What happens at an eviction hearing?
Question & AnswerWhat happens at an eviction hearing?
1. Arrive early and get ready for the hearing to start
If you have an oral hearing at the Board, get there early and sign in with the security staff. If you don't sign in, the Board will not know you're there so they might not call you in. The Board might you to be evicted without hearing your side.
The Board member will usually call your case with the Board file number and the address of your rental unit, but not your name.
When your case is called, you should go to the table at the front of the room on the left-hand side. It might be marked “Respondent”.
The Board member should then ask if anyone has any “preliminary matters” that they want to bring up. These are things that need to be dealt with before the hearing can start. If you, or your landlord, want the hearing to be changed to another date, this is the time to ask.
Ask for things to be explained
If you are representing yourself at your hearing and you don't understand something that either the Board member or your landlord says, ask them to explain. If you feel that they are going too fast and you find it hard to follow, ask them to slow down.
However, the Board member cannot give you legal advice or tell you how to present your case.
Try to take notes about everything that your witnesses, your landlord, or your landlord's witnesses say in the hearing. Be sure to write down if the Board member skips anything in the process or stops you from speaking or asking questions. The next Steps explain how the hearing process should go.
Taking notes is important because if you don't like the decision the Board makes, you might want to get advice on reviewing or appealing the decision. Sometimes it can be difficult to take notes during the hearing. It might be helpful to bring a friend or family member with you to take notes.