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Can a baliff in Ontario enter a private and or commercial space

Resolved Question:

Can a baliff in Ontario enter a private and or commercial space without possesing a writ
outlining the intended action?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 5 years ago.

Debra Thal (username) :

Is this about a car being repossessed?

Debra Thal (username) :

Then the answer is yes.

Debra Thal (username) :

That would be the same with some situations relating to equipment as well.

Debra Thal (username) :

That is because there is an agreement with the person who is leasing or renting or paying off the purchase for this car or piece of equipment that allows for this to happen

Debra Thal (username) :

Is that what has happened here?

Customer: No this was a situation with Toronto Hydro.
Debra Thal (username) :

What were they seizing then and in the contract with Toronto Hydro is there an agreement about this?

Customer: There was a previous unpaid bill with Toronto Hydro but an agreement was reached and payment rendered several days ago.
Customer: The Bailiff and Toronto Hydro arrived at the site today to turn off the power. Note we do not have a disconnection notice or do we have any supporting documentation from the Bailiff. The Bailiff ordered the shut off while our staff asked him to leave. The GM informed the bailiff the payment was made and we where on a call with Toronto Hydro to confirm. The bailiff refused to give us his full name did not leave a business card and did not provide any supporting documentation authorizing his actions. He simply stated the payment was due and he was turning off the power. My question, based on the facts is the bailiff allowed to carry out the shut off of power without providing evidence of his authority and or a writ explaining why the power was being shut down. To complete the shut off of power the bailiff entered the premises went down to the basement and then ordered a locksmith to open the door to the electrical room. Again all of his actions were carried out without any notice being offered.
Debra Thal (username) :

If you read your Terms of Service you will see reference to the Electricity Act.

Debra Thal (username) :

Here is a link to the Act:

Debra Thal (username) :

Section 40 (as well as the Terms of Service) govern this situation.

Debra Thal (username) :

Here is a copy of the section:

Debra Thal (username) :

Powers of Entry


Powers of entry


40. (1) A transmitter or distributor may, at reasonable times, enter land on which its transmission or distribution system is located,


(a) to inspect, maintain, repair, alter, remove, replace or disconnect wires or other facilities used to transmit or distribute electricity; or


(b) to install, inspect, read, calibrate, maintain, repair, alter, remove or replace a meter. 1998, c. 15, Sched. A, s. 40 (1).


Same: multi-unit buildings


(2) If a transmitter or distributor has the necessary consent of an owner or occupant to connect a line of its transmission or distribution system to part of a building and other parts of the building are owned by different owners or are in the possession of different occupants, the transmitter or distributor may, at reasonable times, enter on the other parts of the building to install, construct or maintain its transmission or distribution system, including anything necessary to make the connection. 1998, c. 15, Sched. A, s. 40 (2).


Same: common passages


(3) If a transmitter or distributor has the necessary consent of an owner or occupant to connect a line of its transmission or distribution system to land and the owner or occupant shares a mutual driveway or other common passage with the owners or occupants of neighbouring land, the transmitter or distributor may, at reasonable times, enter the common passage to install, construct or maintain its transmission or distribution system, including anything necessary to make the connection. 1998, c. 15, Sched. A, s. 40 (3).


Same: removal of obstructions


(4) A transmitter or distributor may enter any land for the purpose of cutting down or removing trees, branches or other obstructions if, in the opinion of the transmitter or distributor, it is necessary to do so to maintain the safe and reliable operation of its transmission or distribution system. 1998, c. 15, Sched. A, s. 40 (4).


Shutting off electricity


(5) For the purposes of this section, the transmitter or distributor may shut off or reduce the supply of electricity to the property or connect or disconnect equipment or open or close circuits. 1998, c. 15, Sched. A, s. 40 (5).


Employees, etc.


(6) If a person has a power of entry under this section, the power may be exercised by an employee or agent of the person who may be accompanied by any other person under the direction of the employee or agent. 1998, c. 15, Sched. A, s. 40 (6).


Identification


(7) A person exercising a power of entry under this section must on request display or produce proper identification. 1998, c. 15, Sched. A, s. 40 (7).


Notice, compensation, etc.


(8) If a person exercises a power of entry under this section, the person shall,


(a) provide reasonable notice of the entry to the occupier of the property;


(b) in so far as is practicable, restore the property to its original condition; and


(c) provide compensation for any damages caused by the entry. 1998, c. 15, Sched. A, s. 40 (8).

Debra Thal (username) :

So as you can see the entry was a lawful.

Debra Thal (username) :

I am sorry this happened to you.

Customer:

Thanks for your reply. I have read your comments and based on the act you have provide I still qeustion if the entry was lawful. If you refer to item 8 ..... we have confirmed today that we never received notice from both the bailiff and or Toronto Hydro. The GM informed me this morning the account was being monitored with the Toronto Hydro Credit Depaertment and being paid in accordance with pre arranged terms. In general the entry seems to be in direct conflict with item 8 (a) were it would appear we should have been provided with reasonablnotice which we did not receive. Additionally as I understand via Services Ontario if the owner of the property requests that the Bailiff leave the premisis due to lack of evidence supporting the entry they in fact must exit ..... Is this correct?

Debra Thal (username) :

The Bailiff cannot act arbitrarily but if the utility company as given them the facts the bailiff does not have to question that.

Debra Thal (username) :

The Bailiff is like an agent so your complaint is with Hydro and not the bailiff.

Debra Thal (username) :

If you did not know that there was an issue and you were totally taken by surprise that is a different matter.

Debra Thal (username) :

But if you knew money was owing then they can argue that you should have understood their services were going to be cut-off.

Debra Thal (username) :

It's very fact specific.

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