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Landlord & Tenant Board: Frustrated Landlords Taking Matters into Their Own Hands

Eviction order granted by landlord and tenant board

A recent incident in Barrie, where charges were laid against a landlord, highlights the dire situation of unresolved cases in Ontario's rental sector. The landlord was arrested for turning off utilities at a rental property without notifying the tenant, prompting concerns over escalating tensions due to backlogs at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

The Ontario Tribunals Annual 2022-2023 report reveals over 53,000 unresolved cases as of March last year, a significant increase from previous figures. Joshua Valler, a partner at Barriston Law, notes that hearings can take up to a year to schedule, leading some landlords to take matters into their own hands.

Valler acknowledges frustrations on both sides, with tenants facing substandard living conditions and landlords dealing with delays and exploitation by problematic tenants. This standstill has allowed unethical practices to thrive, creating challenges for responsible landlords and tenants alike.

The rental market's challenges are further compounded by rising rents, with the national average reaching nearly $2,200 according to Barrie ranks as the 12th most expensive city to rent in, reflecting broader affordability concerns.

Paul Portman, an associate lawyer at Epstein and Associates specializing in landlord-tenant disputes, highlights the need for balanced eviction parameters and expedited dispute resolution processes. He suggests expanding eviction reasons and streamlining procedures to address issues more efficiently.

While Ontario's Attorney General's Office did not provide comment, efforts are underway to address these issues. Recommendations from Ontario's Ombudsman include hiring more adjudicators, a step towards improving the efficiency and fairness of the rental dispute resolution system.


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