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What happens at an eviction hearing?
A hearing at the Board is like a court case, but less formal.
At an eviction hearing, your landlord can explain why they want to evict you. You can explain why you think you should not be evicted.
Your landlord must prove to the Board that there is a legal reason to evict you. You have the right to question or challenge any witnesses or other evidence your landlord brings to the hearing.
You also have the right to speak and to bring your own evidence and witnesses. It is a good idea to make notes and take them to the hearing so you can remember everything you want to say.
After listening to all the witnesses and looking at the evidence from you and from your landlord, the Board member will make a decision. They will write that decision in an Order.
Types of hearings
There are 2 types of hearings at the Board.
Oral hearings are held in person. You and the landlord must come to the location given in the Notice of Hearing. Most Board hearings are oral hearings.
You must bring any documents, witnesses, or other evidence that you have to your hearing.
Oral hearings are almost always public. This means that other landlords and tenants or members of the public could be watching your hearing.
Electronic hearings are sometimes scheduled by the Board when the rental unit is in a rural or remote location. They can be held by telephone or videoconference.
You and the landlord must send any documents or other evidence to the Board and to each other before the hearing.
All Board hearings are recorded. The recording is not available to the public but you or your landlord can order a copy if you need it.
Getting ready for the hearing
If you get a Notice of Hearing, it is important to start preparing as soon as possible.
Find out what steps you can take to stop the eviction before the hearing. For example, if the case is about unpaid rent, you can stop the eviction by paying.
If you can’t stop the eviction before the hearing, there are things you should do to prepare for the hearing , such as
- gathering evidence
- making copies of documents and photos
- making sure witness you need will come to the hearing
- getting legal help
- making sure you’ll be able to get to the hearing location early and stay all day if necessary
Try to get legal help as soon as possible. If you can’t find help before the hearing day, you can talk to tenant duty counsel. Tenant duty counsel are lawyers and community legal workers who give legal advice at places where Board hearings are being held.