Landlord & Tenant

Jaclyn Solomon

Landlord and Tenant Board's role is to provide information about the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and to resolve disputes between most residential landlords and tenants.

Disputes between most residential landlords and tenants are adjudicated at hearings or resolved with the assistance of Landlord and Tenant Board appointed mediators.

Duty counsel is available at no cost to tenants, but this service is not available to landlords at the hearings. Landlords must seek legal counsel elsewhere. Jaclyn is a Broker and licensed paralegal and has dealt with a wide variety of situations for both Landlords and Tenants throughout her careers.

An action at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) is commenced by a landlord by serving a Notice, which advises a tenant(s) that there are issues which the landlord wishes to have corrected or addressed within a prescribed time period.

Disregarding a Notice will invariably result in the service of an Application and a Notice of Hearing.

Jaclyn can advise and represent either tenants or landlords and guide them through the Applicant/Respondent process to a productive and successful final or interim decision.

Jaclyn can advise and represent either tenants or landlords and guide them through the Applicant/Respondent processes to a productive and successful final and/or interim decision.

Don't be overwhelmed or overcome. Be prepared with Paralegal Services from Jaclyn P. Solomon.


Renting: changes during COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Evictions

Eviction hearings are starting to be heard again.

How the eviction process works

The typical evictions process is explained below. Changes due to COVID-19 have been highlighted.

If the landlord gives a tenant notice to end the tenancy, the tenant does not have to move out. The landlord must apply for an eviction order from the Landlord and Tenant Board (also known as "the Board"). The tenant has the right to go to a hearing and explain why they should not be evicted.

  1. Notice: In most cases, the first step is for the landlord to give the tenant a notice in writing that they want the tenant to move out. Landlords must use an official notice from the Board. Sometimes a tenant can prevent the tenancy from ending by stopping the behaviour referred to in the notice, or by doing what the notice requests. This is a called a tenant’s remedy. The notice explains what this is and gives a deadline for the tenant to comply.
    COVID-19 update: Landlords can still give eviction notices, however, landlords are encouraged to work with tenants to establish fair arrangements to keep tenants in their homes, including deferring rent or other payment arrangements.
  2. Application: If the tenant does not remedy the situation or move out, the landlord can file an application to the Board to end the tenancy. Most applications must be made within 30 days of the termination date set out in the notice. However, there is no deadline to apply to end a tenancy for non-payment of rent.
    COVID-19 update: Landlord and Tenant Board counter services are closed, but the most common types of applications can still be filed online.
  3. Hearing: In most cases, the Board will schedule a hearing to decide the landlord’s application. It will mail a Notice of Hearing to the landlord(s) and tenant(s) along with a copy of the application.
    COVID-19 update: All hearings related to eviction applications are suspended until further notice, except for urgent disputes such as those involving illegal acts or serious safety concerns.
  4. Order: A Board member will make a decision about the landlord’s application to end the tenancy and whether the tenant should be evicted or not. The member’s decision is always put in writing. This written decision is called an order. The Board will mail a copy of the order to both the landlord(s) and tenant(s).
    COVID-19 update: No new eviction orders will be issued until further notice, unless the matter relates to an urgent issue such as an illegal act or serious safety concerns.
  5. Enforcement: If a tenant doesn’t leave the rental unit by the termination date in the eviction order, a landlord cannot personally enforce the order (remove a tenant from a rental unit or change the locks). An eviction order can only be enforced by the Court Enforcement Office (also known as the "Sheriff’s Office"). The landlord must file a copy of the Board order with the Sheriff’s Office to have the order enforced.
    COVID-19 update: Enforcement of residential eviction orders is suspended until further notice. By order of the Superior Court of Justice, enforcement of eviction orders is suspended during the suspension of regular court operations, unless the court orders otherwise.

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IN THE NEWS;

The Law Society is alerting the public about a fraudulent inheritance scheme involving letters from people posing as lawyers. Letter recipients are asked to be beneficiaries to a sizeable life insurance policy in exchange for a share of the policy benefits. Anyone receiving such a letter may wish to contact the local police. More information is available in the notice.


In some instances, the Criminal Code establishes an offence in one provision and establishes the penalty for that offence in another provision.

Summary offences

For most summary conviction offences, the maximum punishment is a fine of $5,000 or two years less a day in prison, or both. Paralegals are permitted to offer legal services for quasi criminal matters; summary offences.

AS OF JAN 1,2020

Quick Facts


Paralegal as Notary Public

A notary public has all the powers of a commissioner for taking affidavits in Ontario, and can also verify that signatures, marks, and copies of documents are true or genuine. Sections 1, 3, and 4(1) of the Notaries Act (the "Act") provide that notaries public are appointed for Ontario and may exercise their power with respect to transactions in Ontario.

After changes to legislation, a paralegal is now automatically a notary public by virtue of office.

A paralegal's appointment as a notary public may subsequently be revoked in accordance with the Act.


Monetary Jurisdiction

The maximum monetary jurisdiction at the Landlord and Tenant Board, under the jurisdiction of the Residential Tenancy Act, either for rent, damages or Landlord or Tenant claims; is now $35,000.00

Ontario's Small Claims Court, a branch of the Superior Court of Justice, which handles civil claims to a maximum of $35,000.

Small Claims' actions are sometimes needed by Landlords for example, when the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board loses jurisdiction when the Tenant is no longer in possession of the unit, or for contract issues when there is a substantial lease term remaining and the Tenant vacates.

Small Claims Court is the proper jurisdiction for enforcement of Landlord and Tenant Board's orders.

Claims must be filed in the jurisdiction where the cause of action occurred.


Quality of Service to Clients

A rule specifying that a paralegal has a duty to provide courteous, thorough and prompt service to clients has been added.

This new rule on quality of service is contained in subrule 3.02(1) and stipulates that the quality of service required of a paralegal is service that is competent, timely, conscientious, diligent, efficient and civil.

Guideline 6: Competence and Quality of Service provides that a paralegal should meet deadlines, unless the paralegal is able to offer a reasonable explanation and ensure that no prejudice to the client will result. In addition, a paralegal should promptly respond to communications and report developments to clients whether or not there is a specific deadline. In the absence of developments, contact with the client should be maintained to the extent that the client reasonably expects (paragraph [12]).

You may choose to have a paralegal represent you in:

  1. Claims for money owed under an agreement, such as,
    • unpaid accounts for goods or services sold and delivered
    • unpaid loans
    • unpaid rent
    • NSF (non-sufficient funds) cheques
  2. Claims for damages, such as,
    • property damage
    • clothes damaged by a dry cleaner
    • personal injuries
    • breach of contract

COURT DISBURSEMENTS

Fees are set partly by how often you file a claim. A frequent claimant files 10 or more claims in a calendar year at the same court location, an infrequent claimant less than 10.

An infrequent claimant will pay:

Note: the fee waiver does not apply to online filing.

The minimum amount of a claim that can be appealed to the Divisional Court will also increase from $2,500 to $3,500.

These changes will be beneficial to employers dealing with low stakes wrongful dismissal litigation for example.

At times, employers are tasked with defending wrongful dismissal cases in the Ontario Superior Court that are valued at $35,000, or less, in which the cost of litigation far exceeds the cost of settlement (regardless of the merits of the case).

This is primarily due to the number of procedural steps required before a matter proceeds to trial in the Ontario Superior Court.

These steps include: document discovery, examinations for discovery, mandatory mediation, motions, and attendance at a pre-trial conference. The Small Claims Court removes a number of these steps and require the parties to attend a settlement conference at no cost to either party.

As a result, litigating a matter in the Small Claims Court is significantly cheaper than litigating a matter in the Ontario Superior Court.

Raising the cap at Small Claims Court also increases the risk to employees who seek to leverage the cost of litigation in the Ontario Superior Court for the purposes of settlement. This is due to the Ontario Superior Court’s discretion to award no costs to a successful party if the award properly falls within the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court (i.e. $35,000 or less, as per the upcoming changes).

However, litigating a matter in Small Claims Court is not without its own flaws. Under the Small Claims Court rules, and absent special circumstances, a successful party cannot be awarded costs that exceed 15% of the amount claimed in most cases, subject to a judge’s discretion.

Under the new cap, this would mean the maximum amount a party can recover in costs is $5,250.

For employers, for example, the best means to avoid the unnecessary costs of litigating low stakes wrongful dismissal cases remains taking pre-emptive measures to limit the possibility of a dismissed employee commencing litigation in the first place.

Such measures include, but are not limited to, having enforceable termination clauses and crafting creative termination packages.