Can you evict a tenant for having loud sex?
March 24, 2011
D.M., a reader from Markham sent me an email with this question: Can I get my landlord to evict the tenant next door because of their loud sexual behaviour that I can hear through my wall late at night?
It’s a good question. The short answer is technically yes, though practically no.
The Ontario Residential Tenancies Act says you can evict a tenant, if the tenant, their guest or another occupant of the unit, substantially interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of other tenants in the building.
Here are some cases heard by the Board where landlords have been successful making this argument. In all cases, the names of the landlord and tenant have been removed from the decisions but they are available online.
• In a case in Pembroke heard last April, a tenant was evicted after the landlord proved that there were continuous loud noises coming from his unit and he also uttered threats against another tenant.
• In a case in Hamilton last January, a tenant was evicted for playing loud and
offensive music and permitting intimidating and unsavoury guests to hang out in their unit.
• In a case in Whitby in February, 2007, a tenant was ordered to stop screaming, loud talking, playing the television too loud and playing loud music or else they would be evicted without further notice being given.
I would have to conclude that you will probably have a tough time trying to evict someone for loud sex. However, if was a repeated behaviour and you could prove it by recording the sound, who knows? But would you really want to go that far?
Bicycles in elevators
P.K. of Toronto asked whether he could be prevented from bringing his bicycle into the elevator of his building?
The law says a landlord cannot interfere with the tenant’s substantial enjoyment of a unit. In my opinion, preventing a bicycle in the elevator would violate a tenant’s substantial enjoyment of his unit. On the other hand, if the bicycle damages the elevator or bothers the other tenants, then an application could be made to evict the tenant on those grounds. My advice to this tenant would be to make sure that they only brought their bicycle into the elevator during times when it was not crowded and that they carried it at all times to make sure that no dirt was spread over the elevator or any of the building common areas.
When a tenant dies
B.G. of Oakville asked: What happens if a tenant signs a lease for a full year and then dies two months later? Is the estate responsible for the rent for the last 10 months of the lease?
The Act says if a tenant dies, the tenancy is legally over 30 days after the death. As such, the estate would only be responsible for rent for those 30 days, not the 10 months. During those 30 days, the landlord must let the estate executor or family into the unit to remove the belongings of the deceased tenant.
If no one claims the property, the landlord can sell it. The estate then would have six months to claim any money that the landlord received for the property but the landlord could deduct any rent and out of pocket expenses still owing at the date the lease terminated.
Mark Weisleder is a lawyer, author and speaker to the real estate industry.