By Natalka Falcomer

At the risk of being chased with pitchforks, I’ll say it: Bill 184 is not an unapologetic piece of pro-landlord legislation. I say this as someone who worked and volunteered at Parkdale Community Legal Services in the landlord and tenant division. I defended tenants exclusively in and out of the Landlord and Tenant Board and, without hesitation, I assert – the ethics of the landlord and tenant are more important than any legislation. Nonetheless, understanding Bill 184 is imperative for anyone selling or buying a tenanted property and it is imperative for real estate agents to understand it too.



Bill 184 contains a variety of amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 that are beyond the scope of this article. This article focuses on what you need to know if you have a client buying or selling a rented unit.

Compensation for terminating a tenancy on behalf of a purchaser

While sellers in Ontario are already used to compensating tenants if the seller wants to terminate a tenancy early because a purchaser is moving in, section 49.1 adds a few more options. Under the new section, the seller is required to compensate the tenant in an amount equal to one month’s rent or to offer the tenant another rental unit acceptable to the tenant.

Compensation for terminating a tenancy for purposes of demolition, repairs, renovation or conversion

In the past, compensation for giving notice to a tenant due to demolishing, repairs, renovations or conversion of the unit applied only if the residential complex in which the rental unit is located contained at least five residential units. Going forward, these financial obligations extend to all complexes, even if the complex has only one unit.

In other words, a small landlord looking to renovate his basement apartment will have to compensate the tenant “an amount equal to one month’s rent or offer the tenant another rental unit acceptable to the tenant” (Bill 184, Schedule 4, Residential Tenancies Act, 2006). Certainly, the extension of such compensation is a win for tenants and an attempt to stop renovictions.

Affidavits now required when filling applications to terminate a tenancy

A common complaint that Bill 184 attempts to solve is the fact that some purchasers or landlords claimed that they would be moving into a unit, thereby requiring the unit to be vacant. The purchaser or landlord, however, would not move in; rather, they’d repair or upgrade the property and then re-let it for a much greater amount.

Such “renovictions” are caught by the new requirement that the landlord, seller or purchaser, as the case may be, must include in its application to terminate a tenancy a sworn affidavit. The affidavit sets out the reason for termination and, more importantly, if the person filing the application has filed a similar application within the last two years. This affidavit will be used against the applicant if they have a history of moving into tenanted units for a suspiciously short period of time.

While I understand the need to prevent renovictions, I can imagine circumstances in which an applicant can be unjustly denied the ability to move into a unit they own and truly intend to occupy. Buyers should be aware of this set back and the possibility that, if they’ve moved into tenanted units in the past and have filed applications for such evictions, they could be denied the ability to take possession.

Nefarious behaviour will come back to haunt you

Bill 184 takes another step to ensure that landlords, sellers and purchasers are not lying about their intention to actually live in a tenanted unit. Going forward, the Landlord and Tenant Board can consider the landlord’s previous use of notices of termination under Sections 48, 49 and 50 to determine the intentions and good faith of the landlord. If the landlord seems to have a nefarious history and the board finds the landlord to be acting in bad faith, it will cost the landlord a lot more than it has in the past.

Acting in bad faith will cost more

Critics of the act claimed that the fines imposed on landlords who behaved badly were not harsh enough to dissuade renovictions, slumlords or fudged increases in rent. The penalties have been increased from $25,000 (in the case of a person other than a corporation) and $100,000 (in the case of a corporation) to $50,000 and $250,000, respectively.

In addition to the increase in fines, if the board finds that a landlord has acted in bad faith in terminating a tenancy under Sections 48, 49 or 50 (applications for a landlord’s personal use, a purchaser’s personal use or for demolition, conversion or substantial renovation), the board may now order that the landlord compensate the former tenant “in an amount not exceeding the equivalent of 12 months of the last rent charged to the former tenant”.

This amount holds firm even if the actual rent paid was less than what the landlord charged. This 12-month rent compensation is in addition to the imposition of an administrative fine of up to $35,000 and compensation to the tenant for “all or any portion of any increased rent that the former tenant has incurred or will incur for a one-year period after vacating the rental unit” and/or any “reasonable out-of-pocket moving, storage and other like expenses that the former tenant has incurred or will incur”.

Given all of these changes, purchasers and sellers alike should be extra cautious. If you represent a buyer who has evicted tenants in the past in order to move into a unit, they may have problems with the board if they plan to move into a unit that is tenant occupied.  Landlords or sellers should also factor in the various new costs associated with evicting a tenant for legitimate reasons such as renovations to a basement unit, for example. While punishing those who act dishonestly is highly endorsed by this writer, it also appears that acting honestly just got more expensive.

8 COMMENTS

  1. This whole system is bad for both landlords and tenants. These disputes belong in a properly funded court system. And not in a kangaroo court like the landlord tenant board. They need to get rid of all these tribunals and move all of these things back into the courts.

  2. Again and again the LTB and ridiculous Ontario legislation is making it impossible for small landlords. I’m pretty sure the plan is to get rid of small landlords all together so people will only be able to rent from corporate LLs and pay what they dictate. Good job deadbeat tenants, you’ll soon only have a choice of living in apartment buildings and paying exorbitant amounts of rent or buying your own home since no one will rent their properties anymore. Happy now?

  3. As a tenant who is paying rent, all the bills, and looking after the property I feel I have few rights. I have yet another landlord who has repeatedly entered with no notice, walks right in when we are clearly home, I feel completely violated. My disabled child feels unsafe in his home and has become an anxious mess. I have started having panic attacks. (never had that before) maintenance is not done which has resulted the basement flooding 3 times. I was not reimburse for the property I lost. (over$1000) The landlord refused to look at the sump pump after the first flood, second flood it was discovered that the float was getting stuck on the pipe, causing the back up. The third was a frozen pipe that she was to remove before winter. As far as repairs……if I can convince her to do them it takes her months to get it done and usually it will never be finished. I am paying 3 times the mortgage, plus all the bills. I’ve been told off, yelled at, laughed at. Is this ok?????? Seems to be. The Police do nothing. Now she wants to sell during a pandemic when there is no housing what so ever in my town. So am I to take my disabled son to live in the street? A hotel room? Please note, I have never been evicted in my life. So I will be staying and unfortunately the buying will be brought into this because I refuse to be thrown out during a pandemic.

  4. I biggest concerns, as a landlord, with the law are that: 1) applying for court eviction takes too long; 2) application fee to Landlord and Tenants Board is too different between Landlord and Tenants – it was the same, as court fee should be equal for all citizens, and when they increased for landlord, it increased by too much; 3) after evicting a tenant due to true reasons (such as non-payment of rent), paying the owed money by tenant is not enforced by the legal system – unacceptable’ 4) if tenant chooses not to leave, eviction by a sheriff costs too much money – this should be offered as service to landlord or any citizen when another citizen does not obey the law and move.

  5. You are bang on my friend. Government wants to know everything and They don’t want to miss one dollar of extra tax money they could be grabbing.
    A Landlord is not better off today, they are expected to take all the risk for zero reward whilst dead beat Tenants get away with whatever they want.

  6. It was free enterprise that built our country, it will be all the socialist steps that will destroy it. It seems our government caters to everyone who made bad decisions in the past and never got “their shit together”. Our country is so far in debt, and the “movers and shakers” are tired of the burden.
    A small change to the old Neil Diamond tune: “He’s getting heavy, he’s a deadbeat…”

  7. Hello Nitalka

    Is there nothing in this new legislation helping the landlords? I sold my properties several years ago as I found more and more everything was favoring my pour tenants who weren’t paying the rent. An eviction that was taking 6 weeks under the old landlord tenant act was now taking months and legal council was provided free to the tenants. I believe the legislation is focused on pushing more small landlords out and forcing us all to buy RSP’s where there are few or no tax benefits and the government can track every dollar. I am very disappointed with Ford if he did not make any attempt to level the playing field.

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