COVID-19 Updates on Landlord and Tenant Board Operations

Last Updated: September 14, 2020


The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) is gradually expanding services in August. However, all in-person service counters remain closed until further notice. Where possible, use email to contact the LTB.

Effective August 1, 2020, the LTB will:

  • Begin to issue eviction orders that are pending;
  • Start to issue consent eviction orders which are based on landlord and tenants settling their dispute through an agreement;
  • Continue to hear urgent eviction matters related to health and safety that are scheduled;
  • Start to schedule hearings for non-urgent evictions; and
  • Conduct non-urgent eviction hearings starting in mid-August and into the fall.

On This Page

  1. Suspending Limitation Periods
  2. LTB Documents Sent By Email
  3. Hearings
  4. Evictions
  5. Filing an application
  6. Rent
  7. Entering a Rental Unit
  8. Free Legal Advice
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Contact the LTB
  11. Tribunals Ontario News About COVID-19
  12. Additional Resources on COVID-19

Suspending Limitation Periods

On March 20, 2020, the Government of Ontario made an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, suspending imitation periods and procedural time periods relevant to tribunal proceedings. The suspension was retroactive to March 16, 2020.

On August 20, 2020, the Government announced the Emergency Order would be lifted on September 14, 2020.

That means, that suspended limitation periods and procedural timelines resumed on September 14, 2020.

The suspension and resumption of limitation periods impacts statutory limitation periods (i.e., the time in which to bring a legal claim). It also impacts procedural time limits (i.e., steps that must be taken within a legal proceeding), subject to the discretion of the tribunal or decision-maker.

As a result of the suspension, parties may be entitled to automatic extensions of time to file applications or other motions or requests with a board or tribunal.

For example:

If the deadline for filing an application fell within the suspension period (March 16, 2020 to September 14, 2020) a party would be entitled to an extension of time equal to the number of days between March 16, 2020 and the original filing date. The extension period begins September 14, 2020.

  • For example, if a party had 10 days left to file an application, as of and including March 16, 2020, the party now has until end-of-day September 23, 2020 to take that action (September 14, 2020 + 9 days).

If a limitation period for filing an application started on or after March 16, 2020, the limitation period will begin on September 14, 2020.

Contact your tribunal or board if you have questions on your submission deadlines.

If there is a dispute about whether or not an action was taken in time, a board or tribunal may ask parties to make submissions in order to determine the matter.

Tribunals Ontario is continuing to deliver services across the province. Most tribunals are continuing to have hearings, mediations, and case conferences by teleconference, video conference or in writing.


LTB Documents Sent By Email

The LTB usually sends documents to parties using email if an email address has been provided. This includes notices of hearing. At this time, the LTB will not be emailing Orders that contain provision for eviction or monetary enforcement.

If you are a party or a representative and you have not provided the LTB with your email address or your email address has changed please provide the LTB with the correct information as soon as possible.

If the LTB does not have an email address it will send documents using regular mail.

Hearings

Previously scheduled in-person hearings postponed due to COVID-19 will be rescheduled and held by videoconference, phone or in writing. Hearings for new applications will also be held by videoconference, phone or in writing.

Videoconference hearings will use Microsoft Teams. If videoconference is not feasible, the LTB will make telephone participation available. Requests for accommodation will inform alternate hearing formats.

If you have a scheduled hearing, the LTB will send you updated information as soon as possible.


Evictions

Effective August 1, the LTB will:

  • Begin to issue eviction orders that are pending;
  • Start to issue consent eviction orders which are based on landlord and tenants settling their dispute through an agreement;
  • Start to schedule hearings for non-urgent evictions; and
  • Conduct non-urgent eviction hearings starting in mid-August and into the fall.

On March 20, 2020, the LTB established a new process for Request for Urgent Hearings (RUH) for landlords with an urgent eviction request. As the LTB is gradually resuming services, the RUH process has been discontinued.

The LTB will continue to hear the urgent eviction matters related to health and safety that have already been scheduled.

Notice of Termination

In most cases serving a Notice of Termination is the first step before a landlord can apply for an eviction order from the LTB.

Tenants

If your landlord gives you a Notice of Termination to end your tenancy, you do not have to move out of your unit.

You have the right to stay in your rental unit until the Sheriff enforces an eviction order issued by the LTB.

Landlords

If you served your tenant with a valid Notice of Termination, you can file an application for eviction with the LTB.

Filing an Application

The LTB is accepting and processing all applications and will schedule hearings and Case Management Hearings by videoconference, telephone or in writing.

The LTB encourages the use of e-File as the most common types of applications can be filed online.

If you are not able to use e-File, you can submit your application to your LTB regional office by mail or fax.

Your application may take longer to process if you submit by mail or fax.

Submitting an application in-person at ServiceOntario

Do not go to ServiceOntario to submit your application if it is not for an emergency request or if you can submit using e-File.

ServiceOntario Centres are limiting the intake of LTB applications to the following circumstances:

  • the application represents an emergency situation
  • the applicant has no access to a computer
  • the applicant’s only option for payment is by cash, certified cheque, or money order
  • other limitations to applicant’s alternate filing options

Visit the ServiceOntario website for a list of locations that accept applications and documents on behalf of the LTB.


Rent

If you cannot pay rent because of the COVID-19 outbreak, you should try to establish an arrangement with your landlord to preserve your tenancy by deferring rent or making other payment arrangements.

If you and your landlord are not able to reach an acceptable resolution, you may wish to seek free general legal advice from Legal Aid Ontario.

Landlords cannot charge fees or penalties for late rent payments.


Entering a Rental Unit

Tenants

You cannot deny entry into your rental unit to a landlord, authorized broker or salesperson if you received a Notice of Entry. Your landlord must:

  • give you 24 hours written notice
  • state what day and time they will enter (between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.)
  • state the reason for entering the unit.

You should discuss the Notice of Entry with your landlord and explain any concerns you may have about the situation and try to work it out in a cooperative way.

If you and your landlord are unable to reach an acceptable resolution, you may wish to seek free general legal advice from Legal Aid Ontario.

If there is an emergency, the landlord can enter your unit without first serving a notice of entry.

Landlords

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, you should request entry to a tenant’s unit only in urgent situations. If you must enter a unit, you should follow physical distancing guidelines.

If you are selling a tenant-occupied home, you are strongly advised to follow the guidance of the Real Estate Council of Ontario and avoid in-person showings. As always, you are subject to the Human Rights Code and have a duty to accommodate your tenant(s) with disabilities to the point of undue hardship.

You are encouraged to work together to protect the health and safety of tenants, landlords and the public at large.


Free Legal Advice

Tenants

If you have a scheduled hearing

Tenants with scheduled hearings can get free legal advice through the Tenant Duty Counsel Program. The Tenant Duty Counsel Program is a program of the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario and is independent from the LTB.

If your matter has been scheduled for a telephone hearing and you wish to obtain legal advice, contact Tenant Duty Counsel before the hearing as Tenant Duty Counsel may not be in attendance at telephone hearings.

You can visit their website or call 1-877-374-0391.

If you do not have a hearing

Tenants without scheduled hearings who wish to seek free general legal advice can contact Legal Aid Ontario. You can visit their website or call 1-800-668-8258.

Landlords

The Landlord Self Help Centre provides small-scale landlords with general information, summary advice and referrals. The Landlord Self Help Centre is a non-profit community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario and independent from the LTB.

You can visit their website or call 1-800-730-3218.


Frequently Asked Questions

A list of frequently asked questions is available here.


Contact the LTB

Due to a high volume of calls, email ltb@ontario.ca with your questions.

If you need to talk to the LTB by phone call 416-645-8080 or 1-888-332-3234.

For TTY relay service, dial 1-800-855-0511.

LTB Regional Offices

To submit an application, use e-File. If you are not able to use e-File, you can submit your application to your LTB regional office by mail or fax.

Until further notice, the following changes are in place for submitting documents through mail. If you submit by mail or courier, you will experience processing delays.

Courier mail should be addressed to:

Landlord and Tenant Board
25 Grosvenor Street, 4th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1R1

Mail sent through Canada Post should be addressed to the respective LTB regional office address listed below:


Tribunals Ontario News About COVID-19


Additional Resources on COVID-19