New Rules For the Landlord & Tenant Board of Ontario

Another post on how I make meaning of things…

I’ve been researching recently the Landlord and Tenants Board rules to find some info for someone else and came across some information that pertained to the situation I found myself in. New Rules have come out since 2021!

I learn something new every day!! The LTB is always changing and it is up to the Tenants and Landlords to stay on top of any changes that affect the outcome of their issues. Whenever I needed to issue any Forms, I would get them from the site itself, as I knew they were current. Outdated Forms can get your applications dismissed!

While it would have been nice to have these things below available when I was going through that mess, I am glad it is there now for the current Staff of Apartment Buildings. Internet harassment is becoming a big thing in daily life and I am happy to see that the regulations are changing! Strict rules are needed to protect the Building Staff.

I was confused over the Tenant’s assertion that giving them N5 Notices was in reprisal for them picking up for tenancy their rights. In general, reprisal refers to retaliatory actions taken against an individual for exercising their legal rights or engaging in protected activities. I am not aware of any such actions of reprisal against these Tenants during any of the processes. No one tried to stop them from filing with any Tribunal, not even the Divisional Court.

There can be no other determination other than owner have acted in a reprisal manner against the Applicants.

Was I upset over it? Of course, I had every right to be. It was stressful waiting for so long for Legal decisions! It took 18 months for the Divisional Court and 19 months for HRTO. The longer it took, the more it played on my mental health. Throughout that time I was being gossiped about the property. No wonder my mind snapped!

While I appreciate isn’t nice to receive Form N5 for interfering with the Landlord’s interests, they have to understand it isn’t nice for Landlords to have to fight all the time to get repairs completed. We were well within our rights to issue those notices based on their persistent refusal of access. The emails they wrote denying access were all the concrete evidence needed to evict them.

I learned that a tenant can object to a notice of termination, or other documents served by the landlord because they believe the contents are untrue. However, if the landlord was acting in good faith, and did not serve the notice for an improper purpose it will not constitute substantial interference with the tenant’s reasonable enjoyment of the rental unit.

The Tenants were refusing access for repairs and inspections, in writing at that, getting a Form N5 is only expected after some time for doing that. Did they think it would continue indefinitely, or did they think that their constant pressure would cause me to give in to their demands?

The LTB has found that a landlord did not engage in harassing conduct merely by exercising their rights under the RTA to serve a tenant a notice of termination and filing an application with the LTB. They broke the rules by denying entry for repairs so often in writing and the landlord exercised their rights under the RTA to serve them the N5 Notice. It wasn’t against the rules to ask them about the rent owing either when they short-paid. Once again, they broke the rules of the RTA by deducting rent for a toaster oven!

I found a website I share below that contains various helpful information about what is new at the LTB. that came out in 2021. It was very informative for me!! See my notes below!

https://opau.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/FAQ-Whats-New-at-the-LTB.pdf

8. Is it difficult to obtain an eviction order from the LTB as a result of a tenant’s bad behaviour?

Answer: Yes. To succeed, the landlord has the burden of proving that, among other things, the tenant engaged in the bad behaviour that underlies the LTB application (the particulars of which should be set out in the notice(s) of termination that was or were served on the tenant). The landlord is required to meet this burden on a balance of probabilities, meaning that the landlord must prove that it is more likely than not that the tenant engaged in the aforesaid behaviour.

To meet this burden, the landlord will need to provide the LTB with evidence that the tenant engaged in the aforesaid behaviour. This could be by way of direct evidence and/or hearsay evidence.

Direct evidence is clear evidence of a fact, event or thing given by a person with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

All that was needed were the emails I received from the Tenants filled with their outright refusals of access when Notices of Entry were delivered to them. It was also helpful when the Tenants stood at the hearing on Sept 26, 2017, and said no one was getting in when no one was home. That is direct evidence of fact!

Landlord & Tenant Board Transcript: The Truth is Here About These Tenant’s Eviction!

9. Can a landlord terminate a tenant’s tenancy if the tenant is harassing its staff members?

Answer: Yes. Pursuant to section 36 of the RTA, a tenant is prohibited from harassing, obstructing, coercing, threatening and/or interfering with a landlord.

Depending on the nature of the harassment, a landlord may be able to deliver a notice of termination to a tenant and initiate an eviction application against that tenant, on a number of different grounds, including on the basis that the tenant is substantially interfering with the reasonable enjoyment of the residential complex for all usual purposes by the landlord, and/or the tenant is committing an illegal act.

With respect to the commission of an illegal act, we note that, pursuant to the Criminal Code, it is a criminal offence to, among other things, engage in conduct that causes another person reasonably to fear for their safety, such as by repeatedly communicating with that person or engaging in threatening conduct directed at that person. The Criminal Code also provides that it is a criminal offence to repeatedly communicate with a person by means of telecommunication for the purpose of harassing that person and in circumstances where there is no lawful excuse to do so.

Finally, we note that there are several activities that are listed in sections 233, 234 and 235 of the RTA that are considered offences under the RTA. Such offences include knowingly harassing, hindering, obstructing or interfering with a landlord in the exercise of securing a right or seeking relief under the RTA. If any of the offences described above occurred on 5 the residential complex, such conduct could underlie eviction proceedings initiated on the basis that the tenant committed an illegal act.

This above is new!! This process wasn’t there when I was going through this mess but I am grateful it is there now for all who come after me who work in Apartment Buildings in Ontario. I am very happy to see this has been implemented! How many are aware, I wonder? 859kennedyroad.com

10. Does a landlord need to address the complaints made by staff regarding a tenant harassing a staff member?

Answer: Yes. The Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) sets out the duties of employers (such as landlords) in respect of workplace harassment and violence.

The OHSA defines workplace harassment as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome”. In order to protect a worker from workplace harassment, the OHSA essentially requires that employers ensure that, among other things, an investigation is conducted into incidents and complaints of workplace harassment and that the worker is informed in writing of the results of the investigation and of any corrective action that has been or that will be taken as a result of the investigation.

The intent is that an employer should deal with workplace harassment. In particular, the OHSA requires employers to prepare policies with respect to workplace harassment and review them at least once a year. Employers must also set up and maintain programs to implement workplace harassment policies. The OHSA requires that such programs include measures and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace harassment and particulars as to how the employer will investigate and deal with incidents or complaints of same.

Landlords would be well advised to document the steps that are taken in a workplace harassment investigation, as well as the corrective actions that are taken as a result of an investigation. The landlord can use such documentation as evidence to prove that the landlord has fulfilled its OHSA obligations and/or as evidence in support of an eviction application against a tenant that is harassing a staff member.

I was aware of this regulation above, as I researched it back in 2016 after getting that letter from the Tenants and the owners refused to do anything. OHSA came into effect in 2013 in Ontario and I was trained in the regulations with the help of the company we worked for at the time but I made the choice not to call them at that time, mostly out of fear of having to move once again.

I accept full responsibility for not enforcing it back then, that is on me, but once I quit I did. I do recall feeling uncomfortable with the thought of it, as it was a new job to us, we had only just moved in to work there and I wasn’t in the mood to move again, as I knew we would have had to do if we filed in 2016 under OHSA.

I did eventually go to the Occupational Health and Safety and filed a complaint in May 2018, as it was proven they didn’t do any of the above. We did the same thing for my hubby once we were informed they were not going to Civil Court to try and get the websites removed. Once again, it was shown they didn’t do as they were supposed to. I am grateful this resource was there for us and is there for any employee who is being harassed by a customer. If your employer won’t protect you, this Agency will.

11. Can landlords address online harassment engaged in by their tenants or by other members of the public?

Answer: Yes. Online harassment is a significant issue today that has caused real damage to its victims.

The nature of online harassment, however, is challenging to address using our legal system. With respect to the online harassment engaged in by tenants, landlords can attempt to address same by initiating the eviction proceedings at the LTB on the grounds described in the answer to question 9 above.

In addition to the foregoing, there are a few civil torts (i.e., claims that could be pursued through a civil proceeding in the courts) that could cover online harassment and that may provide victims with appropriate remedies that can address such harassment, including the torts of defamation, intrusion upon seclusion (invasion of privacy tort), and internet harassment.

The tort of internet harassment is newly recognized by the courts. To succeed in an action based on this tort, the plaintiff would need to prove that: (1) the defendant maliciously or recklessly engaged in communications so outrageous in character, duration and extreme in degree, so as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and tolerance; (2) the defendant acted with the intent to cause fear, anxiety, emotional upset or to impugn the dignity of the plaintiff; and (3) the plaintiff suffered such harm.

If a plaintiff is successful in an action involving any of the foregoing torts, the plaintiff could obtain an award of damages, as well as injunctive and mandatory orders that, among other things, require the defendant to remove all offending online postings and that restrain the defendant from, among other things, posting any content related to the plaintiff.

A defendant’s failure to comply with an injunctive or mandatory order could result in serious consequences. Specifically, a plaintiff can initiate contempt proceedings against the defendant and, if the defendant is found to be in contempt of such orders, the court could, among other things, order that the defendant pay a fine or be imprisoned for a specific period of time.

It is these rules above that I wanted the property owners to complete, as it was their responsibility to do so. I appreciate the financial costs of such actions, the welfare of their employees is worth it, and so is the reputation of their business.

While I appreciate that the Tort of internet harassment is new and wasn’t available back in 2020, there were other options. The content of the many websites they had contained more than enough direct evidence of harassment of themselves, their staff, and others involved in these Tenant’s eviction and all legal actions that came after.

While I wish that some of these options were available to me at the time of this situation in the workplace, I am grateful they are available now for all who come after me.


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