Can I apply to the LTB if my landlord cuts off my electricity or other services?

The Residential Tenancies Act calls some services you get in your home “vital services”. Vital services are hot or cold water, fuel, electricity, natural gas, and heat (from September 1 to June 15).

It's illegal for your landlord to cut off or interfere with any vital service.

The same rule applies to meals and care services.

Your landlord is not allowed to cut off or interfere with these services for any reason, even if you owe rent.

Services like internet, air conditioning, laundry, and a landline phone are not vital services. But you can still take the same steps mentioned in this question. The difference between vital services and other services is that the (LTB) or Rental Housing Enforcement Unit (RHEU) can more serious penalties when landlords cut off or interfere with vital services.

If your landlord has cut off your air conditioning, you should first read the question What are the rules about air conditioners? to see if your landlord can stop you from having an air conditioner.

Before you apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board

If your landlord has stopped or is threatening to stop a service, you might be able to solve the problem by contacting your landlord or trying these steps first.

You can also call the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit (RHEU). The RHEU is a government service that can try to get your service restored. A letter from a lawyer or paralegal might also convince your landlord to restore the service.

If that doesn't work, you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). The LTB can order your landlord to restore the service. An LTB order is like a court order, so this sometimes works when other things don't.

The LTB can also order your landlord to pay you money for any losses or harm caused by their actions.

You will have to follow the right steps to get the LTB to hear your case quickly. And you will have to show  to the LTB to prove that there is a problem.

You usually have to wait several weeks or months before the LTB can hear your case.

Time limit

If the service has already been restored, you can apply to the LTB for money only. It's best to apply within one year after the service was first cut off. The LTB can only give you money for problems going back one year before you applied.

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