Bill 187 2011
An Act to amend the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 in respect of vital services
Note: This Act amends the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. For the legislative history of the Act, see the Table of Consolidated Public Statutes – Detailed Legislative History at www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. Section 216 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 is amended by adding the following subsection:
Notice of by-law to Ministry
(4) If the council of a local municipality passes a by-law or an amendment to a by-law under this section, the council shall promptly provide a copy of the by-law or the amended by-law, as the case may be, to the director appointed under section 223.1.
2. The Act is amended by adding the following Part:
vital services - no applicable municipal by-law
223.1 (1) The Minister shall appoint a director for the purposes of this Part.
(2) In this Part,
"director" means the director appointed under subsection (1).
(3) This Part applies in respect of a rental unit if,
(a) the rental unit is located in unorganized territory;
(b) there is no vital services by-law that applies to the rental unit; or
(c) there is a vital services by-law that applies to the rental unit, but the prescribed criteria apply.
Landlord to provide vital services
223.2 (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), every landlord shall provide adequate and suitable vital services to each of the landlord's rental units.
Interruption in provision of vital services
(2) A landlord may interrupt the provision of vital services to a rental unit when it is necessary to do so to alter or repair the rental unit, but any such interruption shall be for no longer than is necessary to effect the alteration or repair.
Notice of interruption
(3) Except in cases of emergency, a landlord shall give written notice to a tenant at least 24 hours before interrupting the provision of vital services to the tenant's rental unit.
Exception where tenant obtains vital service
(4) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a vital service and rental unit if the tenant has expressly agreed to obtain and maintain the vital service.
Failing to pay supplier
(5) For greater certainty and without limiting the generality of subsection (1), a landlord is in violation of his or her obligations under subsection (1) if the landlord fails to pay the supplier of a vital service and, as a result, the vital service is no longer provided to a rental unit.
Duties of vital services suppliers
223.3 (1) No person who supplies a vital service to a residential complex or rental unit under contract with the landlord or the landlord's agent shall cease supplying the vital service because the landlord has breached a contract for the supply of the vital service unless the supplier has complied with the notice requirement described in subsection (2).
Same, notice of cessation
(2) At least 30 days before ceasing to supply the vital service, the supplier shall give notice to the director and the landlord, in writing, that the supplier intends to discontinue supplying the vital service to the residential complex or rental unit in question.
(3) The supplier shall, at the same time as notice is provided under subsection (2), make every reasonable effort to provide a copy of the notice to every tenant who would be affected by the cessation.
Contents of notice
(4) The notice shall be in the form specified by the director, if any, and shall contain,
(a) the name, address, telephone number and fax number of the supplier;
(b) a description of the vital service being supplied;
(c) the name, address and telephone number of the person with whom the supplier has a contract for the supply of the vital service;
(d) the municipal address of the building to which the vital service is being supplied;
(e) a description of the nature of the landlord's breach of contract;
(f) if the breach of contract is non-payment of charges,
(i) the amount of those charges,
(ii) the amount of any interest owing, and
(iii) the amount of any related administrative fees;
(g) the date and time at which the supplier intends to cease supplying the vital service; and
(h) the name, address and telephone number of a person who is authorized to direct that the supply of a vital service to an address be continued or resumed and to whom the director may issue an order under section 223.4.
223.4 The director may order a supplier to resume or continue supplying a vital service to a residential complex or rental unit if,
(a) the director is of the opinion that the supplier has ceased supplying the vital service without fulfilling its obligations under section 223.3; or
(b) the director has received notice under subsection 223.3 (2) that the supplier intends to cease supplying the vital service, and the director intends to arrange for the vital service to be provided under subsection 223.6 (1).
Inspection by director
223.5 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the director or a person designated by him or her may, at any reasonable time, enter and inspect a building or part of a building for the purpose of determining compliance with section 223.2 or 223.3 or for determining compliance with an order issued by the director under section 223.4.
(2) Despite subsection (1), the director or his or her designee shall not enter a rental unit unless,
(a) he or she has obtained the consent of the occupier of the rental unit after informing the occupier that he or she may refuse permission to enter the unit; or
(b) he or she is authorized to do so by a warrant issued under section 231.
Vital services arranged by Ministry
223.6 (1) If a landlord does not provide a vital service to a rental unit in accordance with section 223.2, the director may arrange for the service to be provided and may, for that purpose, enter into agreements with vital services suppliers on behalf of the Ministry.
(2) In deciding whether to arrange for a service to be provided under subsection (1), the director shall have regard to the prescribed criteria.
(3) The amount spent by the Ministry under subsection (1) plus an administrative fee of 10 per cent of that amount shall, on registration of a notice of lien in the appropriate land registry office, be a lien in favour of the Ministry against the property at which the vital service is provided.
Certificate as evidence
(4) The certificate of the director is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, of the amount spent by the Ministry under subsection (1).
(5) Before issuing a certificate referred to in subsection (4), the director shall send an interim certificate by registered mail to the registered owner of the property that is subject to the lien and to all mortgagees or other encumbrancers registered on title.
(6) An affected owner, mortgagee or other encumbrancer may, within 15 days after the interim certificate is mailed, appeal the amount shown on it to the Deputy Minister.
223.7 (1) If the director has arranged for a vital service to be provided to a rental unit, he or she may direct a tenant to pay any or all of the rent for the rental unit to the Ministry.
Effect of payment
(2) Payment by a tenant of his or her rent to the Ministry under subsection (1) shall be deemed not to constitute a default in the payment of rent due under a tenancy agreement or a default in the tenant's obligations for the purposes of this Act.
Use of money
223.8 (1) The Ministry shall apply the rent received from a tenant toward the amount that it spent to provide the vital service and the administrative fee of 10 per cent.
Accounting and payment of balance
(2) The Ministry shall provide the person otherwise entitled to receive the rent with an accounting of the rents received for each individual rental unit and shall pay to that person any amount remaining after the rent is applied in accordance with subsection (1).
223.9 (1) No proceeding for damages or otherwise shall be commenced against the director, a person acting under the authority of the director or an employee of the Ministry for any act done in good faith in the performance or intended performance of a duty or authority under any of sections 223.2 to 223.8 or for any alleged neglect or default in the performance in good faith of the duty or authority.
(2) Despite subsections 5 (2) and (4) of the Proceedings Against the Crown Act, subsection (1) does not relieve the Crown of liability in respect of a tort committed by any agent or servant of the Crown to which it would otherwise be subject and the Crown is liable under that Act for any such tort as if subsection (1) had not been enacted.
223.10 No person shall hinder, obstruct or interfere with or attempt to hinder, obstruct or interfere with the director or a person designated by the director under subsection 223.5 (1) in the exercise of a power or performance of a duty under sections 223.2 to 223.9.
3. Section 234 of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:
(z) contravenes any portion of section 223.2, 223.3 or 223.10; or
(z.1) fails to supply a vital service in compliance with an order issued under section 223.4.
4. Subsection 241 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following paragraphs:
7.1 prescribing criteria for the purposes of clause 223.1 (3) (c) and specifying that, where such criteria exist, any provisions of an otherwise applicable vital services by-law that would conflict with or overlap with the application of sections 223.2 to 223.10, do not apply;
7.2 prescribing criteria for the purposes of subsection 223.6 (2);
5. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
6. The short title of this Act is the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act (Vital Services), 2011.
The Bill amends the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 to provide that, where no municipal vital services by-law is applicable in respect of a rental unit, the following applies:
1. The landlord is required to provide adequate and suitable vital services to the rental unit.
2. A supplier of a vital service is required to give notice to the Ministry before ceasing to supply the service because of a landlord's breach of contract.
3. Where a landlord has failed to provide adequate and suitable vital services, the Ministry may enter into agreements with suppliers to ensure the supply of vital services to rental units and may, in such circumstances, direct a tenant to pay his or her rent to the Ministry.
The Bill grants the Lieutenant Governor in Council authority to specify that when prescribed criteria are met, an otherwise applicable vital services by-law does not apply in respect of a rental unit and the provisions set out in the Bill apply instead.