More than 6,000 tenants in Ontario could get evicted soon due to unpaid rent over the last few months.
The province’s Landlord and Tenant Board reported that from March 17 to July 19, it handled 6,083 applications for tenant eviction due to non-payment and for collection of unpaid dues. The board also processed another 481 applications for enforcement of missed payments during the same time frame.
Eviction hearings in Ontario have significantly slowed down for the duration of the pandemic, with 282 such proceedings conducted between April and June.
But fears have been amplified with the recent passage of Bill 184 – ostensibly implemented by the provincial government partly to promote tenants’ welfare. Tenant advocate groups have expressed concern that the legislation will instead pave the way for a quicker eviction process.
Geordie Dent, executive director of Toronto’s Federation of Metro Tenants Associations, said that the number of applications during the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak’s ravages was appalling.
“You’re talking about 6,000 landlords that are trying to evict people as fast as possible coming out of a pandemic, which is absurd,” Dent told OurWindsor.ca.
Adding fuel to the fire is that purchasing power among renters will likely remain muted for the foreseeable future, despite the economy reopening in late spring.
The market’s struggles will be exacerbated the longer the coronavirus outbreak goes on, according to Peter Weltman, Ontario’s financial accountability officer.
“It’s awful,” Weltman said in a late-May interview with BNN Bloomberg. “But it’s not surprising, really. This is different from the typical recession. This is a recession where the economy was effectively shut off by the government.”