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In a perfect world, tenants and landlords would live in harmony. Tenants would pay their rent on time and take care of their units, and landlords would let renters enjoy their homes with no interruptions. But unfortunately, issues happen, and when they do, the Landlord Tenant Bureau (LTB) in Ontario is available to step in. 

What exactly is the LTB, and what does it do? Read on to find out more.

Who Is The Landlord Tenant Bureau (LTB)?

The LTB resolves disputes between tenants and landlords. It also settles applications for eviction filed by non-profit co-ops.

The LTB is also a source of information for tenants and landlords about their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). That way, all parties understand what is required of them and what they are not permitted to do. The goal is to ensure everyone is treated fairly.  

Every province and territory has its own Landlord and Tenant regulations that landlords and tenants must abide by. In Quebec, it is the Tribunal administratif du logement. In British Columbia, it is the Residential Tenancies Branch.

What Types Of Issues Does The LTB Help With?

The LTB helps resolve disputes between landlords and tenants, such as:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Eviction
  • Property damage
  • Property maintenance
  • Interference with enjoyment of property
  • Community codes

Does The LTB Care About Credit Scores?

The LTB itself is not concerned with credit scores. However, some landlords are. 

Landlords sometimes check credit scores to determine a lease applicant’s creditworthiness. Your credit score may be an indication of the likelihood that you’ll pay your rent on time. 

Credit scores are made up of various factors, including payment history. If you have a high score, that means you’ve been diligent with bill payments in the past, which may reflect your ability to pay your rent on time each month. 

The higher your score is, the better your chances of getting approved for a lease. You may even have some negotiating power to snag a lower rent price. 

Before signing a lease, check your credit score first. This will give you an idea of where you stand. You can check your credit score for free using Loans Canada’s CompareHub.

How To Use The LTB

If you’re having issues with your landlord or tenant, you’ll want to get accurate advice on what to do. The LTB’s Navigate Tribunals Ontario feature is a great resource available to learn about your rights and responsibilities, as well as the rules and processes of the LTB. This online tool clearly lays out what steps you can take to handle and resolve your dispute.

Visit the Tribunals Ontario website to access the Navigate Tribunals Ontario tool, which will ask you a few questions about your situation. You’ll receive specific information about your rights and options based on the details you provide. This information will help you determine your next steps.

You’ll also receive a report summarizing all information provided and relevant resources available to help you settle your issues.

What Is The Tribunals Portal?

The Tribunals Portal is a system that handles disputes between tenants and landlords. You can use the portal to file, process, and schedule your application online. 

Landlords can file applications such as nonpayment, rent collection, and eviction. Tenants can file applications, including rebates, notices of termination, and maintenance issues.

How To File A Complaint With The Landlord Tenant Board (LTB)

If you are having an issue with your tenant or landlord and would like to file a complaint with the LTB, follow these steps:

Step 1. Communicate With Your Landlord or Tenant 

The first thing you should do is speak with your landlord or tenant to let them know about your concerns. Consider communicating your concerns in a written letter or email to have on record.

Step 2. Gather Information

Keep all copies of written communications and record the amount of time it took the landlord or tenant to respond and acknowledge your concerns. Then, refer to the Residential Tenancies Act to see if your issues are considered an offense.

Step 3. File a Complaint

If your landlord or tenant has been notified of your concerns and is unable or unwilling to resolve the issue, reach out to the Landlord and Tenant Board in your province or territory. You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Name and contact information of the tenant or landlord you’re filing a complaint against
  • When the issue occurred
  • Details of the complaint
  • Supporting documents

What Happens After You File A Complaint?

If your concern is considered an offense, the LTB will reach out to your tenant or landlord to resolve the issue and send a letter with information about the complaint, along with available resources to address the problem. 

They will also keep track of the issue to see if it has been resolved. If not, the LTB may initiate a formal investigation which could result in charges laid on the landlord or tenant. In this case, the complainant will have to appear in court, and you may also need to be present as a witness. If the landlord or tenant is convicted, they will have to pay a fine. 

Corporate landlord convictions and names of individuals who have been convicted more than once for the same offense may be published for the public to see. The information included in these public bulletins will include the offender’s name, the description of the offense, and the penalty. 

Filing Fee For Tenants

The fee you pay when you file a complaint depends on the application you’re filing. If you don’t include your fee, your application will be sent back. 

Applications can be filed at any LTB office or by mail. Some ServiceOntario Centres also accept LTB applications in-person. But the most convenient way to file an application is through the Tribunals Portal, which accepts most applications. You can also pay your fee through the portal.

Fees for tenants are as follows:

ApplicationFeeFee Paid Via Tribunals Portal
Application for a rebate $53$48
Application about tenant rights$53$48
Application – Landlord gave a notice of termination in bad faith$53$48
Application about maintenance$53$48
All other tenant applications$53
Multi-tenant applications$53 for 1st unit
$5 per additional unit up to $450
N/A
Request to review an order$58N/A

Individuals convicted of an offense must pay a penalty of $50,000, and convicted corporations will pay a $250,000 penalty.

What Can You Do If You Can’t Pay Rent Or The Penalties?

If you can’t afford to pay your rent and want to avoid the penalties that may come as a result of nonpayment, you have some options. 

Take Out a Personal Loan 

If you have a steady job but just can’t seem to come up with the money to cover next month’s rent, maybe a personal loan can help. You can use the funds from your loan to pay for your rent on time and in full. Then, you’ll have plenty of time to repay your loan through much smaller installment payments. 

Let’s say your rent is $1,750 per month, and you need some financial help for the next 6 months. You can take out a personal loan for $10,500 to cover your rent payments. 

Based on a rate of 6% and a 5-year loan term, your monthly payments would be $203. That’s much less to pay every month compared to your landlord demands. In the meantime, you’ll have a few months to get back on your feet to start making rent again on your own.

Personal loans are flexible, so you can use the money to cover just about any expense, including your rent. If you have good credit, you can snag a low interest rate to make your loan more affordable. And even if you have bad credit, you can still get approved for a loan with an alternative lender, but your interest rate will be much higher. 

Adding more debt to the pile may not be ideal, but it’s better than missing rent payments and getting slapped with penalty fees. That said, make sure you’re financially capable of making loan payments, no matter how small they may seem.

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Use Your Credit Card

Life throws curveballs at us from time to time and can leave us in a financial pickle due to unexpected events, such as a car accident or medical emergency. In these cases, you may need to dedicate your money to these surprise expenses, leaving less in the pot to pay your rent. 

In cases like these, using credit could really help. Paying your landlord with your credit card could buy you some time while ensuring that your rent is paid. But landlords don’t usually take credit card payments for rent. 

Luckily there are third-party rent payment services available that will collect your credit card payment and forward it to your landlord for you. Not only do you have more time to pay your credit card balance, but you can also earn rewards with every dollar spent on your card and build credit.

Final Thoughts

The LTB is a wealth of information for all parties of a rental agreement. If you’re having issues with your tenant or landlord, reach out to the LTB. They can guide you in your next steps and help you file an official complaint if the problem worsens. 

Landlord Tenant Tribunal (LTB) - FAQs

Where can I find the Tribunal’s Portal?

You can find the Tribunals Portal by visiting the Tribunals Ontario website. Once on the page, click on the “Tribunals Ontario Portal” button.

How long does it take to get a hearing with the Landlord Tenant Board Ontario?

Your application should be scheduled for a hearing within 30 business days. Once the final hearing is concluded, a decision will be issued within 10 business days.

How do you contact the LTB?

To get help with an issue you’re having with your tenant or landlord or to file a complaint with the LTB, call 1-888-332-3234 or visit TribunalsOntario.ca/ltb
Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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