There seems to be more of these applications being filed with the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board lately.
At a minimum a contributing factor is the Wynne Government’s Rental Fairness Act which eliminated the landlord’s right to substantially increase the rent at the end of a lease on condos and other properties built after 1991. The Renal Fairness Act also eliminated above guideline rent increases for higher electricity bills. The act failed to permit above guideline rent increases when condo maintenance fees increase substantially.
Good Faith Intention to Move In
The real question is are these landlords and purchaser bringing applications to evict as they genuinely in good faith plan to move in or have an immediate family member move in and live there for at least a year, or is it a just a no fault eviction method so the landlord can increase the rent to market rate for a new tenant moving in?
Perhaps landlords and purchasers are unaware or willing to take the risk that a tenant will bring a T5 application later claiming the landlord or purchaser served them an N12 notice in bad faith and evicted then.
The law was changed to make it easier for a tenant to prove bad faith. The onus shifts to the landlord to prove the notice was not given in bad faith if the former tenant can prove the landlord did any of the following:
(a) advertises the rental unit for rent;
(b) enters into a tenancy agreement in respect of the rental unit with someone other than the former tenant;
(c) advertises the rental unit, or the building that contains the rental unit, for sale;
(d) demolishes the rental unit or the building containing the rental unit; or
(e) takes any step to convert the rental unit, or the building containing the rental unit, to use for a purpose other than residential premises.
Evictions for landlord’s own use or purchaser’s own use are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act, applicable case law, and Landlord and Tenant Board Interpretation Guideline #12.
Landlord’s Own Use and N12 Form
A landlord’s own use application starts with serving an N12 notice correctly and giving the proper amount of notice. If a notice is served by mail it is deemed served five days after mailing.
An L2 application can be filed with the LTB starting the day after service of the N12. It makes sense to issue the application immediately. The person who plans to move in must swear out an affidavit that they in good faith require the property for their own use and plan to live there for at least a year.
Tenants often dispute the landlord or purchaser’s good faith intention. Therefore, I request from my clients the person who plans to move in attend the hearing and testify.
The test of good faith is whether the Landlord has a genuine intention to occupy the rental unit for his own use (Salter v Beljinac 2001 CanLII 40231 (ON SCDC),  O.J. No. 2792 Div Ct)
A landlord who is bringing this type of application is required to pay the tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent as compensation for bringing this application. The compensation must be paid before the termination date set out in the N12, and before the hearing, or the board will not grant an eviction order.
A purchaser bringing an own use application is not required to pay compensation.
A purchaser must at a minimum produce a valid Agreement of Purchase and Sale at the hearing.
In file TNL-03124-18, http://canlii.ca/t/hsp9n the board refused to grant an eviction when the compensation was paid after the termination date. This decision was upheld on review.
Another change that came into effect in 2017, is that no longer can a corporation with a single shareholder bring a landlord’s own use application.
Relief from Eviction
The tenant may also seek relief from eviction under section 83 of the Residential Tenancies Act.
Section 83(1) requires the board on every eviction application to decide based on all the circumstances of the parties whether it would be fair to delay or deny an eviction.
Section 83(3) makes it mandatory for the board to refuse an eviction if the tenant proves any of the following:
a)the landlord is in serious breach of the landlord’s responsibilities under this Act or of any material covenant in the tenancy agreement;
(b) the reason for the application being brought is that the tenant has complained to a governmental authority of the landlord’s violation of a law dealing with health, safety, housing or maintenance standards;
(c) the reason for the application being brought is that the tenant has attempted to secure or enforce his or her legal rights;
(d) the reason for the application being brought is that the tenant is a member of a tenants’ association or is attempting to organize such an association; or
(e) the reason for the application being brought is that the rental unit is occupied by children and the occupation by the children does not constitute overcrowding.
Both landlords and tenants risk a lot in asking the board adjudicator also called a member to make a decision.
Mediation services are available at the board if both parties are willing to come to a compromise such as an agreed extension of the time before the tenant has to vacate, or the landlord paying the tenant more money than the landlord is required to pay as compensation to bring this application.
With so much on the line for both landlords and tenants in this process, it would be wise to obtain the representation of an experienced licensed paralegal to represent you.
If you are in Toronto or the GTA and you require representation, please contact Marshall Yarmus of Civil Litigations at 416-229-1479 or visit our website at https://www.civilparalegal.com/home_services/landlord-and-tenant-board/