On March 18, 2020, the Superior Court suspended all pending evictions in order to allow people to shelter in place. On July 6, that order was amended, allowing evictions to be enforced starting the month after the formal state of emergency is lifted. That happened in July 2020 and so as of August 4, 2020 the Sheriff is able to enforce evictions. If you have an eviction order pending against you, you are no longer protected by the suspension of evictions.
On July 21, 2020, Bill 184 (the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020) became law. This bill changes Ontario tenancy law in very significant ways and makes it possible that tenants in arrears could be evicted without having their ‘day in court.’ More than ever, it is important for tenants to get legal advice when they first encounter problems in their tenancy. Please see this blog post from our colleagues at HALCO that explains the changes. For a more thorough explanation of the changes, also see this blog post by the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario.
The Community Legal Clinic of York Region helps tenants from the Region in three main ways.
CLCYR staff act as Tenant Duty Counsel at the Landlord and Tenant Board. This Board holds public hearings at the Royal Canadian Legion at 707 Srigley Street, Newmarket, Ontario, six days per month. Duty Counsel serve unrepresented tenants who have hearings that day. Duty Counsel introduce themselves at the beginning of the hearing block and will review legal papers, provide legal advice and offer representation in some cases. Learn more about the Landlord and Tenant Board and Tenant Duty Counsel.
CLCYR also operates an Eviction Prevention Program to assist vulnerable tenants. This critically celebrated program provides intensive services and social work support to vulnerable tenants facing imminent eviction. This program receives funding from the Region of York.
Our paralegals and lawyers also give summary advice on all manner of tenant and co-op related questions. This advice is given over the phone to people who ask for help from our office. In some circumstances, our staff can help prepare documents and provide representation as well.
A presentation, made in association with the Affordable Housing Coalition of York Region, on Bill 184, 2020:
Our video explaining the eviction process, 2019:
On December 18, 2020, the Community Legal Clinic of York Region, in partnership with CAYR Community Connections and the Social Planning Council of York Region called on York Region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Karim Kurji, to implement a local freeze on residential evictions where the cause is due to arrears or other reasons unrelated to health and safety. Read our letter here: Letter Dr Kurji – Eviction Moratorium – signed – Dec 18 20
The Community Legal Clinic of York Region has developed an Notice for Tenants with questions about how landlord and tenant law has changed during the crisis.
Our colleagues at Scarborough Community Legal Services have produced a guide on what to do if your landlord serves you with an eviction notice for arrears, harasses you, shows up at your unit or locks you out of your home. The guide is available in English and French.
Please see our COVID-19 page for additional resources.
Emergency and Transitional Housing
If you are homeless or fleeing an abusive situation, an emergency housing facility can provide you with temporary housing and support.
For more information please contact York Region for information about the shelters available to you. Call 1-877-464-9675, TTY: 1-866-512-6228 (for the deaf or hard of hearing)
Housing Stability Program
People on Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program who are behind on rental, mortgage or utility payments can get support from the Housing Stability Program.
Call Ontario Works
Toll Free at: 1-888-256-1112
TTY toll free at 1-866-512-6228.
Homelessness Prevention Program
People who are behind on rental, mortgage or utility payments can get support from the Homelessness Prevention Program.
Call Access York
Toll Free at 1-877-464-9675
TTY Toll Free at 1-866-512-6228 or email email@example.com
York Region Housing Access
If you are looking for subsidized housing, Housing Access is a good place to start. Housing Access will help you with information about the centralized wait list.
Housing Access is not a landlord. Housing Access manages a centralized waiting list for approximately 5,000 subsidized rental housing units in York Region operated by non-profit and co-operative housing organizations. These organizations are governed by Boards of Directors who are responsible for overall management of the buildings.
Call 1-877-464-9675, Ext. 2890
York Region Housing Mediation Services
A program designed to help housing providers and their occupants resolve conflicts through mediation.
Landlord and Tenant Board
The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) resolves disputes between residential landlords and tenants and eviction applications filed by non-profit housing co-operatives.
The LTB also provides information about its practices and procedures, LTB forms, and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act.
Rental Housing Enforcement Unit
Ontario’s Rental Housing Enforcement Unit (formerly called Investigation and Enforcement Unit) is a regulatory entity in the residential rental tenancies sector in Ontario.
Landlords and tenants in Ontario may report any offence under the Act by contacting their call center. There is no cost to file a complaint.
Property Standards By-Laws and Enforcement by Municipality
Tenants who are concerned about the maintenance of their unit may want to consult the Property Standard’s By-law of their municipality and speak to its by-law enforcement office. If the municipality’s property standards by-law does not mention a concern, consider contacting the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit, which deals with maintenance and behaviour concerns.
Those living in unregistered or illegal secondary units (e.g. basement apartments, converted garage apartments, etc.) should contact the Community Legal Clinic of York Region before contacting their local by-law enforcement officers.
East Gwillimbury: http://www.eastgwillimbury.ca/Services/By-law_Enforcement.htm
Richmond Hill: https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/our-services/By-laws.aspx
The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families through Community and Family Services, provides shelter and support to secure housing for homeless persons and offers treatment programs for those who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. For those who have experienced conflict with the law The Salvation Army provides both residential and community based programs.
The Steps to Justice website offers step-by-step information about housing and other common legal problems.