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by Allan Lyons

The following scenario may be all to familiar to owners/landlords and residents of a condominium corporation. A noisy tenant occupies the unit next to you. You find the disturbances unbearable and you file a complaint with the property manager. Other neighbours have filed similar complaints. management has tried to stop the disturbances, but they continue unbated. The Board of Directors instructs its solicitors to write to the owner/landlord demanding that the tenancy be terminated.

The owner/landlord serves a notice to terminate the tenancy on the unruly tenant in accordance with the provisions of the Tenant Protection Act, 1997. The notice provide that the tenant must vacate the unit after twenty days.

A Temporary Restraint

The owner/landlord, the Board of Directors and the solicitors have followed the procedure set out in the Tenant Protection Act, 1997. Is it reasonable to assume that the tenant may be evicted by the owner/landlord on the twentieth day following receipt of the notice to terminate? It may be reasonable ti make that assumption, but other provisions of the Tenant Protection Act, 1997 may apply to keep the noisy tenant in the unit with only a temporary restraint placed on the noise disturbances.

According to the Act, a notice to terminate may be served on a tenant by an owner/landlord if that tenant has interfered with the reasonable enjoyment of the building by the other residents.

If the tenant continues to disturb other residents after receipt of the notice, the owner/landlord may apply to the Rental Housing Tribunal to enforce the notice after seven days from the date that the notice was served on the tenant.

The Act contains a simple escape clause that the tenant may rely upon in order to continue to live in the unit. The section states that the notice is void and the tenant will not be required to move out if the tenant corrects the problem by not making noise that disturbs others for seven days.

Presumably then, a tenant who has disturbed other residents on a continuous basis may continue to live in his or her unit if the noise disturbances stop for one week.

Disappointed residents may take solace in the fact the once the first notice is issued the noisy tenant is subject to a six month probationary period. If the tenant disturbs others again within that six month period, another notice to terminate may be delivered to the tenant, to be effective on the fourteenth day after delivery to the tenant. The tenant's obligation to leave the premises cannot be avoided by the tenant's good behaviour.

The Tenant Protection Act, 1998 has given unruly tenants added protection, in the form of a second chance, prior to the termination of their tenancies.

Residents, Boards of Directors and property managers should carefully monitor these types of complaints. Your property manager and solicitors should correspond in a timely manner with the owner/landlord and the noisy tenant in order to initiate the process of eviction, which may take longer than originally anticipated.

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