TORONTO, November 17, 2019 - In Ontario, the Landlord & Tenant Board, is now resorting to deliberate underhandedness to further frustrate landlords into abandoning their right of due process.
Above Guideline Increase (AGI) applications are taking over a year to set hearing dates and three to five months to issue an order after all parties have agreed. Is there anyone to complaign to? will they listen?
When dealing with multi-unit buildings, the LTB discloses to any tenant affected by the AGI, the private financial information about each of the other tenant’s rent amounts. The Privacy Commissioner says that the information is not the landlord’s private information, so each tenant would have to file their own complaint.
A simple case was filed on May 28, 2019 against a tenant who refused to accept any responsibility for the estimated $4,000 damage caused by them not turning off the water valve of their overflowing toilet. The case was heard Aug. 26, 2019 (three months). Decisions are routinely rendered about 11 days later. We received no decision, so we requested an update Sept. 17, 2019. Three days later we received a terse “we’ll get to it” reply.
On Sept. 30, 2019 we escalated the compliant to SJTO Complaints, alleging the member had grossly abused her judicial power during the hearing and asked that the hearing audio recording be reviewed. The auto-reply email stated that they’d respond within 15 business days. After more than two months and eight follow up letters, we’ve not received a reply from the LTB or SJTO.
The LTB takes about 11 days to issue a standard order after the hearing. There’s no legislative requirement for this. This grants a tenant two more weeks of free rent. The LTB sets the eviction date for a Friday so if the tenant didn’t move out by that date, you can’t go to the sheriff’s office until the following week, losing another week of rent. The sheriff’s office schedules evictions only on Fridays, despite the huge backlog. It issues a “Notice to Vacate” and waits 11 more days for a tenant’s reply or non-reply, which again lands on a Friday or Saturday, giving the tenant two more rent-free weeks. There’s no legislative requirement for this delay either. The eviction date is then set three to six weeks after that.
During this time the tenant has not paid any rent, since they’re being evicted anyway. Minutes before the eviction, the tenant has the right to pay all rent arrears and court costs to void the eviction. This is like a retail store customer caught shoplifting being lawfully permitted to continue shopping by simply paying for what they tried to steal.
If you have a non-rent payment issue, the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit reportedly resolves within two days about 75 per cent of about 25,000 complaints received annually.
Your best bet to change tenancy legislation is with the generally “deaf” MPPs. If you’ve truly had enough, you could sell your property to a “minimalist” operator. Aside from the large operators who enjoy economies of scale, only these low-end operators seem to be able to make a living owning and operating residential rental properties in Ontario.