May 14th, 2024

“Renters have had it hard enough,” NDP’s Jessica Bell calls out CRA decision forcing tenants to pay their landlord’s late tax bill

QUEEN’S PARK – Official Opposition NDP housing critic Jessica Bell is calling on the Canada Revenue Agency, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra, to take urgent action to protect tenants who risk eviction because their landlord is behind on their tax bill.

“Tenants are caught between a rock and a hard place, where the CRA will go after them if they don’t withhold rent to pay their landlord’s tax bill, yet risk eviction for late payment of rent if they do,” said Bell.

“In this incredibly expensive housing market, this is just wrong. Renters have it hard enough already.”

The Canada Revenue Agency has been instructing tenants to withhold rent to pay their landlords’ missed taxes and potentially risk eviction.

In a public letter to the Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, Bell called for the following measures:

  • The province should direct the Landlord and Tenant Board to deny any landlord’s application to evict if the tenant is being told to withhold rent to pay their landlord’s missed-tax bill
  • The CRA should work with the federal government to reverse this rule immediately, and not force tenants to pay their non-resident landlord’s taxes
  • Ontario should establish a beneficial ownership registry so the identity of a property owners is part of the public record