Housing during COVID-19

Our COVID-19 Inventory Tool on CLEO Connect provides an overview of key, up-to-date resources and supports available to your clients during the pandemic.​

The Residential Tenancies Act (the RTA) sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants who rent residential properties in Ontario.

Government of Ontario - who is protected by rental rules?
Renting in Ontario: Your rights

The province announced a temporary pause on most residential evictions on April 8, 2021. However this was lifted on June 2, 2021. During the pause, the. However, the Landlord and Tenant Board continued to accept applications, hold hearings and issue eviction orders.

CLEO’s Steps to Justice
Can I be evicted during COVID-19?

CLEO Booklet: Fighting an Eviction
Fighting an eviction | CLEO

Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)
What to do if you get an N4 notice

During the pandemic, the Government of Ontario passed legislation freezing rents at 2020 levels. Rents should not increase in 2021 for most rental units covered under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). However, there are exceptions and some landlords are still raising rents.

Government of Ontario 
Residential rent increases in 2021

This is where tenants and landlords go to resolve disputes related to illegal rent increases, maintenance issues and evictions, to name a few. The LTB also provides information about the rights of landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). During COVID-19, the LTB is holding all hearings remotely.

Landlord and Tenant Board - Applications and step-by-step hearing process
LTB: Application and Hearing Process

Landlord and Tenant Board - Application forms for tenants
LTB: Forms

Hearings continue at the Landlord and Tenant Board during the pandemic, but are currently all available online through video-conferencing or by phone.

Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)
What to expect at a phone or videoconference hearing

A tenant can request accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code from the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). A tenant can also use this form to request changes to the hearing process because they lack access to technology.

Landlord and Tenant Board - Request for French-Language Services or Request for Accommodation 
LTB: Accessibility and Accommodations
Request for Additional Services FORM

Rental arrears and late payments are common during the pandemic, there are some income supports available to help lessen other costs.

Ontario Works: The Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) is intended to prevent homelessness by meeting the emergency housing needs of residents who receive financial assistance from Ontario Works (OW) and income support from Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) so that they are able to stabilize their housing situation. Housing Stabilization Fund

211 Ontario: Rent Banks

Rent banks provides interest-free grants or loans to those behind in their rent. Ontario 211 | Community and Social Services Help Line - search for “rent bank” or “housing help centre” for your region. 
Toronto Rent Bank

The Low-Income Energy Network - energy assistance for low-income people
Energy Financial Assistance

Ontario Government - Low-income energy assistance program
LEAP (Low-income Energy Assistance Program)

Community Legal Clinics and Legal Supports

Find your local Community Legal Clinic
Legal Clinics – Legal Aid Ontario

Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)
ACTO website

Tenant Duty Counsel through Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)
Tenants who have received a Notice of Hearing from the Landlord and Tenant Board can get free legal advice. 
Tenant Duty Counsel Program (TDCP)

Ontario Bar Association (OBA)
Tenants facing eviction for rent owing can sign up for a 30 minute summary advice through the OBA.
OBA legal advice for tenants

Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC)
Tenants facing discrimination by their landlord can get free legal advice, and possibly representation. 
Human Rights Legal Support Centre

The 519 Legal Clinic: The 519 Legal Clinic is for advice and referral purposes only. The clinic does not provide ongoing client relationships or legal representation. Serving the 2SLGBTQ community. 
The 519 Legal Clinic

Pro Bono Ontario: legal hotline
PBO Legal Advice Hotline

Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
Tenants facing discrimination by their landlord can get legal support.  
CERA website
Tenant Hotline
Services for tenants facing eviction and human rights violations | CERA

Justice Net
JusticeNet is a not-for-profit service helping people in need of legal expertise, whose income is too high to access legal aid and too low to afford standard legal fees.

Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA)
Tenant Hotline: 416-921-9494 - for anyone located in Toronto
FMTA website

CLEO’s Steps to Justice

Factsheets for Tenants

Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) Factsheets
ACTO Factsheets

Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA)
Tenant Hotline: 416-921-9494
Your Rights: Factsheets and Tenant's Rights Guide - multiple languages