Ever wondered why the Landlord Tenant Board Ontario was established. Prior to June 17, 1998 all cases that related to eviction and disrepair claims were heard before federally appointed judges, however, since then all disputes relating to residential rental premises have been adjudicated by a specialized board or tribunal known as the Landlord Tenant Board Ontario. These board members may or may not be legally trained but are appointed into these positions for no more than three years.
Up until 2006 the Landlord Tenant Board Ontario was called the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal or “ORHT” under the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) which regulates landlords and tenants of all residential rental units in Ontario which includes high rise apartment buildings to single family homes or houses. There are special rules for different types of rental units like land lease communities, mobile home parks and care homes. There is also partial exemption from the RTA for government housing where rent is geared to income.
The Landlord Tenant Board Ontario is therefore the decision making body which was created by the RTA, and through its members it makes decisions in applications that are filed under the RTA. There is usually one board chair per son and several vice-chairs as well as a number of regular members who are known as adjudicators. Tenants as well as Landlords may bring applications against one another to remedy issues of contention or claims for unpaid rent and or damages or disrepair.
The rules of practice and procedure for Landlord Tenant Board Ontario and their power to make rules are set out in s. 176 of the RTA, which requires the forming of a rules and guidelines committee, which must adopt rules of practice and procedure under the authority of s. 176 of the RTA and s. 25.1 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act. One good piece of advice which may be useful to note is that if there is a conflict between a rule and a regulation, the regulation supersedes the rule, or if there is a conflict between a regulation and the RTA, then the RTA supersedes the regulation.
With regard to the Landlord Tenant Board Ontario administering the RTA, the board will make decisions that are case specific and these will be published online in legal research sites such as http://www.canlii.org/en/index.php The decisions that are chosen to be reported are thought to be useful in clarification of various sections of the RTA, and in dealing with certain circumstances or situations. These cases are called precedent cases following the principle of stare decisis or judge made law. Stare decisis (Anglo-Latin pronunciation: /ˈstɛəri dɨˈsaɪsɨs]) is a legal principle by which judges are obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions. The words originate from the phrasing of the principle in the Latin maxim Stare decisis et non quieta movere: “to stand by decisions and not disturb the undisturbed.” In a legal context, this is understood to mean that courts should generally abide by precedents and not disturb settled matters.