Around 80 complaints cited delays at Landlord and Tenant Board; Ontario Ombudsman to investigate

Last year, over 200 total complaints were filed about the tribunal

Around 80 complaints cited delays at Landlord and Tenant Board; Ontario Ombudsman to investigate

With over 200 complaints filed about the Landlord and Tenant Board in fiscal year 2018–2019, about 80 of which lamented delays, Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé has launched an investigation.

Halfway through last year, Dubé already reported a “historic” surge in complaints involving administrative tribunals across the province, such as LTB, with hundreds of the complaints specifically citing delays.

According to a news release dated Jan. 9, this situation has persisted for the entire fiscal year. Last December, the Ombudsman received 43 complaints that mentioned delays.

Reports on overloaded case backlogs and long waits for hearings and decisions have not been confined to just the Ombudsman. Tribunals Ontario also witnessed a “spike” in such complaints, primarily blamed on the shortage of adjudicators. Tribunals Ontario also said that LTB had “not consistently met its own service standards since 2017.”

Back in November, the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario likewise reported lengthy LTB proceedings. According to ACTO, the average number of days between the date of filing an application for eviction and the date of the hearing ranges from 29.2 days in Hamilton to 80 days in Southern Toronto.

Noting that the delays have a “very real human impact” on the parties involved in residential tenancy disputes, Dubé has launched an investigation, which will delve into the possible factors causing these delays, such as legislation, training, funding and technology.

“In conducting a systemic investigation, we are able not only to shine a light on what isn’t working, but to recommend solutions, based on evidence we gather about best practices and our many years of expertise in helping bureaucracies work better,” said Dubé.

So far, LTB has attempted to curb the issue by hiring new adjudicators, as well as by extending the terms of incumbent adjudicators.

The investigation will be spearheaded by the Special Ombudsman Response Team, which has been probing complex bureaucratic issues since 2005, leading to “systemic reforms affecting millions of Ontarians, including increased supports for people with developmental disabilities, better tracking of inmates in segregation, improved driver licence suspension notices, fairer property tax assessments, expanded screening of newborn babies for preventable diseases, and a more secure lottery system.”

Related stories

Free newsletter

The Canadian Legal Newswire is a FREE newsletter that keeps you up to date on news and analysis about the Canadian legal scene. A separate InHouse Edition is delivered on a regular basis, providing targeted news and information of interest to in-house counsel.

Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Woman who falsely accused lawyer of sex crimes on Facebook loses appeal

Legal sector, government, universities step up to remember Iran plane crash victims

Stewart McKelvey moves Halifax office

“Bell Let’s Talk” campaign and the reality of Ontario’s jails

Canadian Law Awards to celebrate nation’s best law firms

Roundup of law firm hires, promotions and departures: Week of Jan. 24

Most Read Articles

“Bell Let’s Talk” campaign and the reality of Ontario’s jails

Woman who falsely accused lawyer of sex crimes on Facebook loses appeal

Overcoming a life-threatening injury to pursue a historic appeal

Beware the Zombie Software!