Saturday, April 6, 2013

Court Finds that Third Party Property Management Companies Cannot Represent Landlords at LTB

There was an interesting decision in court last week that all landlords should take note of.  

At the Ontario Superior Court, a property manager was found to have been acting improperly by providing legal services at the Landlord and Tenant Board contrary to the Law Society Act.  Since paralegal regulation in 2007, only members of the Law Society or those who are legitimately exempt are able to provide legal services.  The definition of "legal services" can be found in sections 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7 of the Law Society Act, and includes a number of common landlord and tenant activities including the drafting of N4's, L1's and appearing at the LTB.

The Court found that Enzo Vincent Chiarelli had been providing legal services, and stated that while he is in no way prevented from acting as a property manager, he is prevented from representing his "clients" at the Board.

Chiarelli's counsel Joseph Kary argued that the definition of landlord in the Residential Tenancies Act captured property managers such as Chiarelli.  The court agreed hat the definition of landlord is broad, but distinguished between the landlord and the right to appear at the LTB.  The Court granted the applicant, the Law Society, with their request for a permanent injunction against Chiarelli.

So landlords, be careful, while you can represent yourself or a family member, property management companies who may be excellent at plowing snow and finding good tenants, can NOT provide legal services.

Here are a few links to articles including a link to the decision in the Chiarelli case which can be found in the Law Times article.

Law Times Story/Monday-April-1-2013 Article /2013/03/26

Blog on Ilercampbell web site, a law firm acting extensively for the non-profit community


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