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What’s this about Ontario landlords hiring the Sheriff?

December 5th, 2011 · 6,053 Comments · evictions, Residential Tenancy Act (Ontario), sheriff

After months of going through the legal process, dotting every’ i’ and crossing every ‘t’ on every application you filled out, taking days off work to go to Landlord Tenant Board hearings, and lots of sleepless nights you finally have your order telling the tenants they have to move out.

What a relief!

Hey wait a minute.

The order said move out on Tuesday.  You go to your property expecting it to be empty…and the tenants are still there!

They haven’t moved out.  In fact, you can hear the stereo blaring and smell the smoke.

Instead of moving out it looks like your tenants are having a party!

So what in the name of the Great State of Texas is your next step?

You have to go hire the Sheriff to evict.

Wait a minute, Ontario has a Sheriff?

Yes, they do.  The Sheriff is there to enforce Orders from the Landlord and Tenant Board.

So how does the Sheriff system work?

Don’t expect any quick-draws, shoot-outs, or a 5 man posse of Marshalls riding to your rental property.

Let’s say your tenants (we’ll call him Billy the Kid) has an Order from the Landlord and Tenant Board to vacate your rental home (let’s call it the saloon) by March 1st.

You get on your horse and ride on over and see Billy still hasn’t left.  You knock on the saloon door and ask Billy why he “hasn’t left Dodge yet.”    Billy answers “I ain’t go’in no where Yankee!”

Wait, a tenant can just ignore an Order from the Landlord and Tenant Board?

The simple answer is ‘yes.’  This is why you now get on your horse and mosey on down to your local Enforcement Office.  While there you explain the situation, give them the Order, and they will give you some paper work to fill out.  You pay over $300 and they will either give you a date or contact you later with a date when the Sheriff will come and enforce the Order.  The date is usually between 1 -3 weeks, depending where you are located.  Once you have a date, it’s a good idea to either buy a new lock yourself or hire a locksmith because you don’t want Billy getting back into the saloon.

High Noon

On the day of the scheduled enforcement of the eviction Order you need to go and meet the Sheriff (likely two people) at the property.

Make sure you wait far away from the saloon because you don’t want to give Billy any reason to open fire and blame you for the shoot-out!

The Sheriff(s) will knock on the saloon door HARD, and identify themselves.  They will then open the door and clean out the premises, making sure there is no threats or living things in the unit (humans or animals).

What if Billy the Kid is still in the Saloon?

If Billy or anyone else is there, they will be told to leave.  Wait until you see him run!  Once he’s gone the Sheriffs will make sure the unit is safe and ask you to sign documents giving you back the saloon.

So the Saloon is finally back in my hands!

Um….no.  It’s not that simple.  The Sheriff will post a message on the outside of the door telling Billy he has 72 hours to contact you to pick up any he has left in the unit.

A notice will be posted on the door by the Sheriff’s officers, directing the tenant(s) to contact the landlord or their authorized agent should they wish to pick up any remaining belongings. They will be given 72 hours within which to do so.  So you wait.  He’ll likely call.

You make an appointment for a time withing the 72 hours.  You can watch over the final “move-out.”  Any issues, call the police….the Sheriff is done for the day.

To read an interesting discussion about this, go to the Ontario Landlords Association Advice Forums by clicking here

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