Author: Marshall Yarmus
Date Posted: July 15 2019
If you are represented by a paralegal Ontario at the Landlord and Tenant Board, you could be awarded a representation under certain circumstances. This representation fee is capped at $100.00 per hour, and $700.00 for a whole proceeding.
In most cases, the only costs allowed will be the application fee. The guidelines give the board a wide ranging reasons to award costs for representation fees.
Cost orders in the Landlord and Tenant Board are governed by Guideline #3, and the Rule 27, as well sections 204(2) to (4) of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.
Section 204(2)(3)(4) of the RTA state:
(2) The Board may order a party to an application to pay the costs of another party.
(3) The Board may order that its costs of a proceeding be paid by a party or a paid agent or counsel to a party.
(4) The amount of an order for costs shall be determined in accordance with the Rules
However, the board should not use its power to order costs in a way which would discourage landlords and tenants from exercising their statutory rights.
A landlord or a tenant can be awarded costs for representation/preparation fees and other out-of-pocket expenses. These representation costs can be awarded for unreasonable conduct of a party. The costs may be ordered to be paid by the party or their legal representative.
Some examples of unreasonable conduct that could attract a costs order include:
- Bringing a frivolous or vexatious application or motion;
- Initiating an application or any procedure in bad faith;
- Taking unnecessary steps in a proceeding;
- Failing to take necessary steps, such as those required by the RTAor Rules;
- Any misconduct at the hearing or in the proceeding;
- Raising an issue which is irrelevant to the proceedings and continuing to pursue that issue after the Member has pointed out that it is irrelevant;
- Asking for adjournments or delays without justification;
- Failing to prepare adequately for the hearing;
- Acting contemptuously toward the Member or showing a lack of respect for the process or the Board;
- Failing to follow the directions of the Member or upsetting the orderly conduct of the hearing; and
- Maligning another party or unreasonably slurring the character of the other party.
Examples of failing to comply with the RTA or Rules would include the following situations:
- Failing to follow a procedural order or direction such as an order to serve another party with a document
- Serving another party in a way which was not appropriate
- Delaying the hearing by not taking actions required in the Rules.