Yes. This could be the end of the blog but nothing is ever that simple when it comes to lawsuits.
Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act obligates all landlords to maintain the rented premises in a good state of repair. If the landlord breaches the Act and a tenant is injured, this tenant has the right to ask the Landlord and Tenant Board to order the landlord to compensate the tenant and/or make all necessary repairs.
There are a few rules to follow if you want to file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Two of those rules are:
What if your claim is for more than $25,000?
If your claim is for more than $25,000, you must commence a court action (lawsuit) before the Superior Court of Justice, instead of making an application to the Board.
What if it has been more than 1 year since you were injured and you have not made an application or started a court action?
The Superior Court of Justice has looked into this issue in the case of Letestu v. Ritlyn Investments Limited, 2016 ONSC 6540 (CanLII). You can find this decision on the website of the Canadian Legal Information Institute (www.canlii.org).
In this case, the plaintiff was injured when he tripped over a worn carpet in his apartment on January 11, 2010. He started a court action against his landlord on December 15, 2011.
The landlord urged the court to dismiss the action because it was started more than 1 year after the date of the incident.
The tenant submitted that the Limitations Act, which provides that you have 2 years to start a court action, governed this court action against the landlord. The tenant argued that the 1-year limitation of the Residential Tenancies Act did not apply to the case.
In Letestu, the court decided that even if a court action was commenced, instead of an application made to the Landlord and Tenant Board, the 1-year limitation of the Residential Tenancies Act applied.
The court rejected the claim of the injured plaintiff.
This decision significantly limits the rights of tenants to be compensated if they were injured because of the landlord’s fault. A tenant only has 1 year to obtain legal advice and commence a claim (or file an application). One year may seem like a long time but it goes by fast when you are recovering from injuries and trying to get legal help. If you slipped in grocery store and were injured as a result, you would have 2 years to start your court action against that person or business responsible. This decision is therefore discriminatory against all the tenants who often have very little control over the state of their unit, including the condition of their carpet, stair case railing, icy walkways and unlit staircases.
The Letestu decision is currently under appeal. The appellate court should determine whether a tenant has 1 year or 2 years to start a court action against a landlord.
If you would like to discuss a potential claim against your landlord for injuries and income loss, call one of our lawyers at Burn Tucker Lachaîne LLP or click on “Free Consultation” at www.burntucker.com. We offer services in French or English.
Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share.
Vous avez aimé cet article? N'oublie pas de partager.
Have you ever heard people talk about “contingency fees”? Contingency fees are an alternative to paying hourly rate for legal fees. This type […]Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share. Vous avez aimé cet article? N'oublie pas de partager.
Everyone hears about “claiming damages” at one point or another. But what is included in “damages”? What is included in damages will vary […]Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share. Vous avez aimé cet article? N'oublie pas de partager.
On Monday, June 14 the Ontario Legal Community had the opportunity to celebrate Pride Month and participate in a discussion on Queer and […]Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share. Vous avez aimé cet article? N'oublie pas de partager.