Tenant Defence Fund Pilot Program

A message to tenants, landlords and homeowners

During these challenging times, it may become more difficult to make rent or mortgage payments. It is important we work together. This information outlines some of the changes, options and supports available to you.


  • If you cannot pay your rent because of layoffs or mandatory self-isolation caused by COVID-19, we strongly encourage you to speak with your landlord and work out a payment plan. Your landlord will expect some documentation of your inability to pay. If you are unable to pay part of your rent, you and your landlord can talk about establishing a formal agreement to do so when your income situation changes.
  • A reminder that rent strikes are illegal. We ask everyone to work together during this time of crisis.
  • Landlords will also expect tenants to take part in any programs offered by other levels of government. 
  • The Ontario government has suspended all new evictions during the COVID-19 crisis, unless due to illegal activity of safety concerns. Housing Tribunals Ontario is postponing all in-person hearings.
  • There are many types of financial support available to help individuals and families experiencing challenges due to COVID-19.


  • Landlords should discuss individual situations with your tenants and be flexible in making specific arrangements for payment of rent. You can encourage your tenants to seek support through all available government programs, provided in the links above.
  • The provincial government has suspended all eviction enforcement.
  • Landlords should not proceed with any eviction orders currently in progress.

COVID-19 Specific Supports:

The Tenant Defence Fund Pilot Program (TDFPP) is open to eligible groups of at least 4 tenant households whose landlord have applied to the Landlord Tenant Board for an Above Guideline Rent Increase (AGI). The TDFPP can provide resources and knowledge to help tenant groups defend the application at the Landlord Tenant Board.

The support can include securing meeting space, printing and photocopying documents relating to the grant application, and up to $1000 to hire a paralegal or lawyer Licensed with the Law Society of Ontario to help the tenants prepare for the case and represent them.

Eligibility & Requirements for the TDFPP:

  • At least 20% of the units affected by the application must oppose the application (by signing a petition in the TDFPP application).
  • Only one tenant group from any rental complex may receive funding (the first to apply)
  • There must be at least four households in the tenant group
  • Monthly rents for each unit participating in the case must be at or below the following (current rent before the AGI application is submitted by the landlord):
Unit Size Maximum Qualifying Pre-Application Rent
One Bedroom $972
Two Bedroom $1,181
Three Bedroom or Larger $1,334
  • At least 20% of the units affected by the AGI application must be currently rented at or below the qualifying monthly rent in the table above.
  • Each affected household must sign a form stating that their current rent is at or below the amount in the table above
  • The tenant group must choose one tenant representative as the primary representative for the group. The group must also name an alternative tenant representative in case the primary representative cannot complete their required tasks.

Program funding is limited.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Tenant Defence Fund Pilot Program or would like to apply to the Program, please contact:

Janet Surmanski, Tenant Relations Officer
Phone 905-546-2424 ext. 3941
Email [email protected]