What’s the difference between eviction and expulsion?

Both terms refer to a legal process that enables the housing provider to seek an order to end a lease agreement or occupancy agreement.

The two terms are often used as synonyms. However, in order to provide clarity, here’s how we will use these terms:

  • Eviction will refer to tenants of rental properties.
  • Expulsion will refer to members of housing co-operatives. Note that in some areas, the phrase “termination of membership” is used instead of “expulsion.”

What are the rules regarding evictions and expulsions?

Rules can be different depending on your province or territory. From a national perspective, both evictions and expulsions are subject to the “principles of natural justice.”

This means:

  • a person has both the right to be heard and the right to a fair hearing. Although each case is determined by its own facts, everyone affected by the decision must have been:
  • given enough notice of a proposed action, and
  • given the opportunity to present their case before one or more decision makers; and
  • proper legal procedures must have also been followed and there must be valid reasons for the eviction.

All provinces and territories have specific landlord/tenant legislation that deals with evictions, each with their own differences:

Legislation by Province/Territory

What are the rules regarding expulsion?

  • In Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario, the landlord and tenant legislation applies to housing co-operative expulsions too.
  • All other provinces and the territories have their own rules for co-operative expulsions under separate co-operative legislation.
  • Additional rules governing expulsion may also be included in an individual co-operative’s constitution and bylaws.

Rules by Province/Territory

How common are evictions and expulsions in non-profit housing?

They are typically much lower in non-profit housing than in the private sector.

This may be due to a number of factors:

  • The mandate and philosophy of many of the housing organizations, which stress the importance of keeping residents housed.
  • The fact that many residents are paying on a rent-geared-to-income (RGI) basis, which makes their rent affordable.
  • The willingness on the part of non-profit organizations to work out repayment schedules with their residents.

Dealing with a possible eviction case

Many non-profit organizations use early and frequent contact with residents having difficulty making their payments on time and other housing-related problems.

Residents are valued members of the community. Having them move out is a loss not just for the organizations but for other residents that usually make up a network of support.

Generally, residents in non-profit housing are only evicted or expelled as a last resort.

Date Published: March 31, 2018