Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Legalized Theft Board

I know that it aggravates some people when I refer to the LTB (as in the Landlord & Tenant Board, which is their proper name) as the Legalized Theft Board.

But that has most certainly been not only my experience, but also the experience of many other landlords who post in the Ontario Landlords Association forums - and, no doubt, of thousands more besides.

I happened to be on the LTB site yesterday looking something up and noted, once again, their (supposed) mission statement:

The mission of the Landlord and Tenant Board is to inform landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act and provide balanced and timely dispute resolution in accordance with the law.

Right there on the front page. And hey... if they actually did that, I'd be happy to call them the Landlord Tenant Board.

Unfortunately, what they claim to do bears little/no resemblance to what they actually do.

  • Rules are required to be followed to the letter by landlords, but not at all by tenants. Legal resources provided to tenants, but not landlords. Privacy for tenant information, but not landlords'.... where in the mission statement does it suggest tenants should be advantaged at every turn while landlords are not?
  • almost 6 months for a case where the tenant gave notice, tried to rescind it 2 days before their stated move-out date, and then paid not one blessed cent rent for that almost 6 months? HOW is that timely?
  • the adjudicator finds that the landlord is credible, the tenant is not, and awards judgements to the landlord on all three counts - but goes out of his way to ensure that not one cent will ever be collected and that the tenants get several extra weeks at the landlord's expense  - as a result of a conversation after the hearing to which the landlord was not privy?  HOW is that balanced?

I could go on and on ... I've learned an awful lot as a result of my research & reading - but I can tell you with 100% assurance that the vast majority of evidence - BY FAR - is that the LTB in Ontario has completely lost sight of its mission statement and its purpose.

The mission statement would be far more accurately stated as follows:

The mission of the Legalized Theft Board is to ensure security of tenancy for all tenants whether they live up to their responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act or not.

Period, full stop.

Interestingly, the LTB seems to now be rather ~slow~ to post annual reports and/or recent decisions on their website. The last Annual Report which is available is from 2009 - 2010; decisions end as of December 2011.

Things that make one go hmmmm.... could it be that they know they've lost the plot and are loathe to advertise it? Inquiring minds want to know!

In any case, the people who are most impacted by the failure of the LTB to live up to its mission statement? Not landlords.

We are hurt financially - but hey, we still have a roof over our head (at least until you get ~lucky~ like I did and get more than one problem tenant in a short period and lose everything thanks to the Legalized Theft Board) ....

it is the good tenants who don't take advantage of the ~system~ (using the term loosely) to rape their landlords that are harmed.

It's the single mom or dad on OW who can't find a landlord to rent to her because she has no garnish-able source of income.

Or the person with a disability on ODSP who is even less likely to find a place because they not only have no garnish-able source of income, they have the potential to cost us even more money and aggravation because Ontario has decided that landlords are responsible for any and all accommodations, no matter how unreasonable or expensive.

Or the older potential tenant who we are cautious about renting to because you know, they could become disabled or develop Alzheimer's and hey, guess what? Landlords in Ontario are regularly forced to cough up for any and all accommodations, no matter how unreasonable or expensive.

Or the person who is coming from another country, or from a mental health facility, or from the streets... yeah, no... no credit rating, no garnish-able source of income? No shelter, sorry.

It sucks. It breaks my heart. But don't blame the landlords. Blame your Ontario government - the one that has decided that the ONLY people in Ontario who should have rights when it comes to rental housing are the deadbeats & scammers.

Not the good tenants.

Not the good landlords.

Sorry 'bout that... I wish I could be part of the solution. But you know what? Still can't find anyone that can be bothered listening.

Cindy Forster, housing critic for the ONDP did respond to my email - well sort of - she ignored MY email, but did respond to one someone more well known among the ONDP forwarded on my behalf - but that was more than 2 months ago now... somehow I think that "we will have to get back to you in response..." means "please just go away."

Pretty sad when my own party can't be bothered, eh?  *sigh*

But at least they did send an acknowledgement - the Ontario Liberal's can't even be bothered with that. My tax dollars at work. Or not.

Ah well...I'm a stubborn old bitch ...think it's time to start yet another letter writing campaign.

Perhaps this time, I will post the actual letter, and names, addresses & dates of each person I send it to, and any response. Still no guarantee I will get a response, but hey, it might be a fun experiment, no?





5 comments:

  1. I know the feeling. I had my duplex highjacked by two professional rental con families. They were well protected by the LTB regulations and played it well. They lived for free for seven months! That is how long the timely process took to get them out for non-payment of rent. Just to get them out, not recover the money owed.
    They lived for free those seven months.
    They did not pay utilities bills thus setting up my following tenants into paying huge security deposits just to have hydro and gas hooked up.
    They intentionally destroyed the apartments' doors, fixtures. All the doors had holes in them, bathtubs were hammered (literally), lightbulbs removed, screens ripped, left old worthless furniture inside to be removed by us, etc.
    Upon paying hundreds of dollars for application to LTB and sheriff on top of lost rent, we found five more eviction judgments in the pile of paperwork mess that they left behind. All of those were treated as confidential info during the eviction process. The judge did not use this information when making her ruling in our case. She even allowed a stay of order once on the grounds that these people claimed that they did not know or understand the process. (After at least five judgments anyone would learn, wouldn't they!). We were denied the right to search for past evictions when we rented to them and when we filed for eviction for non-payment.
    Yes I agree that LTB is in business of ripping off landlords and breeding scam artists' army. The amazing part in this is, they are doing it LEGALLY!
    I also agree that ONLY THE RIGHTS OF THESE CON MEN are protected. How ironic! There are great tenants stuck with bad landlords: they are not as protected as those rental criminals!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The whole situation is so out of control crazy that it's no wonder people who are on any sort of non-garnish-able assistance are finding it increasingly hard to find housing. Too bad the LTB, OHRC and Sheriff's Office don't seem to have any understanding (or concerns) re: the impact of their nonsense.

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  2. Wonder what is happening to the educated people who make these laws when they start feeling themselves secure in their lawmaking jobs?
    The hiring/electing process is so rigorous, it is hard to imagine that anyone who has gone through it would be doing such ignorant dubious job of addressing the rental challenges!
    Sadly, it is a fact.
    Or is it conspiracy? Cannot even think up suitable conspiracy theory off the top of my head.. Got to be ignorance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. perhaps we need to get some landlords elected

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