Tenant Belongings: Situation #2 – Tenant is Evicted by the Sheriff
Welcome to Landlord’s Self-Help Centre’s module on dealing with tenant belongings when the tenant is evicted by the Sheriff. The information offered in this presentation is intended as general information, it is not legal advice. If you need more information, please contact a legal service provider.
Residential Tenancies Act, 2006
In Ontario, the Residential Tenancies Act is the provincial law that governs most residential rental agreements. It defines the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants and outlines appropriate ways for dealing with tenant belongings when the tenant has been evicted by the Sheriff.
Situations Involving Belongings
There are many situations involving tenant belongings left behind in a rental unit. This module will focus on Situation #2 where the tenant is evicted by the Sheriff.
Situation #2- Tenant is Evicted by Sheriff
Once an eviction has taken place and the locks are changed, the tenant has 72 hours to arrange for the collection of their belongings.
Since the time for retrieval under the law is between 8am and 8pm, best practice would be to coordinate pick up times with the tenant throughout the course of the six (6) days following the eviction.
What happens after 72 hours?
The landlord is legally allowed to sell, keep or dispose of the belongings if the tenant fails to retrieve them during the 72 hour collection period.
Landlord fails to make belongings available
Landlords who do not make the tenant’s belongings available for collection during the 72 hour period, or dispose of the items before the 72 hour period is over may be subject to a complaint with the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit and/or an application at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Tenant option #1- File a complaint with RHEU
The Rental Housing Enforcement Unit is a branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in Ontario, and they are responsible for enforcing offences under the Residential Tenancies Act.
Landlords must make themselves, or their representative, available to attend the rental unit between 8am and 8 pm within the 72 hour period to allow the tenant to retrieve their belongings. It is an offence if landlords do not comply.
How will the RHEU resolve the complaint?
Once a complaint is received by the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit from a tenant, a Compliance Officer will contact the landlord for additional information. Both parties will be educated about the offence and ways to resolve the complaint. The case may be referred to an RHEU Investigator if voluntary compliance is not achieved.
Tenant option #2- Tenant files application with the Landlord and Tenant Board
The second option is for the tenant to file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board.
If the tenant is successful with their application, the landlord may be ordered:
- Not to commit this offence again;
- To return the belongings to their former tenant, if the landlord still has them;
- To pay the former tenant reasonable costs incurred or costs they will incur to replace or repair their belongings; and
- To pay any reasonable out of pocket expenses.
Thank you for watching this module about dealing with tenant belongings when the tenant is evicted by the Sheriff. The information offered in this presentation is intended as general information, it is not legal advice. If you have a specific issue or situation, please contact a legal service provider.