Our Tenant Rights Legal Services
The law that deals with most landlord and tenant disputes is the
Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. If you live in subsidized housing (social housing) the Housing Services Act also applies to you. The law is very different for members of housing co-ops. It is called the
Cooperative Corporations Act.
Tenants most frequently have problems with their landlord if they have not paid their rent on time or have caused some damage or a disturbance. This is when the landlord tries to evict the tenant. Tenants often need to get repairs done to their apartment and are not sure how to go about it.
Our Clinic offers information, advice and representation to low income tenants. If you are having a problem with your rental unit or your landlord, we can help explain your rights and obligations under the law. We can also advise you when to get help from another service and how to take legal action to deal with your issue. In some cases we will represent you. There are many resources available in Hamilton to help you.
What to do if I have a problem as a tenant?
A tenant or a landlord can go to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) if they have a dispute. The LTB is like a court. This involves filling out forms and it can cost money to file the forms, depending on the issue. The tenant and landlord can try to settle the case using a mediator at the LTB. If it does not settle, both speak with an adjudicator who will listen to both sides and make a decision. This is called a hearing. It is possible to appeal the decision to court, but legal advice is necessary to take that step. Members of our staff are at the LTB to give advice and information on the day of your hearing. This is called "duty counsel". Ask to talk with us.
Social housing tenants deal with rent subsidy disputes directly with their landlord. The process is called a "review". The tenant asks for the review and explains why the decision is wrong. There is no appeal to the court. Tenants should get legal advice when faced with subsidy problems.
Landlords cannot take action against you unless they have given you the proper paperwork. Usually you will get a letter or a notice that tells you what the problems is and what the landlord is going to do. Often you can do something to stop any further action. If the landlord wants to evict you, they must give you papers from the LTB telling you when to show up. Call us for information and advice if you get any paperwork from your landlord.
If you need to get repairs done, first ask the landlord to fix the problem. If nothing is done, write a letter and ask the landlord to do the repair by a certain date. Keep a copy of the letter. If nothing is done, call the City and ask them to send an inspector to your unit. The City may be able to get the landlord to make the repair. If nothing happens, you will have to take the landlord to the LTB. Call us if you are having repairs problems.
Tenant's Rights and General Information
Landlord and Tenant Board
1-888-332-3234 Toll-free telephone number with 24 hours automated information line
Service Ontario office
Unit 101, 420 Queen Street East,
Sault Ste. Marie, P6A 1Z7
City of Sault Ste. Marie By-Law Enforcement
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
Toll Free: 1.800.263.1139 ext. 22
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Tenant Tip Sheets
Affordable Housing and Financial Assistance
Access to Housing
City Housing Sault Ste. Marie
Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefits
Maintenance and Repair Issues
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing-Investigations and Enforcement Unit
City of Sault Ste. Marie Public Health
LTB Information Sheet regarding Maintenance and Repairs
Low Income Energy Network (LIEN)
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) Resources
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) provides helpful information on a variety of tenant rights issues. In addition to the brochures below, you can learn more at the CLEO website or by calling 416-408-4420.
Can your Landlord Take Your Stuff?
This booklet explains what landlords can do with personal property that tenants leave behind when they move or are evicted. It describes when it is legal for a landlord to take a tenant's belongings, what a landlord can do with the belongings of a tenant who dies, and what some of the rules are for a tenant who lives in a mobile or land lease home.
A care home is a rented home that provides health care services, attendant care services, or help with daily living. This booklet explains how to tell if someone is a care home tenant and describes the rights of care home tenants. It covers topics such as information packages, tenancy agreements,rent, services, and evictions.
Fighting an Eviction
This booklet explains what tenants need to do if they do not want to move out or be evicted, what happens at a Landlord and Tenant Board hearing, and what tenants can do if they get an eviction order from the Board. There is also contact information to get more information or legal help
Maintenance and Repairs
Every tenant has the right to a home that is well maintained, in a building that is clean and safe. This booklet explains the types of maintenance and repairs that landlords must do, steps tenants can take to get things fixed, and ways tenants can get help.
This booklet describes what tenants have to do if they want to move out, and what can happen if they do not follow the rules. There are sections dealing with ways to move out early: making an agreement with a landlord, assigning, subletting, and applying to the Landlord and Tenant Board.
This online guide on the CLEONet web site features legal rights information about rental housing in Ontario, including rental agreements, maintenance and repairs, rent increases, and eviction.
To increase a tenant's rent, the landlord must follow the rules set by the Residential Tenancies Act. This booklet explains those rules. It also talks about agreements that a landlord and a tenant can make to increase the rent, rules about deposits and other charges, and steps tenants can take if they have paid an illegal rent or charge.
What Tenants Need To Know About The Law
This booklet describes some important things about the new
Residential Tenancies Act and some ways it is different from the old law. Topics covered include rent increases, deposits and other charges, repairs and maintenance, privacy, moving out, and eviction.
This site provides general information only, specific to Ontario, Canada. It is NOT legal advice. Laws, practices and policies change over time. The applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should get legal advice for your particular situation.
Please call us or a lawyer in your area for advice on your particular situation.