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Opposition parties warn of wave of evictions as rent comes due

Last Updated Aug 1, 2020 at 8:48 am EDT

For rent sign

As rent cheques come due, some are warning that Ontarians should prepare for a wave of evictions now that protections put in place earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted.

The Opposition New Democrats say that because the provincial state of emergency has ended, evictions can start back up again today.

The NDP also says newly passed legislation, Bill 184, makes it easier for landlords to evict tenants who fall behind on a repayment plan.

There are currently more then 6,000 eviction applications awaiting approval at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Toronto city council voted 22-2 on Wednesday to take the provincial government to court over the legislation, on the basis that they are contrary to rules of procedural fairness and natural justice.

The bill, also known as the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, allows the Landlord and Tenant Board to order up to 12 months’ 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.

The governing Progressive Conservatives have said the bill will help, not harm, tenants.

A spokeswoman for the premier says the bill “reinforces to landlords the necessity of exploring repayment agreements and maintaining tenancies – rather than resorting to evictions.”

Ivana Yelich says eviction orders going out now are mostly ones that were pending before the pandemic began.