The Near North Landlords Association is sounding an alarm about the time it takes to get a dispute heard by the Landlord and Tenant Board.
The Affordable Housing Providers of Ontario says adjudicator wait times often hit six months.
According to the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website, it strives to achieve a service standard of 25 to 30 business days, depending on how complicated an application.
But In today’s climate, we’re seeing a wait time of six or more months before the tenant or the landlord can have an adjudicator hear their case and another long waiting period to receive a decision says the Association.
“Our local members started experiencing a longer than usual time to wait until they could go before the adjudicator from the Landlord and Tenant Board," says Tricia Marshall, Advocacy Chair, Near North Landlords Association. "In the past year, our area has had tribunals within 25 and 40 days; however, recently our landlords have experienced a wait time of 150 days to have an adjudicator hear their case.
"And let me add, these are simple cases where a tenant hasn’t paid his or her rent. This is not acceptable and it needs to be addressed by the MMAH (Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing) before small landlords lose their investments...and their homes. These are desperate times for the small landlords.“
“The Landlord and Tenant Board process is broken. It has lost its credibility to bring justice to both tenants and landlords in a timely manner and is quite frankly, outdated,” stated AHPO Chair, Mr. Ray Goulet.
Marshall says she's experienced it personally.
“Yes. This summer one application took 56 days until a hearing. Recently, I filed the same type of application in October and I just received a hearing date of February 13. That’s 143 days!”
For the fiscal year 2017-18, the Landlord and Tenant Board had 80,791 applications filed, of which 90 per cent were filed by landlords and 10 per cent by tenants. The bulk of the applications filed by landlords were for nonpayment of rent.
“If the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing were to automate simple applications for non payment of rent, it would elevate the bottleneck the board is experiencing and free its adjudicators to hear more complicated applications by tenants and landlords,” Goulet adds, “and it will save the government more money and generate more taxable income from landlords!
"If the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing chooses not to implement an automated process for simple applications, it will continue to experience huge delays, less apartments and homes on the market for rent, and pandemonium is possible by frustrated tenants and landlords."