Ontario landlords eager to resolve disputes with tenants through the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) will have to exercise more patience than they ever did. Those applying for a hearing may now need to wait eight months to present their case to a tribunal.
According to recent emails received by applicants, the LTB is now taking more time to process applications and schedule hearings:
Thank you for contacting the Landlord and Tenant Board. Please note that it is currently taking us longer than usual to process applications and schedule hearings. Current processing times are approximately 7-8 months.
If you have a file number or have been issued a one-time PIN number, you can check the status of your file on our website. If your file number begins with LTB (e.g. LTB-L-000420-21) then you must log on to the Tribunals Ontario Portal. If your file does not begin with LTB (e.g. TSL-00123-09), you can check the status of your file at LTB: Check File Status | Tribunals Ontario.
If you submitted your application more than 7-8 months ago and have not yet been provided with a file number, you can reach out to the LTB Contact Centre or send an inquiry by email to your regional office ensuring to provide your name and the rental unit address.
LTB Contact Center:
Toll free: 1-888-332-3234
Toronto area: 416-645-8080
TTY: Call the Bell Relay Service at 1-800-855-0511
Previously, one could expect to attend an LTB hearing six months from the time of application. Not surprisingly, such prolonged delays have already been frustrating for landlords and tenants alike. With wait times increased by up to two months, their grievances may only intensify.
The extended wait times, in particular, will severely impact landlords dealing with tenants who default on rent payments. For some, their only option is to obtain an eviction order to remove the tenant from their property. Unfortunately, they can only do so through the LTB. And the longer they wait, the more money they lose in lost rent, legal fees, etc.
In Ontario, carrying out eviction from start to finish takes up to eight times longer than in the rest of the country.
Why does it take the LTB so long to hear a case?
It’s unknown why Ontario experiences such significant delays in scheduling hearings related to landlord-tenant disputes.
Some, like Ottawa attorney Mike Thiele, blame the problem on a lack of full-time adjudicators, general staffing shortages, and ineffective virtual hearings.
Whatever the reasons for the backlog, it’s clear that the LTB is struggling to keep up with demand. Discussions in online forums suggest the pileup consists of tens of thousands of cases. However, it’s important to remember that these numbers are purely speculative.
Delays in court hearings can cost landlords a bundle
Are you an Ontario landlord dealing with a tenant who’s suddenly stopped paying rent? If so, a potential eight-month delay in having the LTB evaluate your case can result in a considerable loss in rental income.
If you intend to evict your tenant, you must be prepared to incur even more costs. Legal, court filing, and enforcement fees are common expenses involved in eviction. Along with lost rent, these costs can result in financial hardship and relentless stress for you and your household.
There’s not much you can do to get the LTB moving faster with its cases. But you can act to protect your rental income from delinquent tenants.
SingleKey’s Rent Guarantee provides you with the resources you need to ensure your rental business doesn’t suffer financially. The program compensates you for up to 12 months in lost rent payments, up to $60,000. And, if you’re dealing with a very troublesome tenant, there’s additional coverage for property damage and legal fees too.