I’m taking my landlord to the LTB. How do I present my case?

3. Present your evidence

After your opening statement, the Board member should ask you to present your evidence.

Your evidence includes what your witnesses say, including yourself. It also includes any documents, photos or recordings that help you prove your case.

Direct examination

You decide the order of your witnesses. When your witness takes the stand, they must swear, affirm, or promise to tell the truth.

You must ask each of your witnesses questions to get answers that support your case. This is called “examination-in-chief” or “”.

Your questions must not tell the witness what you want them to say.

Questions that tell the witness what the questioner wants them to say are called leading questions.

Example:

  • Non-leading question: “What was the condition of the oven when you inspected it?”
  • Leading question: “The oven was broken, wasn’t it?”

Leading questions are not allowed in direct examination. To avoid leading, ask questions that start with who, what, where, when, why, how, or please describe.

You can also be a witness yourself. If you don’t have a lawyer or other representative to ask you questions, just tell your story as simply as you can. The Board member may ask you questions.

Documents

Documents can include receipts, inspection reports, photos, or emails between you and your landlord.

Before you can use a document or other piece of evidence at trial, someone has to tell the Board member who made the document and what it is. This can be you, your landlord, or another witness.

If no one objects, the document becomes an exhibit. This means it is part of the official record of the hearing.

Cross examination

When you finish questioning each of your witnesses, your landlord can then cross-examine them by asking questions as well.

Leading questions are allowed during cross-examination. The purpose of cross-examination is to test how true and reliable the witness’ answers are.

If you are a witness at your own hearing, your landlord can cross-examine you too.

Re-examination

You can then re-examine your witnesses if you need to make clear anything that came up during the cross-examination. But you can’t raise any new issues.

Objections

When your landlord is questioning a witness, you can object to questions being asked or to documents being offered as exhibits. You should only object to something if you can show there is a reason why the Board member shouldn’t hear the evidence.

For example, if it has nothing to do with the issues the member must decide, you can object by saying it is not relevant. You can’t object just because you think what the witness is saying isn’t true.

New issues

Usually the Board member will not let you raise any issues at the hearing that you did not list on your form. But the Board might allow you to raise a new issue if it is related to your application and it came up after you filed your application.

Your landlord

When you are finished presenting your evidence, the Board member will ask your landlord to present their evidence.

You are allowed to cross-examine your landlord and their witnesses. The Board member might also ask your landlord some questions.

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