Friday, April 07, 2006

Ontario Tenants Are Kicked Out of Their Homes Without a Proper Hearing

The Ontario government is sitting idly by while the number of evictions in the province continues to soar and many tenants are kicked out of their homes without a proper hearing, critics charged yesterday.

The Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations says 64,864 eviction applications were filed in Ontario last year, up almost nine per cent from 59,660 in 2004.

In Toronto alone, 29,090 evictions were requested -- the highest number since the former Conservative government introduced the Tenant Protection Act in 1998.

"Something is rotten here, and the government of Ontario can fix a lot of it and we're calling on them to do that," said Dan McIntyre, the federation's program co-ordinator.

"Sixty-four thousand people in Ontario faced the loss of their homes, and most of them did lose their homes last year -- that's a disaster."

Critics like McIntyre say one of the biggest problems with the act is when tenants receive an eviction notice, they're automatically issued an order to leave their rental homes if they fail to respond to the notice in writing within five calendar days.

That means people with poor reading skills or who simply misunderstand the order can find themselves locked out of their homes for missing a payment, said Trudy Sutton, executive director at Housing Help, an Ottawa-based organization.

"A lot of people, because they get all this paperwork, don't understand (the five-day rule). They think they just have to show up at the hearing."

In 2005, 33,000 out of 57,000 applications filed in Ottawa resulted in default, she added.

The federation's figures, obtained from the Ontario Housing Tribunal's workload data sheet, indicate that more than half of the households facing notices in Ontario were evicted without a hearing.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Gerretsen agreed yesterday there are problems with the law and said a review is underway.


Anonymous Federation of Metro Toronto Tenants Associations said...

You might want to look at the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations page and in particular Liberal tenant sellouts which is all about how the Federation of Metro Tenants picked the 9 tenant representatives 20 years ago who sold out tenants, 2 of whom are again "tenant representatives", one the present head of the Federation.

10:14 PM  

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