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RTA - Special and Exempt - Owner-Shared Accomodation

. McKnight v. Kirk

In McKnight v. Kirk (Div Court, 2022) the Divisional Court considered RTA 5(i) which exempts owner-shared accomodation from the RTA:
Did the Member Err in Interpreting Section 5(i) by Failing to Consider that the Premises was Co-Owned by the Landlord’s Mother?

[32] The Tenant submitted that the exemption did not apply because the Landlord co-owned the property with her mother, Mary Louise Kirk, and that J. was thus not a “spouse, child or parent” of the owner, as required under s. 5(i).

[33] The Member considered the use of the term “owner” in s. 5(i) and the absence of a definition of “owner” in the RTA. The Member found that “landlord” under the RTA is defined more broadly than an owner. The Member adopted a contextual and purposive interpretation of the provision to find that interpreting the term “owner” to apply only to a sole owner would defeat the purpose of the exemption, which was to allow a balance between the rights of a tenant with the rights of an owner or their family members who live in the rental premises.

[34] In this case, the Member found on the evidence that the Landlord’s mother was in effect a guarantor and had no other involvement with the property, which was managed entirely by the Landlord.

[35] The Member did not err in her interpretation of “owner” under s. 5(i) of the RTA. To the contrary, to find that the exemption does not apply because the “child” at issue is the child of one co-owner and not the other co-owner, who is also a family member, would be an overly technical and narrow interpretation of the provision. This is especially so when the other co-owner is an owner in name only, as was the case here.


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Last modified: 02-04-23
By: admin