The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) has provided a few Holiday goodies and “lumps of coal” just in time for the Holidays! As this is an electronic Bulletin you have access to the documents by clicking on the underlined links. We have bolded some significant changes below. There are important changes to the Rules of Procedure, forms, and two Interpretation Guidelines: Guideline 6: Tenant Rights and Guideline 12: Eviction for Personal Use, Demolition, Repairs and Conversion. Here are some details:
Some substantive changes to the Rules have also been made, including:
• Allowing the use of a declaration instead of an affidavit (Rule 1.5).
• Scope of authority of LTB Hearing Officers (Rule 1.7).
• Permitting service of documents by email where parties/legal reps agree (Rule 3). This change will allow service of 24 hour Notices of Entry and NORI’s; maintenance requests (if you want to get them that way); and documents or submissions related to an RTA application. You cannot email Notices of Termination, Notices of Hearing, Requests for Review, LTB Applications or “Motions”. Consent to this form of service must be in “writing” (use the “prescribed” form and get a signature) and can be revoked by either party at any time, so be extra careful if you decide to use the form and get advice if you are uncertain as to the liabilities use of the form may create. This change may or may not be a “Holiday Goodie”. Here is a link to the form: Email Consent Form or it is available on the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website.
• Changes to the test LTB applies when considering a request to close a hearing to the public (revised to reflect recent case law) (Rule 7.6).
• Removing the requirement that Co-operatives serve applications (Rule 12).
• Allowing a party to request that an application resolved by mediation be re-opened if the party lacked mental capacity to enter into a mediated agreement (Rule 13.11(b)) (A lump of coal).
• A new rule about electronic evidence (Rule 19.3).
• Changes to the rules about the payment out of money paid into the LTB’s trust account by tenants (Rules 20.3, 20.4, 20.6 and 20.8). If the tenant has not paid enough money into the LTB’s trust account to void the eviction order the money will be returned to the tenant (A big lump of coal!).
Guideline 6: Tenant Rights has been expanded to include discussion of all the grounds in the T2: Application about Tenant Rights. References to applicable case law have been updated and there are extensive references and links to relevant LTB orders.
Guideline 12: Eviction for Personal Use, Demolition, Repairs, and Conversion has been changed to reflect amendments made to the Residential Tenancies Act on January 1, 2018. The guideline allows tenants to file a T5: Tenant Application – Landlord Gave a Notice of Termination in Bad Faith if a landlord does not allow a tenant to move back into the rental unit after extensive repairs have been completed. The discussion about who should be named as a respondent in a T5 application has also been revised.
Two new forms have been created as a result of these changes:
• Consent to Service by Email
Other LTB forms have been updated to indicate that a declaration can be used instead of an affidavit:
• L2: Application to End a Tenancy and Evict a Tenant
• L3: Application to End a Tenancy – Tenant Gave Notice or Agreed to Terminate the Tenancy
• L4-A: Application to End a Tenancy – Tenant Failed to Meet Conditions of a Settlement or Order
• L4-B: Application to End a Tenancy – Tenant Failed to Meet Conditions of a Settlement or Order
• Tenant’s Motion to Void an Eviction Order for Arrears of Rent
• Request to Re-open an Application
• C4-A: Application to End the Occupancy of the Member Unit and Evict the Member because the Member failed to Meet Conditions of a Settlement/Order
• C4-B: Application to End the Occupancy of the Member Unit and Evict the Member because the Member failed to Meet Conditions of a Settlement/Order
• Co-op Member’s Motion to Void an Eviction Order for Non-Payment of Housing Charges
The LTB recommends that you begin using these revised forms immediately.
A SPECIAL HOLIDAY DELIVERY? SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
With so many people shopping online, the number of packages delivered to a building can put substantial demands on staff and can raise security issues relative to building entry and the packages themselves. One option to consider is designating (or re-purposing) some secure space in the building and putting in place a process so that deliveries can go to that secure space. Within the secure space, if you create relatively small, tenant-designated lockers, you can then negotiate with individual tenants for an increase in monthly “rent” based on an agreement under s. 123 of the RTA. Section 123 of the RTA allows a landlord and a tenant to agree to an increase in “rent” at any time if the landlord provides a “prescribed” service or facility to the tenant in exchange for the rent increase. The regulations to the RTA list “lockers or other storage space” as a “prescribed” item under s. 123. The “lockers or other storage space” can be tailored to accommodate receipt of most on-line packages and the charge can be whatever you and the tenant agree to. With some ingenuity and space, will you be able to decrease administrative burden and increase monthly revenue by creating tenant-assigned package delivery storage lockers to accommodate the increasing demand for secure delivery of tenant purchases to your building? That’s for you to decide!
Finally: All of us on the Housing Team at Cohen Highley LLP wish all of you and your loved ones a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and a fantastic New Year!
If you would like to read any of our previous bulletins, you can find copies at this link: Cohen Highley LLP’s Rent Control Bulletins