Archive for the ‘Human Rights Code’ Category

Group takes Landlord and Tenant board to Human Rights Tribunal over ‘digital first’ system

Monday, July 4th, 2022

Legal clinics that support renters have banded together to file human rights complaints against Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board alleging its “digital first” strategy has discriminated against tenants based on age, family status and disability.

For the first time in its history, the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario is bringing applications to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against the LTB and its parent organization, Tribunals Ontario, that call into question the entire method of holding hearings, alleging that “digital first” has created systemic discrimination that puts Ontarians’ human rights last.

“When you do a single system with a service delivery mode that’s digital, there’s a generation of people that didn’t grow up with computers,” said Mairghread Knought, a community legal worker with the Nipissing Community Legal Clinic who has attempted to help people from all over the province who have struggled to have their cases heard in the often chaotic online hearings. “Putting a justice system online where housing is at stake – this isn’t renewing your licence – there’s a customer service aspect really missing here.”

At issue is a decision made in 2020 by Tribunals Ontario and the LTB to no longer hold hearings in person and focus on doing its work online or over the telephone. Officially, in-person hearings remained possible, but examples of it happening were virtually non-existent until recent months. Initially the move was said to be necessitated by pandemic restrictions, but even as other courts have opened up and begun taking in-person hearings, the LTB has signalled its intent to stay “digital first” for good.

ACTO’s lead lawyer on the file said that the Tribunal’s attempts to prioritize speed have not only failed to eliminated massive backlogs and wait times for hearings, but have been detrimental to a large group of tenants.

“No one can deny it works for a lot of people, and for some people it might be better than before,” said Ryan Hardy, staff lawyer at ACTO, referring mainly to landlords seeking evictions. “Clearly if you sacrifice procedural protections, or sacrifice access to duty council, and sacrifice a lot of the rules of evidence, I’ve seen an application for an eviction disposed of in under two minutes.

“If you do that it’s probably more mathematically efficient, but at what cost? How many people got evicted who might not have been evicted under a fairer system?”

Lorraine Peever, 77, is the complainant in one of the first HRTO cases ACTO is bringing. In 2019, she tried to file a tenants application for compensation after her building – a District of Nipissing Housing Services seniors residence in North Bay with 106 apartments – was infested with bed bugs.

“I had to put on extra pants, and tuck the pants inside the socks. My arms were bitten; I put extra-long socks on my arms, a sweater. I had a towel around my neck, a fancy scarf on my head: That’s how I went to bed,” said Ms. Peever. As the bug issues continued to plague the building well into 2020, Ms. Peever grew increasingly irate at the costs borne by her and other tenants. At one point she was told to put everything she wanted to save in three plastic boxes, which meant throwing away almost everything else, including gowns she had for dancing. But on several occasions she was unable to join the new all-digital hearings on her phone.

“The things going on in this building are not right. I was getting fed up. It bothered me really, really bad,” said Ms. Peever, who eventually contacted her local legal clinic for help. “We’re all seniors and nobody wants to talk up or nothing … we’re not all bright and have computers.”

Ms. Knought’s office has fought twice now to get Ms. Peever’s case heard. Ms. Peever is still waiting to find out whether the LTB will hear her application. She missed her most recent hearing after being badly injured in a winter storm, ending up in a rehabilitation hospital with three broken vertebrae.

“No one wants to have to do a human rights complaint,” said Ms. Knought. “It’s sad that no one seems to be listening.” ACTO runs the provincially funded Tenant Duty Counsel program that puts a trained lawyer in every hearing room – once physical, now all digital – to advise tenants who are allowed to represent themselves at the Tribunal but often need guidance on how to do so. Ms. Knought has worked with the legal clinic on and off for two decades and has advised tenants in hundreds of digital hearings since COVID-19 began.

“It was a Band-Aid solution and it hasn’t been done well,” said Ms. Knought. “What we see is individuals who struggle with mute and unmute.”

In Northern Ontario, in-person hearings were rare prepandemic, she said; about twice a month the Tribunal would set up temporary shop in a Best Western hotel, but at least tenants had a chance to be heard. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it. … I’ve never worked anywhere where the ability to communicate with a government body has been so bad.”

Even though the LTB has hired more adjudicators in recent months and scheduled more hearings, Ms. Knought said there are more adjournments than ever – and even if there is a hearing, the relative inexperience of many of the new adjudicators means there have been lengthening delays in getting written verdicts.

“The Attorney-General must ensure the LTB’s digital hearings are fast, fair, and easy to use for all, and guarantee an in-person hearing if a tenant or landlord requests one,” said Jessica Bell, NDP MPP and critic on the housing file, who has spoken out for months about service problems at the LTB.

Tribunals Ontario did not respond to a request for comment.

“I’m hoping the government will wake up,” Ms. Peever said. “It’s been dragging on and nothing’s been settled.”

Front Page Toronto Star – Ontario Landlords Campaign Against Discrimination

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Let’s Make Sure Every Landlord In Ontario Follows The Human Rights Code And Doesn’t Discriminate in 2022

Many newcomers from around the world are arriving in Canada and deciding to rent a home before buying. Reasons can be to build a credit score to get a mortgage to wisely spending time to learn where they want to live before buying their own place.

Many Ontario landlords were surprised to read a story in the Toronto Star about a tenant applicant who was being discriminated against. Our members are still discussing this now!

This was an applicant most experienced and successful landlords would consider to potentially be an ideal tenant…someone we all want to rent from us!

(more…)

Part 1: Top Secrets To Avoid Being Evicted At The Ontario Landlord And Tenant Board

Monday, November 16th, 2020

Take Action And Avoid Being Evicted In A Global Pandemic PART 1

Landlords are boasting and cocky like never before.  They are now getting Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) Hearing dates and evicting Tenants who rightfully didn’t pay rent during the beginning of the Covid-19 health catastrophe! Tenants are losing our homes every day!

They even changed the rules to make faster MASS EVICTIONS

Despite Premier Ford’s statement that tenants who didn’t pay rent during the pandemic would be protected, the LTB is evicting tenants by the thousands now.

Ford is the ultimate traitor and a puppet of the landlords. His lack of a strong moral code and his deception are putting our children at risk.

“Daddy I’m so cold and feel sick being homeless.”

GET READY FOR MASS EVICTIONS IN WINTER!

The landlords and their lobbyists the Ontario Landlords Association ,the Ontario Real Estate Association and the corporate Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controlled landlord groups control the Ford government. It’s called “pay to play.”

This has led to even more anti-tenant rules in the Residential Tenancies Act

These new rules are harsh and destroy almost all rights hard working tenants have fought for over the past 40 years!

Ford made these changes which don’t allow tenants to re-schedule Hearings if we are sick or busy finding a job and will lead to hundreds of thousands of people homeless and on the street!

Why Are They Doing This? When You Move Landlords Can Raise The Rent As Much As They Want! 

This is their goal because when tenants move out, landlords can raise the rent by hundreds and even thousands of dollars for new tenants. There is no rent control for new tenants!

“Why was my family evicted in the cold of winter during a lock down? I’m so sad!”

“I thought Canada as a good place? My family is suffering, I hate to see Mummy crying all the time and I’m hungry!!!”

They Want You And Your Family Homeless!

They don’t just want to evict you, they want you homeless and want you to suffer. They hope you have toddlers who will living in a super cold Canadian winter where they might not survive. Landlords view you as cannon fodder, as less than human!

Because how dare you not pay rent…when the Premier said you didn’t have to. Canada is a corrupt nation.

This is an attack on Tenants like we have never seen before!

Who is Doug Ford, Really?

“March 2020: Tenants don’t have to pay rent during the Pandemic”

“Nov 2020: I Fooled You ALL With My Warm Uncle Act! LOL! Mass Evictions on the way and renters should get out! Landlords need you evicted to raise rents HAHAHA”

It’s a lie that will lead to mass evictions and massive homelessness. The reality is Canadian politicians lie all the time and cannot be trusted.

 

You Need To Win At The Landlord And Tenant Board To Survive!

Evictions are  happening and thousands of tenants per day are being evicted and kicked to the streets to die!

“I need money for more Botox treatments and my Ferrari needs snow tires! Tenants get out so I can raise the rent by $500/month!!”

Small Landlords Show Their True Evil Face, They Are Not Nice

The good “mom and pop” landlord trying to just pay their bills is a myth!

Most landlords are incredibly greedy and heartless. All they want is to to get your hard earned money even during a global pandemic where thousands of people are dying.

They could easily give you a break and use their profits to cover their mortgages, or (and this will upset them) get a real job and not just rely on sucking the life blood of tenants like parasites.

They simply don’t care about you and your family and only view you as cattle. Or less than cattle. You are the steak, pork, chicken and lamb they feast on.

And now with online hearings Tenants are being evicted like cows in slaughterhouse!

 

Use “Payment Plans” Against Your Landlord And Win!

Tenants have very few options…but we still have some!

If you want to avoid being evicted and win at the Landlord and Tenant Board here is one strategy you should consider.

Let’s first look the the rules of the Residential Tenancies Act which were changed in July, 2020.

Did you know the rules changed? Most tenants (and tenant groups) don’t realize it.

But this is the key to avoiding evictions and defeating your landlord!

Here’s the new rules:

Rent Arrears that Arose During COVID-19

On July 21, 2020, the following provision was added to the RTA:

“83(6) Without restricting the generality of subsections (1) and (2), if a hearing is held in respect of an application under section 69 for an order evicting a tenant based on arrears of rent arising in whole or in part during the period beginning on March 17, 2020 and ending on the prescribed date, in determining whether to exercise its powers under subsection (1) the Board shall consider whether the landlord has attempted to negotiate an agreement with the tenant including terms of payment for the tenant’s arrears.

What this means is that when deciding whether to grant discretionary relief from eviction for an application about rent arrears on or after March 17, 2020, the Board must consider whether the landlord tried to reach a payment agreement with the tenant before the hearing.

Therefore, at the hearing the parties or their representatives must be prepared to discuss whether the landlord and the tenant tried to reach an agreement. If the parties tried to reach an agreement but were not successful, the details of the negotiations should not be discussed during the hearing.

Subsection 83(6) applies to rent arrears that arose, at least in part, starting on March 17, 2020, and ending on a date to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant Governor. As of September 2020, the ending date had not been proclaimed”

So How Does This Help Tenants?

Landlords had to have offered you the option of a “Payment Plan” in order to get their eviction and kick you and your family to the cold streets!

Let’s look at this again:

1. Your Landlord Didn’t Offer You A Payment Plan?

This is excellent for you.

All you have to do is explain to the LTB adjudicator that during the Covid-19 pandemic shut down you were worried about surviving and your landlord “didn’t even try to cooperate with you.”

This will lead to no eviction as long as you (a) Show up for your Hearing (b) Explain how scary times were during the lock-down.

2. Your Landlord Offered You A Payment Plan?

This makes things more complicated. Because if your landlord offered you a payment plan they probably did it because their $500/hr lawyer told them to do this to get you kicked out on the street!

At your Landlord and Tenant Board Hearing your landlord or their representative will try to use this to get a evicted, and fast!

Even if the offer was ridiculous, or you were too busy trying to survive to contemplate it, the Ford Pro-Landlord LTB will get you evicted!

Your Landlord Only Made The Payment Plan Offer To Use Against You To Evict you!

They don’t care about getting a little bit of rent, they want you evicted so they can raise the rent buy hundreds or thousands of dollars to the next tenants! The payment plan provided to you was a just a “legal tactic” to get you evicted!

Fight landlord dirty tricks by using their tricks against them!

Fight Fire With Fire – DENY, DENY, DENY!

Landlords are lying so you can too! Fight fire with fire. Too many tenants are honest and victims to lying, evil landlords.

At you Landlord and Tenant Board Hearing if your landlords says they offered you a “payment plan” deny it.

Yes, JUST DENY IT! (Yes, even if it’s not true!)

1. If they say they called you discussing a payment plan…DENY IT!

2. If they say they emailed you offering a payment plan…DENY IT!

3. If they say they met with you offering a payment plan…DENY IT!

What If There Is Evidence That Your Landlord Presented A Payment Plan?

First of all deny it. Make your landlord “prove” it.

If there is an email exchange tell the LTB adjudicator that is not your email address and make your landlord prove it!

If your landlord recorded you say that is “not me” and make your landlord prove it!

Do You Have A Spouse Or Roommate Or Someone Living With You?

This is great.

Bring them in as witnesses and also DENY, DENY, DENY and payment plan offers.

If There Is Any Doubt Of A Payment Plan Your LL Claims Is True And You Get An Eviction Order You Can Appeal To The Superior Court And Win

Unlike all the low paid, desperate for work newly hired failed lawyers, failed paralegal LTB adjudicators (their salary and benefits are Walmart tire!), Superior Court Judges are trained and fair and fight for real JUSTICE!

No Landlord Offer Of A Payment Plan = No LTB Eviction = Protect Your Family From Landlord Lies!

Protect You and Your Family By Using Legal Methods To Beat Your Landlord At the Landlord At Tenant Board

Tenants are just trying to find a home. We pay our rent on time and keep the properties like our own.

During a huge historic pandemic where are our jobs were shut down many tenants couldn’t pay rent.

We were promised by Ford that we didn’t have to pay rent so we could pay for food and medicine.

Months later the rules have changed and landlords are seeking MASS EVICTIONS.

Make Sure You Fight Back And Win At Your LTB Hearing.

This Is Part 1, Come Back And More Real Life Advice To Avoid Evictions!!

Attention Tenants: Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) Is NOT FOR PAYING RENT (legally you don’t have to use it to pay rent!)

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

Don’t Be Tricked! Don’t Be Bullied! The CRB Is For Helping You Survive! LTB Adjudicators Will Understand & Agree Not Using It To Pay Rent (and won’t evict you!)

The CRB programme was created to help workers who continue to need support for our families. This means these emergency funds given are to make sure you have enough to eat, the cloth your family in harsh winter conditions, to buy medicine, and for other daily necessities.

It is NOT for paying rent.

It was not designed to go to tenants and then transferred to landlords (who have their own programs to get rent) during these frightening times! If you do not pay rent you can explain to this to a judge or LTB adjudicator and you will not be evicted!

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

While many Canadians have seen their jobs come back and have returned to work since the start of the pandemic, the Government of Canada recognizes that there remain other workers in sectors that have been particularly hit hard who continue to need support.

That is why, today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced the introduction of Bill C-2, to create three new temporary Recovery Benefits to support Canadians who are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19. These new Benefits are being proposed as part of the Government of Canada’s plan to support Canadians as we work to build back a stronger, more resilient economy. Since the introduction of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in the early days of the pandemic, at a time when we asked Canadians to stay home, close to 9 million Canadians have received the Benefit to help to pay their bills and support their families.

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit.html

My Landlord Is A Bully! If She Tries To Evict Me What Can I Do?

“Pay now or I will evict you! I have payments for my BMWs to make!”

Many (not all) landlords are bullies who don’t even know the law.

Don’t worry at all.

1. The Process Will Take Over a Year To Get  Hearing HAHAHAHA

First of all, it your landlord will have to serve you an N4 (pay rent) which is just a request for the money. Then if you ignore if they have to get a “hearing” date at the LTB which will take at least a year.

2. At The Hearing You Can Easily Explain Why You Didn’t Pay Rent

In Ontario housing is a “human right” and not just a business transaction. This is why the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board is part of the Social Justice tribunal system. Most landlords don’t even know this!

At the Hearing you will get free legal aid to help you. Yes, all tenants no matter what your income.

Then you just explain why you needed CRB and what your struggles are. Make sure to be very dramatic and perhaps even cry and wear old clothes at your Hearing to make sure the message gets across to the Adjudicator.

If you do this YOU WILL NOT BE EVICTED!

At most you will be given a looooonnnnnggggg term payment plan, but you won’t be evicted! You might have to pay an extra $10/month once the pandemic is over LOL!

Yes, the Ford government is tenant-friendly! They don’t want the media to report on “mass evictions” so they put the burn on landlords which is rad!

Make sure you text or email your landlord about your problems and ask them to understand your situation. An email like this:

“Dear ____, During these difficult times I’m unable to pay rent due to. __ and ___ and ___. Please understand my situation as I want to pay but simply cannot due to this horrible pandemic. I am open to communication with and ask you to respect the extremely difficult times I face. I will pay you in full as soon as I can, but now I must protect my life and the lives of my family!”

***MAKE SURE YOU DOCUMENT EVERYTHING, EXPECIALLY YOUR EMAILS/TEXTS TO YOUR LANDLORD (WITH DATES!) AS EVIDENCE

Landlords want your money for their new cars and vacations!

3. What If My Landlord Offered Me A Payment Plan?

You can choose to agree, but it’s best to disagree. Just make sure you have a record of why you disagreed.

(For example “I need money for my baby!” or “I want to make a payment plan but am worried about being able to pay food and can’t find work, please understand my situation!”)

4. What If My Landlord Harasses Me Or Locks Me Out?

Call the police.

This is a landlord tenant matter and the landlord MUST LET YOU IN!

Tenants Are More Powerful Than We Think!

In Ontario there are strong laws to protect tenants. But most tenants are not aware of our legal rights and don’t fight our landlords!

Many tenants don’t even go to their Landlord and Tenant Board Hearing, which means the landlord wins “automatically” when if you just show up, get free legal aid, you will !

If You Show Up And Fight Back You Will Win!

SO SHOW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tenants all over, in this global pandemic make sure you enforce your LEGAL RIGHTS.

Most landlord victories at the LTB are because tenants didn’t show up!

Don’t feel afraid, feel ENERGIZED! Feel Proud! You Have Rights And Your Future Is Looking Good! You Will Win If:

– You Fight Back.

-You Get Free Legal Help.

-You Show Up For Your Hearing.(!)

-You Don’t Be Bullied

-You Don’t Be Demotivated.

And you will Win…Yes you will! Love yourself and fight hard with fellow tenants across Ontario!

IT’S YOUR RIGHT TO NOT PAY RENT DURING A PANDEMIC!

REMEMBER TO GET FREE LEGAL HELP AND THEY WILL FIGHT BACK FOR YOU!!!

TENANTS FREE LEGAL HELP!

USE IT TO DEFEAT YOUR LANDLORD AND PROTECT YOUR TENANT RIGHTS!

Bill 184 – The “Tenant Slaughter And Un-Protection Act”

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Disclaimer: “This isn’t an attack on landlords. This is an attack on the system that got us here.”

“Let’s make a payment plan. Let’s avoid the LTB, work together (tenant signs)….GOT YOU… Hahaha I can now evict you fast, you have no legal rights now! SUCKER! The Sheriff is coming now to kick you out!”

Tenants need to be aware of the huge challenges we are soon going to face!

While the Premier has acted all kind and cuddly (like that fat drunk uncle we all see during the holidays who laughs as he passes gas and then beats your aunt to bloody pulp when they get home) it’s only an act.

The reality is those of us who rightfully didn’t pay rent (or full rent) are being prepared for the slaughterhouse (legally)!

It’s called Bill 184 and you can bet it will soon be the law and the slaughter of tenants will begin.

The government will not forgive tenants not paying and instead are going to demand tenants agree to “payment plans” that bypass the legal process of going to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a legal Hearing (where tenants have rights and free legal help)

The NDP came up with a plan to help tenants cover rent by using government funds to help during the horrible pandemic.

Even some landlord groups such as the Ontario Landlords Association proposed this as a way for tenants and their landlords to avoid conflict and avoid evictions.

Lots of other industries have received government support, so why not residential tenants and their landlords?

No, that would have been too easy and too nice. Why be nice when they want a slaughter and I think they enjoy seeing us suffer!

Suze Morrison is an NDP MPP who wants to protect tenants. Morrison is very aware of the reality and the coming avalanche of mass evictions based on landlords legally being able to trick tenants into forfeiting our legal rights.

Thousands of tenants in Ontario are lying awake at night, worrying about losing the roof over their head when the province’s weak pause on the enforcement of evictions ends.

They wouldn’t be this position if Doug Ford had answered the NDP’s call to provide a rent subsidy to tenants who have lost income or their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but here we are.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Ford government has found a way to make things even worse.

Now, in the middle of the pandemic, the Conservatives are attempting to quietly ram through legislation that will make it easier for landlords to evict tenants.

Don’t be fooled by the name of the legislation. Bill 184, the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, is bad for tenants.

Tenants already faced an uphill battle at the Landlord and Tenant Board, squaring off against often deep-pocketed landlords and their high-priced lawyers. If passed, Ford’s eviction bill will leave tenants with fewer defences to avail themselves of and fewer opportunities to plead their case.

Consider the case of a landlord who refuses to fix a malfunctioning radiator in a tenant’s unit. If the tenant withholds their rent, the landlord can haul them in front of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Under Bill 184, the tenant may be prevented from pointing out other issues, like the landlord’s failure to maintain the unit in a good state of repair, at the hearing on non-payment of rent.

Bill 184 also takes away a tenant’s right to return to the Landlord and Tenant Board if they miss a payment after coming up with a repayment plan to catch up on back rent. This is especially concerning in the context of the pandemic.

Thousands of tenants in Ontario will be trying to catch up on back rent after losing their income or job. What if they feel pressured to accept a repayment plan and fall behind on payments despite their best efforts? What if their financial circumstances change because there’s a second wave of COVID-19?

Under Bill 184, there’s no opportunity to revisit the repayment plan at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Tenants could find a sheriff knocking on their door, ready to enforce their eviction, the second they miss a payment.

The Ford government can claim that its eviction bill is about “protecting tenants” all it wants. But even Steve Clark, the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, admits that the legislation is about moving things along at the Landlord and Tenant Board when the government switches the lights back on.

In this very paper, he wrote: “We know that when regular hearings resume at the LTB, there will be a backlog of cases requiring resolution. That’s why this legislation is important today — in light of COVID-19.”

Yes, there will be a backlog of cases. The enforcement of evictions may be on hold for now, but that hasn’t stopped landlords from threatening tenants with eviction — even for partial rent payments.

And what is the Ford government doing with thousands of evictions on the horizon in Ontario? Instead of helping tenants keep up with rent, and in turn ensuring landlords get paid, the government is greasing the gears of the Landlord and Tenant Board to speed up evictions.

Tenants deserve better than a government that claims it’s protecting them when it’s really making them more vulnerable to losing the roof over their heads.

It’s time for the Ford government to scrap its plan to make evictions easier and step up with rent relief to help see tenants through the economic pain of COVID-19.