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Can the Landlord and Tenant Board help me if I've paid an illegal rent or other illegal charge?

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Can the Landlord and Tenant Board help me if I've paid an illegal rent or other illegal charge?
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Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)

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Can the Landlord and Tenant Board help me if I've paid an illegal rent or other illegal charge?
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Reviewed: 
August 24, 2020
Answer

Important COVID-19 updates

Time limits: When figuring out the deadline to take a legal step, the time between March 16 and September 14, 2020 does not count. This is because of an emergency order that stopped all time limits to start a case during that time. Find out how this could affect you.

Landlord and Tenant Board: The LTB is holding most hearings remotely, by phone, video, or in writing. Some people have had trouble connecting to remote hearings. If you have a video hearing scheduled, download Microsoft Teams ahead of time and make sure your setup is working.

There have also been reports that it can take a long time to get through to the LTB by phone. If you need help right away, contact a lawyer or your local community legal clinic.

There are rules your landlord must follow if they want to raise your rent. A rent increase might be illegal if:

There are also rules about what kind of deposits or other fees landlords are allowed to charge. For example, a damage deposit or an air conditioner fee could be an illegal charge.

If you have paid an illegal rent increase or charge, you can try to get the landlord to give the money back to you. If the landlord won't return your money, you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board. The Board can order your landlord to pay you back.

You must follow the right steps to get the Board to hear your case. And you'll have to show evidence to the Board to prove that you paid the money and that the charge or rent increase was illegal.

Time limits

In most cases, you must apply to the Board within one year of when you first paid the illegal charge or illegal rent increase.

But you can still apply about a rent increase that happened more than a year ago if:

  • the landlord didn't give you a proper 90-day notice, and
  • you paid the illegal rent for less than 12 months.

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