Having to evict a tenant is never an easy thing to do, and it’s usually not a simple decision to make. If you’ve decided that your only course of action as a landlord is to evict a tenant, then it’s extremely important that you do things correctly. Ensuring that you don’t make common eviction mistakes will save you a load of trouble throughout eviction proceedings, and will help you when the case is taken to the Landlord and Tenant Board. Here are some of the most common eviction mistakes made by Toronto landlords that you need to be on the lookout.
Not having a legitimate reason to begin eviction proceedings
biggest mistake that landlords make when beginning the eviction process is not having a legitimate legal reason to evict a tenant. Ontario landlords can legally evict tenants for a variety of reasons, including:
- They owe you rent and haven’t attempted to rectify the situation
- They did something illegal on your property
- They caused serious damage or have consistently caused problems for you or other tenants
- You want to use the unit for personal use
- You want to repurpose the unit or allow a family member or caregiver to live within it
If the reason you’re evicting a tenant isn’t listed, then there’s a chance you’re doing so for the wrong reasons and can potentially land in hot water with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Before you make the decision to begin an eviction, ensure that what you’re doing is fully legal and legitimate.
Failing to provide proper evidence or documentation
In the event that your eviction case goes to the Landlord and Tenant Board, you’re going to need to prove that you had legitimate grounds to begin the proceedings. In order to do this, you’ll need to have proper documentation of the events that led up to your decision, and evidence to back it up. If you’re evicting a tenant for consistently not paying rent, you’ll need to show that you haven’t received payments. This also goes for evictions related to damages or illegal activity – you’ll need to provide proof that these things took place in order to justify your decision. Failure to do so could cost you a great deal of time and money, and can land you in a world of trouble with overseeing commissions like the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Not giving tenants the proper notice
As much as you might want to rush the eviction process, it’s important that you follow the notice guidelines that have been put in place. As an Ontario landlord, it’s your duty to provide tenants with an official notice to end a tenancy. This provides your tenants with information about when you require them to vacate your property, giving them an appropriate amount of time to find new living quarters. The amount of notice owed to tenants varies depending on the reason for eviction:
- 10 days for selling or manufacturing illegal drugs
- 14 days for owing rent
- 20 days for causing damage or causing problems for other tenants
- 60 days if you want to use the unit for personal use or family members
- 120 days if you want to tear down the building or repurpose it
Waiting too long to take action
It’s natural that many Toronto landlords want to give their tenants multiple chances to rectify a bad situation, or give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that they’ll change their behaviour. Unfortunately, waiting too long to take appropriate action can result in massive headaches for you and other tenants you might have. Waiting too long can result in additional damage to your property, harassment of other tenants, or continued nonpayment of rent, intensifying the situation and frustrating all those involved. While it’s important that you pay attention to the details and do things legally, it’s also important to not let bad tenants take advantage of you and your property by giving them too much leeway.
Trying to handle everything on your own
As with many of the responsibilities tied to being a landlord, evicting bad tenants can be a very time consuming and emotional involved process, taking up much of your personal and professional time and energy. The process can involve diligent evidence gathering and building a case for yourself, researching guidelines and regulations, and communicating with tenants – all of these things can easily snowball into a very long and costly process.
Hiring the services of a property management firm can free up all this time and energy, allowing you to focus on the things that matter most to you. Property management teams like Highgate Properties have the experience and industry knowledge needed to evict bad tenants in a legal and efficient manner, saving you the time and stress associated with common eviction mistakes. For more information about the property management and realty services offered by the experienced team at Highgate Properties, contact us today.