Tenants face a number of challenges when it comes to finding, affording and keeping housing. In response to some of these problems, some Ontario residents choose to reside in motels either temporarily or over long periods of time. Questions have been raised about the rights these individuals have under Ontario real estate law, which gives motel guests different rights than traditional tenants.
The reason there is such a strong difference between the laws governing lease-bound tenants and motel guests is the Ontario Innkeepers Act, which bars people who reside in motels from falling under the Residential Tenancies Act. A woman in Wasaga Beach who lives in a tourism accommodation has launched a petition to change the real estate law governing this issue. The Ontario Innkeepers Act was last revised in 1990 and still refers to tenants' horses and carriages, leaving many of those residing in motels to consider the legislation outdated.
Currently, Ontario real estate law allows motel owners to remove guests with no notice, despite how long they have stayed in the residence. Tenants claim this makes them tentative to complain about issues such as mould or safety hazards. Some local bylaws limit which motels people can stay in for long periods, but those who live in approved tourism accommodations are hoping for a change in their rights and protections if there are concerns or bylaw violations.
Real estate law not only affects buyers and sellers, but also landlord, tenants and neighbours. Issues like zoning or rights and responsibilities under Ontario law should be understood by anyone who owns or rents property in the province. Those who own or rent from tourism properties or short-term rental properties can speak with a lawyer to gain an understanding the laws governing this type of real estate.
Source: simcoe.com, "Wasaga woman wants to see rule changes for residents in motels", Ian Adams, Nov. 2, 2017