Ontario Landlords Association

Tenants from Hell and the Ontario Ombudsman

In the summer of 2009 my husband and I had to endure a real life nightmare in dealing with a “tenant from hell.” At the time we were going through it, I was on a maternity leave with my infant son, so fortunately for me I was able to make many phone calls while we were dealing with the situation.

I believe the call I made to the Ombudsman’s office helped us in that the LTB was fully aware I had contacted the Ombudsman’s office and was very serious about rectifying our situation.  Here’s how you can contact them: http://ontariolandlords.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2480&sid=9750a784315bfccf5a831c92b1f680ef

We received a special hearing from the LTB which I have learned only happens in exceptional circumstances.

Now don’t get me wrong, we did not receive any special treatment by the Ombudsman’s office, but our situation was brought to light, because we had been treated extremely unfairly by the LTB. We had Legal Aid against us, we had the LTB against us, and we had an evil tenant using the power of the LTB and Legal Aid against us.

For those landlords who have had to deal with a bad tenant using the system to their advantage, you will know that a landlord’s property is held hostage while you deal with the eviction process. For those landlords who have not dealt with any of this, you have no idea how terribly unjust the system is until you experience it yourselves.

I was so incensed at the treatment we received at the hands of the LTB that I became a very active member of ontariolandlords.ca. I also wrote letters to MPPs, the Ministry of housing, Lilian Ma – Chair of the LTB, newspapers, and other politicians.

One letter I wrote was to the Ombudsman’s office asking for a full-fledged investigation of the LTB. It has not happened yet….this is where I need other landlords’ help. These types of investigations are few and far between, there have to be many, many complaints to warrant an investigation of this kind.

Landlords must call the ombudsman when they deal with a problem with the LTB. The Ombudsman’s office may not be able to do anything about your particular situation. But the complaints are recorded and they do add up. The Ombudsman’s office needs to know there is a very serious problem with the way the LTB operates. We need to point things out like: staff at the call centre giving incorrect information to landlords; yet giving information to tenants that can hurt landlords without even knowing the whole story. Or it could be reporting decisions by members of the LTB that defy logic and common sense ie. one Member stated “that the tenant shall not assault anyone in the building for a period of 12 months”.

Or it could be that the Chair of the LTB – Lilian Ma in sending her letters of response to you, saying little more than “I’m sorry that this happened to you”. Or it could be that a Vice-Chair be condescending or belittling to first time landlords because they have not been to the LTB before. Or it could be the intentional delay of evictions so that staff at the LTB and Tenant Duty Council keep their high paying jobs nice and steady.

I realize that it is not right that we landlords have to fight, fight, fight, just to get a morsel of fairness, but for some of us, even though we are trying to get out of the rental business, it is not something that happens overnight, and in the meantime we have other tenants to deal with, and may have to use the LTB another time.

So I ask all of you landlords out there , to please take the time to send in a complaint about the Ontario Landlord Tenant Board. We just might make some change if we have strength in numbers. For more information check out this link: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=128357537213845


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