The Landlord and Tenant Board's Rules of Practice


There are two parts to the Rules of Practice of the Landlord and Tenant Board ("LTB"). Part I is the Social Justice Tribunals Ontario (SJTO) Common Rules, which also apply in other tribunals within SJTO. Part II is the Landlord and Tenant Board Specific Rules which apply only within the LTB. Both parts should be read together.

The LTB's Rules of Practice set out the procedural rules that must be followed under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the 'RTA').

Table of Contents

I) Social Justice Tribunals Ontario Common Rules

II) Landlord and Tenant Board Specific Rules


Introduction

Social Justice Tribunals Ontario (SJTO) is a cluster of eight adjudicative tribunals with a mandate to resolve applications and appeals under statutes relating to child and family services oversight, youth justice, human rights, residential tenancies, disability support and other social assistance, special education and victim compensation.

The SJTO is committed to providing quality dispute resolution across the cluster including ensuring that its procedures are transparent and understandable. Identifying common procedures and values across the SJTO and, where appropriate, harmonizing those procedures improves access to justice and fosters consistency in the application of fundamental principles of fairness.

These Common Rules are grounded in the core adjudicative values and principles of the SJTO which govern the work of the cluster. The Common Rules provide a consistent overarching framework of common procedures that will continue to evolve.

How to Use These Rules

  1. The SJTO Common Rules apply to all cases in any SJTO tribunal and form part of the rules and procedures of each tribunal.
  2. For more specific rules please refer to the rules and procedures of:

Part A - Adjudicative Values and Interpretive Principles

A1 Application

The Common Rules apply to the proceedings of the SJTO. The Common Rules form part of the rules of each SJTO tribunal.

A2 Definitions

"rules and procedures" includes rules, practice directions, policies, guidelines and procedural directions;
"tribunal" means any SJTO tribunal or board.

A3 Interpretation

A4 Tribunal Powers

A5 Accommodation of Human Rights Code - Related Needs

A6 Language

A7 Courtesy and Respect

A8 Abuse of Process

A9 Representatives

A10 Litigation Guardians

II) Landlord and Tenant Board Specific Rules

R1 General Rules

In applications under Part V.1 of the RTA (Non-Profit Housing Co-operatives):

  1. "tenant" means "member";
  2. "tenancy" means "occupancy" and "a tenancy" means "an occupancy";
  3. "landlord" means "non-profit housing co-operative";
  4. "rental unit" means "member unit";
  5. "residential complex" means "a building or related group of buildings in which one or more member units are located" and includes all common areas and services and facilities available for the use of its residents;
  6. "rent" means "regular monthly housing charges".

Legislation:

R2 Initiative of the LTB

Legislation:

R3 Communications with the LTB

R4 Computation of Time

Legislation:

Related Rules:

Section 193 of the RTA provides that: "Time shall be computed in accordance with the Rules." It is important that parties understand the way in which the LTB will count days in order to know the deadlines for giving documents to other parties such as applications and motions, and filing other documents with the LTB, etc. These Rules are also important for landlords to understand since they apply to deadlines not related to an application, such as the time for giving a notice of termination or a notice of rent increase.

R5 Serving a Document on Another Party

Legislation:

Related Rules:

Section 191 of the RTA provides that a party may give another person a document by various means listed in subsection (1), including handing it to the person, mailing it to them, leaving it in a mail box or a place where mail is ordinarily delivered. It refers to giving a document to a "person" rather than a "party" because it includes all documents mentioned in the RTA, such as notices of termination and rent increase, which are not related to applications when they are given. Clause 191(1)(g) deems "any other means allowed in the Rules" to be sufficient service of the document.

These Rules also set out when a document is considered to have been given to another person, depending upon the method of service used. For service by mail, subsection 191(3) of the RTA provides that service is effective five days after mailing.

R6 Filing Documents with the LTB

Legislation:

Related Rules:

Subsection 192(1) of the RTA states that: "A notice or document is sufficiently given to the LTB,

  1. by hand delivering it to the LTB at the appropriate office as set out in the Rules;
  2. by sending it by mail to the appropriate office as set out in the Rules; or
  3. by any other means allowed in the Rules."

R7 French Language Services

Legislation:

R8 Application Screening Rules

Legislation:

Staff of the LTB will check applications when they are filed and inform the applicant if the application is incomplete, or if they note any errors that may potentially invalidate the application; the applicant will decide how they want to proceed.

Although staff will review applications, it is always the applicant's responsibility to ensure that their application is complete, accurate and in compliance with the RTA. Ultimately it will be up to the LTB Member hearing the application to decide whether or not the application is valid.

R9 Refusing to Accept or Proceed with an Application

Legislation:

Where the LTB learns of an applicant's failure to pay any fine, fee or costs payable to the LTB on or before the date that person submits a new application, section 196 of the RTA states that staff may refuse to accept the application "in such circumstances as may be specified in the Rules". This Rule defines the circumstances where such refusal is appropriate.

Where the LTB learns of an applicant's failure to pay any fee, fine or costs before a hearing has been held, the RTA states that the proceeding shall be stayed until the fee, fine or costs have been paid. Where the LTB learns of the applicant's failure to pay after a hearing has been held, the order shall not be issued until the fee, fine or costs have been paid.

In addition to these provisions, the RTA allows the LTB to discontinue an application "in such circumstances as may be specified in the Rules". These Rules establish those circumstances.

R10 Service of Application and Notice of Hearing

R11 Certificates of Service

Legislation:

Related Rules:

Where the LTB orders an applicant to serve the application or notice of hearing in accordance with Rule 10.2 the applicant must file a Certificate of Service as directed by Rule 11.

R12 Rescheduling a Hearing

Legislation:

R13 Mediation by the LTB

Legislation:

Related Rules:

The RTA gives special recognition to mediation of applications which is conducted by Mediators employed by the LTB. Section 194 of the RTA permits the LTB to attempt to mediate a settlement of any matter that is the subject of an application or agreed upon by the parties, if the parties consent to the mediation (except mandatory mediation under section 148 of the RTA for care home "transfers"). If mediation is conducted by an LTB Mediator, the agreement may include provisions that contravene the RTA. There is, however, a limitation on agreements reached through LTB mediation, since negotiated rent increases cannot exceed 3% above the annual guideline.

Subparagraph 78(1)2.i of the RTA provides that the conditions imposed on the tenant in the order or mediated settlement described in paragraph 78(1)2 include only those conditions which, if not met by the tenant, would give rise to the same reasons for terminating the tenancy under the RTA as were claimed in the previous application. Thus, a term of settlement which is a condition for future termination without notice to the tenant must meet two tests; it must be the same reason that was raised in the eviction application that was settled and the reason must be one recognized by the RTA. For this reason, mediated settlements of eviction applications based only on rental arrears will not allow for a section 78 application based on late payment of future rents, once the arrears and costs have been paid.

The RTA provides that these Rules will set out the way in which the LTB will dispose of an application if an LTB mediated agreement resolves some or all of the issues raised by an application. If there is no mediated settlement, the LTB is required to hold a hearing.

Mediators will not mediate agreements intended to modify an order of the LTB, such as an agreement with terms that impose conditions on the enforceability of the order. An LTB order is a final disposition of an application and as such, these types of agreements, commonly referred to as "side agreements" will not be mediated.

Pursuant to subsection 194(1) of the RTA, the LTB may only mediate landlord and tenant disputes when an application has been made to the LTB. The LTB may decide not to mediate an application where there is little chance of success, where it will cause undue delay, or where there are minimal potential benefits.

When the parties to an application agree, an LTB mediation may deal with and resolve issues which are not included in that application to satisfy the interests of the parties and to make more effective and long lasting agreements.

R14 Settlements Reached Without LTB Mediation

Legislation:

Related Rules:

There will be cases in which the parties, between themselves, resolve an application without any assistance from a Mediator employed by the LTB. They may also retain the services of a private mediator or any other person to assist them in settling the dispute between them. These Rules deal with the consequences of such an agreement.

Section 3 of the RTA provides that the Act applies, regardless of any agreement or waiver to the contrary. Thus, parties may only settle an application by agreeing to terms or conditions which are consistent with the legislation. Section 4.1 of the SPPA permits an order to be issued without a hearing, on the consent of the parties, so long as the Act under which the order is issued permits this. The power to issue a "consent order" under the RTA is restricted by section 3, in that no order may include terms which contravene the Act. This is further confirmed by subsection 194(2) of the RTA which allows a settlement to contain provisions which contravene the Act, but only where it was mediated by the LTB.

If the parties settle the issues raised by the application, and part of the agreement is that the application will be withdrawn, the applicant may withdraw the application without the consent of the LTB at any time prior to the commencement of the hearing (subject to the provisions of subsection 200(3) of the RTA). However, if any term of the agreement to settle is not in accordance with the Act, the fact that the parties agreed to it will not prevent the applicant from applying again or affect the result of any subsequent application.

If the parties settle the application, and part of the agreement is that an order should be issued in accordance with what the parties have agreed, these Rules will apply.

R15 Extending and Shortening Time

Legislation:

Related Rules:

Regulation:

The RTA and the LTB's Rules of Practice establish a number of deadlines for filing applications and other documents with the LTB, and for serving documents to other parties. Subsection 190(1) of the RTA specifically authorizes the LTB to extend or shorten the time for making an application under: section 126 (to increase the rent above guideline), subsection 159(2) (for a determination that the landlord's grounds for refusing consent to an assignment of a mobile home site are reasonable), and/or section 226 (to review a provincial work order). Subsection 190(2) permits the LTB to extend or shorten time for other matters in proceedings in accordance with these Rules.

R16 Amending Applications

Legislation:

Subsection 200(1) of the RTA permits an applicant to amend an application in accordance with the Rules.

Subsection 201(1) also permits the LTB to amend an application on its own motion and on notice to the parties where the LTB considers it appropriate and as long as to do so would not be unfair to any party.

R17 Withdrawing an Application

Legislation:

Related Rules:

Subsection 200(2) of the RTA allows an applicant to withdraw an application without the consent of the LTB if the request is made before the hearing begins. Subsection 200(4) provides that, once the hearing starts, the applicant may only withdraw the application with the consent of an LTB Member. However, under subsection 200(3), a tenant who applies under paragraph 4 of subsection 29(1) of the RTA may not withdraw an application at any stage without the consent of the LTB.

R18 Severing an Application

Legislation:

R19 Discosure Rules

Legislation:

Under section 5.4 of the SPPA, a tribunal may, at any stage of its proceedings up to the end of the hearing, make orders for the exchange of documents, the exchange of reports of expert witnesses, the provision of particulars and any other form of disclosure. The tribunal must adopt rules of practice in order to use this authority but cannot use these powers to require the production of privileged information.

Disclosure may be useful to facilitate a better hearing, especially if proper consideration is given to the type of proceedings, the knowledge of the parties about procedures, and the desire for an expeditious and fair procedure.

Note that the powers set out in these rules are in addition to the power the LTB has to conduct inquiries or direct parties to file additional evidence as set out in s.201 of the RTA. Further discussion of the LTB's powers under s.201 may be found in the LTB's Guideline 13 - Other Powers of the LTB.

R20 Pre-Hearing Conferences

Legislation:

Under section 5.3 of the SPPA, the LTB may direct the parties to attend a pre-hearing conference. The LTB must adopt rules of practice in order to be able to use this authority. The purpose of a conference is to discuss the preparations for the hearing and the hearing itself, including attempts to define and narrow the issues in dispute, disclose potential evidence and witness lists, and discuss the possibilities of mediation.

Generally speaking, the LTB will direct a conference to be held only where it is anticipated that there will be a lengthy hearing of one or more days, and the hearing could be shortened or made more effective as a result of a pre-hearing conference.

R21 Electronic Hearings

Legislation:

Under subsection 5.2(2) of the SPPA, a tribunal may hold an electronic hearing rather than an "oral hearing" (a face to face hearing, or a hearing in person). "Electronic hearing" means a hearing held by conference call, video conferencing or some other means of electronic technology permitting persons to hear one another. An electronic hearing should not be held unless all parties, the LTB Member and the witnesses can hear each other at all times.

According to subsection 5.2(2) of the SPPA, a tribunal will not hold an electronic hearing if a party satisfies it that holding an electronic hearing instead of an oral hearing is likely to cause the party significant prejudice.

R22 Written Hearings

Legislation:

Related Rules:

Under section 5.1 of the SPPA, the LTB may hold a written hearing rather than an "oral hearing" (a face to face hearing) or an "electronic hearing" (held by conference call, video conferencing or some other means of electronic technology permitting persons to hear one another). In a written hearing, the parties are required to file their evidence and make submissions to the LTB in writing. The LTB makes a decision based on the evidence and submissions filed without holding an oral hearing.

Written hearings are inexpensive and easy to arrange. However, they may not be suitable for applications where facts may be in dispute or credibility is an issue.

Subsection 5.1(2) of the SPPA as amended on February 14, 2000, sets out that if a party satisfies the LTB that there is a good reason not to hold a written hearing, the LTB will not do so. However, subsection 184(2) of the RTA sets out that if the application was made under sections 132 or 133 or if it was made solely under paragraph 1 of subsection 126(1) of the RTA, subsection 5.1(2) of the SPPA does not apply. For applications which relate to municipal property taxes or utilities, parties are not invited to make submissions regarding whether or not the application should be resolved by written hearing.

Subsection 5.1(3) of the SPPA sets out that in a written hearing, all parties are entitled to receive every document that the LTB receives in a proceeding. However, under subsection 184(3) of the RTA applications related to municipal property taxes or rent increases above the guideline are exempt from this provision. As a result, the requirement for all parties to receive every document that the LTB receives does not apply to applications under sections 126, 132 and 133. For these applications, the applicant is required to serve only the application and notice of hearing on the other parties. As well, the LTB is not required to send copies of the documents filed with respect to an application to the parties.

If a party wants to review the documents, they can do so by requesting to view the application file at an LTB office. Also, if the application was filed under section 126 and includes a claim for capital expenditures, landlords are required to make extra efforts to give tenants access to the supporting documents for the application. Additional information on these requirements may be found in the LTB's Guideline 14 - Above Guideline Rent Increase Applications.

R23 Requiring a Witness to Attend a Hearing

R24 Restricting Public Access to the Hearing

Legislation:

Under section 9 of the SPPA, a hearing shall be open to the public except where matters involving public security may be disclosed or where:

"intimate financial or personal matters or other matters may be disclosed at the hearing of such a nature, having regard to the circumstances, that the desirability of avoiding disclosure thereof in the interests of any person affected or in the public interest, outweighs the desirability of adhering to the principle that hearings be open to the public...".

The public will have access to all LTB hearings, unless otherwise ordered by an LTB Member or Hearing Officer. In rare circumstances, an LTB Member or Hearing Officer will be satisfied that the hearing must be closed in accordance with section 9 of the SPPA. For example, this may occur if there will be medical evidence in a hearing, such as one dealing with a care home transfer application (section 148 of the RTA).

The LTB's position on public access is as follows: Hearings will be open to the public unless the parties are involved in settlement discussions before a Hearing Officer, or the LTB Member or Hearing Officer believes that there is sufficient reason to deny the public access. While hearings are open to the public, the application file is not. This means that while a member of the public can attend an LTB hearing, they will not be given access to the file. Only parties and their representatives can be given access to the file.

R25 Record of Proceedings

Legislation:

These Rules explain the practices of the LTB regarding its own recording of hearings, as well as that by parties, journalists and other persons. Subsection 9(2) of the SPPA permits the LTB to make orders or directions at an oral or electronic hearing to maintain order, and provides for certain actions which may be taken against a person who disobeys the LTB's instructions.

R26 Orders and Reasons

Legislation:

At the end of a hearing, the LTB Member will adjourn the hearing pending the issuance of an order.

In view of subsection 17(1) of the SPPA, the written order is the official decision of the LTB. The written order (and reasons, if issued) have legal status and are enforceable.

R27 Ordering Costs to a Party or LTB Costs

Legislation:

Interpretation Guideline:

Subsection 204(2) of the RTA gives the LTB the discretion to order one party to pay another party's costs. Subsection 204(3) allows the LTB to order that its costs of a proceeding be paid by a party or a party's paid representative. In accordance with subsection 204(4), the amount for an order for costs shall be set in these Rules.

The Interpretation Guideline on costs sets out the usual approach followed by the LTB when ordering costs against a party, a party's agent or a party's legal representative. These Rules complement the approach suggested in the Guideline.

Amending an Order

Legislation:

Related Rules:

Interpretation Guideline:

Section 21.1 of the SPPA allows a tribunal, at any time, to correct a typographical error, error of calculation or similar error made in its decision or order. These types of errors may be construed as clerical errors.

A clerical error may be the result of a mistake or omission made by the LTB in the process of writing an order or other decision. Or, a clerical error may be an error made by a party in preparing a document which is submitted to the LTB that ends up being transcribed into an order or decision. A serious error, on the other hand, such as an error of procedure or fact or an unreasonable application of discretion, would be the subject of a request for the LTB to review an order (see Rule 29).

See also Guideline 15 "Amending an Order".

R29 Review of Orders

R30 Order Void or Stayed

Legislation:

Related Rules:

There are a number of situations in which an action taken by a party to an LTB proceeding impacts the enforcement of a prior LTB decision. For example, a respondent may file a motion to set aside an ex parte order or make the payment required to void an eviction order.

R31 Paying Money Into and Out of the LTB

Legislation:

Related Rules:

Subsection 74(2) of the RTA states that if the LTB is satisfied that a tenant has paid the sum owing and the application fee to the LTB or to the landlord before the order is issued, the application will be discontinued.

Subsection 74(4) of the RTA states that if an eviction order has been issued but, before it becomes enforceable, the tenant voluntarily pays the amount specified in the order, the eviction order is void. The amount can be paid entirely to the LTB, entirely to the landlord, or in part to the LTB and in part to the landlord. These Rules establish procedures for the payment out of these monies.

Further, subsection 74(11) allows a tenant to void the order after the date the order becomes enforceable but before it is enforced, by paying everything owing, including the Sheriff's fees if applicable. The tenant must file a motion and a hearing will be held to determine if the order is void. A tenant is only allowed to void an eviction order in this manner once per tenancy.

Clause 195(1)(a) of the RTA provides that the LTB may require the respondent to pay a specified amount into the LTB within a specified time where the LTB considers it appropriate to do so. Further, under subsection 195(4), if the respondent fails to pay in as required, the LTB may refuse to consider their evidence and submissions.

Clause 195(1)(b) of the RTA allows the LTB to permit a tenant who has made an application about maintenance to pay some or all of their rent into the LTB. Subsection 195(5) states that if such a payment is allowed, it is not considered to be arrears of rent or a breach of the tenant's obligations.

Subsection 195(2) provides that the LTB may establish procedures for payment into and out of the LTB through these Rules. Interpretation Guideline #2 (Payment into the LTB) provides guidance as to the reasons for which an LTB Member might require payment, as well as what the consequences might be if the respondent fails to follow such a requirement.

R32 Legal Representatives Acting as Advocates & Witnesses in the same Proceeding

R33 The L1/L9 "Information Update as of the Hearing Day"

Related Rules:

This Rule applies to the LTB's "L1/L9 Application - Information Update as of the Hearing Day" form (the L1/L9 update form) and the process that landlords must follow when completing and submitting this form.

The L1/L9 update form was developed to make the hearing process more efficient and timelier. The L1/L9 update form provides information to the LTB, current to the hearing date, about changes that may have occurred that will affect the landlord's application. For example, the tenant may have made payments to the landlord since the landlord filed the application, or the tenant may owe the landlord additional rent - these changes would be indicated on the L1/L9 update form.

The completed L1/L9 update form will be placed onto the application file and will form part of the LTB's record of the proceeding.

R34 Non-Profit Housing Co-operatives

These Rules apply to applications by Non-Profit Housing Co-operatives filed under Part V.1 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. The Social Justice Tribunals Ontario Common Rules of Procedure and the Landlord and Tenant Board's Rules of Practice also apply to proceedings relating to these applications, with the following exceptions: Rules 5,6,8,10,11, 12, 20, and 33.

R35 Fee Waiver

R36 Case Management Hearings

Appendix A: ServiceOntario Centres


Appendix B: Witness Fees

Tariff A:

Solicitors' Fees and Disbursements Allowable Under Rule 58.05 of the Rules of Civil Procedure: Disbursements

Attendance Money Allowed pursuant to Rule 53.04(4) of the Rules of Civil Procedure

Part II - Disbursements

Attendance money actually paid to a witness who is entitled to attendance money, to be calculated as follows:

Item Amount

  1. Attendance allowance for each day of necessary attendance   $50
  2. Travel allowance, where the hearing or examination is held:
    1. in a city or town in which the witness resides, $3.00 for each day of necessary attendance;
    2. within 300 kilometres of where the witness resides, 24¢ a kilometre each way between his or her residence and the place of hearing or examination;
    3. more than 300 kilometres from where the witness resides, the minimum return airfare plus 24¢ a kilometre each way from his her residence to the airport and from the airport to the place of hearing or examination.
  3. Overnight accommodation and meal allowance, where the witness resides elsewhere than the place of hearing or examination and is required to remain overnight, for each overnight stay   $75



Effective as of October 24, 2017
sjto.ca/ltb