What should I do to prepare for an eviction hearing?
Question & AnswerWhat should I do to prepare for an eviction hearing?
If you cannot stop the eviction application from going ahead, then you will have to prepare for the hearing.
You might need to arrange for witnesses to come to the hearing. You might need to make copies of papers or photographs you want to use at the hearing.
You must get to the hearing on time and you will have to stay at the hearing until it is finished.
If the hearing is on a day that you can’t go
It is very important that you go to the hearing. If you know you won't be able to go, you can try to have the hearing rescheduled to a later date. You must ask the Board in writing, no later than noon the day before the hearing. You should first ask the landlord or the landlord's lawyer if they will agree to change the hearing date. If they do not agree, the Board might not change the date.
If you can't go to the hearing and you can't get the date changed, send someone to the hearing to represent you. Write a note that says you give that person permission to represent you, and sign the note. Give them the note and make sure they take it with them to the hearing.
If you do not do any of those things and you miss the hearing, or if you arrive late, the Board will probably make an eviction against you.
If the hearing is on a day that your lawyer or legal worker can’t go
If you were able to get a lawyer or legal worker to represent you, but they cannot come to the Board with you on the hearing day, you can ask the Board to reschedule the hearing. If you do not hear from the Board that the hearing has been rescheduled, you must go to the hearing and ask the Board member to postpone the hearing to a later date so that you can come back with your lawyer or legal worker.
Tenant Duty Counsel are lawyers and legal workers who work at the Board or who come to the Board on hearing days. They can usually help you tell the Board that you need to have the hearing postponed for this reason. This is called asking for an adjournment.
If you need an interpreter
If you need help with English at the hearing, the Board can provide an interpreter. The Board only provides interpreters in French and American Sign Language. It does not cost you anything to use one of these interpreters. If you need an interpreter, tell the Board in writing as soon as possible.
If you use a different language, you will have to get an interpreter on your own. You could go to a community agency that offers services to people who speak your language. Or if you have a friend or family member who speaks both English and your language, ask if they can come with you to the hearing.
If you speak French, you might have the right to get other services from the Board in French.