Evictions and tenants’ rights in Ontario

Written by Seamus McKale

Updated June 18, 2024 | Published April 19, 2023

In Ontario, landlords can evict tenants for most of the usual reasons: for non-payment of rent, for cause, or for the landlord’s own use. If you’re unfamiliar with these terms, check out our main page on evictions.

On this page, we’ll explain the legal processes a landlord in Ontario must follow to serve their tenant with an eviction notice.

Closeup of an eviction letter with Ontario flag

The eviction process in Ontario

Ontario has a slightly different eviction process than many other provinces. In Ontario, all notices to end a tenancy must go through a hearing process before the notice is valid. Hearings are administered by the Landlord and Tenant Board, or LTB. In other provinces, a tenant must often dispute an eviction notice if they wish to have a hearing or mediation.

When serving a tenant with an eviction notice in Ontario, the landlord must serve the notice in writing, using a specific form from the LTB. Even when a tenant has received an eviction notice, they don’t have to move out right away—the landlord must first apply for an eviction order from the LTB. Tenants will have the right to present their case at a hearing before such an order is granted.

Unlike other provinces, the process for evicting tenants is essentially the same regardless of the landlord’s reason for doing so:

  1. The landlord serves the tenant the correct form, observing the required minimum notice period.
  2. The landlord applies to the LTB for an eviction order.
  3. The LTB schedules a hearing to determine if the landlord’s request is valid.
  4. After hearing evidence from the landlord and the tenant, the LTB rules either for or against the eviction request, either evicting the tenant or allowing them to stay.

This process applies whether the landlord is evicting the tenant for cause, so they can renovate the unit, or any other reason. The part that differs is how much notice the landlord must give.

Eviction reasons and lengths of notice

In Ontario, the amount of notice that the landlord must give depends on their reason for the eviction.

Additionally, the tenant has the right to void certain eviction notices by correcting their behaviour. For example, when a tenant misses a rent payment, they can void the non-payment eviction notice by paying the rent before the landlord applies for a hearing with the LTB.

The LTB lists many reasons for eviction, each with its own notice period and conditions. For example:

  1. Non-payment of rent: The landlord must give 14 days’ notice (except for daily or weekly tenancies, which require just 7 days). The tenant can void the notice by paying all outstanding rent before the day the landlord applies to the LTB for a hearing.
  2. Personal use by landlord: If they wish to move into the unit or have a family member move in, they must give the tenant 60 days’ notice, and the termination date must be the final day of the lease term or rental period. The landlord must either pay the tenant one month’s rent or offer the tenant a new unit (and have the tenant accept that offer). If the tenant moves out but believes the eviction was in bad faith, they can file a T5 form with the LTB—the landlord may owe them significant compensation in such a case.
  3. Repairs or renovations: There are slightly different rules depending on if the rental property has 4 or fewer units, or 5-plus units. In either case, the landlord must give 120 days’ notice, and the termination date must be the last day of the rental period. The tenant has the right to move back into the unit after repairs or renovations are complete, though they must notify the landlord in writing if they wish to do so. The landlord can’t refuse them, nor can they change the rent amount.

In most cases, if the tenant doesn’t wish to move back into the renovated unit the landlord has to compensate them. For four-units-or-fewer properties, that’s one month’s rent. For five-plus-unit properties, it’s either three months’ rent or a new unit to live in (tenant’s choice).

Even if the tenant chooses to move out entirely, they can still file a T5 form later if they believe the eviction was in bad faith—for example, if they believe the landlord never intended to renovate and just wanted a new tenant to charge higher rent.

Tenants in Ontario who receive an eviction notice in Ontario should consult this brochure to confirm that their landlord has followed the correct procedure for the given reason—there are quite a few variations for each reason.

Home insurance considerations

While home insurance isn’t normally a major factor in evictions, there are a couple points that tenants should keep in mind.

First, while tenant insurance in Ontario is not required by law, landlords are allowed to require it in lease agreements. As long as the lease agreement clearly requires the tenant to maintain active tenant insurance, the tenant has to do so. If they don’t, their landlord could potentially evict them for breaching the agreement.

Something else to keep in mind: If a tenant has purchased legal protection insurance from Square One, they could use it to access a legal helpline. The helpline would be a source of guidance for a tenant in the process of disputing an eviction.

Commonly asked questions

Does an eviction affect your credit score in Ontario?

On its own, an eviction won’t affect your credit score. However, it’s possible that the landlord could report missed rent payments to a credit reporting bureau like TransUnion or Equifax, could have an impact on your score. That could have a negative impact if you ever need a credit check.

What happens if the tenant doesn’t leave following an eviction order?

In Ontario, only a Court Enforcement Officer (the Sheriff) can forcibly remove a tenant. Even with a valid order from the LTB, a landlord may not remove a tenant themselves—that includes changing the locks on the unit. Nor may they hire private security or call the police to do it.

Can you be evicted in the winter in Ontario?

It’s a common misconception in Ontario (and the rest of Canada) that evictions aren’t permitted during the winter months. In Ontario, this is not true—as long as they follow the correct procedure, landlords may evict tenants at any time of year.

Want to learn more? Visit our Renter resource centre for more tips and information about life as a renter. Or, get an online quote in under 5 minutes and find out how affordable personalized home insurance can be.


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