Sources to help you with a dispute
Although we do our best to avoid it, sometimes it just happens that we find ourselves in a dispute. Regardless of who is at fault, the question is how to handle it when it does.
As Manoj was reviewing the contents of the Landlord Tenant Board web site, he noticed the forms were very specific depending on the circumstances. “There are so many different forms here, you really need to know which to use and how to deliver the notice. I hope we’re never in a position to need these” he said with a sense of confusion. “Not to worry, I’ve heard that they’re easy to use” said Shalini.
That is true, the forms are easy to use. But that’s because they have evolved from essentially every dispute you can think of, which has already happened many times before. And so it was realized early on that a separate Board was needed to assist in resolving these disputes rather than going to a Court of Law which would be costlier and would require a very long wait. It was also realized that a process had to be created to handle these disputes as quickly and fairly as possible. Hence, the Landlord Tenant Board was born.
Ideally, in any dispute, the best outcome is to have the tenant and landlord discuss the problem and see if they can come up with a resolution before involving the Landlord Tenant Board. Often times a solution can be arrived at simply by realizing there was a miscommunication at some point or a misunderstanding of the law. If this doesn’t satisfactorily resolve the issue, then the next option for the tenant is to contact the Landlord Tenant Board and speak with a representative. What’s great about this is that you don’t even need to go to their offices – you can simply call them and ask your questions. And secondly – it’s FREE! They’ll offer you recommendations that you can then follow on. The tenant will be advised on what forms to fill out, how to fill them out, what methods of delivery of the form to the landlord are considered acceptable, what to expect at the Landlord Tenant Board hearing, and so on. The tenant is not limited to one call and can call back as many times as is necessary until satisfied or the matter has been resolved.
Ideally, in any dispute, the best outcome is to have the tenant and landlord discuss the problem and see if they can come up with a resolution…
Alternatively, a tenant can seek a lawyer, but that would be very expensive and usually this caliber of help is not necessary in the majority of cases. Instead, a paralegal would be sufficient for most cases and at a much lesser cost. The benefit of hiring a paralegal is that they are experienced in all sorts of matters pertaining to disputes between landlords and tenants. And, based on their experience and their knowledge of precedent cases can offer the best course of action.
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Edward Frezza, BSc, MBA is a real estate broker with Re/Max Professionals in Toronto. He started with commercial real estate in 1989, and since 2004 has focused on residential real estate in the Greater Toronto Area. His interest in multi-family rental real estate and new home construction led to creating his own real estate investment portfolio. His depth of knowledge and experience has him sought out by home buyers/sellers and investors alike. Edward is passionate about helping people achieve security for themselves and their family though home ownership. This passion has also led him to teaching real estate courses through the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) for the last 4 years.