COVID-19 Updates on Landlord and Tenant Board Operations

Last Updated: July 9, 2020


The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) continues to provide services to the public. However, the LTB has implemented a number of changes to its operations due to COVID-19, until further notice.

These include:

  • In-person hearings are suspended.
  • Hearings for non-eviction applications are being scheduled to be heard by telephone or in writing.
  • Suspending all eviction hearings and orders, unless the matter is urgent because there is a serious and ongoing health or safety issue at the residential complex or a serious illegal act that occurred at the residential complex.
  • Applications filed by tenants alleging that they have been illegally locked out are automatically scheduled for an urgent hearing.
  • In-person service counters are closed. Where possible, use email to contact the LTB.

On This Page

  1. Suspending Limitation Periods
  2. Hearings
  3. Evictions
  4. Filing an application
  5. Rent
  6. Entering a Rental Unit
  7. Free Legal Advice
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Contact the LTB
  10. Tribunals Ontario News About COVID-19
  11. Additional Resources on COVID-19

Suspending Limitation Periods

On March 20, 2020, the Government of Ontario made an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, that suspends limitation periods and procedural time periods relevant to tribunal proceedings. The suspension is retroactive to March 16, 2020.

The government has extended the suspension of limitation periods and time periods in tribunal proceedings until September 11, 2020.

As a result of the Emergency Order, the limitation periods (e.g., deadlines for doing something) or procedural time periods in the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) are suspended. If the deadline for filing an application falls within the period during which the Emergency Order is in effect, the party who wants to file the application is entitled to an automatic extension of time to file the application. The extension of time will be equal to the number of calendar days between March 16, 2020, and the original filing deadline.

For example, if the due date for an application was March 24, once the Emergency Order ends, the extension period would be eight days. This is calculated as the number of days between March 16 and March 24 (the original due date). This extension of time period begins once the Emergency Order has been lifted.

The Emergency Order also suspends certain deadlines contained in the LTB’s Rules of Procedure such as the 30-day deadline for requesting reviews of LTB orders or requests to correct an order due to an administrative error. It also applies to procedural directions and orders issued by the LTB such as a direction to file and exchange evidence between parties by a certain deadline. However, the Emergency Order also provides that the LTB may decide in a particular case that the deadline should not be suspended.


Hearings

All previously scheduled in-person hearings have been cancelled.

The LTB is rescheduling in-person hearings to telephone or written hearings, where possible, for non-eviction applications.

The LTB has suspended all hearings related to eviction applications, unless the matter is urgent because there is a serious and ongoing health or safety issue at the residential complex or a serious illegal act that occurred at the residential complex.

If you have a scheduled hearing, the LTB will send you updated information as soon as possible.


Evictions

Until further notice, the LTB is not hearing eviction applications and is not issuing eviction orders unless the matter is urgent because there is a serious and ongoing health or safety issue at the residential complex or a serious illegal act that occurred at the residential complex.

If the LTB were to issue an eviction order, the Court Enforcement Office (Sheriff’s Office) will not enforce it unless the landlord brings an urgent motion to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeking permission to enforce the order.

Notice of Termination

In most cases serving a Notice of Termination is the first step before a landlord can apply for an eviction order from the LTB. Landlords can continue to serve tenants with Notices of Termination, whether urgent or not.

Tenants

If your landlord gives you a Notice of Termination to end your tenancy, you do not have to move out of your unit.

If your landlord files an application for eviction with the LTB, the LTB will not proceed with a hearing, or issue an eviction order unless the LTB determines that the matter is urgent because there is a serious and ongoing health or safety issue at the residential complex or a serious illegal act that occurred at the residential complex.

You have the right to stay in your rental unit until the Sheriff enforces an eviction order issued by the LTB.

Landlords

If you served your tenant with a valid Notice of Termination, you can file an application for eviction with the LTB. Follow these steps if your application is urgent.

Filing an Application

The LTB continues to accept all applications and will schedule telephone or written hearings for non-eviction matters. Non-eviction matters include applications filed by tenants and applications filed by landlords seeking only payment of rent arrears or compensation for damage.

Urgent eviction matters will be scheduled via telephone or written hearings.

The LTB encourages the use of e-File as the most common types of applications can be filed online.

If you are not able to use e-File, you can submit your application to your LTB regional office by mail or fax.

Your application may take longer to process if you submit by mail or fax.

Submitting an Application for an Urgent Eviction Matter

If you are a landlord and believe that your eviction application is urgent because there is a serious and ongoing health or safety issue at the residential complex or a serious illegal act that occurred at the residential complex you may file a request for an urgent hearing.

Read the instructions (PDF) before filing the Request For Urgent Hearing form (PDF).

The LTB will consider the information contained in your request form and your application to make a decision. If the request is granted, the LTB will contact you and the other parties to the application to schedule a hearing.

If the LTB grants your request for an urgent hearing and issues an eviction order, you must then bring a motion to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeking permission to enforce the order.

If you have not filed your urgent application:

Complete the Request For Urgent Hearing form (PDF) and submit it along with the application using e-File.

Make sure to upload the required Notice of Termination, Certificate of Service and the Request For Urgent Hearing form (PDF). The Request for Urgent Hearing form should be attached as evidence.

If you are not able to use e-File, you can submit your application to your LTB regional office by mail or fax.

Your application may take longer to process if you submit by mail or fax.

If you have already filed your urgent application:

Complete the Request For Urgent Hearing form (PDF) and submit it by email, mail, or fax to your LTB regional office.

Submitting an application in-person at ServiceOntario

Do not go to ServiceOntario to submit your application if it is not for an emergency request or if you can submit using e-File.

ServiceOntario Centres are limiting the intake of LTB applications to the following circumstances:

  • the application represents an emergency situation
  • the applicant has no access to a computer
  • the applicant’s only option for payment is by cash, certified cheque, or money order
  • other limitations to applicant’s alternate filing options

Visit the ServiceOntario website for a list of locations that accept applications and documents on behalf of the LTB.


Rent

If you cannot pay rent because of the COVID-19 outbreak, you should try to establish a fair arrangement with your landlord to preserve your tenancy by deferring rent or making other payment arrangements.

If you and your landlord are not able to reach an acceptable resolution, you may wish to seek legal advice from the Tenant Duty Counsel.

Landlords cannot charge fees or penalties for late rent payments.


Entering a Rental Unit

Tenants

You cannot deny entry into your rental unit to a landlord, authorized broker or salesperson if you received a Notice of Entry. Your landlord must:

  • give you 24 hours written notice
  • state what day and time they will enter (between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.)
  • state the reason for entering the unit.

You should discuss the Notice of Entry with your landlord and explain any concerns you may have about the situation and try to work it out in a cooperative way.

If you and your landlord are unable to reach an acceptable resolution, you may wish to seek legal advice from the Tenant Duty Counsel.

If there is an emergency, the landlord can enter your unit without first serving a notice of entry.

Landlords

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, you should request entry to a tenant’s unit only in urgent situations. If you must enter a unit, you should follow physical distancing guidelines.

If you are selling a tenant-occupied home, you are strongly advised to follow the guidance of the Real Estate Council of Ontario and avoid in-person showings. As always, you are subject to the Human Rights Code and have a duty to accommodate your tenant(s) with disabilities to the point of undue hardship.

You are encouraged to work together to protect the health and safety of tenants, landlords and the public at large.


Free Legal Advice

Tenants

If you have a scheduled hearing

Tenants with scheduled hearings can get free legal advice through the Tenant Duty Counsel Program. The Tenant Duty Counsel Program is a program of the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario and is independent from the LTB.

If your matter has been scheduled for a telephone hearing and you wish to obtain legal advice, contact Tenant Duty Counsel before the hearing as Tenant Duty Counsel may not be in attendance at telephone hearings.

You can visit their website or call 1-877-374-0391.

If you do not have a hearing

Tenants without scheduled hearings who wish to seek free general legal advice can contact Legal Aid Ontario. You can visit their website or call 1-800-668-8258.

Landlords

The Landlord Self Help Centre provides small-scale landlords with general information, summary advice and referrals. The Landlord Self Help Centre is a non-profit community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario and independent from the LTB.

You can visit their website or call 1-800-730-3218.


Frequently Asked Questions

A list of frequently asked questions is available here.


Contact the LTB

Due to a high volume of calls, email ltb@ontario.ca with your questions.

If you need to talk to the LTB by phone call 416-645-8080 or 1-888-332-3234.

For TTY relay service, dial 1-800-855-0511.

LTB Regional Offices

To submit an application, use e-File. If you are not able to use e-File, you can submit your application to your LTB regional office by mail or fax.

Until further notice, the following changes are in place for submitting documents through mail. If you submit by mail or courier, you will experience processing delays.

Courier mail should be addressed to:

Landlord and Tenant Board
25 Grosvenor Street, 4th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1R1

Mail sent through Canada Post should be addressed to the respective LTB regional office address listed below:


Tribunals Ontario News About COVID-19


Additional Resources on COVID-19