Landlord and Tenant Board Resuming Non-Urgent Eviction Hearings Starting Mid-August

On July 30, 2020, the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) announced it is gradually expanding services in August. However, all in-person service counters remain closed until further notice.

Effective August 1, 2020, the LTB will begin to issue eviction orders that are pending, start to issue consent eviction orders which are based on landlord and tenants settling their dispute through an agreement, continue to hear urgent eviction matters related to health and safety that are scheduled,
Start to schedule hearings for non-urgent evictions, and conduct non-urgent eviction hearings starting in mid-August and into the fall.

Here is the Link Below

http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb-july-30-2020-landlord-and-tenant-board-expanding-services-while-keeping-ontarians-safe-during-covid-19-recovery/

Contact Landlord Paralegal Lisa Barder at 289 788 4113 for a free half-hour consultation.

NEW LAWS MAKE EVICTIONS A MINIMUM FIVE STEP PROCESS DURING COVID 19!

NEW LAWS MAKE EVICTIONS A MINIMUM FIVE STEP PROCESS DURING COVID 19! – FIND OUT HOW TO GET TO THE NEXT STEP – Landlord Paralegal is Calling on all Landlords to Act Now!

Now that the Landlord & Tenant Board is resuming hearings starting in August 2020, hundreds of thousands of Landlords across Ontario are waiting for the Board send out a Notice of Hearing, attend the hearing and obtain an eviction order. However, with the recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, a landlords chances of obtaining an eviction order at the first hearing are slim. The Board Member will be required to determine whether the landlord has attempted to enter into a “Payment Agreement”

Learn How to Obtain a Flawless “Payment Agreement Order” from the Landlord & Tenant Board Without Having to Wait for Your Hearing and Propelling Yourself One Step Ahead in the Process to Obtaining Your Eviction Order During the Pandemic.

Step 1 – N4

Step 2 – File L1 Application

Step 3 – Payment Agreement

Step 4 – L4 Application

Step Five – Obtain Order and File Order with Sheriff!

It is Important that Your Paperwork and Legal Strategy is Flawless or Your Tenant May Prevail in the Process and Put you Back to Step One.

There is No Time to Wait – Act Now – Contact Landlord Paralegal Lisa Barder at (289) 788-4113 to schedule your free half-hour consultation

New Laws Enacted Under Bill 184, Do Give Landlords the Right to File for Eviction (Without a Hearing) if a Tenant Defaults in an “Agreement To Settle” and Also Covers Landlords New Obligations to “Make an Attempt to Negotiate Terms of Payment”. Defaulting Tenants Will Have the “Right to Be Heard” on Motion to the Board.

There is much controversy over the recently enacted provisions of Bill 184. Many Critics and Tenants Rights Groups argue that the new laws give an unfair advantage to landlords over tenants. In a recently published CBC Post “Advocates say new Ontario bill gives an unfair advantage to landlords over tenants” https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-rental-tenant-bill-1.5636914, But the reality is that Tenants, who are faced with eviction, actually have a number of opportunities to exercise their “Right to Be Heard” before a Member of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

A Tenant’s first Opportunity will arise upon receipt of the Landlords L1 Application, Notice of Hearing. The Notice of Hearing provides detailed information about the date, time, and location (or call-in number and password) of the hearing date and also sets out the parties’ legal rights and responsibilities. It also provides the parties with the Landlord and Tenant Board’s contact information should they have any questions, In essence, it provides tenants with all the information they need to properly navigate the process and respond to the landlord’s L1 Eviction Application.

SO WHAT IS ALL THE CONTROVERSY ABOUT? The controversy is regarding the legislature’s amendment to section 206 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the “Act”). This section of the Act is a provision that allows the parties (on consent) to enter into an Agreement to Settle on negotiated terms of repayment of arrears. In essence, the legislature has provided the parties with a legislated, amicable, method for resolving arrears without having to attend the LTB hearing, which considering the Board’s backlog of cases is a great way of expediting authorized repayment plans and in the event of default, evictions.

Prior to Bill 184s recent amendment to s. 206 of the RTA, the Landlord only had a right to request a reopening of the L1 application in the event of default by the tenant once the Board approved and ordered the Agreement to Settle and canceled the hearing. As a result, s. 206, Agreements to Settle were rarely used by landlords as this particular legislative process, over others, lacked the “teeth” of enforcement and in essence, did not move the matter forward in the government’s remedial eviction proceedings.

The legislature has now amended section 206 and thus given the Landlord the right to file for an “Exparte” Eviction Order by setting out the tenant’s default in terms of that Agreement to Settle in either a sworn Affidavit or Declaration under section 78 of the Act.

The Critics, on the face of their articles, are attempting to make it appear as if the legislature has provided new rights to landlords without providing similar rights to tenants. However, it is my opinion, that this is not the case. The amendment to section 206 of the Act, actually provides both landlords and tenants additional rights under the Act that they did not have prior to the amendment of the law, and those rights are found in section 78 of the Act, specifically, both parties are (essentially) prompted by the Act, to negotiate and resolve the matter themselves without a hearing. The landlord will have the right to file for an exparte order and the tenant is given the right to file a motion to set aside that eviction order.

In my opinion, this particular amendment actually balances out the rights of landlords and tenants, that being one of the main purposes of Act, and prevents delinquent tenants from taking advantage of the system and negotiating repayment plans in “bad faith”. After all, if the tenant knows that any default on repayment would result in an exparte eviction order, wouldn’t that in itself prevent a tenant from entering into an Agreement to Settle that they could not meet?

The Landlords Exparte Eviction (s. 78) Application (L4 Application) and Affidavit or Declaration still needs to be approved by a Member of the Board, and if the Member has any questions or if the Affidavit or Declaration lacks the necessary information to prove the tenant’s breach of the Agreement to Settle, the Member is mandated to set the matter down for a Hearing and the Board will send out Notices to all parties. However, if the paperwork and affidavit provide the information that the Member needs to issue the eviction order, the Board will mail out the Eviction Order to both the Landlord and the Tenant, at which time the Tenant may then exercise their “Rights to be Heard” by filing under section 78 of the Act, a Motion to set-aside an Exparte Order, where the tenant will have the right to attend a hearing and explain why they should not be evicted and the landlord will have the right to explain the breach and why then the tenant should not be given another opportunity to repay the debt.

Under the Rule of Law, all laws should be capable of enforcement, and as a result of the recent Bill 184 amendments to section 206 of the RTA, now landlords can rely on section 206 Agreement to Settle of being capable of enforcement, thus promoting more landlord’s to utilize this process, take the back-log out of the Board and have their matters resolved right away rather than wait for a hearing date months down the road.

Moreover, landlords entering into section 206 Agreements also cover the landlords’ obligation under the new amendment contained in section 83 of the Act. Specifically, that the landlord has attempted to negotiate an agreement with the tenant including terms of payment for the tenant’s arrears during the pandemic https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-184.

The Section 206 Agreement to Settle may be filed today!

If you would like additional information about the section 206 Agreement to Settle, or any LTB process, contact Landlord Paralegal Lisa Barder for a free half-hour consultation at (289) 788-4113.

Ontario Government Allows Hamilton to Enter Stage 3 on July 24, 2020

According to a July 20, 2020 government news release (https://s3.amazonaws.com/tld-documents.llnassets.com/0020000/20170/ontario-moving-more-regions-into-stage-3%20(1).pdf ) Hamilton is included in the list of Public health units permitted to join the other 24 public health regions that entered stage 3 on July 17, 2020.

Landlord Legally Required to Make an “Attempt” to Negotiate an Agreement including Terms of Payment with Tenant During COVID-19 or Eviction Denied.

July 17, 2020

As you may have heard, the provincial government is pushing through Bill 184, Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020 and soon to become Law.


https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-184


The Bill is currently in third reading.  The Ontario legislature has amended the Bill to include, among many other things,  the following proposed change to section 83 of the Residential Tenancies Act.


Power of Board re eviction Section 83 is amended to provide that in determining whether to grant an application to evict a tenant based on arrears in rent arising during the period beginning on March 17, 2020, and ending on the prescribed date, the Board shall consider whether the landlord has attempted to negotiate an agreement with the tenant including terms of payment for the tenant’s arrears.


Therefore, Landlords, if you have not already done so make an “attempt” (in writing with date stamped) to negotiate an “agreement” including “terms of payment” with your tenant and ensure that you take this written request to the Landlord and Tenant Board L1 Hearing. Otherwise, the Board Member hearing your case will be mandated under section 83 to consider your failure to do so and deny your eviction application.

Moreover, as a result of the recent Bill 184 amendments to section 206 of the RTA, now landlords can rely on section 206 Agreement to Settle of being capable of enforcement, thus promoting more landlord’s to utilize this process, take the back-log out of the Board and have their matters resolved right away rather than wait for a hearing date months down the road

Moreover, landlords entering into section 206 Agreements also cover the landlords’ obligation under the new amendment contained in section 83 of the Act. Specifically, that the landlord has attempted to negotiate an agreement with the tenant including terms of payment for the tenant’s arrears during the pandemic https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-184.

Contact Landlord Paralegal Lisa Barder at landlordparalegal.com or you can call Ms. Barder at (289) 788-4113 for a half-hour free, no-obligation, consultation.

Lisa Barder


What Will Stage 3 Mean for Landlords seeking Eviction?

On July 30, 2020, the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) announced it is gradually expanding services in August. However, all in-person service counters remain closed until further notice.

Effective August 1, 2020, the LTB will begin to issue eviction orders that are pending, start to issue consent eviction orders which are based on landlord and tenants settling their dispute through an agreement, continue to hear urgent eviction matters related to health and safety that are scheduled,
Start to schedule hearings for non-urgent evictions, and conduct non-urgent eviction hearings starting in mid-August and into the fall.

If you are a Landlord experiencing difficulties with your tenant act now by serving the appropriate notices (N4, N5, N6, N7 ) and filing your application for eviction at the Landlord and Tenant Board (L1, L2, L3, L4)

Moreover, As a result of the recent Bill 184 amendments to section 206 of the RTA, now landlords can rely on section 206 Agreement to Settle of being capable of enforcement, thus promoting more landlord’s to utilize this process, take the back-log out of the Board and have their matters resolved right away rather than wait for a hearing date months down the road.

Also, landlords entering into section 206 Agreements also cover the landlords’ obligation under the new amendment contained in section 83 of the Act. Specifically, the onus of proving that the landlord has attempted to negotiate an agreement with the tenant including terms of payment for the tenant’s arrears during the pandemic https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-184.

If you would like additional information about the section 206 Agreement to Settle, and the Landlords’ new obligations under the Act to make an “attempt to negotiate an agreement” or any LTB process or procedure, contact Landlord Paralegal Lisa Barder for a free half-hour consultation at (289) 788-4113.

Utility Costs and Post-Tenancy Property Damage New Hope for Landlords – Could Bill 184 be that Hope?

What do the Ontario Legislature’s executive branch, the judicial branch, the Landlord & Tenant Board (LTB), and Landlords all have in common? They have set the wheels in motion before the legislature in the passing of Bill 184 https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-184 and creating the legal foundation for a Landlord to finally make a claim at the LTB for Utility Costs and Property Damages up to one year after the Tenant Vacates or is evicted from the rental unit.

After years of lobbying and numerous arguments over jurisdiction put before the courts, finally, new hope that Landlords will not find themselves before the Small Claims Court spending extraordinary time and expense arguing for jurisdiction, tracking down their former tenants’ whereabouts, filing voluminous court documents, arguing motions, and litigating at trial.

But for Mike Harris’s government, failing to ensure equal rights of landlords and tenants in the passing of Bill 96 – Tenant Protection Act, 1996, a Landlord, over the past almost 20 years could have simply filed their application at the Landlord and Tenant Board after paying the application filing fee, locate and serve the Tenant and have their claim for utility costs and property damages heard within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Landlord and Tenant Board rather than the extensive task of having to go before courts.

It is well-known knowledge that utility costs and damages don’t usually crystallize until after the tenant has vacated the property, and why should the Landlord have to cover costs for their former tenant’s hydro, gas, and water consumption or have the unpaid water levied on property tax and spend a considerable amount of time and money in litigation before the Small Claims Court to obtain judgement? Why shouldn’t a landlord have a similar right of jurisdiction before the LTB that a tenant has? The lobbying has reduced the “gap” in the legal system and the solution rests in the passing and enactment of the provisions set out in Bill 184, Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020 before the Ontario legislature.

You see, up until now, Tenants may file a claim against their former Landlord up to one-year after they vacate the rental property, but (surprisingly) former landlords are not granted a similar right to file against their former tenants. This naturally, has created a variety of complications for both Landlords and Tenants. For example; landlords and tenants having to split their cases before the LTB and Small Claims Court and the landlord having the grueling tasks of arguing jurisdiction and the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 17 alongside common law principals of contract law before the Small Claims Court, and the former tenant having the jurisdiction to have their claim heard separately by making claims for rent abatement, harassment, interference, and human rights violations before the government-appointed executives and specialized Members of the LTB under the umbrella of “Social Justice.”

The Executive Branch of government has come along way in the past 76 years in its efforts in obtaining the control and exclusive jurisdiction over all landlord and tenant disputes after being forced by lobbying businesses to repel rent regulation in Ontario under the National Housing Act 1944 in under a decade (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent_control_in_Ontario).

Even when the Progressive Conservative government of Mike Harris in June of 1998.[3] took the control of rent increases, eviction, arrears, and dispute resolution from the Ontario court system (the judicial branch of government) and assigning jurisdiction to a newly created quasi-judicial body (the executive branch) the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal.[5] (the now Landlord and Tenant Board), claims for utility costs and, damages and arrears that crystallized after a tenant vacates a property remained within the exclusive jurisdiction of the small claims court, the Landlord and Tenant Board does not (currently) have the jurisdiction or authority to hear any of these cases.

It appears now, however, some 70 years later, with the anticipated passing and enactment of Bill 184, (in terms of all landlord and tenant disputes under $35,00.00) will finally be 100% within the “Exclusive Justification” of the executive branches Landlord and Tenant Board and upon the current Conservative Government enacting the provisions of Bill 184, the Landlord and Tenant Board by virtue of section 168 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, C. 17 will, indeed, finally have “Exclusive Jurisdiction” to determine all landlord and tenant legal disputes and finally all matters (both landlord and tenant) can all be heard together at one government agency.

Landlords have the power to file, up to one year after the tenant vacates (not the usual two years before the small claims court) the following applications;

  1. File a claim for arrears of rent after a tenant vacates, including the rent that accrues after a tenant breaks a fixed-term lease or fails to give proper 60 days’ notice.
  2. File a claim for general damages after a tenant vacates for interfering with the landlord’s reasonable enjoyment, lawful rights, privileges or interest.
  3. File a claim for compensation after the tenant vacates for outstanding utility costs.
  4. File a claim for property damage after the tenant vacates.

The legislature, however, has passed the buck with regard to service of the Notice of Hearing and Application to Landlord. In the proposed Bill, the RTA will also be amended to include a provision that the landlord must give the tenant or former tenant a copy of the application and a copy of any notice of hearing issued by the Board and must, in specified circumstances, file with the Board a certificate of service.

This is an important point of the new proposed law to remember; If you do not know where your tenants moved to, and you do not serve them, you may have difficulties convincing a Board Member to give you judgment. After all, this is an Administrative Board functioning within a democratic system and all citizens have the right to be heard and make full answer and defense before any court and Administrative (quasi-constitutional) Board.

Collecting information, at the outset of the tenancy from prospective tenant(s) and requesting updated information as the tenancy progresses is also important in collecting outstanding utility costs and damages at a later date. Obtaining plate numbers, and copy of your prospective tenant’s driver’s license, personal and emergency references, accepting rental payment made by cheque and retaining a copy of that cheque, and gathering updated employment information are some very important things to do in increasing your chances of collecting bad debt.

My advice to each and every landlord out there file at the LTB, at the time of your “cause of action,” and when (hopefully) the tenant is still in possession, file your application, and should the Board not have a process in place whereby a landlord can update the utility costs at the hearing (similar to arrears of rent L1/L9 Update Form) you can always seek to amend your application to include all accrued utility costs and or property damages as they crystallize once the tenant moves out.

In Ontario’s current system, there are many challenges landlords face in obtaining a judgment, and collecting against former delinquent tenants. Has the enactment of Bill 184 made those challenges easier? As a matter of procedure and having a “one-stop-shop”for all landlord and tenant disputes before the LTB, I would say, yes. However, without knowing the tenants whereabouts, a landlord will be out of luck once the strict one year limitation period expires.

Lisa Barder is a Licensed Paralegal and has been providing legal services for Landlords since 2001 and has collected hundreds and thousands of dollars and evicted tens of thousands of tenants in her career as a paralegal.

Contact Lisa Barder at landlordparalegal@gmail.com or (289) 788-4113.

Hoarding Disorder and Fires

Toronto Councillor, Josh Matlow, recently announced plans to ask the Fire Chief to prepare a presentation on the transparency of fire inspections – but the issue is that the fire department is bound by legislation to handle all such information a certain way.

For $5 the freedom of information is available to anyone to access from the fire department – including landlords – and should one still not be satisfied upon realizing pertinent information has been blackened out – one still has a right to appeal. Once all those appeal avenues have been exhausted, one could then perhaps follow up with the councilor.

This has all suddenly come up as a hot-button issue because of the recent London fire that killed 79 people in a lower income building. The fear was/is that it could happen here, so politicians like Toronto’s Matlow are at least trying to highlight the issue with preemptive strikes. Those fires, however, had to do with combustible external panels, an issue not so far having been raised here.

What they really need to keep focused on to ensure the reduced possibilities of fires, is to clamp down on tenants with excessive amounts of clutter inside their units many of whom suffer from hoarding disorder a form of obsessive compulsive mental illness.

How quickly everyone seems to have forgotten the lessons supposedly learned from the 2003 Toronto Community Housing Corporation fire at 200 Wellesley St when 1200 residents were displaced and started in a unit occupied by a resident suffering from the disorder.

“Clear means of egress”

So what’s a landlord to do? Ensure a clear means of egress to each exit inside the unit at the cost of possibly lives? The problem is you have a number of variables that interchange here from human rights to mental health as landlords have a duty to accommodate to undo hardship. In the end, the Landlord and Tenant Board reluctantly issues eviction orders in these cases and not without first giving the tenant many opportunities to declutter.

What can be done?

Prior to issuing an eviction notice first take steps to accommodate the tenant by working with those afflicted residents to declutter their homes through contacting third-party agencies, such as mental health and social workers, including “Purgers” who help with the decluttering process. An entrepreneurial Hamilton businesswoman I met recently actually started a business to help hoarders declutter and purge so there seems to be a growing demand.

Transparency and access to freedom of information will not stop fires from occurring in residential complexes – preventative measures will.

“From my experience but for landlords, tenants, paralegals and third party agencies continuing to work together, we may well be on our way to a crisis, especially when you add the growing bed bug epidemic into the equation. Will we wait until another Wellesley Street happens again before we act? I sure hope not.

Lisa Barder

Canadian Family Courts may include Paralegals

 

It was just reported in the Toronto Star that both lawyers and paralegals may be allowed to represent clients embroiled in the family courts system.

While some argue it’s too complex for a paralegal’s scope, others however disagree, including this one.

Paralegals are already allowed to represent in certain criminal cases and so it’s certainly not a stretch to think paralegals could represent in family court by any means.

At any rate, former Ontario court Chief Justice, Annemarie Bonkalo, thinks we can. The former Chief Justice recommends that specialized, trained paralegals be allowed to provide family court representation through special licensing.

And she certainly knows it will be controversial, as currently paralegals are prohibited from doing so.

“There are few subjects that cause more controversy within the family justice community than the provision of legal services by paralegals,” Bonkalo states.

The public has until May 15 2017 to offer input as to their thoughts on this and for changes needing made to streamline our backed up family court system.

A decision by government on her recommendations is expected by fall. Stay tuned!

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Lisa Barder, Landlord Paralegal