On the Radar from CLEO
CLEO On The Radar
August 2023
Landlord and Tenant Board using case conferences to tackle backlog of tenant applications
Ontario's Ombudsman recently reported on the “excruciatingly long delays” and severe backlogs at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). This included taking up to 2 years to schedule some tenant applications.
In July, as a way to address this, the LTB began scheduling adjudicative case conferences.
It's very important that tenants go to their case conference. If they do not, the adjudicator can cancel their application.
At an adjudicative case conference, an adjudicator can:
  • mediate to see if the tenant and landlord can reach an agreement
  • help the tenant and landlord prepare for a hearing
  • make a final decision if the landlord or their representative does not show up
Tenants get a notice if there's going to be a case conference. For now, the LTB is having case conferences for only:
The adjudicator might try to help the tenant and landlord make an agreement. If they agree to resolve everything, the adjudicator will close the application.
The adjudicator can then make a consent order. This is a final decision based on what the tenant and landlord agree to. If the landlord does not pay money they agreed to, tenants can go to Small Claims Court.
Sometimes, an adjudicator will suggest a mediated agreement. This is also a final agreement that closes the application. Tenants must ask the LTB to re-open their application if the landlord does not do what they agreed to.
No agreement
Tenants do not have to agree to anything in mediation.
If their application is not fully resolved at the case conference, the LTB schedules a hearing.
What adjudicators help with
At the case conference, the adjudicator might suggest that the tenant make changes to their application. This is to save time at the hearing. For example, the adjudicator might:
  • update names and contact information that's not correct
  • ask the tenant and landlord if they're sending any more evidence
  • ask if there are any facts that they agree on
The adjudicator might also ask:
  • how many witnesses the tenant and landlord plan to bring
  • how long it will take to tell their story
The adjudicator can point out possible problems in the tenant's application. The tenant might not have checked off important remedies. Or it may be past the one-year deadline to deal with some of the problems.
The adjudicator might suggest that the tenant:
  • cut any issues that have mistakes
  • make a new application
  • make an agreement at the case conference
These are hard decisions. It's important that tenants get legal help before the case conference.
If the landlord does not show up
If the landlord or their representative does not go to the case conference, the adjudicator can make a final decision.
This means that they hold a hearing at the case conference. Tenants can learn about how to prepare for hearings in I'm taking my landlord to the LTB. How do I present my case?
Changing the date of the case conference

The LTB has not said how to reschedule or postpone an adjudicative case conference.

The information below assumes it will be the same process that the LTB uses for Case Management Hearings.

A tenant must have a very good reason if they cannot go to the case conference, for example:
  • they're in hospital or having important medical treatment
  • they're out of the country
  • their representative is not available
First, the tenant should ask the landlord and everyone involved if they agree to change the date. If they do, the tenant should try to get this in writing. The LTB may not reschedule unless everyone agrees.
Then, the tenant must ask the LTB to reschedule the case conference by filling out a Request to Reschedule a Hearing. The LTB must get this 5 business days before the case conference.
The tenant must contact the LTB to find out if they agreed to a new date.
If the LTB agrees
They will either:
  • send the tenant a notice with a different date, or
  • cancel the case conference and have a hearing.
If the LTB refuses or does not confirm they're rescheduling
The tenant must go to the case conference or send someone to represent them. Then the tenant or their representative can ask the adjudicator to:
If a tenant misses their case conference
Tenants should also email the LTB at ltb@ontario.ca, ideally the same day as the case conference. They need to explain why they missed the case conference, ask for a new date, and attach any evidence that explains why they missed it.
The adjudicator might cancel the tenant's application if they do not show up. The LTB then sends the tenant an order saying their application is dismissed.
The tenant can appeal by filling out a Request to Review an Order. They must send this to the LTB within 30 days of the date of the order.
Getting legal help
Community legal clinics help people with low incomes across Ontario.
If a tenant does not have a legal representative, they can sign up to speak with Tenant Duty Counsel (TDC). TDC can sometimes have a short phone call with tenants before their case conference.
Steps to Justice lists more legal services for tenants.
Steps to Justice logo
Related resources
Operational updates
Landlord and Tenant Board
Free Legal Advice for Tenants
Advocacy Centre for Tenants (ACTO)
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