Ontario rental evictions cratered during the initial public health restrictions. Government of Ontario data shows that rental evictions dropped sharply for the 2020-2021 period. The impact was likely short-lived, with the current period already rising more briskly. As public health restrictions are lifted, expect applications for evictions to normalize. That can mean double the filings seen during the pandemic — numbers typically seen pre-2020.
About Today’s Eviction Filing Data
Today we’re looking at rental eviction filings for Ontario, and there are two kinds — L1s and L2s. Landlords file an L1 to terminate and evict for non-payment of rent, the most common type of eviction. An L2 is filed for “other reasons to evict,” and can be anything that breaks a legal rental agreement. The year-end for the reporting period is March 31st, so the 12-month period is over two calendar years.
Rental Eviction Applications Cratered During Initial Public Health Restrictions
Public health measures helped drop the number of evictions filed. There were 35,512 L1 and L2 applications filed for the 2020-2021 period, a decline of 70% from a year before. To say it’s a sharp drop is an understatement, with the three years prior only showing a minor fluctuation. The reason for this is almost entirely attributable to public health support measures.
Ontario Applications For Rental Eviction
The total of L1 and L2 eviction filings in Ontario for each year ending March 31st. p = partial filings for April to December 2021, since the period is still ongoing.
Source: Government of Ontario; Better Dwelling.
Ontario halted evictions and Federal income support programs drove the decline. The above period mentioned had eviction notices halted from March 19th 2020 to July. Along with income supports like CERB, these two factors likely mitigated some evictions.
Applications To Evict Renters Are Beginning To Normalize
More recent data shows eviction filings are still lower than usual, but on the rise. Since the current period doesn’t end until next month, we can only take a peek at April to December 2021 data. Ontario received 32,514 filings during this period, 8% lower than the previous one. However, the period is missing 25% of the months to file an eviction. Unless there is a freakishly low number of evictions in Q1 2022, this should clear the previous period.
Public health restrictions also prevented filings in this period as well. More than likely it will return to pre-2020 levels, which are typically around the same level. If this is the case, expect about double the number of filings from landlords.
More Evictions May Be Coming From Outside of Toronto
Expensive regions like Toronto often represent the bulk of evictions — not this time. Toronto saw 7,240 evictions filed from April to December 2021, about 22% of filings in Ontario. That’s a ratio consistent with the distribution of the population. In a previous analysis, Toronto represented 2 in 5 of the province’s eviction filings. This is an improvement. Sort of.
Toronto representing a smaller share of eviction filings can also be a sign of eroding affordability spreading. As rents rise it becomes more challenging to absorb economic shock. With property prices soaring, rents are pushing budgets across Ontario. The rise of homeless in small towns and the need for more shelters is another point of confirmation. This deserves a much bigger deep dive at some point, but not today.
An important note is these are filings for evictions with the province. Illegal evictions where landlords give notice without filing are common. Not just small landlords either, but we’ve seen seasoned companies try the tactic. Tenants unaware of their rights can (and do) comply with these, since they may not understand other options. The number can be much larger, but these are the official stats with landlords going the proper route.