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I can't afford to hire a lawyer. How can I get help with my tenancy issue?
If you can't afford a lawyer or paralegal for your whole case, a lawyer can still help you understand what the law says about your situation and what your options are.
Some lawyers provide "unbundled" or “limited scope” services. This means they agree to help you with part of your case. For example, they might help you fill out forms and prepare for your hearing, but not represent you at the hearing.
You might also be able to find legal help in other places. Some of these options include:
- Community Legal Clinics (CLCs): Most CLCs across Ontario give free legal help or advice on tenancy law issues to people who have low incomes.
- Tenant Duty Counsel: Tenant Duty Counsel are lawyers and community legal workers who can help you at most Landlord and Tenant Board locations across the province. Usually, if you have a telephone hearing scheduled, you can also reach duty counsel by telephone. Duty counsel can give you advice about your legal rights and responsibilities, and the Board process. They can also help you work out a settlement with your landlord or help you talk to Board mediators.
- JusticeNet: JusticeNet is a non-profit organization that helps people in Ontario whose income is too high to get legal aid and too low to afford legal fees. They offer services for a fee based on income.
- If your landlord is discriminating against you, you might be able to get help from the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation or from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre.
- Depending on where you live in Ontario, a community mediation program might help you work out an agreement with your landlord. For example, the York Region Housing Mediation Services provides free mediation services to help resolve disputes between landlord and tenants, and between tenants.
- Depending on where you live in Ontario, you might be able to speak to a Board mediator before your hearing date. You can call the Board to find out if this is possible in your case.