A Brampton woman living in a basement apartment claims her landlord and others have repeatedly entered her home without notice or proper authorization, raising questions about tenant rights in Ontario.
Linda Kissoon, the tenant in question, recounted one of the instances saying, “All I heard was my door open. I woke up, and I was in shock.” On multiple occasions, strangers have entered her basement without any prior notice. In one instance, this occurred twice in a single day and even once when she was in the shower. “I said, ‘Get out of my apartment right now. Who are you guys, and what are you doing?'” Kissoon told reporters.
While her landlord did offer an apology, the intrusions didn’t stop. Kissoon described another disturbing incident where a realtor entered her unit unannounced while she was sleeping. “I said, ‘You are letting people into my place without letting me know, and that’s not right,'” said Kissoon, emphasizing her growing concerns for her privacy and safety.
According to CTV News Toronto, Geordie Dent, the executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations, clarified the rights tenants hold in such situations. “Tenants have rights. You get rights for paying your rent, and if you pay 100 per cent of your rent, you get 100 per cent of your rights,” Dent commented.
Furthermore, Dent highlighted the importance of written notice. Landlords are required to provide a 24-hour written notice to a tenant before anyone, including realtors, enters a unit. He emphasized, “If you’re a real estate agent wanting to come in and show the unit to a prospective buyer for a landlord, you’re supposed to have written authorization for that, and you’re supposed to show that written authorization to the tenant.”
This assertion aligns with the guidelines of the Landlord and Tenant Board. They state that a landlord can only enter a rental unit with a written notice given 24 hours in advance, stipulating the time and reason for the entry, like performing repairs. The same rule applies if a landlord wishes to allow a real estate agent to showcase the unit to potential buyers or to conduct inspections, provided the mandatory 24-hour notice is given.
“They can’t just come in whenever they want. They have to follow the law,” Dent said, reinforcing the need for landlords to adhere to these guidelines.
In a twist to Kissoon’s story, her apartment is no longer up for sale. However, she mentioned that she might have to vacate the premises to make room for the landlord’s family. With Brampton’s soaring home prices, Kissoon voiced her concerns over finding a similarly priced rental, stating, “It’s so hard to find a place that’s the same price, as living in Brampton home prices are so expensive.”