A recent decision demonstrates once again that our Province’s residential tenancy laws are in need of an overhaul to give more protection to landlords.
By the time the case (almost) came on for a hearing on April 27, 2015:
(a) the tenant had accumulated arrears of rent from September, 2013;
(b) the Landlord and Tenant Board (“LTB”) had made several orders terminating the tenancy and ordering eviction for non-payment of rent and arrears;
(c) the LTB had also made several orders setting aside the orders mentioned in (b) above and instead installing various repayment schemes;
(d) the tenant breached all of the repayment schemes mentioned in (c) above;
(e) the tenant was appealing the most recent eviction order;
(f) the tenant owed in excess of $13,000 in arrears of rent; and
(g) the tenant had not paid any rent since May, 2014.
When the appeal came on for hearing on April 27th, the tenant did not appear. However, she had advised the court that she had a serious medical condition which required her to seek an adjournment to May 26, 2015.
The court granted the adjournment, over the landlord’s objection, but imposed fairly onerous (and in the circumstances quite reasonable) terms of the adjournment. As a condition of the adjournment, the tenant was ordered to pay $2,000 in certified funds by no later than May 19, 2015, failing which the landlord would be at liberty to move before the court without further notice for an order lifting the stay of the eviction order.
The fact that our system permits someone to continue to live in a rental property for 1.5 years after failing to pay rent is demonstrative of how fundamentally broken it is.