“Pilot Project” Lifts Off at the Landord and Tenant Board
The Landlord and Tenant Board has implemented a “pilot project” that will affect landlords responding to tenant T2 (Tenant Rights) and T6 (Maintenance) Applications, all of which will be diverted to Case Management Hearings (“CMH”) and governed by Rule 36 of the Board’s Rules. The project only affects applications assigned to the LTB Southern and Toronto South Regions.
The purpose of a CMH is to give the parties an opportunity to settle at an early stage or, if they are unable to fully settle all issues in dispute, the hearing officer can issue directions to facilitate an expeditious hearing. This can include issuing enforceable orders with respect to matters which are agreed to or undisputed (ie: repairs of specific items). While parties must bring to a CMH all of their “arguably relevant” information with respect to the issues in dispute, witnesses do not need to attend.
The first part of the CMH will entail confidential settlement discussions and if a settlement is reached, the Board will issue a consent order disposing of the Application. If agreement is reached on some, but not all, issues the Board may issue an order on the agreements reached during the CMH, leaving the rest to be dealt with at the formal hearing. Unless the landlord is representing itself, the CMH must be conducted by a licensed Paralegal or Lawyer on the landlord’s behalf. If the application is not completely disposed of in the settlement portion of the CMH, the Board will move to the “case management” stage, asking parties to consider/agree to:
- Facts and/or evidence;
- Dates by which certain steps in a proceeding are to be taken or begun;
- Clarification and simplification of the issues in dispute;
- Disclosure and production of materials arguably relevant to the issues in dispute; the number and identities of intended witnesses, and discussions as to whether all witnesses are necessary; and
- The amount of time needed to complete the hearing.
The Board will then issue whatever interim orders it considers appropriate relative to a hearing.
The CMH project adds an additional step in the adjudication process for T2 and T6 hearings, but landlords should use the opportunity advantageously. Where issues are based on the application of a legal test to facts, the parties can agree on the facts, or a substantial portion of them, and this means you can attend hearings with fewer or no witnesses. Orders can be issued establishing facts which the Tenant agrees to and facts which the tenant simply does not dispute. Landlords may also use the CMH to resolve jurisdictional or preliminary issues or ask for procedural orders for disclosure of documents prior to the hearing, stipulating that documentary evidence which is not disclosed by the date set out in the order shall not be used as evidence at the hearing.
If you have questions regarding this Bulletin or would like further information, please contact Joe Hoffer at our London Office.