Housing Law

We can help tenants and co-op partners with their legal problems, such as:

  • evictions
  • co-op evictions
  • repairs
  • harassment
  • rent subsidy cut-off

Please contact us.

We can’t help landlords. Please contact the Landlord Self-Help Centre for assistance.

The Steps to Justice website offers step-by-step information about housing and other common legal problems.

Advice for Tenants Appearing Before the Board

Have your paperwork organized and with you at the hearing. Notices you have received from the landlord, the Notice of Hearing, and any evidence you have received or wish to present. Know your file number: it is the number in the top right hand corner of your notice of Hearing. It has 3 letters, then 5 numbers and then 2 numbers that show the date of filing. For example: SWL-12345-21.

For Tenants Who Owe Rent

If you are going to a hearing because you owe rent, prepare ahead of time to make sure you agree with what the landlord says you owe. If you disagree with what the landlord says you owe, have proof of payment to the landlord. You must submitted that to the landlord and the Board ahead of the hearing according to the rules set out in your Notice of Hearing.

You may qualify for rent bank assistance so call your local Ontario Works office to find out if they can assist or direct you to the proper person who runs the Rent Bank. Assistance from the rent bank will be valuable if you are offering the landlord a payment plan.

If You Want to Remain in the Unit: You should plan ahead of the hearing to propose a realistic payment plan to catch up on what you owe. This proposal must take into account what you can pay without falling behind in what you agreed to pay. If you do not meet the payment plan, the landlord could contact the Board to say you breached the ordered agreement, get an order to evict from the Board without notice to you, and then have the sheriff give you notice to vacate the unit. It is therefore important that you only agree to what you can pay.

Being organized for the hearing will assist with what is a stressful event for people. It will also allow for Tenant Duty Counsel on the day of the hearing to give you the most complete and therefore helpful advice.

Perhaps the most important advice for tenants going to the Landlord and Tenant Board is to contact your local Legal Clinic well in advance of the hearing so you get the most thorough and helpful assistance. This is especially important since you may have evidence to send to the Board and the landlord and there are time limits for getting that evidence to the Board.

When you call your local Legal Clinic, please have all relevant paperwork ready so the lawyer can ask you about it. Be in a quiet place with a pen and paper to take notes.

If You Submit Evidence to the Board

All evidence must go to both the Board and the Landlord or the Landlord’s Representative, at least 7 days in advance of the hearing.
If the evidence includes pictures, letters, documents or copies of text messages, number the pages so that you can easily refer to each document at the hearing. Remember, if you wish to rely on a document or piece of evidence you must refer to it in the hearing. Simply submitting it to the Board and the landlord does not mean the Adjudicator will consider it in his ruling.

Following these basic guidelines will assist you in getting the best results at your hearing.