What happens at an eviction hearing?
A hearing at the LTB is like a court case but less formal.
At an eviction hearing, your landlord can explain why they want to you. You can explain why you think you should not be evicted.
Your landlord must prove to the LTB that there is a legal reason to evict you. You have the right to question or challenge any witnesses or other your landlord brings to the hearing.
You also have the right to speak and to bring your own evidence and witnesses. It's 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 will make a decision. They will write that decision in an . It usually takes a few weeks for the LTB to send you a copy of the order.
Types of hearings
Important COVID-19 update about the Landlord and Tenant Board
Because of COVID-19, the Landlord and Tenant Board has changed some of its processes. You can learn more in the question: How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way the LTB handles cases?
The (LTB) holds most hearings remotely by phone or videoconference. In-person hearings are very rare.
You must send an Accommodation Request form to the LTB if you want them to consider giving you an in-person hearing or making other changes to how they hold your hearing.
Reasons you can ask for a different hearing type include if you don't have good access to a phone, computer, or internet.
There are 3 types of hearings at the LTB.
Remote hearings: These are held by telephone or videoconference. Most LTB hearings are remote hearings on Zoom.
In-person hearings: You and the landlord must come to the location given in the Notice of Hearing.
Written hearings: The LTB member makes a decision based on documents you and your landlord sent them. The LTB might schedule a written hearing for above-guideline rent increase applications or when the rental unit is in a remote area with poor phone and internet access.
You must bring any documents, witnesses, or other evidence that you have to your remote or in-person hearing.
Remote and in-person hearings are almost always public. This means that other landlords and tenants or members of the public could be watching or listening to your hearing.
You and the landlord must send any documents or other evidence to the LTB and to each other before the hearing. The LTB will give you a deadline for sending these documents. The deadline is usually 7 days before the hearing.
All remote and in-person LTB 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's 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 the rent you owe.
If you can't stop the eviction before the hearing, there are things you should do to prepare for the hearing. For example, you should:
- gather evidence
- make copies of documents and photos
- make sure the witness you need will come to the hearing
- get legal help
- make sure your device and your internet connection are working well and that you'll be able to access the hearing 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 (TDC). TDC are lawyers and community legal workers who give free legal advice to at LTB hearings.