For months the FMTA has been calling on the Province to provide rent relief and better protections for tenants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead they have offered a cruel attack on vulnerable tenants in a time of historic need, in the form of the deceptively named Bill 184, Protecting Tenants, Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020.
The FMTA opposes Bill 184 because it contains measures that will deprive tenants of a key safety net which protects them from eviction. This will be catastrophic for tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19, or for any other legitimate reason now and into the future.
There are three aspects of the bill that are particularly bad for tenants:
- First, it requires tenants to provide advance notice if they intend to raise their own issues, such as poor maintenance, in an eviction hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) resulting from rental arrears. This measure places an additional procedural burden placed on tenants which will limit their ability to challenge the amount of arrears the landlord is seeking. This will be especially difficult for marginalized tenants – folks who don’t speak English as a first language, folks with disabilities, folks with low literacy levels, and so forth
Second, it allows for legally enforceable repayment agreements to be made outside of the LTB hearing process. This will allow the landlord to obtain an eviction order without a hearing if the repayment agreement is breached. At an LTB eviction hearing, tenants have the ability to speak to a duty counsel lawyer before making an agreement that will affect their rights. They also have the opportunity to get the input of a Board mediator who can explain the implications of signing a repayment agreement, inform them of their rights, and ensure that the plan is reasonable. The new approach will forego all of that, depriving tenants of crucial source financial and legal information and advice.
- Third, it will essentially transform the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) into a debt collection forum, by allowing landlords to pursue tenants for rent and utilities arrears through the LTB, instead of small claims court as is currently the case.
THIS IS WHY THE FMTA BELIEVES WE MUST STOP BILL 184.
Join the fight against Bill 184 by:
- Deputing the Bill at the Standing Committee Hearings or making a written submission
Apply to depute by Thu 18 Jun, 10:00am (See link below for more info or how depute or making a written submission)
Committee contact info - firstname.lastname@example.org | 416.325.3506
HEARINGS (three days)
Wed 24 Jun – 9:00-10:15am AND 1:00-6:00pm
Thu 25 Jun – 10:00am-12:00pm AND 1:00-6:00pm
Fri 26 Jun – 10:00am-12:00pm AND 1:00-6:00pm
- Talking and organizing with your neighbours and fellow tenants