If you are involved in a housing dispute as a landlord or a tenant, the best way to protect yourself is to hire a qualified housing lawyer to protect your interests. Mehdi Au LLP has experienced housing lawyers that would be happy to meet with you to discuss your matter.
The Landlord Tenant Board in Ontario, (the LTB) has numerous powers at its disposal, in place to protect landlords’ and tenants’ interests. The better known powers of the LTB are:
- Ordering eviction
- Preserving a tenancy
- Ordering a rent abatement and/or reduction, etc.
A lesser known remedy that the LTB is their ability to levy fines. There are a number of offences enumerated in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) that can lead to a fine being laid against a landlord including:
- Illegally locking out a tenant who was not properly evicted
- Cutting off utilities or “vital services”
- Illegal rent increases, etc.
For all enumerated offences the LTB can order a fine of up to $25,000. Remember the LTB does not have the power to levy criminal charges, all offences contained within the RTA are “provincial offences” similar to traffic tickets and will not result in a criminal record. However, unlike a traffic ticket, where your driver’s license would be suspended if it remained unpaid, there is no obvious consequence for an unpaid LTB fine, as such there are some additional consequences for no paying a fine from the LTB including:
- The LTB will refuse to allow you to file an application
- The LTB will stop a hearing if it is discovered you have an unpaid fine
- The LTB will refuse to issue an Order if it is discovered you have a fine.
In other words, if you fail to pay an LTB fine, you will be unable to access the LTB, which in turn means you would have no lawful means to evict a tenant. This is especially of concern to Landlords with multiple properties.
Navigating Ontario’s landlord tenant laws can be very frustrating and time consuming, leading to inexperienced parties being taken advantage of. The best way to protect your interests is to hire a legal representative to take care of your matter. Mehdi Au LLP has experienced housing lawyers who would be happy to meet with you.
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