How Canadian Landlords Skate Around Renoviction Laws

An official white paper notice is taped to a San Francisco house doorway.
506 Capp eviction notice photo by Steve Rhodes is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
An official eviction notice posted on a San Francisco door. In Canada, some landlords dodge around obtaining permission.

There are legal renovictions and illegal renovictions. Many countries allow renovictions — a term that describes landlords throwing out renters in order to renovate rental housing.1

In some countries, landlords can evict tenants for any reason, not just fixer-upper reasons. The United Kingdom is currently one of those countries.

Evictions are regulated at the state level in the US. Many states allow landlords to kick out most tenants at will.

Canadian provinces regulate rental housing and the laws are a mixed bag. Rent controls, a feature in some provinces, might be expected to have some influence on renovictions. . . or not!

Why is this CBC story of interest beyond Canada?

Like other nations, Canada’s cities have high housing prices and shrinking rental stock. These conditions attract landlords to the even higher profits that can be made via renovictions. Recent history is a testament to the ability of unscrupulous landlords to work around renoviction laws, or to simply break them without consequence.

The UK’s new government is promising some limits on landlord powers. US states are beginning to look more seriously at rent controls. Are there lessons to be learned from Canada’s renoviction successes and failures? A new renoviction study gearing up in Toronto, Ontario is witness to that city’s limited ability, so far, to control landlord abuse of the province’s renoviction controls.

The CBC article surveys a growing renoviction problem in cities across Canada, together with personal examples of the havoc renovictions can wreak. The article explores the housing market conditions that attract landlords to higher profits available through renovictions.

Much of the article considers the overheated housing market and shrinking rental stock in Toronto, Ontario. Ontario’s rent control legislation is relatively tenant-friendly and includes regulations that control renovictions. The article explores how landlords are bending renters to their questionable, sometimes illegal, will.

Read more at the CBC: ‘Renoviction’ Rates Soar Due To Big-City Housing Crunch


  1. For more on renovictions, try: Renovictions: What Are They? What Can A Tenant Do To Combat Them?