January 27, 2021
TO: Ontario Landlord Association Stakeholders
FROM: Karen Restoule, Associate Chair, Lynn Dicaire, Registrar, LTB
RE: Landlord and Tenant Board Expanding Access
The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) is continuing its efforts to improve operations and enhance the quality of dispute resolution for the thousands of people across the province who access its services.
Last year, we heard from you that some Ontarians have difficulty participating in their hearing by telephone or videoconference because of a lack of access to the necessary technology. This feedback has been important to helping us identify opportunities to improve parties’ experience with the board. In doing so, we have carefully assessed and evaluated the LTB’s ability to provide access to technology, while also ensuring the safety of LTB staff and participants.
Today, we are pleased to announce that starting February 1, the LTB is expanding options to address requests for alternative hearing formats for parties in Toronto who do not have access to a telephone, computer and/or the internet.
LTB parties who need access to a computer and telephone terminal may be accommodated at the 15 Grosvenor Hearing Centre in Toronto. Parties who have received a Notice of Hearing and have contacted the LTB to make their request will be considered for access to the terminal. The LTB will evaluate each request on a case-by-case basis and respond with its decision to grant or deny the request. If the request is granted, the party using the terminal will participate in their hearing electronically.
A room will be set up to include a computer and telephone to support the party’s participation. Staff will only be available to help applicants who require technical assistance with the computer and/or telephone. A party can bring two additional individuals into the hearing centre for the proceeding. If the party needs to bring additional individuals, they should ask the LTB before the hearing; such requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Tribunals Ontario is committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of staff, and participants, and has implemented safety protocols and enhanced cleaning at the 15 Grosvenor Hearing Centre. Everyone entering the hearing centre will be required to complete an on-site COVID-19 screening assessment before entry and must adhere to all safety measures inside the hearing centre. Individuals who are deemed inadmissible through the screening assessment will not be permitted entry. Front-line counter services remain closed until further notice.
Tribunals Ontario will evaluate this new pilot initiative and determine if and how it may be improved upon and expanded to other tribunals and hearing centres across the province.
We will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and will update our practices and procedures based on advice from the Ministry of Health, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and public health officials.
The LTB remains committed to updating you with regard to operational planning and is appreciative of your patience and cooperation as we continue to adjust our operations in response to the ongoing pandemic.
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