As a tenant in Toronto, you have certain rights that your landlord cannot overstep. These are outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).
One of the key rights given to tenants in the RTA is that you have a right to stay on your rented premises until you are legally evicted. You can only be legally evicted if the Landlord and Tenant Board (“the Board”) orders your eviction and if a sheriff locks you out or makes you leave. If a landlord themselves, someone working for your landlord, or a security guard attempts to lock you out or force you to leave your rented premises, this is known as wrongful eviction.
In other words, it is up to your landlord to appeal to the Landlord and Tenant Board in order to apply for your eviction. Furthermore, they must have followed prerequisite RTA guidelines. Only at this point can the Board order your eviction and a sheriff make you leave or lock you out.
Have You Been Wrongfully Evicted?
It may feel like you’ve been legally evicted, and your landlord may certainly tell you that you have. However, if any of the following have occurred, it was likely a wrongful eviction:
- Without your permission, your landlord moved your possessions out of your apartment or condo
- Your landlord changed your locks
- Your landlord moved someone else into your apartment or condo
- Your landlord assaulted, endangered, or harassed you until you finally moved out
- In some other way, your landlord prevented you from entering your rented premises
- You were legally evicted by the Board; however, you were not able or allowed to reasonably participate in the hearing process
What Are Your Options Now?
If it is confirmed that you were wrongfully evicted, there are certain steps you can take:
- Get back into your place by calling the police or the Investigation and Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing at 416-585-7214. You can also change the locks yourself or by hiring a locksmith (your landlord should also receive a copy of your new keys). You cannot, however, damage the property.
Contact the Landlord and Tenant Board if you still cannot get back in.
- Fill out Form T2 and submit it to the Board to have your case heard. Make sure you follow all directions and fill out the form exactly. At the hearing, ensure you have your evidence and thoughts fully prepared. You’ll be arguing that your landlord wrongfully evicted you.
- If you believe the Board has made an error in your hearing ruling, it may be time to hire a tenant lawyer to represent you.
Hiring a Tenant Lawyer in Toronto
If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’ve been wrongfully evicted, know that you have rights, and a reputable tenant lawyer can help.
At the same time, it’s essential to choose the right tenant lawyer to represent you. Chat with the best tenant lawyers Toronto has to offer by contacting HLD Lawyers today. Not only does HLD have top-notch experience and expertise in tenant law, we’ll work hard to ensure you get the outcome you deserve.
For questions or other inquiries for our tenant lawyers, call us today at 416-800-2557 or go here to learn about your options on our website.