In Ontario, Can a Tenant Be Evicted During Wintertime?
The Belief That a Tenant Cannot Be Evicted In the Winter Is Urban Myth Often Based on a Misperception of the Hardship Discretion Sometimes Used By the Landlord Tenant Board.
There is a common belief that the law forbids eviction of a residential tenant during the winter months. This belief is false. The law governing evictions, being the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, Chapter 17 (the "RTA"is without any provisions that expressly forbid an eviction in the winter; however, the RTA does contain section 83 which provides an adjudicator of the Landlord Tenant Board with the discretionary power to delay an eviction. 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.