LANDLORD TENANT BOARD RELEASES UPDATE PLAN FOR PROCESSING APPLICATIONS
Last week the LTB released details of their interim plan to address the backlog of pending Applications. The backlog had been building prior to COVID due to an ongoing shortage of Board Members to hear cases. The cessation of hearings during the height of the COVID lockdown caused the backlog to grow even longer.
The LTB has confirmed they now have a full complement of adjudicators and have adopted the following plan according to their stakeholder memo:
“As the LTB gradually resumes services, it’s clear that we need to address the volume of applications that require timely, fair and efficient dispute resolution. The LTB understands the impact that service delays have had on personal lives and businesses. In response, we have developed a plan that will reduce pending applications and schedule hearings while ensuring access to justice.
Between October 19 to November 20, 2020, the LTB will shift staff resources to focus on the scheduling of application hearings. These hearings will be scheduled in November and into 2021. Orders will be issued 20 to 30 days after a hearing.
As a result of reallocating staff resources, this will cause temporary customer service delays at the call centre of up to 45 minutes, processing new applications and responding to email inquiries. During this period, we are encouraging clients to refer to our website for general inquiries and FAQs to answer common questions. Clients who have a file number can use the ‘Check File Status’ for their hearing date if scheduled.”
The vast majority of applications pending before the Board are L1 Applications for rent arrears. Since the priority is to address the volume of L1 Applications, other applications, notably L2 Applications, will be delayed. This includes combined L1/L2 Applications. If you normally combine L1/L2 Applications to deal with both outstanding rent and behaviour issues (and to save on filing fees) you should consider revising your strategy and filing separate Applications to avoid a lengthy delay in having the L1 Application heard.
Board hearings continue to be conducted “virtually” by either video conference or telephone.
The Board has also undertaken a review of pending A4 Rent Variation and L5 AGI Applications. If the AGI is for a small number of units and/or involves only a few items, then the Board will process the Application for a written hearing. All A4 Application hearings are held in writing.