Parkdale rooming house landlords don’t always follow the law. Neither do the property investors they are often selling to. They also count on their tenants not knowing the law, which makes it easier for them to operate cheaply, sell their buildings and kick people out.
Below are a few basics to help you stand up to your landlord and the agents helping them sell their buildings.
- You don’t have to leave unless the Sheriff is at your door. Only a sheriff can legally evict you, after an order from the Landlord Tenant Board. If there has been no hearing, there will be no Sheriff. If there is no sheriff, you are allowed to stay put.
- Save but don’t sign any paperwork you are given by your landlord. Contact Parkdale Community Legal Services for support in making sense of any documents you are given.
- You don’t have to grant access to your home without at least 24-hours advance notice. Unless it is an emergency, you do not have to let your landlord or a real estate agent into your home without 24-hours’ notice. Saying ‘no’ tells your landlord that you are aware of your rights and will not be bullied.
- You are legally entitled to record or film any interactions you have with your landlord or their representatives. Recordings mean you can prove any threats or incorrect information you are given by your landlord, or demonstrate that you have denied entry to your unit without notice (for example).
- Your landlord can usually only raise your rent 1.8%/year. Unless they have done expensive renovations and have applied to the Landlord Tenant Board for a bigger increase, they cannot raise your rent by more than 1.8% this year.
- You are always legally entitled to get a rent receipt each time you pay your rent. It is always recommended that you ask for one, both to prove your right to tenancy and to challenge any accusations of not paying your rent.
- ‘Reno-victions’ are unlawful if you are not given first right to return. If the landlord wants to evict you to renovate your unit (with an N13 notice), you have first rights to return to the unit at a comparable price. Be sure to tell them this if they suggest they are planning to do so.
- Landlord claims that they want to kick you out for their ‘Own-use’ are often unlawful. If a landlord wants to evict you because they say they or their family want to move into the unit (with an N12 notice), this would only apply to their: parents, children, spouse, or the parents or children of their spouse. An N12 cannot be used for any other family members. If the family member(s) leave the unit within less than a year and it is re-rented, you can take the landlord at the Landlord Tenant Board where they can receive fines up to $25,000.
None of the above is the same as getting legal advice on your situation. If you’re worried about your housing situation or your landlord’s actions, contact one of the local groups that can provide support.