Landlord and Tenant - Getting Ready

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Filing a Certificate of Service
Preparing Your Evidence
Help for Tenants: Duty Counsel Services

The Landlord and Tenant Board will Review Your Application

Once the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) gets your forms, they will look them over. If they find any errors, or if they need more information from you, they will send the forms back to you.

If your form is ready to be submitted, the LTB will schedule a hearing.

The LTB will send you a Notice of Hearing that includes the following information:

  • The type of application you have filed (which of the 11 forms you used)
  • The purpose of the hearing
  • The type of hearing that will be held (oral, written or telephone hearing), and
  • The date, time and place of your hearing

Serving the Respondent

You must give a copy of each form to the respondent, which is called "serving" the respondent.  You will receive 2 copies of the application form and 2 copies of the Notice of HearingIf there is more than one respondent, you must make enough copies to give to each respondent.  

Deadlines for Serving the Respondent

There are different deadlines for serving the respondent once you receive your Application and Notice of Hearing from the LTB. The deadline for serving the respondent with these documents depends on the type of form. The LTB has a chart on their website to help you figure out the deadline to serve the respondent.

It is important to follow the deadlines set by the LTB. If a deadline is not followed, your application can be cancelled or delayed.

How Do You Serve the Respondent?

You can serve the documents yourself or through another person.

If You are Serving a Landlord

The LTB’s website has a chart explaining how to serve the respondent. You can view this chart on the website. It is important to meet the right deadline for your kind of application. You can give the documents to the landlord, an employee of the landlord or a property manager. To serve the documents to a person’s agent, you can serve that individual by mail, fax, or courier.

Filing a Certificate of Service

After you have given the Application and Notice of Hearing form to the landlord by whatever method you choose, you have to let the LTB know how and when you gave the form to the landlord, by sending the LTB a Certificate of Service within 5 days after the documents were served.  You will get more information about the Certificate of Service in the application package you receive from the LTB.

How Do You Prepare for and Carry Out Your Hearing?

Types of Hearings

Video from the Landlord and Tenant Board website.

There are 3 different types of hearings: Oral, written, and electronic. 

  • Oral: Most often, there is an oral hearing, in which the parties will meet in person with the LTB Member for the hearing. 
  • Written:  In a written hearing, the parties each send a letter to the LTB telling their side of the story, including the facts and evidence that support their story. The LTB will make a decision after looking over the letters and evidence.
  • Electronic: In an electronic hearing, the LTB will schedule a telephone or video conference, where each side will speak about their case to the LTB Member. 

Representatives or Witnesses at Your Hearing

  • You are allowed to bring a representative to your hearing, such as a lawyer, a friend or a relative. If that person is not a lawyer, you must write to the LTB to let them know who will be representing you.
  • You can also bring a person to act as a witness to the hearing. If you are thinking of bringing a witness, you must ask that person before the hearing date. 

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Preparing your Evidence

  • Gather and prepare the evidence you want to use at the hearing before your hearing date. Your evidence should help prove your side of the story.
  • Bring 3 copies of any evidence to the hearing: 1 for the LTB member, 1 for the respondent and 1 for you.


Hearings are usually carried out in English. French-language hearings can be held if:

  • The applicant asks for the hearing to be in French or if the application was filed in French; and
  • The address of the rental unit or the address of the party asking for French language services is in an area where the French Language Services Act applies.

If both of the above apply to you, you should tell the LTB as soon as possible. The LTB will provide a French interpreter at your hearing. The LTB will also try to schedule a French-speaking member for the hearing.

The LTB will not translate or pay for the translation of any documents that have been filed.

Interpreters for Languages other than French

  • The LTB does not provide interpreters at the hearing for languages other than French. If you cannot speak with the Member or a party in English or French, you will have to bring an interpreter to the hearing with you.

Sign Language

  • If you have a hearing disability, you must write to the LTB to let them know. The LTB will arrange for the services of a sign language interpreter and will pay for this service.

Human Rights Accommodations under the Human Rights Code

  • The Board is guided by 3 pieces of accessibility legislation: the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

What Does This Mean?

  • This means that the LTB must follow these 3 pieces of legislation since they are law. The LTB cannot discriminate against a person based on the grounds (reasons) in the Human Rights Code. The grounds are: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status and disability.
  • If you are an applicant with a disability, you can ask the LTB to make special arrangements for you by telephone, fax or mail. If you are making your request in writing, you must fill out a form called Additional Services Available to You at Your Hearing.
  • For more information about asking for accommodation, please see the LTB’s  Policy on Accessibility and Human Rights. Copies of the LTB’s policy are also available at all LTB's regional offices. You can also ask for a copy of this policy in braille.

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Help for Tenants: Duty Counsel Services

  • To help prepare tenants for a hearing, the LTB offers a service called Tenant Duty Counsel Services.
  • Tenant Duty Counsel Services refers to a person to help a tenant during the hearing. This service is available at all LTB locations. Tenants do not need an appointment to get help.
  • If you want help, you should arrive for the hearing early, so that there is time for you to see the Tenant Duty Counsel. 


  • If the LTB thinks your case is one that can be resolved through a mediation session, they will send you information on mediation by mail once they receive your application.
  • Mediation sessions offer a more relaxed environment than formal LTB hearings. A mediator who works for the LTB will work with both sides to try to find an agreement on their problem.
  • Mediation is optional; this means that it can take place only if both the tenant and the landlord agree to it. If one side does not want to go to mediation, a LTB hearing will take place instead.

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