A Case Management Hearing at the
Landlord and Tenant Board can be the most important hearing whether the case
settles or not.
The LTB Ontario may schedule a Case
Management Hearing to deal with an application. Most CMH hearings are scheduled
for tenant applications. Case Management Hearings are subject to the Landlord
and Tenant Board’s Practice Direction on Case Management Hearings, and Landlord
and Tenant Board Rule 9. See the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website for its practice
directions and rules.
The Landlord and Tenant Board Practice
Direction on Case Management Hearings (CMH) set out the hearings purpose as:
“The CMH has
two purposes. First, it provides an opportunity for parties to explore
settlement of the issues in dispute, usually with an LTB Hearing Officer, who
is trained in dispute resolution. Second, if parties are unable to resolve all
the issues in dispute, the LTB will make directions to facilitate a fair, just
and expeditious merits hearing, or in appropriate circumstances, make orders
finally determining matters agreed to by the parties or not in dispute.”
In my opinion there are many other benefits of a
Case Management Hearing.
The Landlord and the Tenant should attend the
CMH. They can attend with a licensed paralegal or a lawyer representing them.
No witnesses are permitted at the CMH.
If the issues raised in the application cannot be
settled the Hearing Officer who conducts the hearing may draw the parties
attention to issues to be considered so that if there is a full hearing on the
merits it can held expeditiously and fairly.
Some issues that may be raised are:
- facts and evidence that may be agreed upon;
- the dates by which any steps in the proceeding
are to be taken or begun;
- the clarification and simplification of issues
- disclosure and production of materials arguably
relevant to the issues in dispute;
- the number and identity of witnesses each party
intends to call, and discussion of whether all proposed witnesses are
- the amount of time necessary to complete the
If there is no settlement, the Hearing Officer will issue an interim order. It is very important that your licensed paralegal requests certain orders that will benefit you. Orders sought should focus on having a fair, just, and expeditious hearing, or an expedition settlement of the disputes.
Reasons why a CMH can be the most
important hearing in a Landlord and Tenant Board case are:
The CMH is the place you and your paralegal
can learn more about the application. Discussions at a CMH usually include
specifics of matters only touched upon in the application(s). A good legal
representative will use what they hear at a CMH to help them in preparation for
a full hearing on the merits.
Listen to the opposing side. Try to
see the case from their point of view. A good legal representative tries to see
the case from their opponent’s point of view. This helps them better assess the
strengths and weaknesses of their client’s case.
This is the only hearing where you
have a chance early in a proceeding to try to settle the case, before you spend
more time and money preparing for a full hearing on the merits.
The CMH Hearing Officer may give general
information on how the Residential Tenancies Act applies to the application.
The Hearing Officer cannot give legal advice.
The winning party after a full
hearing before a Board Member needs to be aware that the losing party may file
a Request to Review with the LTB or an appeal with the Divisional Court. An
appeal is outside the scope of services a licensed paralegal is trained and
permitted to represent. It can be very expensive to hire a lawyer to fight an
Full hearings on the merits can take an hour, several hours,
or days depending on the complexity of the application, the number of
witnesses, and the amount of relevant documents. You may have to wait around all day just for
your hearing to start. Full Hearings are very stressful. A good settlement
allows both parties to walk away a little unhappy.
The winning party represented by a lawyer or a paralegal at
a full hearing on the merits usually does not get any representation costs
awarded to them.
Costs, other than filing fees are generally only awarded
when a party’s conduct in a hearing was unreasonable. See LTB Interpretation
Guideline 3 for more information.
It is difficult to get witnesses to voluntarily attend a full hearing. People may say they will be witnesses now, but they might change closer to a hearing. You can request that the board issue a Summons to force a witness to attend and testify. That will cost time and money.
Every day our office receives calls from landlords wanting to hire me for LTB matters.
If you need to hire an experienced, licensed paralegal, contact me:
(416) 229-1479 or (343) 600-7722