Is It Wise For a Landlord to Hire a Legal Representative For a Case At the Landlord Tenant Board?

A Trained Legal Professional Knows the Procedural Rule Requirements of the Landlord Tenant Board. A Trained Legal Professional Will Also Be Very Knowledgeable Regarding the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 As Well As the Case Law Applicable to Specific Legal Issues. A Trained Legal Professional May Make All the Difference Between Winning and Losing.
Understanding the Benefits Available By Obtaining Professional Paralegal Representation Including Legal Argument Skills

Residential Lease Document If you fill out a notice of termination incorrectly or fail to present your evidence properly to the Landlord Tenant Board adjudicator, you may lose your case.  Your likelihood of success increases greatly if you are represented by an experienced paralegal.  The Residential Tenancies Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, Chapter 17, is complex with various twists and turns that can be difficult to understand for landlords, tenants, and even inexperienced legal professionals.  Unlike when you represent yourself, you are also protected if your paralegal is negligent and causes you to lose your case.

Benefits of Expertise

In Ontario, every practicing paralegal is required to carry errors and omissions insurance to protect you.  If a paralegal is negligent, such as missing a filing deadline, among other things, and you suffer harm as a result, you may sue the paralegal knowing that, at a minimum, a million ($1,000,000.00) dollars of insurance per claim is in place.  For more information on the requirements for paralegal insurance, training, continuing legal education requirements, disciplinary records, and more, contact the Law Society of Ontario.

Of course, if you make an error representing yourself it may cost you thousands of dollars in lost rent or damages to property and you will be without anyone to blame for the extra time and expense it may take to deal with your issue, whether the issue is eviction, payment, or other concerns.

How Can One of Our Paralegals Help?

At Civil Litigations Paralegal Services our paralegals:

  • Can determine the proper Notice documents that require service;
  • Can complete the Notice documents properly;
  • Can make sure the Notice documents are served properly per in accordance with the rules of the Landlord Tenant Board;
  • Can properly prepare the appropriate Application documents; and
  • Can provide professionally trained representtion for you at the Landlord Tenant Board hearing.
The Applicable Law

The adjudicators at the Landlord Tenant Board must decide cases based upon the relevant facts as well as the applicable law.  One form of law is the statute law.  The statute law involves the duties, rights, and responsibilities as are explicitly set out within the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, the regulations to the statute, as well as municipal by-laws, where applicable.

Another form of law is case law containing the reasoning for prior decisions.  When prior cases of the Landlord Tenant Board are reviewed, such cases are, generally, taken as persuasive and fresh cases at the Landlord Tenant Board should be guided by the prior decisions of the Landlord Tenant Board.  Furthermore, when earlier decisions are from the Divisional Court, the Court of Appeal, or the Supreme Court of Canada, such cases are binding upon the Landlord Tenant Board which must follow, rather than merely being guided by, such prior cases.

Landlord and Tenant Board adjudicators are required to decide cases using the same reasoning as previous decisions of an Appeal courts for cases with a similar set of facts.  Civil Litigations Paralegal Services know the relevant case law decisions and are constantly learning by reading new case law every week.  By keeping abreast of relevant case law decisions, Civil Litigations Paralegal Services helps to ensure that legal arguments at Landlord Tenant Board hearings are directly on point and helpful to ensuring that the adjudicators will decide the case properly in your favour.  You can search for prior decisions of the Landlord Tenant Board at the website.

In addition to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, as the applicable statute law as well as the various case law decisions of the Landlord Tenant Board and the Appeal courts, an adjudicator deciding a case may also refer to, and rely upon, the Rules, Practice Directions, and Guidelines, of the Landlord and Tenant Board.  The guidelines set out information about how an adjudicator of the Landlord Tenant Board, generally, should decide certain issues.

Security of Tenure

A landlord may only evict a tenant for a reason permitted by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006; and accordingly, among other issues, an expired lease is an insufficient reason to evict a tenant whereas, per section 37 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, when a lease expires, the tenancy automatically renews on a month-to-month basis and the month-to-month tenancy is effective on an indefinite basis.

Application Documents

The filing of an Application document is what begins a proceeding at the Landlord Tenant Board; however, prior to filing of most Application documents, a Notice document must first be properly completed and served.  For example, where a landlord wishes to evict a tenant, the landlord or a paralegal acting on behalf of the landlord must properly prepare and serve the relevant Notice document.  The relevant Notice document will depend upon the circumstances, meaning the reason, for the eviction.  There are various Notice document forms such as the N4, the N5, the N6, the N7, among other forms, which must be completed properly.

Within the Divisional Court decision of Ball v. Metro Capital the court reviewed the requirement and importance for clarity and detail within a Notice document.  The Court highlighted that a Notice document, such as an N5 Form, must be clear and must provide the tenant with the necessary information that the tenant needs to void the Notice.  If the information is unclear, then the Notice should be considered flawed, and deemed invalid with the consequences of being a dismissal of the proceeding by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Within another Divisional Court case, Kuzyk v. SK Properties, the court deemed that if a Notice document is confusing to the degree that a reasonable person would be without a precise understanding of the meaning, then the adjudicator at the Landlord Tenant Board should find the Notice as defective and deny an eviction based upon the defective Notice.

Rental Enforcement Unit

The Ontario Ministry of Housing runs the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit.  This body is separate from the Landlord and Tenant Board and deals with violations of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.  A landlord or a tenant may file a complaint free of charge if, for example, the landlord locks the tenant out of a rental unit or a tenant refuses to allow the landlord entry to a rental unit after the proper twenty-four (24) hours notice was given.  For more information visit the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit website or call (416) 585-7214 within the Greater Toronto Area or toll free 1-888-772-9277 from elsewhere.

What Else You Should Know:
What Can a Landlord and Tenant Agree To?
Section 3Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

Landlords and tenants are forbidden from altering or waiving statutorily prescribed rights and duties; and accordingly, any agreement or lease term that conflicts with the rights and duties within the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, is void as the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, always prevails.  Common examples involve a lease that contains a clause forbidding a tenant from having a pet or a lease with a clause that requires a tenant to make repairs to the rental unit.

What Tenancies Are Ungoverned By the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006?
Section 5Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

Although most tenancies are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, there are exceptions, with the most common exception being tenancies that involve the sharing of a kitchen or bathroom by the landlord and tenant.  In circumstances where the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 is inapplicable, both the landlord and the tenant will still have legal rights and duties; however, the rights and duties will be found in law outside of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.

What Issues May a Tenant Raise At a Non-Payment of Rent Hearing?
Section 82Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

After a landlord begins the eviction for non-payment of rent process, which begins by serving an N4 Form upon the tenant and thereafter filing an L1 Form with the Landlord Tenant Board, the tenant may raise any issue that the tenant would be permitted to raise if the tenant filed a tenant Application such as a T2 Form within which a tenant complains about maintenance issues.  The tenant is without any requirement to provide the landlord with advance notice of the intent to raise such issues at the Landlord Tenant Board hearing.  Furthermore, if the tenant is successful in arguing the issues raised, the tenant is entitled to any remedy that would be available if the tenant filed an Application.  One remedy that a tenant may ask for is an abatement of rent, meaning a return or credit of a portion of the rent previous paid, or due, to the landlord.

What Are the Circumstances In Which An Eviction Should Be Delayed or Denied?
Section 83Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

Within every eviction hearing process, the Landlord Tenant Board adjudicator must consider all the circumstances before deciding whether to delay or deny an eviction.  The issuance of an Order to Evict is always within the discretion of the Landlord Tenant Board adjudicator.

There are situations where the Landlord Tenant Board adjudicator is required to refuse an eviction.  The mandatory refusal of eviction happend where the Landlord Tenant Board finds that:

  1. The landlord is in serious breach of responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 or of any material, meaning relevant, clause as a covenant within the applicable tenancy agreement;
  2. The reason for the application being brought is that the tenant complained to a governmental authority about a violation by the landlord of a law dealing with health, safety, housing, or maintenance standards;
  3. The reason for the application being brought is that the tenant has attempted to secure or enforce legal rights;
  4. The reason for the application being brought is that the tenant is a member of a tenant rights association or the tenant is attempting to organize such an association; or
  5. The reason for the application being brought is that the rental unit is occupied by children and the occupation by the children fails to constitute as overcrowding.

Review of Landlord Tenant Board Orders

If an Order of the Landlord Tenant Board, “contains a serious error”m the Order may be reviewed per Interpretation Guideline 8 of the by the Landlord Tenant Board.  Serious errors include:

  • An error of jurisdiction such as where an Order relies upon an incorrect section of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, or exceeds the powers of the Landlord Tenant Board;
  • A procedural error which raises issues of natural justice;
  • An unreasonable finding of fact on a material issue which would potentially change the result of the Order;
  • A new piece of evidence that was unavailable at the time of the hearing and which is potentially determinative of one or more central issues in dispute;
  • An error in law except that the Landlord Tenant Board will refrain from exercising the discretion to review an Order interpreting the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, unless the interpretation conflicts with a binding decision of the Courts or is clearly wrong and unreasonable; and
  • An unreasonable exercise of discretion which results in an order outside the usual range of remedies or results and where there are no reasons explaining the result.

Landlord Tenant Board Staff

As per section 4.5 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.22, allows staff members of the Landlord Tenant Board to refuse to accept a document to commence a proceeding.

Clerks and staff of the Landlord Tenant Board are permitted give out general information about the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006; however, Landlord Tenant Board staff are forbidden from providing legal advice as only a lawyer or paralegal are qualified with the legal knowledge, training, and authority, to properly interpret the statute law and the case law and to provide legal advice about a Landlord Tenant Board proceeding.  People who ask a Landlord Tenant Board staff member to give a legal opinion, despite that the fact staff lack the knowledge and authority do so, may regret doing so later.

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