Serious Risk to Safety (LTB)

From Riverview Legal Services


Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O Section 66(1)

66 (1) A landlord may give a tenant notice of termination of the tenancy if,

(a) an act or omission of the tenant, another occupant of the rental unit or a person permitted in the residential complex by the tenant seriously impairs or has seriously impaired the safety of any person; and
(b) the act or omission occurs in the residential complex.
(2) A notice of termination under this section shall provide a termination date not earlier than the 10th day after the notice is given and shall set out the grounds for termination.

TSL-66654-15 (Re), 2016 CanLII 39866 (ON LTB)

16. It is uncontested that the rental unit is very cluttered with combustible materials, the Tenant uses multiple electric heaters to make the rental unit very hot and the Tenant is a heavy smoker. It is also uncontested that the Tenant keeps combustible items on his stove and that he uses his stove to cook. These facts demonstrate that the state of the rental unit presents a serious risk of fire. As for whether the Tenant left an electric heater on in close vicinity to water, the evidence from both the Landlord and the Tenant is hearsay on this point (hearsay is a statement made outside of the hearing room). However, the Landlord’s evidence comes from a person who has no reason to fabricate and therefore this evidence is more reliable. On the other hand, the Tenant does have a reason to fabricate. I therefore find, on a balance of probabilities, that the Tenant left an electric heater on and that it was found by the superintendent to be surrounded by water. This presents a significant risk of electrocution. Accordingly, based on this fact and all of the other evidence, I find, on a balance of probabilities, that the state of the rental unit poses a serious risk to the safety of the Tenant and to the safety of the other tenants in the building.


17. I am therefore satisfied that the Tenant has seriously impaired the safety of any person.

EAL-30005-13-SA (Re), 2013 CanLII 18254 (ON LTB)

4. The Tenant was angry at getting an eviction order and pleaded with the Landlord to preserve his tenancy on February 21. He threatened to set himself on fire. Later that same day, the fire department responded to a fire in the Tenant’s unit. The Tenant explained that he had fallen asleep in his chair at 5 pm while smoking a cigarette and his clothes had caught on fire. The fire department official told the security personnel that the fire was suspicious and possibly mischief related.

5. I believe on the balance of probabilities that the Tenant poses a serious risk to his neighbours and it would not be reasonable to provide him relief from eviction.

TSL-12789-11 (Re), 2011 CanLII 13414 (ON LTB)

8. This application is based on a notice of termination served on the Tenant pursuant to section 66 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the ‘Act’). That section permits a landlord to give a tenant a notice of termination if an act or omission of the tenant seriously impairs the safety of another person, provided that the act or omission complained of occurs in the residential complex. This means that the Landlord must establish that the effect of the Tenants’ actions threatens the well being or physical integrity of another person to such a degree that termination of the tenancy is reasonable in order to ensure the safety of others. In other words, have the Tenants’ actions put someone at serious risk of harm? Not every risk of harm to another will meet the test, as the impairment of safety must be serious.

9. Verbal harassment and threats alone will rarely constitute a serious impairment of safety to another person. It may be a frightening experience, but unless there is evidence that a tenant has a clear intention to commit some form of physical assault, words are only words, and do not put people’s physical safety at risk. There was no evidence before me that the Tenant actually intended to physically harm the other resident. As the Tenant indicated at the hearing, the only person that the Tenant harmed was himself, which happened at a later date, and was not covered by the Notice of Termination.

10. The Tenant’s behaviour may be such that the other residents do not feel entirely safe around the Tenant, but the evidence presented was insufficient to show that the Tenant‘s conduct constituted a “serious” impairment of safety as required by the Act.

TSL-21449-11 (Re), 2011 CanLII 82573 (ON LTB)

1. This application is based on a notice of termination served on the Tenants pursuant to section 66 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the ‘Act’). This section permits a landlord to give a tenant a notice of termination if an act or omission of the tenant, the tenant’s guest or other occupant of the rental unit seriously impairs the safety of another person, provided that the act or omission complained of occurs in the residential complex. This means that the Landlord must establish that the effect of the actions of the Tenants or their guests threatens the well being or physical integrity of another person to such a degree that termination of the tenancy is reasonable in order to ensure the safety of others. In other words, have the actions of the Tenants or their guests put someone at serious risk of physical harm? Not every risk of physical harm to another will meet the test, as the impairment of safety must be serious.

2. In this case the conduct as detailed on the notice of termination consisted of the Tenants giving refuge to two men, who were arrested at the Tenants’ rental unit by undercover police officers on October 19, 2011. The property manager was told by the police that one of the men was a “wanted felon, he was wanted for numerous break and enters with a weapon and an armed robbery and that he was even on the television in regards to his crimes”. The other man was his accomplice.

3. Pursuant to section 43(2) of the Act and the case of Ball v. Metro Capital Property and Lockhurst (December 19, 2002) a notice of termination must set out the particulars of the conduct which seriously impairs the safety of others in order for the Tenants know what case they need to meet.

4. The notice served on the Tenants does not indicate whether it was the Tenants’ conduct that impaired the safety of others in the rental unit, or whether the two men they were sheltering in the rental unit impaired the safety of others, or whether it was the presence of the two men in the rental unit that seriously impaired the safety of anyone in the residential complex. There was no mention of any physical altercation, or of any resistance by the Tenants or by the two men to the police arrest. The notice appears to be based solely on the presence of these two men in the Tenants’ rental unit. Had the police not attended at the residential complex, the Landlord would not have even known of the presence of the two men.

5. The Landlord’s representative argued that she had evidence that would persuade the Board that the conduct of the Tenants seriously impaired the safety of others in the residential complex. However, such conduct is not detailed in the notice. I am of the view that the notice must be valid on its face and not depend on testimony given at the hearing.

6. As such, I find that the notice does not meet the requirements of providing sufficient particulars and the notice on its face does not set out conduct of serious impairment of safety. The notice is void. Accordingly, the Landlord’s application must be dismissed.


TSL-63756-15 (Re), 2015 CanLII 77360 (ON LTB)

2. The evidence before me established that the Tenant and his guest engaged in a verbal and physical altercation in the hallway of the residential complex in the early morning of May 7, 2015. This caused a disruption, as other residents came out of their units to see what was going on. Police were called to the premises.


3. The police constable, who attended at the residential complex later on that day, testified that the fight appeared to have been “consensual”. He was not certain that anyone’s safety was jeopardized at the time. No charges were laid against the Tenant or his guest.

5. The only person with first-hand knowledge of the circumstances was the Tenant, who testified that he tried to stop his friend, who was drunk, from being “stupid” and attempted to escort him from the building. No injuries were sustained and no damage caused.

6. This application is based on a notice of termination which was served pursuant to section 66 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2007 (the ‘Act’). That provision states that a landlord may give notice to terminate a tenancy if an act or omission of the tenant “seriously impairs or has seriously impaired the safety of any person”.

7. Section 66 does not state that any risk of harm or impairment of safety is sufficient to justify termination. Rather the section uses the qualifier “serious”. Have the Tenant’s actions, or the actions of his guest put someone at serious risk of physical harm? Not every risk of physical harm to another will meet the test, as the impairment of safety must be serious.

8. Based on the evidence before me, I am not satisfied that the Landlord met the burden of proof to establish that the Tenant or his guest seriously impaired the safety of a person in the residential complex. The evidence showed that the conduct of the Tenant and his guests was and continues to be disruptive; however, the Landlord chose to file an application based on serious impairment of safety rather than substantial interference.

TSL-85197-17 (Re), 2017 CanLII 60411 (ON LTB)

10. The Landlord’s N7 notice outlines several complaints received from other tenants in the residential complex and Landlord’s staff members from February 9, 2017 to May 9, 2017 in relation to the conduct of the Tenant. The incidents and conduct outlined in this notice is similar to that in the N5 notice, above, but focuses on incidents, which the Landlord alleges caused staff and other tenants of the complex to fear for their safety, including:

  • On April 12, 2017, the Tenant verbally berated a staff member and made a gesture as though the Tenant was cutting his throat;
  • On April 15, 2017, the Tenant harassed another tenant of the complex, knocking the tenant’s hat off. The police were called and the Tenant was removed from the property;
  • On May 7, 2017, the Tenant violently and deliberately jumped into the door of the refrigerator, attempting to damage the refrigerator door and causing the fridge to almost fall over. Other residents and staff witnessed the incident and feared for their safety;
  • On May 9, 2017, after being told by a staff member not to keep a door to the exterior open while smoking, the Tenant aggressively shut the door, ran up the stairs and kicked tools and other items being used to effect repairs to the complex. The staff member feared for her safety and the police were called, however, the Tenant was not present when the police arrived.

11. DM, the Landlord’s Manager of the residential complex, testified that the allegations contained in the Form N7 are true and correct to the best of her knowledge.

12. In order to be successful on this ground, the Landlord must establish that the effect of the Tenant’s actions threatens the wellbeing or physical integrity of another person to such a degree that termination of the tenancy is reasonable in order to ensure the safety of others. In other words, have the Tenant’s actions put someone at serious risk of physical harm?

13. In my view, the Tenant’s conduct as detailed in the N7 notice of termination, comprised, in part, of the Tenant engaging in sufficiently violent conduct on April 15, 2017, May 7, 2017 and May 9, 2017, as outlined above, which conduct by its very nature, constituted a serious impairment of safety of another person in the residential complex.

TSL-63201-15 (Re), 2015 CanLII 69051 (ON LTB)

7. In order to be successful on this ground, the Landlord must establish that the effect of the Tenant’s actions threatens the wellbeing or physical integrity of another person to such a degree that termination of the tenancy is reasonable in order to ensure the safety of others. In other words, have the Tenant’s actions put someone at serious risk of physical harm?

8. In the instant case the Tenant’s conduct, as detailed on the notice of termination, and corroborated by the witnesses’ testimony, comprised of his taking, at minimum, an active part in luring RA into another unit in the complex where RA was assaulted and robbed by other individuals. I am of opinion that the Tenant’s conduct constituted a serious impairment of safety to another person.

9. Based on the evidence before me, I am satisfied that the Tenant’s conduct as detailed in the notice of termination has seriously impaired the safety of other persons.

TSL-72605-16 (Re), 2016 CanLII 39782 (ON LTB)

10. In order to be successful on this ground, the Landlord must establish that the effect of the Tenant’s actions threatens the wellbeing or physical integrity of another person to such a degree that termination of the tenancy is reasonable in order to ensure the safety of others. In other words, have the Tenant’s actions put someone at serious risk of physical harm?

11. In the instant case the Tenant’s conduct as detailed on the Form N7, and corroborated by SY’s testimony and the other evidence before me, comprised of an act or acts by the Tenant, which caused the death of the victim. I am, therefore, of the opinion that the Tenant’s conduct constituted a serious impairment of safety to another person.

12. Based on the evidence before me, I am satisfied that the Tenant’s conduct as detailed in the Form N7 has seriously impaired the safety of another person.

13. In my view, based on the gravity and consequences of the Tenant’s conduct, and the impact of the Tenant’s conduct, and the consequences thereof, on the other tenants of the residential complex and the Landlord, it is appropriate to request that the enforcement of this Order be expedited.

TSL-89434-17 (Re), 2017 CanLII 142844 (ON LTB)

12. This portion of the Landlord’s application is based on the N7 notice of termination served to the Tenant pursuant to section 66 of the Act. That section permits a landlord to give a tenant a notice of termination if an act or omission of the tenant seriously impairs the safety of another person, provided that the act or omission complained of occurs in the residential complex. This means that the Landlord must establish, on a balance of probabilities, that the effect of the Tenant’s actions threatens the wellbeing or physical integrity of another person to such a degree that termination of the tenancy is reasonable in order to ensure the safety of others. In other words, have the Tenant’s actions put someone at serious risk of harm?

13. Again, I am satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that on September 12, 2017, the Tenant’s conduct of stabbing another person in residential complex, by its very nature, amounted to conduct which seriously impaired the safety of another person and this act occurred in the residential complex. As a result, the Landlord is entitled to an order terminating the tenancy.

TSL-89389-17 (Re), 2017 CanLII 142739 (ON LTB)

9. This portion of the Landlord’s application is based on a N7 notice of termination served on the Tenant pursuant to section 66 of the Act. That section permits a landlord to give a tenant a notice of termination if an act or omission of the tenant seriously impairs the safety of another person, provided that the act or omission complained of occurs in the residential complex. This means that the Landlord must establish, on a balance of probabilities, that the effect of the Tenant’s actions threatens the wellbeing or physical integrity of another person to such a degree that termination of the tenancy is reasonable in order to ensure the safety of others. In other words, have the Tenant’s actions put someone at serious risk of harm? Not every risk of harm to another will meet the test, as the impairment of safety must be “serious”. Here, on September 25, 2017, at approximately 1:30 a.m., the Tenant awoke a neighbouring tenant by banging and slamming doors in the unit. Thereafter, the Tenant banged on the neighbouring tenant’s door and, when the neighbouring tenant answered the door, the Tenant threatened to harm the neighbour.

10. With respect to the threat(s) on September 25th, threats alone will rarely constitute a serious impairment of safety to another person. It may be a frightening experience, but unless there is evidence that a tenant has a clear intention to commit some form of physical assault, words are only words, and do not put people’s physical safety at risk. Here, I find, on a balance of probabilities, the Tenant intended, on a balance of probabilities, the neighbouring tenant to take his threat of harm seriously the threat coming, as it did, in the early hours of the morning and after the Tenant banged on the neighbour’s door. The Tenant did not attend to provide any testimony about his words and conduct on September 25th. As such, there is no evidence before me that the Tenant did not, in fact, intend to physically harm the other tenant. For these reasons, and based on the evidence presented, I find, on the balance of probabilities, that the Tenant‘s conduct constituted a “serious” impairment of safety as required by the Act.

TSL-99698-18 (Re), 2019 CanLII 87109 (ON LTB)

6. I am also satisfied on a balance of probabilities that the Tenant, a roommate or a guest seriously impaired their own safety and the safety of others by:

  • Causing excessive clutter and debris on the balcony (piled up to the height of the railing) and removing the knob on the balcony door, making the balcony inaccessible and impossible to navigate in case of an emergency that requires evacuating the unit;
  • Slamming the door to the rental unit shut in the faces of the superintendent and CS, a Community Service Coordinator for the Landlord, causing them to fall backwards;
  • Smashing the glass in all of the windows, exposing the rental unit to the outside elements and creating a serious risk that the pipes may freeze, burst and cause a flood in the residential complex;
  • Disconnecting the smoke detector in the rental unit. This is particularly hazardous because the Tenant and his girlfriend smoke in the rental unit and leave cigarette butts on the floors. There are exposed wires where the smoke detector was removed (the detector is part of a hardwired system), which could ignite with a spark and cause a fire. If a fire started in the rental unit, the smoke detector would not be there to notify others.

TEL-07722 (Re), 2007 CanLII 75970 (ON LTB)

1. The Tenant has performed tattooing procedures in the residential complex without meeting proper infection control protocols. The Tenant’s activities have seriously impaired the safety of persons receiving the procedures and the safety of other persons in the residential complex.

TSL-80010-16 (Re), 2017 CanLII 28745 (ON LTB)

12. The Landlord’s N7 notice outlines numerous complaints received from other tenants in the residential complex, and incidents, from August 18, 2015 to August 14, 2016 in relation to the conduct of the Tenant and his guests. The incidents and conduct outlined in this notice is similar to that in the N5 notices, above, but includes additional incidents such as:

  • Guests of the Tenant attempting to break into the complex;
  • A guest of the Tenant threatening another tenant with physical injury;
  • The Tenant and/or his guests leaving broken crack pipes in the common washroom;
  • The Tenant dealing in drugs in the complex;
  • One of the Tenant’s guests assaulted and injured a guest of another tenant;
  • Ongoing allegations of use and sale of crack cocaine in the unit and the complex by the Tenant and his guests; and
  • An individual with an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest was found in the unit in the company of the Tenant.

13. In order to be successful on this ground, the Landlord must establish that the effect of the Tenant’s actions, or the conduct of a person permitted in the residential complex by the Tenant, threatens the wellbeing or physical integrity of another person to such a degree that termination of the tenancy is reasonable in order to ensure the safety of others. In other words, have the Tenant’s actions, or the conduct of a person permitted in the residential complex by the Tenant, put someone at serious risk of physical harm?

14. In the instant case the Tenant’s conduct as detailed on the notice of termination, comprised, in part, of one of his guests assaulting and causing bodily harm to another’s tenant’s guest on August 9, 2016. The Landlord’s allegations also involve the Tenant and/or his guests leaving broken crack pipes in the common washroom and engaging in the use and sale of illegal drugs in the complex. I am of opinion that the described conduct by the Tenant and/or his guests, by its very nature, constituted a serious impairment of safety to another person in the residential complex.

SWL-11622-17 (Re), 2018 CanLII 42483 (ON LTB)

19. The same N7 served in November 2017 that outlined the fire safety issues also included allegations that used needles were found in the residential complex, and that complaints were received about someone overdosing on fentanyl in the Tenant’s rental unit.

20. The Landlord led no evidence about the overdose allegation, so I am dismissing that part of the claim. What remains is the Landlord’s assertion that the Tenant seriously impaired the safety of other residents by leaving used needles littered around the residential complex. The Tenant denied using intravenous drugs and denied the needles belonged to her. While the Landlord had a theory that the needles belonged to the Tenant, none of the evidence led by the Landlord directly connected the Tenant to the needles found at the residential complex. As the Landlord did not prove that the needles belonged to the Tenant, I am dismissing that part of the Landlord’s claim as well.

21. Having found the Landlord has established that the Tenant seriously impaired her own safety and the safety of others in the residential complex by causing the fire in her rental unit, I will turn my mind to relief from eviction, as required under section 83 of the Act. I cannot consider the alleged drug use in my s.83 analysis, as I found the Landlord did not prove that part of their claim.

22. The Landlord’s Legal Representative asserted that due to the seriousness of the fire in the rental unit, their application to evict the Tenant should be granted. The Landlord asserted that the Tenant is a “powder keg”, and that due to her drug use and other issues, the question is not whether another fire or similar situation will happen again, but rather when it will happen again.

23. The Tenant is supported by the Cambridge STEP Home Project, which is a collaboration between different community agencies with the goal of assisting participants who experience chronic or persistent homelessness. The Tenant’s Agent asserted that the Tenant was homeless for over a year prior to moving into this rental unit. The Tenant also receives medical and psychiatric support from her family doctor and a psychiatrist in the community for mental health and addictions issues and is compliant with her treatment.

24. After considering all of the disclosed circumstances in accordance with subsection 83(2) of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the 'Act'), I find that it would not be unfair to grant relief from eviction subject to the condition(s) set out in this order pursuant to subsection 83(1)(a) and 204(1) of the Act. The Tenant will be ordered to ensure that there are no more fires in her rental unit for a period of one year from the date of this order.

25. The Tenant disclosed at the hearing that she is a person with disabilities, but stated that she had never informed the Landlord about her disabilities, nor had she requested any accommodation from the Landlord. Therefore, I will not consider whether or not the Landlord has a duty to accommodate the Tenant under the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 (the “Code”). I note however that ultimately it is the Tenant who is responsible for ensuring her conduct in the residential complex does not seriously impair the safety of any person. Moving forward, both parties have an obligation to work together and must engage in conversations about whether the Tenant has a disability under the Code that requires accommodation and if so, what steps can be taken to assist the Tenant in complying with the conditions imposed by this Order