You are here
How do I find a lawyer or paralegal to help me with my tenancy issue?
You don't have to hire a lawyer or paralegal to help you deal with your landlord but they can be very helpful.
Lawyers are specially trained to give legal advice. Legal advice means that a lawyer can explain what the law means for your specific problem. For example, a lawyer can explain how to get your landlord to respect your rights, or tell you if your landlord has a good enough reason to have you evicted.
A lawyer is also called an attorney, barrister, or solicitor.
A paralegal is another type of legal professional but they cannot do everything a lawyer can do. Paralegals can represent you at the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, or Small Claims Court. But a paralegal cannot represent you in other courts. For example, they can't represent you in appealing a decision of the Landlord and Tenant Board.
A paralegal can work for and be supervised by a lawyer, or they can work for themselves.
In Ontario, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) regulates lawyers and paralegals. This means that the LSO:
- decides who can become a lawyer or paralegal
- has rules of conduct that lawyers and paralegals must follow
- handles complaints against lawyers and paralegals
If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers offer "unbundled" or "limited scope" services. This means you can pay them to help you with some parts of your case. You can also speak to a lawyer for advice on steps you might be able to do yourself.
If you can't afford to hire a lawyer or paralegal at all, you may be able to find other legal help.