Free tenant applications

Do tenants really need free applications at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LLTB)? Is an application fee of $0 to $45 really too much for someone to pay? If so, why do landlord applications start at $175.

A new addition to Bill 14 could change the way application are handled at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Bill 14 would allow for tenants to make free application, no cost, $0! You may not see this as a problem but I do.

I know of and have respect for freedom of justice and I agree that an individual should have access to the law. Unfortunately, I feel that this is not the case with the Landlord and Tenant Board. I know and respect the fact that the current system is not perfect. I also know that a few dollars can go a long way from stopping abuse.

Consider the ramifications of a tenant who makes monthly filings for free and does not appear at the hearing. The landlord must pay for legal representation each time and/or be present at the hearing. I have also never seen the Landlord and Tenant Board award legal fees and many times will just dismiss the hearing as the party making the application didn’t show. Landlord’s are also not able to search or review previous filings and appearances of a tenant.

So I ask where are the checks and balances.

How many “no show” cases does a tenant have to file before “the book” is thrown at them? Even if the government does go after such a tenant, the fine would be payable to the Landlord and Tenant Board or the government; not the landlord.

I want to remain positive; however, I sometimes feel that there is little recourse. Simple and practical answers are challenging to find. The only option on the books is Small Claims Court. And of course it will cost more money and results in a piece of paper stating that the landlord is owed money. It is then up to the landlord to collect the funds by chasing your tenant, garnish their wages or off to collections. That is likely the only way to see your money back.

How much good money do you throw after bad money? Because the system is not fair.

So BIG government, I want to know. What about an option for the landlord to get free application, as they can not afford to evict the tenants that don’t pay the rent?

Level the paying field and make life fair!