Bill 14 was re-introduced by the Province of Ontario changing the way Co-op Boards deal with disputes. The change is a great idea to assist Co-op Boards by helping to eliminate the need for going to a trial and incurring expenses and timely delays.
I have always thought it somewhat amusing and at the same time challenging that a Co-op Board would need to go to a trial in order to remove a occupant from their co-op building. I am also very curious as to how this new policy will work in the long run as removal of an individual from a co-op is similar to defaulting on a mortgage; an occupant would be taken to trial, ownership would be proven and the occupant would be evicted. The re-introduction of Bill 14 will definitely make a great number of Co-op Boards and residents pleased! This may also lead to changes down the road to faster possession of units.
Some of the key changes should also result in reduction of costs and delays. Based on my experience with the Landlord and Tenant Board (LLTB), I speculate that lawyers will not be required for hearings and items could be handled by a Para-legal. Many problems may also be quickly covered with an application and a hearing before the Member Adjudicator.
Despite the challenges that I have with the current Landlord and Tenant Board (LLTB) set-up, in general, the process is working and I know that the LLTB is attempting to improve the efficiency of the process; however, I am the type of individual who thinks that it should take days to remove a tenant, not months!
A challenge that I anticipate with the re-introduction of Bill 14 and pending changes to the current system may be further delays for the current victims/users also known as, landlords. Currently if you go down to the LLTB hearing rooms in Toronto you will see it packed full of people waiting for their hearing. Odds are it has taken them a month just to get to that stage. What would happen if the LLTB claims increased by 30%?
Over and over again, it is clearly evident that a landlord is the one who suffers! If a tenant is not paying their rent and it takes longer to evict them, the landlord is losing on all counts! This three month process could then easily become four or more. When does justice delayed become just denied?
A recent addition to Bill 14 also allows for qualifying tenants to make “free” applications to the LLTB. Not to be discounted, but that is a topic I will cover in another rant!