The Ontario government has issued an emergency order to temporarily pause the enforcement of residential evictions while the stay-at-home-order is in force. This is the second time in less than a year that the province has paused residential evictions.
“By temporarily pausing residential evictions, we are ensuring that all Ontarians are able to stay home, stay safe, and save lives,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government will ensure that residential evictions continue to be paused for the remainder of the state of emergency, as long as it lasts.”
The government says this emergency order will also protect homeowners who are facing evictions due to court orders for possession of their properties.
Since the onset of COVID-19, Ontario has introduced a number of measures to protect tenants and provide supports to those most affected by the pandemic, such as freezing rent so the vast majority of Ontario’s residential tenants will not see an increase this year. Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act also require the Landlord and Tenant Board to consider whether a landlord attempted to negotiate a repayment agreement, before resorting to an eviction for non-payment of rent during COVID-19.
“We’re encouraging landlords and tenants to work together – as they have been doing for the last several months – to ensure that we keep Ontarians safe,” said Minister Clark. “We want to remind tenants who can pay their rent that they must continue to do so, to the best of their abilities.”
The latest modelling trends in key public health indicators have continued to worsen, forecasting an overwhelming of the health system unless drastic action is taken. The pause on residential evictions is one part of the province’s plan to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The Landlord and Tenant Board will continue to hear eviction applications and issue orders, but the enforcement of eviction orders will be postponed for the duration of the emergency order, except in urgent situations – such as for illegal activity. This includes orders issued, but not carried out, before the emergency order came into effect.