New legislation impacts the RTA
Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, received royal assent on March 8, 2016. As a part of this bill, new provisions to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 will come into effect on September 8, 2016.
These amendments will allow tenants, who have concerns for their own safety or for the safety of a child living in the household, to give shorter notice (28 days) to terminate their tenancy whether it is a monthly, yearly or fixed term lease. It also allows one tenant to remove themselves from a joint tenancy.
Notice to vacate
Similar to an N9, the new notice must identify the rental unit, the move out date and be signed by the tenant(s) vacating the unit, or their agent. The notice must also be accompanied by a court order or a statement by the tenant. The court order (restraining order, peace bond or similar court order) must be issued not more than 90 days before the notice to vacate the unit is given. The statement to be signed by tenants (the LTB will be developing a form), will simply state that an incident of violence or other form of abuse has occurred and that the tenant believes that they or a child living with them is at risk of further harm if they continue to stay in the unit. The statement does not need to describe the circumstances surrounding the alleged event.
Any last month’s rent held on deposit stays with any tenant(s) who remains in the unit.
Landlords who have received a notice to vacate a unit early for this reason must keep the information contained in the notice strictly confidential. Special attention must be paid to protect the privacy of tenants who report violence or other forms of abuse to ensure their safety. Any correspondence regarding the move-out must be sent directly to the person wishing to vacate and not the household.
Advertising or showing the unit
Landlords will only be able to advertise and show the unit to prospective tenants AFTER the tenant who gave notice has vacated the unit.
The changes to the RTA are outlined in Section 47.1 of the Residential Tenancies Act. The required forms are now available on the Landlord and Tenant Board website, or follow the links below to access online PDFs of each form: