When Taking Legal Action, be Meticulous
At some point in time, negotiations may no longer work and then legal action becomes necessary. Whether you want to have the tenant make repairs, evict a tenant, or you are seeking some other action from the tenant, there is a process to follow. There will be forms to fill out, notices to give to the tenant and a waiting time during which the tenant can respond to your action. In many jurisdictions, fees apply as well. There is normally no need to have a lawyer involved during this process.
The exact process to follow and forms to use for any action varies for each province and territory. Basic information is provided in the Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets, and detailed information is available from your local rental authority. To find the rental authority in your area, refer to the Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets.
If you reach the point where you need to go through your local rental authority to force an action by a tenant, attention to detail is critical. When filling out paperwork, avoid mistakes. Errors in paperwork and the process may result in your request being dismissed should the tenant choose to oppose it. If this happens, you have to start the process again, which means that it will take longer to attain your desired outcome.
Steps to Handle Complaints
- Put complaints and warnings in writing.
- Get copies of the local noise, parking and garbage by-laws for tenant, neighbours and agents of the landlord. Local bylaws are set by municipal governments. To request copies of these bylaws, contact your local city councilor's office located at your city or town hall listed in the Blue Pages of your telephone book. Some municipalities post bylaws on their Web sites. Also check public libraries as some may retain local bylaws for the public to browse.
- When appropriate, call the police.
- Proceed with dispute resolution through legal channels.
- Make sure to be meticulous and detail-oriented when taking legal action.