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Landlord and Tenant Board

The Landlord and Tenant Board (formerly the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal) is an adjudicative tribunal operated by the government of Ontario that provides dispute resolution of landlord and tenant matters under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Historically, landlord and tenant relations in Ontario were governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act. Disputes between landlords and tenants could only be formally addressed through the court system.

In 1998, the Conservative government of Mike Harris enacted the Tenant Protection Act, which created a new regime governing residential tenancies. The act established the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal as a quasi-judicial body to adjudicate disputes, thus largely removing landlord-tenant law from the court system.

The act and the tribunal were criticized by some people as being biased in favour of landlords.[1] In 2006, the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty repealed the act and replaced it with the current Residential Tenancies Act, which also restructured and altered the rules of the tribunal and gave it its current name.

ProcessEdit

Either landlords or tenants may file an application to the Board. The parties can choose to first attempt to resolve the matter through mediation. If the mediation is unsuccessful or if the parties choose not to attempt mediation, then an adjudication hearing is held in which a Board member hears evidence from both parties before issuing an order.

A landlord may apply to the Board to increase a unit's rent above the province's rent control guidelines or to evict a tenant. Tenants can dispute evictions, apply for rent reductions or rebates due to a landlord's failure to meet maintenance obligations, apply for work orders or other orders, or grieve other violations of the Residential Tenancies Act. In Ontario a landlord cannot evict a tenant without a hearing before the board [2]

According to Whitney Miller of Social Justice Tribunals Ontario, the Board generally hears landlord applications for non-payment of rent within 25 days of filing the application, and a decision is usually issued within five days of the hearing.[3]

[4]

Legal RepresentationEdit

In Ontario a person may be represented by an individual licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada such as a Lawyer or a Paralegal. [5] There are other exemptions for unpaid representatives such as direct employees of the landlord or in the case of a tenant a friend or family member. It is the obligation of the individual claiming the representation exemption to provide proof to the board of their legal authorization to represent a person or company in front of the board. Prior to a board hearing tenants are offered the opportunity to speak to tenant duty counsel that is usually provided by a community legal aid clinic funded through Legal Aid Ontario. Landlord are not allowed to access duty counsel on the hearing day.[6]

JurisdictionEdit

According to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 S.O the Board has the jurisdiction to resolve all matters between a Landlord & Tenant. There are a few important differences between applications made by landlords and applications made by tenants when it relates to matters of jurisdiction. Under the Act a tenant must be in possession of a rental unit prior filling an application with the board. If a landlord files an application with the board when a tenant is not in possession of the rental unit the application will be dismissed. [7] If a landlord would like to make a claim against a tenant after a tenant has vacated the rental unit the landlord must seek compensation through the Ontario Small Claims Court.[8] [9]

Changes at the BoardEdit

In September of 2016 changes were made to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 S.O to allow victims of domestic violence to terminate their leases with only 28 days notice. The significance of this change was noted by Shaun Harvey of Riverview Legal Services when he stated that "In my opinion, it's a huge step forward for women's rights. I would argue that Ontario's leading the way in its progressive treatment of women and families and children."[10]


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ombudsman Asked to Investigate Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal" (Press release). Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO). June 20, 2002. Archived from the original on August 11, 2002. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions (About Evictions)". Riverview Legal Services. Retrieved August 29, 2017.  "A Guide to the Residential Tenancies Act". Landlord and Tenant Board. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ A landlord's nightmare: tenants kept livestock in the house, cbc.ca.
  4. ^ [1], Landlords must pay Cambridge Tenant therecord.com.
  5. ^ "Practice Direction on Representation before Social Justice Tribunals Ontario". Landlord and Tenant Board. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Tenant duty counsel". Legal Aid Ontario. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 
  7. ^ "SWL-00849-17-IN2 (Re), 2017 CanLII 48972 (ON LTB)". CanLII. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Hogg v McConnell, 2015 CanLII 31347 (ON SCSM)". CanLII. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Valles v Advantagewon Inc, 2015 CanLII 29533 (ON SCSM)". CanLII. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Tenants can now end lease if they fear domestic violence". The Record. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 

External linksEdit