Landlord harassment is a serious problem in Ontario, affecting Tenants from all backgrounds. As a Tenant, you have the right to live in a home where you are safe and secure, and no one should be able to interfere with your right to enjoy your own home or make you feel unsafe or unwelcome in your own home. Unfortunately, harassment from Landlords is an issue that many Tenants in Ontario face.
One survey found that 20% of Tenants have experienced harassment from their Landlord, and 50% of those incidents were serious enough to affect the Tenant’s health and well-being. Moreover, 95% of Tenants who were harassed said that they did not complain or take legal action because they were afraid of repercussions.
So, what exactly is Landlord harassment? It can take many forms, such as illegal entry, change of locks, verbal abuse, and physical aggression. Some examples of harassment include reducing essential services, such as heat or electricity, failing to maintain the property, or attempting to evict Tenants in bad faith.
Fortunately, there are laws in Ontario that protect Tenants from Landlord harassment. According to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), Tenants have the right to a peaceful living environment (quiet enjoyment), free from unreasonable disturbances, and Landlords must comply with this requirement. In addition, Tenants have the right to file a complaint against their Landlord with the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).
If you are experiencing harassment by your Landlord, it is important to act quickly. Start by documenting any incidents as soon as possible and keep a detailed record of every interaction with your Landlord. The lawyers at Vakili Law Group have extensive experience helping Tenants achieve results at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
However, it is important to note that not all complaints against Landlords are valid and that’s why documenting every incident is critical to your success at the Landlord and Tenant board.
Tenant harassment and your rights as a Landlord
To the contrary, in certain instances Tenants are harassing their Landlords by denying entry to the property, Tenants may change the locks without permission and/or fail to provide a key to the Landlord, or may sublet the space to other Tenants without the Landlord’s consent. Landlords also have rights under the RTA and may decide to file a complaint with the LTB. It is important to approach problems with facts and evidence, rather than making assumptions or assertions.
In summary, Landlord harassment is a serious problem that affects many Tenants in Ontario. However, there are laws in place to protect renters and steps that you can take if you experience harassment. Retaining a lawyer at the earliest with experience in Landlord and Tenant matters at the earliest opportunity is your best option to ensure your rights as a Tenant are protected.
The lawyers at Vakili Law Group have extensive experience representing both Tenants and Landlords and can help you achieve results with your matter. In some instances, a well-crafted letter from a lawyer outlining your rights as a Tenant/Landlord is all that is required and in other instances an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board is required.