Not an Owner? No LTB Self-Rep for You!

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Landlords must also be owners of properties they represent at the Landlord and Tenant Board, according to a recent interim order.

In CEL-32403-13-BIR-IN (Re), 2014 CanLII 31000 (ON LTB), member Jeanie Theoharis found that “IC” is a “landlord” under the Residential Tenancies Act, but is not an “owner.” Citing Law Society of Upper Canada v. Chiarelli 2014 ONCA 391 (CanLII), the member found that IC may not appear as a “self-represented” party.

Theoharis noted that the Court of Appeal in Chiarelli found that a person who meets the expanded definition of “landlord” under the Act — that is, a person who is not the owner of the property and is acting as a property manager — is not entitled to self-represent at hearings and must be represented in proceedings before the Landlord and Tenant Board. Further, the appeal court found that any right of self-representation is to be subject to the provisions of the Law Society Act.

Self-Rep Limits

The only legislation which explicitly deals with the right to self-representation is the Law Society Act. Section 8(3) of that statute permits self-representation only where an individual “is acting on his or her own behalf,” the court found. 

“Although the appellant may be considered a landlord for the purposes of certain aspects of the Residential Tenancies Act, this does not change the fact that he is providing legal services to a third party,” the Chiarelli decision notes.

“Any obligations or rights flowing from proceedings before the Board, to the extent that they impact on the appellant at all (e.g. orders under ss. 204 or 205 of the Residential Tenancies Act to pay monies or costs to a tenant), are derivative in nature. They flow from the fact that the appellant is providing services to the property owner. If the appellant were not acting for a client in any given case, he would not have any interest in the proceeding and thus no standing.”

Appearing Without an Interest or Licence

Theoharis determined in her interim order that:

“On a balance of probabilities I find that (i) IC is not a licensee; (ii) she is not appearing on her own behalf; and (iii) she is providing legal services to the property owner because she is appearing before the Board to represent the interests of her son, the owner of the property.”

The member found that “IC is not entitled to self-represent at the Landlord and Tenant Board hearing and, following Chiarelli, must be represented by someone who is licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada to provide legal services.”

IC has been ordered to ensure that a LSUC licensee is available to represent her at the continuation of the hearing before the Board. Proceedings are stayed pending an appeal the landlord filed with Divisional Court in May.

The recent case arose out of termination and eviction proceedings IC initiated on behalf of the owner, her son. The Tenant had requested that order be reviewed and stayed. The order is made under Section 21.2 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act and the Residential Tenancies Act.

    Related Information:

    Chiarelli Injunction Stands: No Unlicensed Practice – SCOPE

    Ruling Out Unlicensed Practice: Changing Small Claims Court Rules

    Protecting the Paralegal Scope – LSUC Victory – SCOPE

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