Ontario Rental Eviction Notices Are Normalizing, Which Can Mean Doubling Next Year

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.

8 Comments

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  • Brian 9 months ago

    Doubling would be a good thing. Good tenants cover the costs of bad tenants.

    • GTA Landlord 9 months ago

      In a bubble the wind could blow strongly and people would use it as justification for rent increases. Cashflow negative landlords are 100% dependent ones real estate prices rising at this point. It’s often people diverting their savings to keep the units going.

    • Jason 9 months ago

      Hi Brian , I filed a Eviction notice Dec of 2020 did not get a hearing till Dec 06 2021
      At the hearing the tenant or his counsel did not attend . We gave evidence and as of February 25 2022 we still have no ruling from the LTB. What’s wrong with this? Out thousands dollars of unpaid rent and damages in the thousands. What can we do ?

      • Olivia 9 months ago

        I think Brian’s point is the same as yours. Without evictions bad tenants take up months of rent, sometimes not even due to not having the money, and then the landlord is forced to get the money from the next tenant as an amortized cost.

  • Mike 9 months ago

    Rural evictions are a real thing. Visiting my folks out by Crystal Beach and homelessness is now a visible problem there. That wasn’t the case just a few years ago.

  • Trader Jim 9 months ago

    Part of the reason this bubble is raging on is because there are practically no repercussions for illegal evictions in Ontario. 12 months? Might be the cost of one year’s rent hike if your tenant was there long enough. A lot of the old timers that weren’t great landlords but didn’t kick people out to pursue aggressive rents are gone. Government is giving blood thirsty investors almost free money to buy and renovict people out .

    Like all issues, this is an issue of the cost of capital and incentive. Canada skews it to serve its own politicians.

    • Trevor 9 months ago

      I think most landlords are reasonable. Even if tenants struggle with rent, some landlords try working with them as long as there is communication.

      I’ve evicted tenants and am planning to evict a couple more. Methheads were evicted last year, they quit paying rent which I was willing to work with them; what I didn’t appreciate was the state of the property and aggressiveness towards neighbours.

      The current one I will evict keeps telling me he’ll make payments and I have done my best to work with him; now he isn’t communicating and is quite far behind.

      The other tenant that I may evict is a single mom with 4 kids and quit paying rent with no communication… I’m willing to work with her (3/4 rent and maybe work with some unpaid rent)… but if all I get it $300 when $1950 is due plus past due.. well I’m supporting the person at this point. That’s not what I signed up for. So will probably evict as well.

      Evictions cost money plus the home will probably require work (after I just had it painted, new floors, & new bathroom.

      There are many reason for high prices (supply being a big one), crappy tenants make it difficult for all tenants. If I don’t pay my bills, then the bank will make me pay or sell. Going forward, I will require a 650 score or if a foreigner can it’s no credit will need a decent amount in the bank. Will also need to be employed. And the second rent is late will be the second a 14 day notice goes up. I may decide to sell and take out profits instead of re-renting. It’s quite simple.. pay your bills or try to work with people if you’re can’t.. but don’t taking advantage of kindness is not nice.

      Expect prices to get higher.

      • Trevor 9 months ago

        I saw a whole article the other day blaming the landlord for the condition of the property.

        If a landlord provides tenants a decent property, how can one blame the landlord of the property gets damages or cluttered?

        All I have ever witnessed are tenants damaging properties. I’ve subletted a few homes, and there is a long list of loser tenants. You wouldn’t know these people exist unless you rent to them, or room a home with them. Slums are created by the people living there.

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