Archive for the ‘Landlord and Tenant Board’ Category

Let’s All Go To Tenant School! (It’s Free)

Friday, August 5th, 2022

This is Cassandra from the forums. I’ve submitted this and hope lots of people read it.

Tenants only want to follow the rules and protect our rights under the law.

But what if you are busy working multiple jobs just to pay the rent and put food on the table for your children?

Meanwhile, you landlord is trying to do something you think is wrong but how can you fight back?

There is now a terrific way for Tenants learn more about our rights!

This will be informative and fun and teach you about your rights and how to protect yourself. Good landlords will appreciate you knowing about the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) so both sides are equal partners when it comes to understanding the system.

Here is the information:

Come to our August Tenant School – for free!
Register for the FMTA’s Tenant School program

You can now register for the FMTA’s Tenant School program which provides training to tenants and tenant association leaders about your rights under the law and how you can organize with your neighbours.

Some workshops will be over Zoom and others will be held in person at Christie Pits Park (across from Christie subway stop on the Bloor line).

Here is the schedule of workshops:

On Zoom:

Tuesday, August 9, 7-8:30 pm: Introduction to Landlord-Tenant Law

Wednesday, August 10, 7-8:30 pm: Human Rights and Housing

Thursday, August 11, 7-8:30 pm: City Hall 101

At Christie Pits:

Sunday, August 14, 11:30 am – 4:30 pm:

*Getting Repairs Done

*Community Organizing and Tenant Associations

Read more here: Come to our August Tenant School – for free! – FMTA (torontotenants.org)

 

LTB News To Help You Succeed: Tribunals Ontario Portal – Update

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022

TO:                 Landlord and Tenant Board Stakeholders

FROM:           Dawn Sullivan, Acting Associate Chair

                       Lindiwe Bridgewater, Acting Registrar

DATE:            August 3, 2022

RE:                 Tribunals Ontario Portal – Update

We are writing to share an update on the Tribunals Ontario Portal.

New process for receiving documents

Over the past two years, the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) has made significant progress in modernizing its services at a time where people expect user-friendly and convenient electronic options for interacting with government services.

To that end, we have added a button to the file summary page of the Tribunals Ontario Portal that allows parties to provide consent to receive documents from the LTB via the portal. By default, once a party logs into the portal the button is checked to indicate their consent. A user can uncheck the box if they want to receive communication from the LTB via regular mail. A user can also change their mind at any time about how they want to receive documents from the LTB by logging back into the portal and checking/unchecking the consent button.

If a user never logs on to the portal, they will continue to receive all correspondence from the LTB by regular mail.

Sending all correspondence by email and through the portal has benefits for both the LTB and the parties accessing LTB services. Parties will receive documents faster. The administrative burden is also reduced for LTB staff who track, print and mail out documents. This will allow them to focus on other areas that need attention to improve our service delivery.

We thank you for your continued patience as we actively work to improve our service timelines.

Sincerely,

Dawn Sullivan                                              Lindiwe Bridgewater

Acting Associate Chair                               Acting Registrar

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.”

Become An OLA Member And Begin Running TVS Credit Checks For Only $10/Check!

Monday, May 23rd, 2022

Join the Ontario Landlords Association for a One-Time Registration Fee & Start Running TVS Credit Checks For for Only $10.00/Check.

A Huge Savings For Our Community Members!

Members of the Ontario Landlords Association follow the rules and work hard for win-win landlord-tenant relationships. Unlike other groups we stress the need for lawful tenant screening and have never had a bad tenant list. Landlords need to screen each applicant based on legal screening measures. The good news is you can run credit checks.

But not all credit checks are created equal.

There have been many opportunistic ‘start-ups’ who aren’t landlords offering services that are unstable and not what you want to use for your long term rental business success.

Toronto Star Ontario Landlords Use Credit Checks To Avoid Bad Tenants

Toronto Star – “Join a group such as the Ontario Landlords Association  where after becoming a member, you can do a credit check for as low as $10, and use their supporting materials to assist you.”

The Ontario Landlords Association is honoured to recommend our members to TVS – Tenant Verification Service Inc. For Big Discounts For Great Checks In North America

Tenant screening helps minimize the risk of renting to high-risk tenants and reduces the risk of rental income loss. This helps protect your rental investment.

TVS is a premier nationwide tenant screening service that offers a fast and efficient tenant screening service. We can:

  • provide a full credit report from Equifax
  • provide a background criminal check
  • safeguard your rental investment
Whether you are looking for a complete credit evaluation or comprehensive tenant screening, TVS provides 24/7 online access to a variety of consumer reports to meet your specific needs.
Credit reports provide valuable financial information and are great tools to evaluate your applicant’s payment habits and overall credit health.
TVS Criminal reports provide important insights that ensure you’re making better decisions on prospective tenants. Our background checks are essential tools to ensure a safer community and a protected property.

A consumer credit report can provide you with an overview of your applicant’s financial health.  You can see if they have overdue accounts, how much credit they have utilized and their history of payments.  This will help you to determine if they take their financial responsibilities seriously which is an indication of how they might treat their rental payments.

As a member of the Ontario Landlord Association, you pay only $10.00 for an Equifax Consumer Credit Report.

Run TVS Credit Checks For Success

All information received in the background investigation process will be remained by confidential, secured files with restricted access to only those who a need to know.

TVS credit checks give you tremendous information to allow you to make the right decision.

Take Control Of Your Rental Business and Succeed!

Tenants respect landlords who are professional and use the best services. They feel confident in you and will rent from you over other landlords who are not as professional.

A TVS report give you all the information you need to choose the best tenants for your property.

Non-Member Price: $21.58

OLA Members Price: $10.00 per check 

Become an OLA member for a one time community fee just to help us cover our costs and the savings is incredible when you run a premium credit check on your potential tenants with TVS!

Landlord & Tenant Board News For Small Landlords

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

TO:                  Ontario Landlord Association Stakeholders

SUBJECT:   Scheduling Update

 We are writing to provide you with an update on scheduling at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

We continue to hear all types of applications. In addition to scheduling previously adjourned matters and tenant merit applications, we are also scheduling merits hearings for newly filed landlord applications. We’d like to advise you of the following details:

  • Urgent matters will continue to be scheduled on a priority basis. If you believe your matter warrants an earlier hearing date, you can file a Request to Extend/Shorten Time.
  • Tenant merits hearings will continue to be scheduled in smaller blocks.

One adjudicator will be assigned to each block. One moderator and one dispute resolution officer will support each tenant merits block, allowing for same-day mediation.

  • L1s and L2s will also be scheduled in smaller blocks to ensure all matters get heard in the allotted time. The size of the blocks will increase incrementally over the summer and leading into the fall, and we will continue to monitor them to ensure that the appropriate number of matters are being scheduled for the allotted time.

One adjudicator will be assigned to each block. One moderator and one dispute resolution officer will support each block, allowing for same-day mediation.

  • Approximately 9-10 blocks will be scheduled each day, Monday to Thursday. L1s, and L2s and tenant merits, will be scheduled on alternating weeks (for example, week 1 will consist of L1 blocks, and week 2 will consist of L2 and tenant merit blocks).
  • Case management hearings and merits hearings for Above Guideline Increase applications continue to be scheduled.
  • Motions, reviews, and co-operative housing hearings also continue to be part of the schedule as required, as well as weekly French/bilingual hearings.
  • Online dispute resolution continues to be available for all applications filed in the Tribunals Ontario Portal. Routine mediation also continues to be available upon request for all application types. If you filed your application in the Tribunals Ontario Portal, you can make a request for routine mediation through the portal. For all other applications, you can email or mail your request to the applicable regional office.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work on service improvements. We are in the process of refining our scheduling model, and the updates provided above are part of that process.

In the coming weeks, we will be holding a stakeholder meeting where we will discuss our future scheduling plans and our work to improve service standards. As always, you’ll have an opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions at that meeting.