How is the LTB handling cases during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The (LTB) has changed its processes because of COVID-19. These include changes to:
- Contacting the LTB
- Filing applications
- Hearing formats
Contacting the LTB
The LTB has started using the Tribunals Ontario Portal. You might receive a letter with a file number and pin from the LTB, inviting you to use the portal. But you don't have to use it.
Be careful before you decide to log in to the portal. Once you log in even once, the LTB might send all documents to you through the portal instead of by mail or email. This could include your Notice of Hearing.
The LTB counter services are closed. You can call the LTB if you have general questions. And you can email if you have questions about your hearing. Make sure you include your LTB file number in your email.
To send the LTB evidence for your hearing, use the email LTB.Evidence@ontario.ca.
Filing tenant applications
You can file your in a number of ways:
In person: You can file in person at a ServiceOntario Centre. You can pay the filing fee by cash, credit card, debit card, certified cheque or money . Certified cheques and money orders must be made payable to the Minister of Finance. The LTB will not accept an ordinary uncertified cheque.
Or you can file it online. How you file online will depend on the type of application:
- To file a T2 or T6 on its own, use the Tribunals Ontario Portal.
- For most other types of tenant applications, you must first pay your fee online using a credit card or debit card. After you pay, you can email your application and payment receipt to the LTB at email@example.com.
Remember: You might qualify for a fee waiver. If you use a fee waiver, you don't have to pay for your application.
Prepare for your hearing
Most hearings are virtual hearings being held by telephone or video conferencing through Zoom. In-person hearings are very rare and you have to ask the LTB to get one.
Before your hearing, make sure you have:
- access to a reliable phone or a computer with a camera and microphone
- a stable internet or phone connection
- enough phone minutes, if you are using a phone
- a private space where you feel comfortable and can speak without interruption
If you're represented by a lawyer or paralegal, make sure to tell them right away if the LTB contacts you.
If you get a , email, or message about an LTB hearing and you don't have a lawyer or paralegal, make a note of your hearing date and the LTB file number. Then try to get legal help right away. You can contact your local community legal clinic. You can also sign up for advice at www.tdc.acto.ca or by calling 1-877-374-0391.
Asking for changes to your hearing
In Toronto, Hamilton, London, or Ottawa, you may be able to use a hearing centre to connect to your virtual hearing if you don't have access to a telephone, computer, or internet. The hearing centres are located at:
- Hamilton: 119 King Street West, 6th Floor
- London: 150 Dufferin Avenue, Suite 400
- Ottawa: 255 Albert Street, 4th Floor
- Toronto: 15 Grosvenor Street
You must contact the LTB as soon as you receive your notice of hearing and ask to use a hearing centre. The LTB will review your request and let you know if they've accepted or denied your request. If your request is accepted, you must complete an on-site COVID-19 screening assessment before entering the hearing centre. And you must wear a mask and follow all safety measures when inside the hearing centre.
There are some reasons when the LTB might consider having an in-person hearing. For example:
- you have a that would make it very difficult for you to have a virtual hearing, or
- a virtual hearing would be unfair because you don't have a reliable phone or reliable internet access.
You must send a Request for Accommodation form to the LTB if you want them to consider giving you an in-person hearing.
Go to your hearing
You can sign in to the hearing early to test that your equipment is working. And your Notice of Hearing might say that you must sign in early. For example, your Notice might say you must sign in 30 minutes early.
When you sign in, you might be waiting for some time on hold on the phone or in the virtual waiting room, even up to an hour. Don't hang up or leave the waiting room if this happens. If you are not sure that you're in the right place, stay on the line and contact the LTB using another device if you have one. It is best to contact the LTB by email if you can.
The LTB may change the way they hold hearings in the future. You can check the LTB’s website for the latest news.