The OLTB, better known as the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board is a court operated by the Ontario government that provides resolution to disputes between tenants (renters), Landlords or Co-Ops. Both, Landlords or tenant are able to file an application to the Board.
If this is your first time filling out the forms/notices, it is recommend that you have your paperwork looked over by a Lawyer who is knowledgeable in the area of landlord tenant issues. Lawyers are also well versed in technical or otherwise uncommon cases (ie. how Condominium Corporation can force a landlord to take a tenant who is not following condo rules to a hearing. Condo Corporation set ups know their rights extremely well and it is important to have a lawyer by your side in a case where you must attend a hearing. If your forms have not been completed correctly, you may need to start the process again from the beginning. This will become extremely frustrating, because getting a hearing usually takes weeks or months.
It is suggested that you find out when other hearings are taking place and attend as a visitor before your hearing. Seeing what happens at a hearing beforehand will better prepare you for your own and you will know exactly what to expect. Being comfortable in a court tribunal environment will help you a great deal.
Make sure you are fully prepared to bring in all of the evidence that you will need in order to persuade the board members in your favor. This evidence will include: any witnesses, pictures and any documentation. If you are bringing pictures or paper documents make sure to have at least three copies of each with you at your hearing.
It is always better to bring witnesses then to provide letters in a witness’s absence. Be sure that any witnesses you have coming to your hearing are on time. It is important to clearly communicate the date and time of your hearing. If a witness refuses to come to the heating, you can ask the board to issue a summons, which would ensure that the witness has to attend the hearing.
In many cases a maintenance inspection of the property is a great way to show the tribunal outstanding repairs that the property requires. Giving a visual of the property allows the tribunal a clearer understanding of the type of conditions the landlord keeps the environment.
Before attending your hearing do a mock hearing and try to anticipate what your landlord/tenant might bring up. Be sure to go over your hearing a few different times with your lawyer and really make sure you know all of your facts. Many Landlord Lawyers Toronto are well versed in the landlord/tenant process and will know exactly how to prepare you before the hearing.
Dress up, do not show up dressed sloppy. Studies show that first impressions can affect how you are viewed at a hearing. It is also a form of respect when you dress up for a hearing.
Show up to your hearing at least 15 minutes before the time specified in your “Notice of Hearing.” When both parties arrive there will be an attempt to resolve the matter through mediation, this is voluntary. If both parties cannot come to a compromise or choose not to attempt mediation then a hearing will be held. It is best to at least attempt mediation in order to see what the other person may bring up during the hearing. This will help you better prepare your own defense.
Address all Board Members as Chair or Madame Chair, this is seen as a sign of respect. Make sure to be extremely patient and polite.
The Board member will deliver his/her decision regarding the case. This is usually takes place the same day. The decision will also be mailed to you for your records. If you do not get your order in the mail over the next 10 business days, then you should connect the Landlord Tenant Board or your landlord lawyer in Toronto.
If you don’t agree with the decision that was reached you can go through another process called the Landlord and Tenant Board Appeals. This process will have your decision reviewed by another department within the Landlord and Tenant Board.