Independent landlords say the backlog of state court cases is expensive and unfair
Thousands of distraught landlords in Ontario are outraged by delays in hearing lawsuits against problem — and even fraudulent — tenants they say are putting their finances at risk.
“The issue is serious. At the end of the day, when a small landlord goes through that – people say, ‘I know I want to be a landlord now,'” said Boubacar Bach, Small Ownership Landlords Ontario (SOLO).
Roshankar too knows the problem all too well.
In April, she leased a property in Mississauga and immediately ran into payment problems.
“Every day it’s delayed is more financial abuse.” More thefts. More robberies. More scams,” said Roshankar. “Every month she doesn’t pay, I get more and more in debt. I’ve been using a line of credit up until this point and I’m getting to the bottom of it.”
She has an LTB hearing scheduled for next April, but fears it could be delayed until next year.
Meanwhile, she’s not collecting rent and could lose tens of thousands of dollars.
“I am being subjected to a fraud case,” she said. “It was a huge amount of stress. I’ve been on the edge a few times where I might have to go on stress leave.”
The Landlord Tenants Board said on Thursday that it “recognizes that current processing times are longer than we would like them to be and we understand the impact that delays have on those who access our services”.
He said the number of cases has increased during the pandemic.
A five-month moratorium on removal hearings from March to August 2020 canceled 25,000 hearing slots.
The LTB said it was “working to increase the number of staff and judges at the LTB and in our contact center so that we can resolve the existing backlog”.
SOLO puts pressure on MPPs and organizes virtual town hall for Friday.
“She still lives there. She doesn’t even pay her utilities,” Roshankar said of his prospective tenant.
For now, her recourse is to wait in a huge government ruckus.
“It’s mind-boggling how this happens,” Roshankar said.