Housing Matters: Investigation into the Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s Proposed Eviction of a Tenant
In February 2009, Mr. P, a long-time market rent tenant, received three notices from the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) telling him that his tenancy was being terminated because he had committed an “illegal act.” Mr. P felt he had been treated unfairly and did not believe TCHC had investigated properly nor did he think TCHC had proof to support their action. He tried unsuccessfully to have the notices withdrawn.
We interviewed TCHC staff and reviewed relevant documentation, including TCHC policies and Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) Interpretation Guidelines and decisions that address what is considered an “illegal act” sufficient to justify terminating a tenancy.
What We Found
Our investigation found that TCHC did not fulfil its duty of fairness in issuing the notices to Mr. P and that it overreacted by threatening eviction. TCHC did not:
- Provide Mr. P with an opportunity to respond to the serious allegations made against him.
- Tell Mr. P clearly the reason for the notices. It said it wanted to send a warning to Mr. P through the notices.
- Respond appropriately to his questions and failed to explain why its complaint and human rights policies did not apply.
- Establish that the allegations against Mr. P constituted grounds for eviction.
The Ombudsman made 12 recommendations to ensure that TCHC will act fairly when dealing with complaints of serious misconduct against a tenant and in the eviction process. TCHC accepted the recommendations and agreed to implement them.