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Employment & Labour

Law for tenant employees needs updating

Tenant-employees’ residential rights are not as secure as the rights of regular tenants in Ontario, Toronto employment and civil litigation lawyer Arthur Zeilikman writes in Lawyers Weekly.

“Many Ontario residential complexes employ live-in superintendents to perform a variety of important tasks that include, among other things, maintenance and cleaning,” the article says.

“Pursuant to s. 93 of the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act, if a landlord has entered into a tenancy agreement with respect to a superintendent’s residence, unless agreed otherwise, the superintendent’s tenancy stops when his or her employment with the landlord ends,” writes Zeilikman. “To make matters worse, only one week’s notice to vacate the rental unit is given. This does not apply to the majority of tenants in Ontario.”

According to the act, the article says, a tenancy can only be terminated for specific causes, such as the non-payment of rent or criminality, to name a few.

“And yet, if you happen to be a superintendent on the verge of dismissal, you risk losing legal possession of your residence seven days from the termination of your employment,” he writes. “Such legal reality is doubly egregious and is waiting to be challenged under s. 7 of the Charter.”

Zeilikman says changes to the law are a “pressing concern.”

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