A combination of Covid 19 and the province’s budgetary restraint are to blame for ridiculous eviction hearing backlogs
Months long waits for tribunal hearings are leading the Greater Sudbury Landlord Association to take to the streets. CBC and the Sudbury Star both reported irate landlords protesting outside of city hall, where the province’s reduction in provincial adjudicators is making a pandemic backlog worse.
“Our main focus is to get the LTB to listen to us here in Sudbury. When tenants are clearly in arrears, evictions have to be processed. We’ve got landlords who haven’t been paid rent for four, six, 10 months, and these people are stressed to the max. We need to get more adjudicators up here.” – Ray Goulet, President, GSLA.
This association has been vocally critical before. In March of 2019, CBC reported on the closure of Sudbury’s provincial landlord and tenant office. The association expressed concern about delays being introduced as a result of this. When backlogs those delays occurred before the pandemic, they expressed support for an Ombudsman’s investigation in January, which is currently ongoing.
Goulet claims there are about 80,000 cases in Ontario that have yet to be resolved through the Landlord and Tenant Board, with about 400 in Sudbury alone. Tribunal Watch Ontario warned in May that the Landlord and Tenant Board, which makes close to 80,000 decisions a year, had shrunk from 53 members to 40 in April 2018.
Ontario’s tenancy board has received almost 6,000 applications to evict tenants since the start of April, adding to a backlog of cases the understaffed tribunal this week resumed processing amid the COVID-19 public health crisis – National Observer
About 90 percent of cases at the LTB are brought by landlords, primarily seeking to evict tenants for non-payment of rent. The Landlord and Tenant Board are supposed to schedule a first hearing date within 25 days of receipt of an application for the most common rent disputes. In the 2018-19 fiscal year, it met that standard just 35 percent of the time.
From mid-March to mid-September of this year, Sudbury police responses to calls related to tenant and landlord disputes in the city’s downtown — more than doubled in the same period in 2019.