Practice Direction on Evidence

This Practice Direction addresses how parties to a Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) proceeding should format and serve the LTB and the other parties with copies of their evidence, and how the LTB deals with evidence.

Anything a party wishes to rely upon at a hearing to support their case is considered evidence. This includes items such as documents, pictures and physical objects and electronic evidence such as audio or video recordings, pictures stored in electronic format, emails, text messages, social media posts. Only evidence that is relevant to the proceeding should be included.

Caselaw and written submissions containing legal argument may be accepted by the Member during the hearing but are not considered evidence.

The rules governing when a party must disclose their evidence to the other parties and the LTB are contained in Rule 19 of the LTB Rules of Procedure.

Rule 19.7 states that a party who fails to comply with the disclosure rules or an order or direction made by the LTB for disclosure may not be permitted to rely on the evidence at the hearing.

LTB Member determines whether to accept evidence

An item does not automatically become evidence once it has been given to the LTB or the other parties. It is up to the LTB Member hearing the application to decide whether to accept each item as evidence during the hearing.

Reasons an LTB Member may not to accept an item as evidence include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. It is not relevant;
  2. It is unduly repetitious;
  3. It is inadmissible due to privilege under the law of evidence;
  4. Its prejudicial effect outweighs its probative value;
  5. It was not provided to the LTB or the other parties by the deadline contained in the LTB’s Rules or an order or direction issued by the LTB.

Any item that has not been accepted by the Member as evidence during the hearing will not be considered by the Member in making their decision.

The Member may also tell the parties how and when to present their evidence during the hearing.

Required format for evidence

All documents, photographs and other items provided to the other parties and the LTB as evidence must:

  1. be readable;
  2. have consecutively numbered pages; and
  3. include a list or table of contents identifying each item in order, and by page number, if more than one item is being submitted.

Serving the LTB with your evidence

In accordance with Rule 19, all parties must provide the LTB with a complete copy of the evidence they intend to rely upon at least 7 days before the hearing or 5 days in the case of responding evidence, unless the LTB orders or directs otherwise. Responding evidence is something that addresses an issue raised by the other party’s evidence.

If a Case Management Hearing (CMH) has been scheduled, the evidence must be provided least 7 days before the CMH or 5 days in the case of responding evidence, unless the LTB orders or directs otherwise.

In accordance with Rule 10, a landlord who has filed an application about rent arrears must provide the LTB and each tenant with a completed copy of the "L1/L9 Information Update as of the Hearing Date" at least 5 days before a hearing being held by videoconference, telephone or in writing. If the hearing is being held in person, the landlord must bring 3 copies of the "L1/L9 Information Update as of the Hearing Date" to the hearing.

To help ensure the evidence is placed in the correct file in a timely manner, evidence should be given to the LTB as follows:

Service by e-mail

  1. All evidence should be emailed to the LTB, unless e-mail service is not possible.
  2. The LTB email address to be used solely for this purpose is LTB.Evidence@ontario.ca. The subject line of the email containing evidence should include: the word “EVIDENCE”; the FILE Number; and the hearing date.
  3. All evidence must be sent as an attachment to the email. The body of the email must provide a brief description of the attached documents. The sender must also include a separate table of contents as described above.
  4. Files emailed to the LTB cannot exceed 35,000,000 bytes (35 MBs).
  5. Files larger than 35 MBS should be broken into smaller attachments and emailed to the LTB as separate attachments, if possible.
  6. Files emailed to the LTB must be in one of the following formats: PDF, Word, Excel, JPG, MP3, MP4 or MOV.
  7. The LTB cannot accept email communications which include links to social media sites or any other external websites. If a party seeks to rely on social media information or external website content as evidence, the information must be put before the LTB in documentary form, as printouts or electronic documents.
  8. Attachments that do not meet these requirements may be not be accepted by the LTB and may be returned to the sender or disposed of.

Documents or attachments should only be filed once. Parties should not send documents more than once, to multiple LTB email addresses, or in another format, unless the LTB directs this.

The LTB may refuse to accept submissions that are unduly lengthy or repetitive.

Documents or attachment which do not comply with this Practice Direction may be returned and the party will be instructed to refile according to these directions and the rules.

Communications and documents relating to individual applications cannot be combined or sent together. Documents relating to each application must be filed separately. The exception to this is combined applications or where more than one application is combined into one proceeding.

If you are trying to send the LTB evidence that meets the technical requirements set out above, but it cannot be successfully sent by email, the issue may be limitations or restrictions imposed by your email provider.

Other electronic methods of sending evidence to the LTB

If you are unable to send your evidence to the LTB by email due to size of the file, you may ask the LTB for permission to provide the evidence using the Ontario Government Attachment Service (EATS). You should email the request to the LTB email address identified in the Notice of Hearing. If your request is granted, you will receive an email from the LTB with instructions on how to send your file to the LTB using EATS.

Evidence cannot be sent to the LTB using cloud-based delivery document platforms, such as iCloud or Dropbox.

Mailing evidence to the LTB

If you are unable to email your evidence to the LTB or use EATS, you may mail the evidence to the LTB Regional Office responsible for your file. If the evidence can be made available in hard copy, such as documents or printed photos, you may mail the hard copy to the LTB. Electronic evidence should be contained on a USB stick or CD-ROM in one of the formats set out above. The USB stick or CD-ROM will not be returned to you. It is the parties’ responsibility to ensure that the evidence is received by the LTB by the deadlines contained in Rule 19.

Serving the other parties with evidence

In accordance with Rule 19, all parties must provide the other parties with a complete copy of the evidence they intend to rely upon at least 7 days before the hearing or 5 days in the case of responding evidence, unless the LTB orders or directs otherwise. Responding evidence is something that addresses an issue raised by the other party’s evidence.

If a Case Management Hearing (CMH) has been scheduled, the evidence must be provided least 7 days before the CMH or 5 days in the case of responding evidence, unless the LTB orders or directs otherwise.

In accordance with Rule 10, a landlord who has filed an application about rent arrears must provide the LTB and each tenant with a completed copy of the "L1/L9 Information Update as of the Hearing Date" at least 5 days before a hearing being held by videoconference, telephone or in writing. If the hearing is being held in person, the landlord must bring 3 copies of the "L1/L9 Information Update as of the Hearing Date" to the hearing.

The LTB encourages parties to discuss how to exchange their evidence to ensure that it is received on time and in a format that all parties can access. In many cases email may be the best way for the parties to exchange their evidence. However, if a party does not agree to receive disclosure by email, the other parties must provide that party with a hard copy of all their evidence by the deadlines in Rule 19. Electronic evidence that is not emailed should be given to the other party using a USB stick in one of the formats set out above, unless the parties agree on another method or format.

Evidence disclosed after the deadline

It is up to the LTB Member hearing the application to decide whether to accept evidence provided by a party after the deadlines discussed above. In making the decision, the Member may consider any submissions from the parties. Factors the Member may consider include, but are not limited to:

  1. how late the disclosure was;
  2. the reason the party did not disclose by the deadline; and
  3. whether the other party will be prejudiced if the evidence is accepted.

A Member may also decide to permit a party to submit evidence or submissions in writing by a specified deadline after the hearing.

Playing electronic evidence during a hearing

A party wishing to rely upon electronic evidence, such as an audio or video recording, must be able play the recording during the hearing in a manner that will allow all the participants and the LTB Member to hear or view the recording. The LTB will not provide any hardware or software necessary for a recording to be played. This is the responsibility of the party intending to rely on the electronic evidence.

For hearings held by videoconference or telephone, the audio or video recording must be submitted in a one of the formats listed above and provided to the LTB and the parties at least 7 days before the hearing.




June 29, 2021
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