89 allow for post-occupation arrears and damages claims. These applications can now be filed up to 1 year after the tenant ceases to have care and control, and possession of the unit. No more Small Claims Court.

Changes to Section 87(3.1) deals with compensation for an over-holding tenant. A Landlord now has 1 year to apply for those damages as well and it is important to remember that rent is different from per diem compensation. 

Changes to Section 87(7) says that any Small Claims Plaintiff's Claims that were commenced prior to this comes into force, will go ahead despite s.168 which gives LTB exclusive jurisdiction. 

Changes to Section 88 state that a Landlord can apply to the Board for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses that have been incurred as a result of a tenant's actions that interfered with the reasonable enjoyment. 

Changes to Section 83 include an amendment to 83(6) stating the Board must consider whether or not the Landlord made an attempt to negotiate with a tenant during Covid. 

Important changes have been made when a Landlord acts in bad faith.                                                                                                                                                            If, as a Landlord, you are forthright and honest with your tenants, and follow the legislation and Rules with in the Residential Tenancies Act, you shouldn't have to be concerned about fines, compensation and penalties.                                                                                                                                                                         If, however, you are considering making some questionable decisions, you MUST be aware of the tenant's rights.                                                                                If you are unsure, contact a paralegal, lawyer or other professional who can assist with your decision.           

Bill 184 adds a new section to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 which says:

As shown, under new section 88.2(1), a landlord may pursue a tenant or former tenant for unpaid utility costs at the Landlord Tenant Board.  Interestingly, section 88.2(1)(b) states that a former tenant may be pursued at the Landlord Tenant Board if the tenant ceased possession of the rental unit on or after this newly added section of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 takes effect.  Previously this was questionable whether it was within the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court.

If you have any questions, contact someone who can provide you with accurate answers. 

CALL 519-204-0069

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