The primary function of the tribunals is to promote stability in the rental housing sector by resolving disputes that arise between tenants and landlords in residential dwellings. These include flats, privately owned houses, shacks, communes, backyard rooms, and outbuildings.
The responsibility of the tribunals is to educate, provide information and advise tenants and landlords on their rights and obligations. The tribunal services are available in each province, at no cost to the disputing parties and there is no need to involve attorneys.
Some provinces also have online facilities for lodging complaints, so check whether this service is available for your area.
Filing a complaint
Each province has its specific methods, but broadly speaking these are the steps to follow at the Rental Housing Tribunal in your province if you have a complaint against your landlord or tenant:
- Submit two forms - the main complaint form and an annexure form. Both are available on the provincial RHT sites. Remember to mark the relevant complaints on the tick list, and to sign the forms.
You will also need:
- Your identity document, passport, or permit.
- Your address and copies of your written lease if there is one.
- Your landlord’s full name, contact details, and address.
- If an agent is managing the property, the company details and contact numbers must be filled in.
- It is also a good idea to include proof of payment of rent or any other documents that support your complaint.
- Attach certified copies of your documents to the complaint form and keep your originals. Also, keep a copy of the complete complaint form including all the attached documents you submit. Write down the date that you submitted the form, and the name of the staff person you submitted the form to if you are not submitting the complaint online. Ask for written confirmation that you have submitted the complaint, or at the very least get the Rental Housing Tribunal’s date stamp on your copy of the submitted complaint form.