There are some rules about eviction that apply only to care home tenants.
How can a landlord evict a tenant?
A landlord can evict you for certain reasons, whether you live in a care home or any other type of housing. These reasons include:
- not paying your rent
- often paying your rent late
- doing illegal acts in the building or on the building property
- having so many people living in your room or apartment that it breaks a health, safety, or housing standard
- seriously disturbing your landlord or other tenants
- risking other people's safety
- damaging your room or apartment, or another part of the building
Another reason that applies to all tenants is that the landlord wants to demolish, convert, or do major repairs or renovations to the building. But if you live in a care home and your landlord wants to do this, your landlord must first try to find another suitable place for you to live.
What reasons apply just to care home tenants?
If you are a care home tenant, you can also be evicted if:
- your tenancy agreement says you will only stay for a certain length of time and that time is up, or
- the care home is no longer suitable to your care needs.
There is more information about eviction for these reasons in the next few sections.
What if my tenancy agreement has ended?
Your landlord can try to evict you because your tenancy agreement has ended only if both of the following are true:
- the only reason you live in your care home is to get rehabilitative or therapeutic services that you and your landlord agreed on when you moved in, and
- your landlord does not allow any tenants who live in the care home for that reason to stay for more than 4 years.
If you pay rent by the month or by any longer period, your landlord must give you a written notice at least 60 days before the date your landlord wants you to move. If you pay by the week or day, your landlord must give you at least 28 days' written notice. The notice should be on a form called Notice to End your Tenancy at the End of the Term (Form N8).
If you do not move out, your landlord can evict you only by applying to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an eviction order. You have the right to dispute this application and to have a hearing before the Board.
How can I be evicted based on my care needs?
As a care home tenant, you can be evicted if you no longer need the care your landlord gives you, or if you need more care than your landlord can give you. This is sometimes called "transferring out", but it is really an eviction.
What happens if my landlord says I need more care than the care home can give me?
If your landlord says this, you can be evicted only if your landlord can prove to the Board both of the following:
- that your landlord's care services cannot meet your needs, even when combined with other services available in your community, and
- that there is "appropriate alternative accommodation" available for you.
Why are other community services important?
There may be other people or organizations in your community who can give you the care services you need, while you continue living where you are. If there are, your landlord cannot have you evicted just because your landlord cannot meet your care needs.
You can find out about community services by calling your local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). To find your CCAC look under "Community Care Access Centres" in your phone book or check Find Your CCAC at www.ccac-ont.ca.
Some of these services are free or cost very little. They include occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work services, nursing, nutrition counselling, and personal care services.
Your landlord cannot refuse to let these community service providers into your home.
When is other accommodation "appropriate"?
The Board must decide if a place suggested by your landlord will suit your needs better than your current home. You can argue that a place is not appropriate for you if:
- it is too expensive,
- it is too far away from your family or friends,
- it is not physically accessible to you,
- it cannot meet your care needs, or
- there is some other reason why you do not want to live there.
When is other accommodation "available"?
Your landlord might say that you need to be in a long-term care home, such as a nursing home or home for the aged. But there might not be a space for you there.
All of the following 3 things must happen before a space is considered to be "available" for you at a long-term care home:
- you have applied to be admitted to a long-term care home,
- a Community Care Access Centre has decided you are eligible, and
- one of the homes you chose has offered you a bed that is available right away.
Instead of a long-term care home, your landlord might think there are care homes that are more appropriate to meet your care needs. Again, any care home your landlord suggests is not considered "available" to you unless you have applied and been accepted there. Your landlord cannot have you evicted unless you can move into the new place on the same day that you move out of where you live now.
What is the process for eviction?
If your landlord makes an application to the Board to have you evicted for any of the reasons listed in this publication, the Board will send you a copy of the Application and a Notice of Hearing. The Notice of Hearing tells you the date, time, and place of your hearing with the Board.
The Board must send you these papers a certain number of days before the hearing. The number of days can be from 5 to 30, depending on the landlord's reason for trying to evict you.
The eviction process for care home tenants is the same as for other tenants, unless your landlord is trying to evict you because of your care needs. The differences are explained in the next section.
What is the process if my landlord wants to evict me because of my care needs?
If your landlord wants to evict you because of your care needs, the process is the same as it is for other types of evictions, except for these differences:
- In this type of eviction, your landlord does not have to give you a Notice to End your Tenancy, but can just apply to the Board right away. But the Board still has to give you a copy of the Application and Notice of Hearing at least 30 days before the hearing date.
- The Board must hold a hearing, whether or not you write a dispute or go to the hearing.
- The Board must offer mediation to you and your landlord if the Board finds out that you do not want to move. The Board will find this out if you give the Board a written dispute saying you do not want to move. The law is not clear about what other ways the Board can find this out. For example, it is probably good enough to go to the hearing and say that you do not want to move. But it might not be good enough to tell this to someone in the Board office before the hearing.
- If your landlord does not take part in mediation, the Board can refuse your landlord's application.
You do not have to go to mediation. If you do go, the mediator cannot force you to agree to anything.
Try to get legal advice before you go to mediation and before you go to a hearing.
You can bring a lawyer with you to mediation or a hearing. Or, you can bring someone else who can give you advice and support.
What if my landlord threatens to evict me?
You cannot be evicted for any reason unless your landlord applies to the Board. If you do not receive an Application and a Notice of Hearing, there is a chance your landlord is only threatening you.
It is against the law for your landlord to harass or threaten you. It is also against the law for your landlord to refuse to give you care services or meals. If you believe your landlord is threatening or harassing you, you can make an application to the Board. But try to get legal help to do this.