Friday, 25 October 2019

Increasing Monetary Jurisdiction of Landlord and Tenant Board (and Small Claims Court)


FROM $25,000 to $35,000 as of JANUARY 1, 2020

The Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board has a monetary jurisdiction of $10,000 or the monetary jurisdiction of the Ontario Small Claims Court (which currently is $25,000).  This is set out in section 207 of the Residential Tenancies Act.   

There is a significant change coming on January 1, 2020, in that the monetary jurisdiction of the Ontario Small Claims Court is increasing to $35,000.00.  You can find the Regulation that makes this change HERE.   Because the Residential Tenancies Act creates a monetary jurisdiction that tracks the Ontario Small Claims Court (based on wording of section 207 RTA) one would presume that the monetary jurisdiction of the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board will also be increasing to $35,000 starting on January 1, 2020.

An unanswered question that I have is whether the increased jurisdiction will apply only to new applications filed on or after January 1, 2020, or whether existing applications that have not yet been adjudicated can take advantage of the increased jurisdiction.   I've looked for any kind of transition Rule or Regulation but as yet no luck.  If anyone knows something I don't about this a comment below would be appreciated.   Absent any direct guidance my guess is that the increased jurisdiction will apply to existing but not yet adjudicated applications as well as new applications.  I have a very vague recollection of caselaw on point when the Small Claims Court has made the leaps in monetary jurisdiction and that being determined to be a procedural rather than a substantive issue meaning the jurisdiction at the time of hearing governs not the date of filing.  Of course, I stand to be corrected if anyone knows any different.

I'm wondering if delaying filing applications for claims in excess of $25,000 but less than $35,001, is necessary or worthwhile.  If there is no prejudice in a delayed filing this might be something to think about.  

Michael K. E. Thiele
www.ottawalawyers.com 

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