Having Landlord and Tenant Disputes? Here Is What You Need to Know
Disputes are common between landlords and tenants. Disputes often occur when one or both parties fail to fulfill their duties. There are simple issues where the dispute resolution process is straightforward.
However, tenants and landlords sometimes do not resolve disputes amicably. When this happens, it may be time for the parties to involve a third party. You may involve lawyers and mediators to help in dispute resolution.
The Residential Tenancies Act outlines the responsibilities and remedies for each party. Various remedies can be applied to solve disputes. In most cases, it depends on whether it was the landlord or tenant who breached the agreement.
Learn more about these disputes and how to resolve them below. Sondhi Defence can provide personalized legal guidance and support.
Understanding Landlord and Tenant Disputes
Disputes between landlords and tenants occur due to various issues. However, the main problem occurs when one party breaches the contract. Failing to remedy the breach may also lead to more disputes. Here are common causes of disputes:
Issues about rent and paying rent
Maintenance issues about the rental unit, including not making the required repairs
Violating the tenancy agreement terms
Both the landlord and tenant need to understand their rights and responsibilities to avoid confusion or breach of contract. It also helps them understand the legal challenges they could face if they do not perform their responsibilities.
Legal Rights and Responsibilities
The rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords can be found in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). The Act also regulates many elements related to tenancy, including:
When and how to give a notice by the residential landlord or tenant
Termination of occupancy
Non-profit housing co-operatives
The landlord and tenant board
Maintenance and repairs
It may be hard to read and understand the Act fully due to the legal terms involved. But lawyers at Sondhi Defence have got you. We can help you go through the Landlord and Tenant Act, explaining all your rights and duties. We can also help you understand your rights and responsibilities as outlined in the tenancy agreement.
Impact of Landlord-Tenant Disputes
Landlord-tenant disputes may arise from minor issues. However, if they are not resolved, they could escalate and lead to various consequences, such as:
Loss of life or injuries
The court process may also cost the parties money and drain them emotionally. The relationship between the tenant and the landlord could be beyond repair even after dispute resolution.
These issues may be avoided. But, the parties involved have to be willing to take the first step in tenancy dispute resolution. If this fails, they can take their dispute to court.
Filing Tenancy Complaints in Ontario
There are two institutions where you can file rental disputes and get help:
- Rental Housing Enforcement Unit
- Landlord and Tenant Board
Here is an overview of how to file disputes and what to expect after filling:
Rental Housing Enforcement Unit (RHEU)
It is crucial to let your residential landlords or tenants know about your issue. So, the first step is to file a complaint with them. You need this complaint as evidence that you raised your concern. Send a letter or email for future reference. If your landlord or tenant does not solve the issue, it’s time to contact the RHEU through their website.
You may need to provide your name and contact information. You may also be requested to submit documentation about the dispute.
After filing the complaint, the unit may contact the tenant or landlord. They could send them information on the issues and options for fixing them.
RHEU may open a formal investigation if they follow up and see there was no resolution. If the landlord or tenant has committed an offence under RTA, charges may be filed, and the case will be heard before a judge of a court of justice. A conviction may lead to paying fines of up to $50,000 for individuals and $250,000 for corporations.
The Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs may make details of the defendant’s conviction available to the public if they are a repeat offender or corporate landlord.
Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)
The LTB resolves various disputes between landlords and tenants. You can visit their website and use their dispute resolution tool to try to reach an agreement. You could also learn about your rights and responsibilities as a landlord or tenant.
Consequences of Illegal Conduct
Here are the fines you could pay if you have been convicted under the Residential Tenancies Act 2016:
$50,000 for individuals
$250,000 for a corporation
Here are remedies that tenants may get if their landlords breach agreements:
Damages for financial losses incurred due to the breach
Applying for termination of tenancy
Here are remedies for landlords:
Recovery of rent
Recovery of property
You may talk to your lawyer about the remedies you can seek and qualify for.
Preventing Future Disputes
After resolving disputes, it is vital to ensure they do not occur again. Here are tips for landlords to prevent future disputes:
Maintain the rental units
Communicate properly with tenants
Offer fair terms of tenancy
Here are tips for tenants:
Keep and maintain the property
Pay rent on time
Report any issues on time
Tenants and landlords can consult real estate lawyers when creating tenancy agreements. They can also help them review and update the leases regularly to avoid disputes.
Do You Need Legal Assistance? Contact Sondhi Defence Today
Landlord and tenant disputes can disrupt peace in a residential unit. It may also lead to property damages and injuries. An experienced lawyer from Sondhi Defence can help you resolve your tenancy dispute efficiently.
Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of real estate law and can help you protect your rights and ensure compliance with the law and your tenancy agreement. When disputes occur, we are here to help you reach a favourable resolution and protect your interests.
Don’t handle your tenancy dispute alone. Contact our law firm today and schedule a free consultation!
Get In Touch
If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offence, call us right away at 1 (855) 4-SONDHI and get our team on your side.