Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) vs. Small Claims Court (SCC): When Do Landlord/Tenant Disputes Go to Small Claims Court?
When people hear about the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB), the following words usually follow – eviction, maintenance, rent reduction, termination of tenancy, etc. All of which involves some form of dispute with the help of a paralegal. When it comes down to it, however, the main issue is always related to money.
To give an idea on how many cases the LTB handles per year, just in 2019-2020 alone the tribunal has received 80,874 cases, and 72,064 of which have been resolved at the end of 2020.
In this statistic alone, half of these applications are rent-related tribulations. To be exact, 44,621 submissions have been filed under L1 Application form or better known as “Terminate & evict for non-payment of rent.” With the pandemic still affecting job security and economic stability going into 2022, the tribunal has been experiencing and still expects the applications to go up as the pandemic drags on into next year.
With the growing applications and various problems brought on by COVID-19, landlords and tenants have been experiencing issues and concerns some of which have not been dealt with by the LTB before the pandemic, so the question still remains:
“Can my landlord/tenant issue be resolved by the LTB?”
“Do I need to file my claim in another court, like the Small Claims Court?”
Although the LTB has exclusive jurisdiction of Landlord and Tenant claims, as with everything else in life, some issues come up that cannot be handled by the tribunal or beyond its authority. Because of these reasons some issues need to be regulated and resolved by another court such as the Small Claims Court.
It needs to be mentioned that cases need to be filed at the Small Claims Court if the Landlord and Tenant relationship has been terminated or an issue with the tenancy has persisted beyond the lease. An example of this includes if the tenant already left the apartment but had left significant damage in the property. Since he/she is not under the contract or lease anymore, the Landlord can only file a claim against the former tenant at the Small Claims Court.
The LTB can only interfere and resolve tenancy disputes if the relationship between Landlord and Tenant is still in effect.
Limitation period can also play a role when deciding where to file your claim. As with any courts and tribunals there is a limitation period until you can seek remedy for an injury, loss or any form of damage that occurred as a result of an act or omission. For the LTB, a tenant has a one-year (1) limitation period in place for when you can start an application against your landlord. Beyond that it will be harder to take further legal steps.
What Happens to My Case if I File at the Wrong Tribunal/Court?
If filed at the wrong tribunal or court, any cases beyond their jurisdictions are automatically dismissed. So, make sure you are asking a Paralegal/Lawyer with legal advice if you were to file an application to avoid losing valuable time.
How Our Team Can Help
Here at Oracle Legal Services, we offer Landlord and Tenant help as well as Small Claims Court services, so regardless of your situation you can be protected in the best way possible. To learn more about our high quality & professional paralegal firm in Toronto, be sure to call us at 647-872-3484 today.