When Is It Time to Go to the Landlord and Tenant Board?

Renting a property isn’t always as easy as it should be. Even though you’ve done your best to keep things civil and professional, your landlord is making your life difficult, and you feel like you’re running out of options. Here’s how appealing to the Landlord and Tenant Board might help.

What Does the Landlord and Tenant Board Do?

Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board is a tribunal that works to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. Governed by the 2006 Residential Tenancies Act, this body commonly accepts applications for mediation-based resolution. When the parties decline mediation or fail to obtain the desired results from the process, the board can adjudicate the dispute by hearing arguments from each side and issuing a formal binding order.

Although the Landlord and Tenant Board helps stop the court system from getting clogged up with tenancy cases, filing is still a formalized affair. Parties that go before the Board have the right to retain legal representation, such as by hiring tenant lawyers or other professionals.

When Can You or Your Landlord Take the Other Party to the Board?

Landlords and tenants can file board applications for many reasons, although there are a few stipulations. Tenants must be in legal possession of the rental unit in question, and landlords can’t make Board claims against tenants who have already vacated. These rules also don’t apply in situations where tenants only rent seasonally, share kitchens or bathrooms with owners or their family members, or live in public housing.

Tenants Can Apply When

  • Their landlords evict them unlawfully or fail to let them recover their possessions after an eviction,
  • Landlords fail to follow rent increase rules, such as providing 90-day notice, increasing rent only once within a 12-month period and not raising rent by more than the allowed yearly percentage, or
  • Landlords fail to provide secure tenancy or observe privacy rules, such as entering your rental unit for non-emergency reasons without providing 24-hour notice first.

Landlords Can File Board Applications When

  • Tenants fail to pay rent as agreed,
  • Tenants don’t obtain rental insurance like they said they would, or
  • Rents need to be increased by more than the standard guidelines allow.

Dealing With the Landlord and Tenant Board

Landlord and tenant board appeals play vital roles in helping parties get along during the rental process. By arbitrating disagreements impartially, the tribunal empowers both sides to ensure that their rights are upheld.

It’s important to remember that going before the board is a nuanced process. As an accused party, you may have the right to appeal, dispute or raise other concerns before the tribunal, and such actions might turn the tides of your case. Talking to tenant lawyers or landlord lawyers could make all the difference in your outcome, so get in touch with HLD today.