Let’s Fix The Landlord and Tenant Board in 2021
Small Ontario landlords were happy when the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) finally re-opened and began having video hearings.
The LTB had been closed for months and this led to some tenants not paying rent. Not getting rent created severe financial challenges for thousands of small ‘mom and pop’ landlords all over Ontario.
A Disaster For Small Landlords
Some landlords even had to sell their rental properties because they needed rent in order to help cover their mortgages, property taxes, and increasingly expensive maintenance costs.
Many others had to max out their credit cards, get loans and borrow money just to keep from going bankrupt. They are now worried about getting the needed income to pay for these huge debts.
For many small landlords the LTB shut down was a nightmare.
When the LTB finally re-opened small landlords felt better and began to trust the system to help them. However, there was great frustration within our community over the long wait times to get a hearing date.
Finally, over the past couple of months the LTB has started to operate efficiently to clear the incredibly long backlog of cases.
Small landlords, at last, began to see the light at the end of the dark, long tunnel.
Tenant Groups: The Landlord and Tenant Board Is In a “Crisis”
Now that hearings have started many tenant groups are unhappy and want to shut down the LTB.
They say there is a crisis at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
They claim that the online hearings are unfair to tenants who have not been treated with respect. In addition, they say some LTB adjudicators are not acting professionally and denying tenants their legal rights.
This led the NDP to call for a shut down of the LTB
The NDP wants to shut down the LTB and ban evictions.
All tenants get free legal help (no matter their income) and the legal clinics have reached out to the Human Rights Commission to halt Hearings and re-examine LTB decisions over the past few months.
Ontario Small Landlords Need The LTB To Remain Open…We Also Want Fairness for Both Good Landlords And Good Tenants
Most small ‘mom and pop’ landlords are good, working class people who want to create high quality, affordable housing. We want to take care of our tenants and our rentals and hope it can help provide a little bit of cash flow and help us during our retirement.
We used to rent ourselves and have relatives and friends who rent now. We have nothing against good tenants and just want a fair, efficient system to help both good landlords and good tenants.
These are challenging times and the LTB reached out to the Ontario Landlords Association to ask for our members help.
This was sent to us by the leadership of the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board:
December 22, 2020
TO: Ontario Landlords Association Stakeholders
FROM: Karen Restoule, Associate Chair, Lynn Dicaire, Registrar
RE: Year-end Message from the LTB Associate Chair and Registrar
It has been a hard year for so many of us, and for so many reasons.
As a result of COVID-19, LTB operations have transformed at unprecedented speed and scale. Our service counters remain closed and hearings continue to be conducted by videoconference, teleconference, and through written submissions.
The LTB has been working continuously to offer quality dispute resolution for the thousands of people across the province who rely on us while prioritizing the health and safety of all.
During this change, we would like to express our appreciation for you, our stakeholders, for your patience, cooperation, and shared commitment to fair and timely dispute resolution.
In July, as a result of amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) the LTB proposed changes to its Rules, guidelines, and forms and opened the door to public and stakeholder input. In August and September, we met virtually with more than 15 stakeholder groups and received more than 40 written submissions. Since then, we have met virtually with more than 18 stakeholder groups.
Your willingness to engage openly and honestly with the LTB has been important to our process. Not only did we receive helpful feedback on the proposed changes to our materials and procedures as a result of Bill 184, but you also raised concerns and offered advice related to topics like virtual hearings, electronic filing, and the use of alternative dispute resolution.
The LTB is committed to open and ongoing stakeholder engagement. We value your experience and perspective on landlord and tenant matters.
In January, we will organize another round of engagement meetings with stakeholders. These meetings will complement a call for written feedback on proposed changes to guidelines and forms for upcoming RTA changes related to Bill 184. We welcome your input on our proposed changes to our processes and procedures. We hope you will participate.
Before we close, we’d like to take this opportunity to share a few operational updates.
We will continue to hear tenant applications and urgent matters from December 22 to January 4. In early January, the LTB will add landlord-seized and adjourned matters to the schedule, and landlord and tenant case management hearings will resume. Hearings for all application types will resume on January 18, 2021.
Finally, as we continue to work to address the large volume of pending applications and requests, we continue to ask for your patience.
Applicants will continue to experience delays. At this time, the LTB is shifting its operational staff to respond to priority areas and cannot provide accurate application processing and customer service response times. Once an application is processed, a letter will be sent to the applicant providing their file number so they can Check File Status on our website for their hearing date once it has been scheduled.
To stay up-to-date on other developments at the LTB, we encourage you to visit our website regularly and subscribe to our Latest News.
Thank you again for your continued engagement with the LTB. This meaningful dialogue provides the LTB with a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by our users and helps us to identify opportunities to improve everyone’s experience with the board.
On behalf of all LTB staff and adjudicators, please accept our warmest wishes for a safe holiday and Happy New Year. We look forward to connecting with you in 2021.
[original signed by] [original signed by]
Let’s Fix The LTB in 2021
We appreciate the LTB reaching out to us once again.
Many don’t realize the OLA stopped a lot of extremely anti-small landlord measures in the past by being in regular contact with former Premier Kathleen Wynne (also when she was Housing Minister) and explaining our positions.
For example, “Own Use Evictions” still exist…when it almost didn’t thanks to the efforts of many of our senior OLA members.
Small Ontario landlords need the LTB to remain open to evict those who haven’t pay rent for months and leading to ridiculously unfair hardship on us.
We also understand the tenant groups frustration with some adjudicators not being fair. The LTB is a “court” and we need to make sure that the LTB treats both landlords and tenants with respect and the ability to make our cases.
Small Ontario Landlords Can Provide Solutions
Make sure you contact us with your ideas, concerns and hopes to fix the LTB and protect good landlords and good tenants (and making sure the bad apples are treated accordingly.)
There are too many “one person” shows now and we need to all come together and be united. Together we are strong.
Contact Us – Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard LOUD AND CLEAR:
Please send us your thought and ideas.
What happens in the next 30 days will have a major impact on the Ontario private rental industry for years to come.
Play a role and get your voice heard!