Does Ontario Law Allow Eviction of a Tenant During Winter Months?
A Tenant Can Be Lawfully Evicted at Any Time of Year But the Landlord Tenant Board May Use Discretion and Choose to Postpone the Eviction Because of Hardship Concerns Rather Than Because of Any Actual Mandate to Refrain From Evicting During the Winter.
The urban myth belief that a residential tenant cannot be evicted in winter likely arises because of a misinterpretation between what may happen and what actually does happen. There is actually nothing specifically stated within the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, Chapter 17 (the "RTA", as the law in Ontario that governs residential tenancies issues to prevent eviction during winter. However, the RTA does contain section 83 which allows an adjudicator, being the decision maker of the Landlord Tenant Board, to decide cases using discretion. Accordingly, the adjudicator may choose to refrain from issuing an Order to Evict during the winter months or may choose to issue an Order to Evict with a delayed eviction date. It seems that whereas an adjudicator may refrain from issuing an Order to Evict because it is wintertime, the urban myth was born that a tenant cannot be evicted during the wintertime. Of course, this is a false truth, meaning a perception based on misunderstanding. The misunderstanding arises when people misinterpret the reason that an adjudicator may refrain from issuing an Order to Evict in the wintertime whereas such a decision is a choice based on a discretion. The adjudicator may choose such a discretion out of concern for the hardship that a wintertime eviction would cause rather than because of any mandate in law.