Fair system for landlords and tenants

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

If you are a property owner and you want a cheaper way to resolve a problem with an errant tenant, go to the Rental Housing Tribunal.

The tribunal is an independent body appointed by the provincial housing minister to resolve disputes between landlords and residential tenants.

It can summon a party to a mediation, and its ruling is akin to a court judgment.

Trafalgar chairman Neville Schaefer said though most landlords preferred the direct legal route, the tribunal method is cheaper because there are no legal costs.

Schaefer said the tribunal afforded landlords the authority to deal with disputes, complaints and problems relating to non-payment of rentals, overcrowding and tenants who are a nuisance.

The downside is that though the tribunal's decision is final, it does not have the jurisdiction to evict tenants.

Schaefer said the tribunal offered tenants and landlords a fair system.

He said cases first go to mediation with a commissioner "making every effort" to reach a mutual settlement and agreement. Though the tribunal provides advice and information and makes a fair and just ruling, Schaefer said it shows little patience with tenants who do not pay rent.